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  • Orange County is situated on the West Coast of the USA.

  • Southern California's smallest county has no defined center,

  • it's a collection of small cities

  • that rolls out like quilt from the Santa Ana Mountains,

  • to the sparkling Pacific Ocean.

  • Just to the north rises dynamic Los Angeles,

  • while to the south is laid back San-Diego,

  • but prosperous Orange County has a distinct attitude

  • and flavor all its of own.

  • Home to Native Americans for thousands of years,

  • European settlement took hold in 1776

  • with the construction of Mission San Juan Capistrano.

  • Raided by pirates, ravaged by earthquakes, floods and droughts,

  • this determined, self-sufficient settlement never lost faith.

  • The mission contains the oldest Californian buildings still in use today.

  • A century later, new breeds of worshippers came-

  • nature lovers, artists, and sun seekers.

  • In the late 1800s, Laguna Beach began to attract vacationers.

  • By the 1920s half the residents were artists,

  • establishing a creative community which still thrives today.

  • Laguna possesses a natural beauty, spirit, and light that one artist called,

  • an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

  • Just a little to the north is Crystal Cove,

  • a time capsule of early Californian beach culture.

  • Set in a state park of pristine coastline,

  • Crystal Cove features an historic collection of classic beach shacks

  • built from disused Hollywood movie sets,

  • and the flotsam and jetsam of the ocean.

  • The shacks have been lovingly preserved, right down to the last detail.

  • Further up the coastline is the upscale city of Newport Beach

  • with its famous pier, fabulous bars, and boutiques.

  • Just a few blocks behind the beach is Newport Harbor.

  • Once a busy maritime port,

  • the waters here are now filled with pleasure craft.

  • Looking at the incredible homes which line the shore,

  • it's hard to imagine that one-acre lots were once sold here

  • for a dollar-a-piece!

  • Not so long ago, Huntington Beach was dotted with oil derricks;

  • now the only oil here is suntan lotion.

  • Huntington's excellent year round waves

  • inspired hit songs by The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean,

  • earning it the title, Surf City.

  • The US Open of Surfing has been held near its famous pier since 1959.

  • The locals are crazy about beach volleyball too,

  • and the city hosts its own pro series.

  • But there's another side to O.C. which truly super-sizes this county

  • as a vacation destination- the theme parks!

  • In the city of Anaheim, only 35-miles south from L.A.

  • stands the granddaddy of all them all- Disneyland Park.

  • Since the park first opened its gates in 1955,

  • over 600 million guests have been reminded that dreams really can come true!

  • A few kilometers away is Knott's Berry Farm, a California classic.

  • Starting life as a collection of relocated ghost towns

  • this theme park has grown into a family favorite

  • that celebrates America's pioneering past.

  • When you're done riding the waves and thrill-rides,

  • Orange County offers plenty of attractions

  • that are more on the cultural side.

  • The Lyon Air Museum sits next to John Wayne Airport

  • and specializes in aircraft and automobiles from the World War Two era.

  • But bring your sunglasses, some of these old birds are shiny!

  • At the Discovery Science Center

  • explore the inner workings of Dinosaurs and space flight.

  • Or visit the Santa Ana Zoo and count the monkeys.

  • The zoos benefactor donated the land

  • on the condition that there were always at least

  • 50 primates in the collection.

  • The Bowers Museum, is a journey of world class cultures through the arts.

  • This dynamic museum enjoys a special relationship

  • with the Smithsonian Institute and British Museum

  • ensuring that the visiting exhibitions are always world-class.

  • When it comes to architecture, Orange County is full of surprises.

  • The Crystal Cathedral is simply lightyears away

  • from the county's early adobe churches.

  • And the Segerstrom Center, the heart and soul of the county's arts community,

  • is a visual symphony in itself.

  • But for all its fabulous architecture, shopping, thrill rides, and culture,

  • nothing quite compares to Orange County's sunsets.

  • They're pure Californian gold, and free to everyone.

Orange County is situated on the West Coast of the USA.

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Orange County Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

  • 2011 166
    cathy posted on 2014/11/17
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