Quarterly OC News: Spring 2020

The OC is the place to go for Health and Wellness, Fresh Cuisine and Quality Family Time this Spring

Visit Anaheim

7 Best Wellness Experiences in Anaheim
Looking for a vacation, staycation, or wellness retreat? Visit Anaheim! This Spring, Anaheim is a must-visit for wellness experiences. From plant-based dining to spa packages filled with pixie dust, Anaheim has all of your wellness needs covered.

Discover a spa inside the Disneyland® Resort
Self-care has never been more magical. Tenaya Stone Spa will open in spring 2020 in the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland® Resort. Inspired by nature, the upscale spa promises to be a dreamy retreat with body treatments, facials, massages and more.

Treat yourself to Hotels with amazing Fitness Centers
Anaheim has all the amenities to match your resolutions. Whether you’re planning a trip to Anaheim or enjoying an epic staycation, Anaheim hotels like the Anaheim Hilton, JW Marriott, and Westin Anaheim Resort™ offer amazing fitness centers allowing guests to train, unwind and reconnect with their well-being.

Make your own Acai Bowls at Lazy Bird
Fly to Center Street Promenade to build your own acai bowls at Lazy Bird. Choose your base (the half coconut, half acai is a favorite combination) and then load your bowl with nutrient-rich toppings like granola, fresh fruit and toasted nuts. Early birds, don’t miss the oatmeal option.

Eat Healthy Junk in Downtown Anaheim
Going green is seriously delicious at the two vegan Healthy Junk locations in Anaheim. Nosh on plant-based burgers and yam fries at the Center Street location or share a slice of cauliflower crusted pizza at the Packing House location.

Experience “Yoga and a Beer” at a Local Brewery
Poses and pints go hand-in-hand with yoga and beer pairings in Anaheim. Release all that ales you with a Backstreet Brewery ale, lager, or IPA. No yoga experience is required to enjoy a morning filled with ohm’s and ahh’s.

Attend a wellness conference at the Anaheim Convention Center
Add soul nourishment to your calendar at one of the wellness conferences coming to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2020. Find rejuvenation on September 19 at the Mindfulness Expo. The world’s largest healthy products expo comes to Anaheim March 4-7, 2020 at Natural Products Expo West, showcasing education, new products and industry trends.

Go Hiking in the Anaheim Hills
Take a hike by going east into Anaheim Hills. With hiking trails for every skill level, you’ll be able to soak up the beauty of Orange County from the Santa Ana foothills. Oak Canyon offers a range of trail options and a nature center. For a scenic stroll in the middle of town, try family-friendly Anaheim Coves with a dinosaur-themed playground near the recently expanded Frontera entrance.

Visit Buena Park

An Adventure-Packed Weekend in Buena Park
Written by Sunset Magazine
Nailing a family vacation is no easy feat, so we rounded up our tried-and-true spots in Buena Park, CA. From a world-class amusement park to under-the-radar cafes, here’s where to stay, where to eat, what to do, and what to drink on your next trip.

Where to Stay
Chances are, if you’re going to Buena Park you’ll be spending the day at Knott’s Berry Farm, so what better place to stay than at the resort’s namesake hotel? The kid-friendly hotel offers 320 rooms, featuring a SNOOPY-themed wing, fitness center, pool with children’s activity area, and even a children’s bedtime tuck-in service with Snoopy himself. We recommend booking one of the resort’s many family vacation packages, which includes admission to Knott’s Berry Farm. Not staying at Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel? No sweat. There are plenty of affordable options within walking distance of the park.

Where to Eat
Located just a short walk from Knott’s, Porto’s Bakery is our go-to for a crowd-pleasing breakfast. This family-friendly café specializes in desserts and pastries that are (almost) too pretty to eat, so make it a point to stop by for a treat after the park, too.

Located inside an unassuming strip mall, you wouldn’t expect to find a gourmet coffee shop, but that’s exactly where we stumbled upon Stereoscope. The first thing visitors will notice is the large (and busy) communal table. And, as a micro-roaster with the only U.S. location in Buena Park, Stereoscope beans change based on what’s available that season so you can try something new every time you stop by.

Don’t let the fact that it’s in a mall scare you away, this hidden gem is worth a visit. Most people come to Basilur Tea & Coffee for their lineup of teas and coffees but stay for their impressive pastries and breakfast menu. Tip: Order the soufflé pancakes and thank us later.

It’s easy to miss to this specialty ice cream spot, located behind a car wash on Beach Blvd., but this soft serve drizzled with honey is worth the parking lot maze. Honeymee uses only fresh, California milk in its family-owned, kosher-certified dairy factory and honey and honeycombs sourced from family-owned farms.

Where to Drink
Conveniently located across the street from Knott’s, The Cauldron is the perfect spot for the adults to unwind. While the décor is playful (think: witch-themed vibes and hidden entryways), the cocktails are no joke––using only quality ingredients and spirits.

