Orange County has been made famous by TV shows like MTV's Laguna Beach and Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County, which focus on the lives of the rich, famous, and spoiled. And it is true that Orange County is home to some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country, where appearance is key and prices are steep. But it's a huge area (948 square miles) that's also home to large cities like Santa Ana and Long Beach, with diverse socioeconomic makeups.
Some of the most beautiful stretches of California's coastline are located here, and ritzy resorts have sprung up to cash in on the stunning views. Well-heeled travelers spend their vacations laying on sandy beaches, shopping in quaint seaside towns, going on whale-watching cruises, sailing, and sightseeing. (Popular attractions include the lovely Mission San Juan Capistrano; and Balboa Pavilion, a historic waterfront building that's the launching point for harbor cruises, surrounded by a boardwalk with carnival rides and games.)
Most leisure travelers will want to head to "The Orange Coast," a string of chi-chi seaside towns with rugged coastal bluffs, white-sand beaches, phenomenal views, and posh hotels. The largest city there is Huntington Beach, which is famous for its surf competitions, while upscale and artsy Laguna Beach and low-key Dana Point are both popular coastal retreats for posh travelers.
|Airports:||John Wayne Airport|
|Peak:||April - June|
|Off-Peak:||Jan. - March|
|Visa:||No, for nationalities included in the Visa Waiver Program|
|Electricity:||120 V, 60 Hz|
|Tipping:||15-20% in restaurants and cabs|