MUST SEE, DO
» Disneyland Resort
Walt Disney would hardly recognize his original “happiest place on Earth” today. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy took over the former Tower of Terror drop ride at California Adventure in 2017, and Pixar (formerly Paradise) Pier is slated to open this summer with an Incredibles-themed roller coaster and four neighborhoods invoking Pixar stories. Meanwhile, a chunk of Frontierland is gradually morphing into Star Wars Land, to open in 2019; adventures include a secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and getting caught in the thick of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
» Orange County Great Park
The 1,300-acre park slowly evolving from the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is already a popular family destination. In addition to 2017’s opening of the first phase of a 194acre sports park (stadium, soccer fields, tennis and volleyball courts; baseball and softball fields to come), 200 acres already were occupied by the now-iconic orange Great Park Balloon rising 400 feet into the air, a hand-painted carousel, a Kids Rock play area, a hands-on Farm + Food Lab, Palm Court Arts Complex gallery and studios, walkable historical timeline, and a weekly farmers market.
» Lot 579, Huntington Beach
Just south of “Surf City’s” downtown, steps from Huntington Beach Pier and the city’s famous sands, the sidewalk cafés and markets of this waterfront food hall offer a delicious variety of towering gourmet sandwiches, fresh fish, authentic Aussie meat pies, gelato on a stick and other treats. Lot 579 is an anchor of Pacific City, the two-yearold shopping, dining and entertainment complex whose Craftsman-style bungalows pay homage to the early oceanfront village that became Huntington Beach. The communal space upstairs offers plenty of seating and a killer ocean view.
» Laguna Beach and Pageant of the Masters
Art literally comes to life in the unique Pageant of the Masters, in which living actors take up positions against painted backdrops to re-create world masterpieces in eerie 3-D fidelity. It’s the pièce de résistance among the festivals, workshops, galleries and proliferation of public art in the picturesque beach town that began life in the early 1900s as a small artists’ colony.
» Old Towne Orange
Not to be missed in this square mile of Early California homes, sporting handsome Victorian, Craftsman, Bungalow and Spanish architecture, is the Old Towne Orange Walking Food Tour. The county’s oldest operating bank and soda fountain can also be found among the locally owned shops, galleries, fountains and pretty sidewalk cafés. › iheartoldtowneorange.com
› oldtownorangewalkingfoodtours.com 2018