13 Unforgettable Weekend Getaways In Orange County (2024)

Discovering Hidden Gems Affiliate Link Disclosure

Want to take unforgettable weekend getaways in Orange County? We’ve got you covered with itineraries for every type of traveler.

Orange County is a destination that has something for everyone and can be visited year round.

As locals, we love taking weekend getaways in Orange County every chance we get.

It’s impossible to see it all in one weekend, so we’ve taken the highlights and created 13 unforgettable weekend getaway itineraries.

Planning A Trip? Use Our Favorite Resources Below!

Car Rentals

13 Unforgettable Weekend Getaways In Orange County

Below are our favorite weekend getaways in Orange County.

1. Catalina Island Weekend Getaway

Catalina Island is an easy island getaway from Orange County.

The Catalina Flyer ferry makes multiple trips back and forth daily between Newport Beach and Avalon.

The Catalina Express ferry is another option that runs out of San Pedro, Long Beach, and Dana Point.

This one drops off and picks up in Avalon and Two Harbors.

Where to Stay on Catalina Island

Catalina has lodging options for just about every budget.

Each hotel has their own benefits such as pricing, amenities, and location.

Click Here to Book Your Stay On Catalina Island Today!

What to Do on Catalina Island

Catalina Island has a little bit of fun for everybody.

For those that want to spend a day out on the water there’s boat tours, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, jet ski rentals, parasailing, paddleboarding, and more.

If you’re into athletics or adventure, there’s golf, hiking, biking, zip lines, and even Hummer and Jeep tours.

For those that want to take it easy, there’s plenty of shopping, spas, museums, and art.

Additionally there are dining options for every budget.

Click Here to Book Your Tour of Catalina Today!

Catalina Island Weekend Getaways in Orange County

2. Disneyland Weekend Getaway

With 2 theme parks and a downtown district, it’s easy to spend a long weekend here without having to leave the property.

The Disneyland resort hotels are world-class, including their own dining options, pools, and spas.

If you live in Southern California, there are usually discounts on 3 day tickets, though this option is not always available.

There are also discounts for military members, veterans, and their families.

Disneyland Weekend Getaway

3. Balboa Peninsula Weekend Getaway

Balboa Peninsula is a small part of Newport Beach, but it is the perfect getaway destination.

It is definitely a more high end area than other places of Orange County, but for good reason.

Balboa Peninsula is a year round destination that is also popular for whale watching.

Where to Stay on the Balboa Peninsula

Hotels like Lido House, Balboa Inn, Doryman’s Oceanfront Inn, and Newport Beach Hotel are iconic and worth the splurge.

My husband and I actually stayed at the Newport Breach Hotel for our wedding!

Click Here To Book Your Balboa Peninsula Hotel Stay Today!

What to Do on the Balboa Peninsula

Areas like the Lido Marina Village and Balboa Village are concentrated areas of restaurants and shopping.

We have personally enjoyed dining at Rockin Baja Lobster, The Old Spaghetti Factory, and the Taco Bell Cantina.

Balboa Village also has an area called the “Balboa Fun Zone”, which has recently come under new management and is going to be completely re-imagined.

There are also a couple piers in this area if you’re looking to just enjoy a day out at the beach.

The Newport Pier and the Balboa pier.

There are several areas for boat rentals and other water sports that you can take advantage of in this area as well.

Last but not least, you’ll want to go out on at least 1 whale watching excursion.

The Winter months are best for whale sightings, but they’re not the only time.

You’re sure to see plenty of dolphins on your excursion too.

Click Here To Book Your Whale Watching Excursion Today!

Balboa Peninsula Weekend Getaway

4. Laguna Beach Weekend Getaway

Laguna Beach is more than you might’ve seen on the early 2000’s reality tv show of the same name.

It’s known for its art galleries, beaches, coves, tide pools, and more.

Where to Stay in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has some of the best hotels and resorts in Orange County.

Some of the most popular along the beaches include Montage Laguna Beach, Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach House, La Casa del Camino, Casa Laguna Hotel & Spa, and The Inn at Laguna Beach.

If you’re looking to stay off the beach, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is a great choice!

Click Here To Book Your Laguna Beach Hotel Stay Today!

