Romantic Things to do in Orange County, California

Spend a romantic day at the beach.Spend a romantic day at the beach.

In Orange County, romance is in the air. The county might be best known for Disneyland, but it's not all kid's stuff here--there are plenty of options for couples young and old, newly dating or long married, to enjoy a day or night on the town together. Whatever your interests, there are several romantic things to do in Orange County. So get inspired by these ideas, and make a date you won't soon forget.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is known as Surf City USA, but there's much more to do at the beach in addition to surfing. Take a romantic walk (or bike ride, or rollerblade excursion) on the Ocean Strand beach boardwalk, which runs 8.5 miles. Take in the breathtaking view from the Huntington Beach Pier, and then choose from one of several restaurants centered around Main Street, which begins directly across from the pier at Pacific Coast Highway. Then wrap up the night snuggled under a blanket in front of a bonfire at Huntington State Beach.

Huntington State Beach At Magnolia Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach, CA 92648 714-536-1454

First Thursdays Art Walk

Laguna Beach is known for its natural beauty--and the enclave of artists who are so inspired by the local landscape that they call the seaside town home. The city is famous for its summer festivals--Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival and Art-A-Fair--along Laguna Canyon Road, but the numerous galleries situated downtown are a great draw year-round. The first Thursday of every month is the First Thursdays Art Walk, when galleries and the Laguna Art Museum stay open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Take your honey for a stroll and admire the art; shuttle services makes it easy to travel from one end of Coast Highway to the other. And there are plenty of restaurants along the way that are ideal for dinner or a nightcap.

First Thursdays Art Walk Along Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 949-683-6871

Orange County Performing Arts Center

For a romantic night on the town, Orange County's cultural center is just the ticket. In Costa Mesa, the Orange County Performing Arts Center hosts touring productions of Broadway musicals, dance, jazz and cabaret concert; classical concerts are showcased in the architecturally striking concert hall there. The concert hall also has a restaurant, Leatherby's Cafe Rouge, on the ground floor, perfect for watching concertgoers through the huge windows as they make their way across the center's plaza. And if you want to start the date off on a good note, take your sweetheart on a shopping spree across the street at the landmark South Coast Plaza shopping center.

Orange County Performing Arts Center 600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 714-556-2787

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About the Author

Anastacia Grenda is an editor for regional magazines in southern California. During her 17-year writing career, she has contributed articles to "Cooking Light," "Parents," "San Diego Magazine," and "Christian Parenting Today," among others.

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