It’s summer all year long in Orange County.

It’s summer all year long in Orange County, so of course, fun in the sun is an integral part of The OC lifestyle. Any of our amazing beaches are great places to spend a day in the sun, but the opportunities for outdoor adventures don’t stop there. From theme parks with roller coasters, shows and attractions to expansive parks with nature trails, hiking and magnificent views, there is something for everyone in the family when it comes to exploring the outdoors and enjoying the perfect Southern California weather.

If you’re looking for a day of family fun in the sun in Orange County, we’ve put together the following tips to help you get started!

Outdoor Activities

When it comes to thrilling water sports and activities, The OC basically invented them all. From surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, Orange County’s beaches have nurtured some of the most popular water sports in the U.S.

The OC has solidified its position as surf capital of the world as beachwear, surfboard, surf magazines, surf organizations, and major pro-surf competitions have all found their homes in the cities of Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Dana Point.

Kayak tours are an adventurous way for families and friends to tour the Pacific and get close to reefs, secluded beaches, tide pools, and magnificent beachfront homes. Start on the beach with a lesson, and then expert guides will help you launch. Kids between the ages of 3 and 8 can ride in the middle of a tandem kayak for free.

Nearby Catalina Island provides a natural wind and wave barrier, which provides the most magnificent setting to experience ocean paddleboarding. Paddle into sheltered coves, around reefs and tidepools, and out to Seal Rock to experience a colony of California Sea Lions. Paddleboarding offers a great workout and a peaceful meditation that everyone will love.

Coastal Parks

Photo by Michele Cwiertny

In addition to 42 miles of pristine beaches, Orange County is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful coastal parks and trails. Enjoy a morning stroll or a lunchtime picnic with a fabulous view of the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop.

Stretching approximately three miles in Huntington Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach and Ecological Reserve is popular with sunbathers and surfers by day and is popular by night because of its fire rings used for after-dark bonfires.

Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach is one of The OC’s largest open spaces and natural seashores, offering rolling surf, wide sandy beaches, and tide pools, along with deeply wooded canyons and ridges.

Down in Dana Point, Salt Creek Beach County Park offers access to 18 acres of public beaches with activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and tide pool exploration. It’s also a popular surfing location, with a small, offshore reef that creates some of the best left swells along the entire shoreline.

Theme Parks

The OC is home to some of the best and most well-known theme parks in the world. Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park in Anaheim are home to more than 100 must-see attractions, shows and experiences. The adjacent Downtown Disney® District has many unique eateries, entertainment and shops for the whole family to enjoy.

Buena Park is home to Knott’s Berry Farm, an iconic theme park with thrill rides and themed attractions inspired by California history and culture. Neighboring Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, which is open from May through November every year, is a summertime oasis with waterslides, wave pools, and no shortage of sun.

Pet-Friendly Fun

Your four-legged family members can enjoy some fun under The OC sun too! Pack up the pup and head to Orange County’s only beach dedicated to dogs: Huntington Dog Beach. This mile-long beach located in the City of Huntington Beach is a great place for pooches to play with other dogs, swim in the surf and run around. Be sure to bring a dog bowl and water.

The puppy playtime continues in Laguna Beach, where your pups can enjoy off-leash adventures at the Laguna Beach Dog Park. Located in Laguna Canyon, this park is open daily, except Wednesdays, from 6 a.m. to dusk.