What to Do in Laguna Beach

Browsing the art galleries is a great activity in Laguna Beach.

In June, Laguna Beach is home to the famous Sawdust Art Festival.

During the first weekend of July is Pageant of the Masters, which has been around for over 80 years now.

Laguna Beach is home to some of the best night views in Orange County to enjoy a sunset.

Top of the World Park and Crescent Bay Point Park are the must visit locations.

Laguna Beach is also home to some of the best hidden gems in Orange County too.

At Victoria Beach you can see the Pirate Tower and even get up close to it during low tide.

Treasure Island Beach and Thousand Steps Beach are also great hidden gem beaches in Laguna Beach.

In addition to these beaches, you can have a great time out on the water anywhere in Laguna Beach.

There are plenty of water sports to partake in like kayaking and paddleboarding, and tours where you can see sea lions.

Click Here To Book Your Open Ocean Kayak Tour With Sea Lion Sightings Today!

Click Here To Book Your Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lesson And Tour Today!

When you’re looking for restaurants, all along PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), there are plenty of restaurants with a variety of cuisines.

Laguna Beach Weekend Getaway

5. Huntington Beach Weekend Getaway

Huntington Beach is a popular surfing destination, and even carries the nickname Surf City. It’s the epitome of the laidback California lifestyle.

Huntington Beach is home to some of California’s best beaches and is even considered one of the best cities in Orange County to live.

Where to Stay in Huntington Beach

Our personal favorite is the Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton hotel.

It’s known as having one of the best pools and fitness centers of all the Huntington Beach hotels.

Some other popular resorts include Hyatt Regency Huntington Resort & Spa, which is also known for it’s pool, but also being a great family hotel.

Another great family resort is Kimpton Shorebreak Resort, which is also considered one of the best beach resorts, best fitness centers, and best beach resorts.

Click Here To Book Your Huntington Beach Stay Today!

What to Do in Huntington Beach

Of course the number one thing to do in Huntington Beach is surf.

If you’ve never tried before, there are plenty of ways to learn, including group surfing lessons right on the beach.

Click Here To Book Your 2 Hour Private Group Surfing Lessons Today!

In one small area of Huntington Beach, there are two major shopping and dining centers.

There’s Pacific City and then there’s Main Street.

They both have plenty of places we’ve featured on our blog over the years.

The Main Street shopping and dining area leads straight out to the Huntington Beach Pier, so everything is very centrally located.

Our favorite place to go is HQ Gastropub because their menu really has a little bit of everything and it’s all so good.

They even have a private speakeasy!

If you’re looking to travel inland a little more, there’s a great hidden gem in Huntington Beach called Old World Village.

It’s home to one of the only remaining German restaurants in Orange County and hosts an annual Oktoberfest.

Additionally, Old World Village has plenty of shops, spa/salon services, and German delis and chocolate shops.

Huntington Beach Weekend Getaways in Orange County

6. Dana Point Weekend Getaway

Dana Point is the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World!

It’s marina has over 2500 boat and yacht slips, making it a popular place for boat tours of all kinds including sunset cruises, and wine cruises.

Additionally, Dana Point is known for its eclectic boutique shopping.

Where to Stay in Dana Point

The top place to stay in Dana Point is the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club. It has its own 18 hole golf course, a spa, several restaurants, and ocean views all around.

Another top tier resort is Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa.

This resort has gone under a recent extensive renovation, making it better than ever.

The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel is another great beachfront resort.

If you’re into roughing it a little more, Doheny State Beach has campgrounds!

Click Here To Book Your Dana Point Stay Today!

What to Do in Dana Point

Dana Point is another Orange County destination with one of the best night views.

Hilltop Park is a great hidden gem for watching sunsets if you’re not already taking a sunset cruise.

Chart House is one of the best dining experiences in Dana Point.

It’s part of the Landry’s Select Club, so if you’re a member, it’s a great place to use your dining rewards, or earn some dining rewards!

When you’re spending your days out at the beach or on the water, one especially fun activity is a Pirate Sea Cave Tide Pool Walking Tour.

Tide pools at low tide are very popular along Southern California beaches, but exploring tide pools in a sea cave, makes it even more fun.

