5 Secrets About Living in Orange County You Have to Hear

From the magic of Disneyland to the chill vibes of Huntington Beach, Orange County is home to a lot of popular tourist destinations. But what people who are new to the area wouldn’t know is that Orange County is also full of a lot of other hidden gems. Check out these five secrets about living in Orange County that only locals would know!
 

1. It’s not always how it looks on tv

Orange County is known as the infamous backdrop to popular shows like Laguna Beach, The Hills, and The O.C. These shows often depict beautiful stars having the time of their lives as they cruise along the traffic-free coast in their Mercedes or frolic down the empty beaches in Newport. While these portrayals may have some truth behind them, others are pure exaggerations for the sake of entertainment. In reality, some of these shows weren’t even filmed in Orange County. So no, locals don’t actually call Orange County “The O.C.” and not everyone drives a Mercedes, but there are so many reasons why the reality of Orange County is even better than how it appears on television. Good food? Check. Awesome people? You bet. Fun adventures? Of course. Orange County really does have it all and television shows just don’t do this extraordinary place justice.
 

2. Traffic is no joke

…but there are ways to get around it! If you’ve ever been to Orange County, you’ve probably heard people referring to the 5, the 22, the 55, and the 405. These seemingly random numbers are actually names of freeways and talking about the best way to navigate the roads is like another language to Orange County residents. Orange County natives have mastered the art of the sometimes hectic freeways and you can too by following these tips. First, avoid rush hour. Although it varies depending on the freeway and your direction of travel, the weekday morning commute is generally from 7:30am to 9am, while the after-work commute typically lasts from 4pm to 6:30pm. Fridays, however, are a whole different story with the after-work commute starting as early as 1pm. If you’re traveling on the weekend, it’s best to start early or after dinner to avoid the potential traffic from people heading off to their next adventure. Another helpful tip is to download Google Maps or Waze. Unlike some other GPS systems, these apps offer alternative routes and route changes to help you get to your destination as quickly as possible. Since Orange County has so many exciting things to do and something for everyone in each city, the freeways can get a bit crazy, but the priceless memories you’ll make from your day trip to the beach or the many laughs you’ll have during your amusement park adventure will make the commute more than worth it!
 

3. The best day to go to the beach is Wednesday

…or any weekday really. It’s no secret that Orange County is home to some of the best beaches along the West Coast. There’s the infamous Newport Beach, tourist favorite Laguna Beach, and the holy grail of surfing, Huntington Beach, just to name a few! But with the wildly popular beaches comes the huge crowds and parking nightmare. So when’s the best time to go to your favorite beach without all the hassle? Well, from our experience living in Orange County, we found that the middle of the week is the best time to escape the crowds that tend to populate every Saturday and Sunday. If you are going on a weekend, however, try to beat the rush and head to the beach in the early morning. Nothing sounds better than a peaceful morning relaxing on the beach followed by a delicious brunch along the water. Another beach tip is to avoid the peak of summer if possible. Autumn is an ideal time to visit the beach and it’s Southern California so the weather is always perfect regardless of the time of year!
 

4. Orange County is home to a lot of foodies

From the octopus ceviche at Javier’s in Newport Beach to the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa, Orange County hosts a wide variety of cuisine. Every city has their specialties, so almost every type of food is accessible as long as you know where to go. Want to find the best food without taking all the time and effort to do the research? Check out some of our past blogs to find the best dessert spots , top brunch destinations, and more!
 

5. Orange County really is the best place to live!

Orange County has more than just gorgeous beaches and yummy grub. The fantastic sights, relaxing vibes, and plethora of things to do are giving locals so much to love about their hometowns. Comprised of 34 cities with over three million residents, Orange County is much more diverse than television may lead people to believe. Looking for a quiet place where you can walk around the farmer’s’ market or browse antique stores? Old towne Orange is the perfect place for you. Maybe you want something with a bit more nightlife? Check out Fullerton and everything the city has to offer. In Orange County, there truly is something for everyone!
 
Interested in moving to Orange County? Let us know and we’d be more than happy to help!

