Orange County, California has risen from citrus groves and oil fields to be one of the most beautiful, and prosperous counties in California. Just south of Los Angeles county, Orange County's ocean front towns and inland cities provide visitors with a wealth of travel options for all tastes and budget levels. Orange County is also the home Disneyland and Angel’s Stadium.
When traveling to Orange County there are a great variety of places to stay, visit and shop. Orange County is easily accessed via John Wayne International Airport, which is small and very easy to navigate.
The majority of Orange County is easy to maneuver with consistent curb cuts and wide sidewalks. The only exception to this was in Laguna Beach, which was a bit more difficult, but still possible.
TravelinWheels has chosen to highlight some of the most popular cities, including Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.
Huntington Beach has many State beaches. They include some accessible fire pits and accessible parking. At some of the beaches they also provide special wheelchairs that can go in the sand and ocean. Huntington Beach has their own downtown with a main street that has many stores and restaurants to pick from. There are 2 major hotels, Hyatt and Hilton and many smaller hotels. Huntington Beach is fairly flat and has a long pier with easy access to the pier and parking. Huntington Beach is known for its surfing contests.
Costa Mesa, has many hotels to choose from. Visitors can shop and dine at South Coast Plaza and Metro Pointe Malls. The Segerstrom Center for the Arts has 3 venues and a large plaza that are all accessible. There are several hotels in walking distance from the performing arts center and South Coast Plaza.
John Wayne Airport is nearby with many hotels and restaurants to choose from. From Costa Mesa it is easy to make your way to the beaches or other destinations in Orange County.
Anaheim is the home of Disneyland. This includes the original Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is easy to explore because if its open area set up for large groups of people. Baseball and hockey fans will be interested to know that tickets are usually available to see the Angels and the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim offers all levels of hotels and restaurants to choose from. Most of the restaurants are large chain type.
Sit on a bluff overlooking the ocean, or head to the world-famous marina and spy gorgeous yachts. Shop for upscale fashion at the open mall, Fashion Island, or head to their accessible beaches. Newport Beach is one of the wealthiest towns in the county, and one of the prettiest. Be sure to check out the trendy restaurants and kitchy shops on Balboa Island, adjacent to the marina, however, parking can be difficult on the main street.
Laguna Beach and Dana Point
Head south of Newport Beach to Dana Point and Laguna Beach. Dana Point is known for the Ocean Institute, walks along the ocean and a variety of shops and restaurants. The Ocean Institute is the most disability-friendly place to visit. Dana Point has many hills, so beware of where to park. Most of the hotels are on the bluffs and you would need to drive to the harbor area. The Dana Point Harbor Inn Hotel is the only hotel at the harbor’s edge and fully accessible. They just finished remodeling all their accessible rooms.
Laguna Beach is best known for their art galleries and art festivals that take place every summer. The three festivals are the Festival of the Arts, Art Affair and Saw Dust. The easiest one to visit would be the Festival of the Arts because of its all one level and has paved walking paths throughout the festival grounds. At night the festival does the Pageant Of the Masters, in an outdoor amphitheater. It is worth seeing, but need to book months ahead.
Downtown Laguna Beach has numerous art galleries, small shops, and an array of restaurants. Downtown Laguna Beach is flat, but getting to the galleries outside the main area is harder because of the hills. Most of the hotels in Laguna Beach are small motels or five star hotels.