Click Here To Book Your Pirate Sea Cave Tide Pool Walking Tour Today!

Click Here To Book Your Whale Watching Excursion Today!

Dana Point Weekend Getaways in Orange County

7. Knott’s Berry Farm Weekend Getaway

Knott’s Berry Farm is America’s First Theme Park and is located in Buena Park, California.

It is currently part of the Cedar Fair company, so if you buy the Premium annual pass, you can visit all Cedar Fair parks in the country all year long!

Knott’s Berry Farm also has it’s own water park, Soak City.

So it’s easy to spend a couple days just between these two parks.

Additionally, Knott’s Berry Farm is right in the center of the tourism district of Buena Park so there’s plenty to do nearby.

Some great restaurants include Portillo’s, Porto’s Bakery, Rock & Brews, and plenty of Korean BBQ joints.

If you’re looking to be entertained while dining, Buena Park is also home to Medieval Times and Pirates Adventure Dinner Theaters.

For shopping, Buena Park has a neat new center called The Source with mostly Asian restaurants and shops, but also features a handful of other options.

Also along La Palma Ave are plenty of strip malls and shopping centers.

Knott's Berry Farm Weekend Getaways in Orange County

8. San Clemente Weekend Getaway

San Clemente is Orange County’s southernmost city. It is known for its Spanish colonial-style architecture and even goes by the slogan “Spanish Village by the Sea”.

Paired with ocean and mountain views, it’s really an idyllic getaway.

Where to Stay in San Clemente

San Clemente doesn’t have as much of the sprawling mega beach resorts that some of Orange County’s other beach towns seem to have.

Here you’ll gravitate more toward boutique properties.

Places like Sea Horse Resort, The Volare, and San Clemente Cove Resort are all very centrally located to enjoy San Clemente.

Click Here To Book Your San Clemente Stay Today!

What to Do in San Clemente

The one thing I’ve always wanted to do in San Clemente is go shopping at the outlet mall.

It runs right along the 5 and I pass it every time I drive to San Diego and I keep telling myself I need to take a trip there.

In addition to the outlets, San Clemente has plenty of boutique shopping options too.

If you’re just looking for a beach getaway, the San Clemente Pier is where you’ll want to spend your time.

You can get rentals for all the water and beach activities that are enjoyed all along the Southern California coastline.

A San Clemente getaway isn’t complete without a little bit of golf.

The Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club has 3 golf courses to choose from.

Other golf courses in San Clemente include the San Clemente Municipal Golf Course, Shorecliffs Golf Club, and the Talega Golf Club.

San Clemente Weekend Getaways in Orange County

9. Spa Weekend Getaway

Orange County is all about living the good life.

Rather than sticking to just one destination, why not explore it all with themed weekend getaways in Orange County?

Some of the most popular spas in the world are located right here in Orange County.

Best Spas in Orange County

These aren’t in any particular order, except for being grouped by location, generally from northern Orange County to southern Orange County.

  • Tenaya Stone Spa at The Grand Californian Hotel – Anaheim, California
  • Aarna Spa at Pasea Hotel & Spa – Huntington Beach, California
  • The Spa at Pelican Hill – Newport Beach, California
  • Spa at The Mission – San Juan Capistrano, California
  • Spa Montage Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, California
  • Waldorf Astoria Spa at Monarch Beach Resort & Club – Dana Point, California
Spa Weekend Getaways in Orange County

10. Golf Weekend Getaways in Orange County

With great weather throughout the year and not too many rainy days, this is a great destination for golf weekend getaways in Orange County.

There are tons of public and private golf courses all over.

Many with great ocean views and mountain views!

Best Golf Courses in Orange County

These aren’t in any particular order, except for being group generally from southern Orange County to northern Orange County.

  • San Juan Hills Golf Club – San Juan Capistrano, California
  • Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club – Mission Viejo, California
  • Ben Brown’s Golf Course at The Ranch Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, California
  • Pelican Hill Golf Club – Newport Beach, California
  • Strawberry Farms Golf Club – Irvine, California
  • Tustin Ranch Golf Club – Tustin, California
  • Mile Square Golf Course – Fountain Valley, California
  • Anaheim Hills Golf Course – Anaheim, California
Golf Weekend Getaways in Orange County

11. Wine Weekend Getaways in Orange County

Orange County is located between many world class wine regions including Temecula, Ramona, and Santa Barbara.

