There are a number of reasons why Orange County is one of the most desirable places to staycation in California. It has all the excitement, diversity, and cultural amenities of a big city while boasting some of America’s most beautiful beaches, seaside villages, and open spaces. A staycation in Orange County means discovering world-class shopping and dining, professional sports, and… well… Disneyland!
Balboa Island in Newport Beach is home to quaint harborfront villages dotted with eclectic shops and restaurants. You should also be sure to stop by the world-famous Sugar n’ Spice to indulge in the island’s frozen bananas and ride the fairground-style rides including a signature waterfront Ferris wheel that dates back to 1936. Park your car on the Balboa Peninsula and take the Balboa Island Ferry for a scenic five-minute trip across the water.
Stay at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, where you can retreat to a world of exclusive experiences including a wealth of upscale dining at Pelican Grill, two 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed championship golf courses, Forbes Five-Star spa, an exclusive Villas Clubhouse & Pool and Coliseum Pool.
World-Class Shopping & Dining
Whether you’re hunting for boutique brands or eclectic furnishings, California has everything from expansive malls to beach-side mom-and-pop shops. Want to sample fresh cheeses? Peruse one of the many farmer’s markets. Looking for rustic accent pieces? Check out one of the many small, artisan shops dotting the coastline.
Fashion Island in Newport Beach offers the legendary, world-class shopping Orange County is famous for. This open-air mall is a luxury retail experience featuring four flagship department stores (Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Macy’s), along with an Apple Store, a selection of boutique clothing stores including CHANEL Fragrance & Beauty Boutique, and delicious restaurants for dining.
If you like your shopping with a splash of entertainment, visit Irvine Spectrum Center, where a towering Ferris wheel and whimsical carousel give the outdoor shopping venue a fairground feel among an array of unique shops. Irvine Spectrum also hosts a vibrant nightlife, with Regal Irvine Spectrum ScreenX, 4DX, IMAX, RPX & VIP, Irvine Improv Comedy Club, Dave & Buster’s, and everything from casual fare to fine cuisine.
San Diego is a hub of things to do—between taking in a Padres game, to the Gaslamp Quarter, beaches, and the Wild Animal Safari Park—there’s quite literally never a dull moment. San Diego Bay is home to Navy Pier, Seaport Village, the USS Midway Museum, and more, while downtown San Diego is an urban hub of shopping, entertainment, coffee shops, and alfresco dining.
Old Town San Diego
Known as the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego brims with colorful art galleries and festive theaters, boasting 17 museums and historical sites (including the Whaley House which has been featured on the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted). Old Town San Diego is also home to Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, California’s first mission, as well as dozens of restaurants featuring authentic Mexican cuisine, the town is a blend of community and history.
Balboa Park is a historic landmark home to the San Diego Zoo as well as a number of museums, gardens, restaurants, and the Fleet Science Center. The space is breathtaking, featuring open space areas, natural vegetation zones, gardens, and walking paths. The park’s site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use.
Craft Beer & Foodie Scene
San Diego is serious about two things: its world-renowned legacy of craft beer and its fish tacos. And the food trucks? They range from showcasing the art of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich to Eastern European cuisine to gourmet sandwiches and finger-licking barbecue. With social media pages dedicated to tracking where they’ll be next, food trucks are redefining “fast food” for on-the-go locals. Try Sam the Cooking Guy’s Not Not Tacos in Little Italy. Delish!
Downtown San Diego holds the unofficial status as “the capital of craft” with more than 130 breweries and brewpubs in the county. Beer lovers can drink a new variety a day for a year, and rarely drink the same brew twice. It even has its own creation – the West Coast-Style IPA – known for its powerful, hoppy flavor. The world of craft brewing here is filled with barrel-aged stouts, IPAs, and hoppy India Pale Ales for miles.
La Jolla Cove, La Jolla
The La Jolla coastline affords some of the most breathtaking beaches in California with a mixture of dramatic cliffs, sandy expanses, and secluded coves with steep canyons that culminate at Mount Soledad. La Jolla Cove is San Diego’s most desirable spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving with calm waters home to colorful yellowtail, rays, and even Leopard sharks.
The blend of business, residential and abundant leisure activities define the character of Northern California—a charming mixture of old and new. Tree-lined streets and historic buildings reflect California’s deep heritage while innovative tech companies define its future. The Bay Area is an urban hub with great shopping, entertainment, coffee shops, and outdoor dining, tucked beside some of the country’s finest wineries.
Explore stunning San Francisco by bike with bicycle rentals or picnic on the hillside of Alamo Square Park, while taking in a beautiful view of the Painted Ladies and downtown. Experience handmade hot fudge with a World-Famous Hot Fudge Sundae at the historic Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, indulge in a fresh sourdough bowl of clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, or take a ferry to Alcatraz Island where you can go inside the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.
Santana Row, San Jose
You’ll find luxury brands like Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Tourneau at upscale Santana Row in San Jose, close to diverse eateries and a vibrant arts community. There’s also the quaint Santana Row farmer’s market.
Levi’s® Stadium, Santa Clara
Santa Clara’s Levi’s® Stadium is home to the San Francisco 49ers and is highly accessible thanks to the VTA Light Rail station located just west of the stadium. The extravagant venue is 1.85 million square feet, seats approximately 68,500, and features 165 luxury suites and 8,500 club seats. The stadium also hosts concerts and is home to Bourbon Steak Restaurant and a 20,000-square-foot 49ers Museum.
Blackberry Farm, Cupertino
The seasonal, picturesque Blackberry Farm in Cupertino features a cafe, two swimming pools, a waterslide, horseshoe courts, sand volleyball courts, bocce ball courts, and picnic sites with barbecues for groups of up to 400 people. The farm is centrally located within the Stevens Creek Corridor, adjacent to McClellan Ranch Preserve, and is home to the nine-hole, par 29 Blackberry Farm Golf Course.