Orange County, United States

There’s more to Orange County than golden beaches, yacht-clubs and golfing greens – but, those are all present and correct. The golden sandy beaches of Newport Beach are lined with bronzed bodies soaking in the Californian sun. This luxury locale is home to South Coast Plaza, a luxury-label-packed shopping centre where serious cash is splashed – after all, you are in one of America's most monied counties. Learn to ‘hang 10’ like a pro at Huntington Beach – the beating heart of American surf culture – or head inland to hike the Santa Ana Mountains for views that’ll take your breath away (and not just because of the vertiginous hike). For a dose of culture, make a beeline for Laguna Beach where you’ll find lots of independent art galleries and the award-winning Laguna Playhouse.

When to go

It’s an endless summer in Orange County with the average temperature at around 21°C all year round. It’s hottest from July to September when it’s around 30°C.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Flights from across the US and Canada arrive at Santa Ana’s John Wayne Airport (www.ocair.com). International travellers should fly to LAX (www.lawa.org); from there it’s about an hour’s drive south to Orange County.
  • Trains

    There are train stations across Orange County: the main ones being, San Clemente in the south, Santa Ana in the middle and Fullerton in the north. Regular Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) trains arrive from LA and San Diego.
  • Automobiles

    Other than surfboards, cars are the most popular mode of transportation in Orange County; they are the quickest means of navigating the area and will make getting from A to B really easy. There are car-hire booths at LAX.