So it doesn’t really have its own designated region, but it’s home to many wine tasting rooms and small wineries.

There are almost too many to count, but with wine weekend getaways in Orange County, you could visit quite a few.

Save hundreds in tasting fees on your next wine tasting trip with Priority Wine Pass.

Hundreds of world class wineries from all regions of California have partnered to give you exclusive offers like 2 for 1 tastings, winery tours, bottle discounts, and more.

Click Here To Get Your Priority Wine Pass For $20 Off Today With Discount Code HIDDENGEMS Today!

Best Wineries and Tasting Rooms in Orange County

Let’s break it up by the regions in the county so you can plan to visit wineries and tasting rooms that are nearest each other.

☑️ Northern Orange County Wineries
  • Giracci Vineyards and Farms – Silverado, California
  • Cowboy Canyon Winery – Silverado, California
  • Peppertree Canyon – Cowan Heights, California
  • Winery at Main Street – Yorba Linda, California
  • Stewart’s Vineyard – Yorba Linda, California
  • Pali Wine Co. – Anaheim, California
☑️ Central Orange County Wineries
  • Ovene Winery – Costa Mesa, California
  • Wine Lab – Costa Mesa, California
  • Chateau Diana – Irvine, California
  • Vina Alday – Irvine, California
  • Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery – Newport Beach, California
  • Orange Coast Winery Tasting Room – Newport Beach, California
☑️ West Orange County Wineries
  • Seal Beach Winery Tasting Room – Seal Beach, California
  • Duglava Winery – Huntington Beach, California
☑️ South Orange County Wineries
  • Laguna Canyon Winery – Laguna Beach, California
  • McClain Cellars – Laguna Beach, California
  • Bianchi Winery Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, California
  • Salt Creek Wine Company – Laguna Niguel, California
  • Thin Blue Wine Cellars – Aliso Viejo, California
  • Frisby Cellars Winery – Lake Forest and Dana Point, California
  • Bellante Family Winery – Mission Viejo, California
  • Rancho Capistrano Winery – Ladera Ranch, California
  • A Stone’s Throw Winery – San Juan Capistrano, California
  • Five Vines Wine Bar – San Juan Capistrano, California
  • Westerly Wines – San Clemente, California
Wine Weekend Getaways in Orange County

12. Shopping Weekend Getaways in Orange County

Orange County generates more shopping revenue than just about anywhere else in the world.

With everything from high end malls to antique shops in historic towns, there is plenty of shopping for every type of budget and interest on shopping weekend getaways in Orange County.

We love checking out different shopping centers around the county on our weekends.

Best Shopping Centers in Orange County

From high end to outlets, from boutiques to antiques, Orange County has it all.

✔️ South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, California

This mall is generally considered the most profitable mall in America.

There are so many high end stores here that you could spend your whole weekend just exploring this one mall.

✔️ The LAB Anti-Mall

Just up the road is The LAB, which stands for “Little American Business”.

This mall is all small businesses and is made up of about a dozen shops and a dozen restaurants.

Costa Mesa also has other smaller shopping centers and discount shopping centers all within this same area of South Coast Plaza and The LAB.

The LAB Anti-Mall - Costa Mesa
✔️ Irvine Spectrum Center – Irvine, California

Irvine Spectrum is the other most iconic shopping destination in Orange County. There’s even a ferris wheel!

This outdoor mall has tons of shops and restaurants and you can see it all right along the 5 freeway, making it easily accessible.

✔️ The Outlets at Orange – Orange, California

If outlet malls are more your speed, then the Outlets at Orange are the best option in Orange County.

Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as The Block, but it’s all the same.

Here there are many popular restaurants, a movie theater, Dave & Buster’s, plus all the outlet stores.

✔️ Old Towne Orange – Orange, California

This is the best place for antique shopping in Orange County.

Old Towne Orange is also home to a lot of the most well known restaurants and dessert shops.

We love to browse the vintage and antique shops just to see what’s new and occasionally we find gems we just have to have.