Things to do this Memorial Day Weekend in Orange County

Planning to heat up those grills and take a dip in the pool this May 29th? Instead of having your average Memorial Day Weekend celebration, take advantage of the warm weather and family-friendly events happening around Orange County. Celebrate the service of our active and veteran military members this Memorial Day, while the whole family partakes in a fun-filled weekend with one of these exciting Memorial Day Weekend events.
Laguna Hills Memorial Day Run
No matter how much you work out, the Laguna Hills Memorial Day Run has a fun, active event for everyone. Whether it’s the famous half marathon, 10k, 5k, or Kid’s Run (1/2 mile), the whole family can run through the streets of Laguna Hills together to celebrate our service men and women while working off the inevitable barbecue of the afternoon.
Memorial Day Program in Anaheim
Rain or shine, those honoring the veterans of the El Toro Memorial Park, Santa Ana, and Anaheim cemeteries will gather at the Anaheim Cemetery on Memorial Day at 11 a.m. The program will include inspirational guest speakers, the beautiful presentation of wreaths, and a respectful honor guard firing salute. This is the perfect event for the whole family to attend to appreciate and honor the incredible service of our veterans this Memorial Day.
Newport Beach Wine Festival
In the weekend days prior to Memorial Day, spend the afternoon wining and dining at the 14th annual Newport Beach Wine Festival. Take in the beautiful sights of Newport Bay as you sip fine wines, taste gourmet entrees, and learn from the festival’s interactive classes! This annual event offers a winemaker dinner, afternoon wine tasting, and a refreshing Sunday morning brunch complete with sparkling wines and fresh seafood. Spoil yourself by spending date night tasting some of California’s finest wines!
Military Days at Knott’s Berry Farm
This Memorial Day Weekend, take the whole family out for an afternoon of dips, dives, thrills, and shrills at the rides of Knott’s Berry Farm. U.S. Military Personnel receive free admission for themselves, as well as discounted admission for up to 6 guests of their choosing. Enjoy a piece of boysenberry pie or a trip through Camp Snoopy, all at an excitingly discounted price.
Local Farmers’ Markets
Browse through some of the freshest produce California farmers have to offer at one of the dozens of farmers’ markets open over Memorial Day Weekend. Stop by the Orange County Market Place, the Yorba Linda Farmers’ Market, or the SOCO Farmer’s Market in Costa Mesa on Saturday for farm-fresh produce. For any Sunday-goers, the Downtown Santa Ana Farmers’ Market or the Certified Farmers’ Market offer fresh fruits and veggies that are perfect for your Memorial Day Weekend cookout.
Brunch
For brunch lovers, Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to get your brunch on. Get excited for the bottomless brunch offered at the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana. Enjoy endless mimosas, delicious entrees, and the sweet tunes of Apollo Bebop, a local, well-known experimental jazz/hip hop group. Or, for brunch with an unbeatable view, reserve your seat now at the Hornblower Cruises’ Memorial Day Weekend brunch cruise. Appreciate the scenic harbor views as you sip on champagne at your private table and enjoy the gourmet brunch buffet on the 2-hour long cruise.
So, instead of your annual Memorial Day cookout, adventure out to one of these local spots to see what Orange County has to offer this Memorial Day Weekend. From an exciting family run to a popular wine festival, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Throughout the weekend, don’t forget to thank a veteran for their service. While the weekend marks the beginning of summer, it is most importantly a time for us to reflect and appreciate the freedom we have been given!
For more questions about year-round events in Orange County, give Stacy & Nicole a call today!

Fun for the Family in Anaheim

Hello Orange County and welcome back to our blog!! Today Nicole and I want to share a few of our favorite spots to visit with family. Orange County, being as wonderful as it is, is filled with things to do. Trying to list them all would cramp our fingers and put you to sleep. So instead, today, we will focus on fun for the whole family in good old  Anaheim, CA.
First on our list, and for good reason, is Disneyland and Downtown Disney. People travel from around the world to visit such a magical place and we have it sitting in our backyard. How lucky are we? Disneyland is fun for the whole family including entertainment, thrill rides, childhood favorites and amazing food. If you find yourself thinking that you don’t have enough time for the full Disney experience… No worries, stop by Disney’s Downtown area! Full of amazing places to eat (Rainforest Cafe, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen , ESPN Zone and more) we promise you wont go hungry. Downtown Disney is also home to the House of Blues, the Lego Store, live music/entertainment and a movie theater. The park and staff truly never disappoint, so join in with the rest of the world and visit Americas’ favorite mouse house!!!
disneyland-cast
Next on our list is the Edison International Field of Anaheim, or Angel Stadium for short. The beautiful home of our Anaheim Angels and America’s favorite past time!! Nothing beats a family day at the ballpark, I can’t tell you how many wonderful memories my family and I have made at the “Big A”. We want you to share the same, so if you haven’t been, its time!  Not only does this amazing place offer baseball games but also concerts,  high flying motocross and Monster Truck Madness, Harvest Crusade in August and a long list of other family oriented entertainment. We promise you and the family a wonderful time. Don’t forget Friday night fireworks and as you pass by on the 57 freeway look up and say “Light Up That Halo!”
images
Up next…. and directly across the street from the “Big A” is the Honda Center. Home to our Anaheim Ducks, “Quack Quack.” All I want to say is if you have not been to a hockey game then you have not lived… How can you beat big toothless bearded men and fast paced excitement. It’s a clear cut winner for a family event, go once and I promise you’ll be back. Don’t forget to check for upcoming concerts! Artist like Brad Paisley, J. Cole and John Mayer will be there this summer. Don’t miss out!
interior
How many of you know about the Anaheim Packing District? I won’t lie, I just discovered this amazing place last year. I sure am glad I did because I feel like I was missing out. It’s a wonderful place to take the family. Set up like a mall, you walk end to end and are tempted with delicious food and desserts. Pair that with live music and adult beverages and you have fun for the whole family.
anaheim-packing-district
And last but certainly not least is Anaheim’s Adventure City. Many of you may have never even heard of this place, but if you have young children it’s is a hidden gem. It’s a fantastic alternative to the other high priced amusement parks in the area and a great way to get the kids to burn up some of that relentless energy. The park is equipped with a dozen or so rides, a children’s theater, petting zoo and a fun filled arcade. The park only opened in 1994 and is looking to expand soon, if you have not been we suggest packing the family up and taking a trip.
maxresdefault
 
We are so blessed to have been born and raised in Orange County  and also to have the privilege of working everyday out and about… learning more and more about what makes are communities tick, keeps them cohesive and provides memories for so many of us throughout our life times…. Don’t forget, if you know someone who is dying to live in our amazing  area, please  have them reach out to us today! We promise to take great care of them and find them the home of their dreams!!