✔️ Downtown Fullerton – Fullerton, California

Another great place for antique shopping is Downtown Fullerton.

This is another historic main street in Orange County with popular shops and restaurants, plus a handful of antique shops that are fun to browse.

✔️ Downtown Disney – Anaheim, California

Even if you’re not going to the Disneyland parks, you can still visit Downtown Disney.

There are some renovations going on, but most shops and restaurants are still open.

Many shops offer Disney merchandise like the World of Disney store, but there are other shops too like the Lego Store, and a Star Wars themed shop.

✔️ Bella Terra – Huntington Beach, California

Our favorite place to go shopping is Bella Terra.

They have grocery stores like Costco and Whole Foods, plus our favorite place to browse – World Market.

There is also a Kohl’s, REI, Bath and Body Works, Burlington, and more.

There are a few restaurants here as well, but many more along Beach Blvd, where this shopping center is located.

Shopping Weekend Getaways in Orange County

13. Foodie Weekend Getaways in Orange County

Orange County really offers any type of food you could possibly want.

There are a ton of high end restaurants with the best views and there are a ton of cheap eats that are iconic.

You really can’t go wrong with anything you try on foodie weekend getaways in Orange County.

Best Food in Orange County

These restaurants are broken down by price and level of service so you can choose options that fit your budget and itinerary.

✅ Fine Dining Restaurants
  • Orange Hill Restaurant
  • The Ranch Restaurant
  • The Cliff Restaurant
  • Five Crowns
  • Summit House Restaurant
  • Mastro’s Steakhouse
  • Napa Rose
  • Rusty Pelican
  • Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
  • Anaheim White House
✅ Cheap Eats in Orange County
  • Afters Ice Cream
  • Rance’s Chicago Pizza
  • Porto’s Bakery
  • Bagels and Brew
  • Pour Vida
  • Ninjas With Appetite
  • The Hat
  • Burnt Crumbs
  • Teddy’s Red Tacos
✅ Moderate Restaurants in Orange County
  • Slater’s 50/50
  • Sup Noodle Bar
  • HQ Gastropub
  • Stacked
  • Slapfish
  • Carolina’s Italian Restaurant
  • Din Tai Fung
  • Cortina’s Italian Market
  • Marie Callender’s
✅ Food Halls and Regions in Orange County
  • Anaheim Packing District
  • Downtown Fullerton
  • Old Towne Orange
  • Brea Downtown
  • 4th Street Market
  • Rodeo 39 Public Market
Foodies Weekend Getaways in Orange County

Additional Fun Things To Do In Orange County

Whether you’re just visiting Orange County for the weekend or you’ve lived here your whole life, there are always new things to do to keep it fun.

I’ve selected a few different options spread throughout Orange County that are unique to the area.

➡️ Test Your Skills At The Escape Game Irvine

Escape rooms are always a fun activity as a couple or as a group.

Irvine is home to The Escape Game, which has some of the best themes.

It’s also located in an area where there are plenty of restaurants, shopping, and other fun activities.

➡️ Take a Ride in a Hot Air Balloon at Irvine Great Park

Irvine Great Park has a free hot air balloon that you can ride up to 400 feet in the air.

On Thursdays and Fridays it’s open from 10 am to 3 pm and again from 7 pm to 10 pm.

On Saturdays and Sundays the balloon operates from 9 am to 3 pm and again from 7 pm to 10 pm. It’s first come first served!

➡️ Catch a Baseball Game at Angel Stadium

Angel Stadium is a great place to enjoy a baseball game.

It’s in an area with a lot of nearby restaurants and shopping.

It’s also really easy to get being right next to the ARTIC transportation hub for buses, Amtrak, and area shuttles.

More Ways To Explore Orange County

Best Night Views in Orange County

Orange County has some amazing sunset views and not just at the beach!

Best Hidden Gems in Orange County

Check out some hidden gems throughout Orange County that even the locals don’t know about.

Conclusion: 13 Unforgettable Weekend Getaways In Orange County

As you can see, there are unlimited options for weekend getaways in orange county. There is something for everybody here and it’s a perfect destination to visit year-round.

Pin This For Later!

Best Weekend Getaways in Orange County