After a long day of excitement, choose from over a dozen comfortable & affordable Buena Park hotels — most are located within walking distance to all major attractions. CLICK HERE for hotel deals. To start planning your SoCal vacation, order your FREE Travel Guide HERE.

Travel Costa Mesa

National Plan a Vacation Day
From hitting the gym to eating better or taking time to enjoy the outdoors, spring often means a fresh start at taking better care of yourself. Traveling doesn’t have to mean an expensive, long-distance trip either. We think that with a bit of planning, you can have a fantastic staycation or, even better, an Eatcation™ in Costa Mesa. Here are our highlights coming up through spring in the City of the Arts®.

Celebrate the Year of the Rat at South Coast Plaza with special events and performances, along with in-store promotions and contests from January 23 – February 9. The Tet Festival is the largest Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival in the country. There will be traditional Vietnamese food, entertainment and customs from January 24 – 26 at the OC Fair & Event Center. Finally, Pacific Symphony’s Lunar New Year at Segerstrom Center for the Arts includes dynamic performances of Eastern and Western music and dance from January 25 – February 9.

Spend Valentine’s Day weekend in Costa Mesa. Relax at one of our spas, go to a wine tasting and have some fabulous food with our romantic dining recommendations.

Cirque du Soleil Volta comes to OC Fair & Event Center March 18 – April 19. Follow the story of Waz, a game show contestant, as he searches for acceptance. The incredible show features aerial artists gracefully flying in sweeping arcs, acrobats performing on a unicycle, artists shape diving and BMX bikers. 

A great event for the whole family, Imaginology brings together science, technology, engineering, arts and math with hands-on activities designed to be fun and educational. The event takes place April 17 – 19 and is free.

Take advantage of the amazing culinary scene in Costa Mesa with an Eatcation™. Try our DIY Top Chef tour, go on our Beer Trail or check out all of our food accolades to try the best of the best. 

No matter what time of year you plan to visit, there’s always plenty to do in Costa Mesa. You can start with your travel style to help you plan your itinerary. See what events are going on during your stay by looking at our calendar. Then, book your stay by finding the best hotel deals

Visit Dana Point 

Get Out on The Water
With nearly seven miles of sun-kissed Southern California beaches – it’s the birthplace of the Surf Culture – and a 2,500-boat/yacht marina, Dana Point is your go-to for big splashy fun in the sun. So dive right in! Enjoy your favorite water sport. Or learn a new one. From kayaks to paddle and boogie boards, serene sails to wave runners, whale watching, fishing – and of course the best surfing in California –whatever floats your boat, you’ll love it in Dana Point.

No gear? No worries. Dana Point rental companies have it all, and many hotels offer rental and free water toys to guests.

Watching the Big Ones
It’s a fact. Dana Point is “The Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World,” with the best year-round whale watching, and the largest concentration of blue whales and dolphins in California.  Join one of the three primary whale watching tour operators: Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari, Dana Wharf Whale Watching, and the Ocean Institute. You’ll likely see gray whales just seconds after leaving Dana Point Harbor. Seasonal oohs and aahs include Orcas and Fin, Minke and Humpback whales. Sea lions, harbor seals and dolphin are a given.

Surf’s Up
Grab your surfboard or boogie board and ride the waves that started the Surf Culture back in the 1950s. The perfect waves at mile-long Doheny State Beach are ideal for seasoned dudes and newbies. Girl in the Curl offers surf lessons right on the beach. You’ll find rad breaks at Stand Beach. And test your skills at Salt Creek, where the experts go to get barreled. Body surfing is also great at these beaches.

Angling in Paradise — Deep sea or from a kayak, fishing off Dana Point is a dream come true. For fun or competition, throw out your line and reel in yellowtail, yellowfin, Bluefin tuna, Dorado, halibut, bonito, sand bass, calico bass and more. Dana Point Harbor has plentiful sport fishing boat rentals and charters. Tournaments such as the Annual Halibut Derby and the Fishing with Friends Kayak Tournament add to the thrill.

Smooth Sailing
Life doesn’t get any better than gliding across the water with the sea breeze in your face and the beautiful Dana Point coastline in your sights. For romance at sea, Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing offers the only sunset wine and cheese cruise in Orange County. Argh, maties – treat your family to a fun, and informative, pirate-themed sail with the Ocean Institute. Set sail yourself, with family and friends, in two-person skiffs rented from Westwind Sailing. If you don’t know the ropes, Westwind has lessons for adults and kids.

Watercraft Wonders
Get up close and personal with the water, the harbor, the wildlife and the awesome coastline outside the jetty with a variety of personal watercraft. You’ll feel as cool as you look, paddle boarding across the sunny scene. For an added workout, take a paddleboard yoga class with I Heart Yoga. Jump in a single or double kayak and explore with family and friends, or take a guided kayak tour. The calm water of Baby Beach makes an excellent launch spot for paddleboarders and kayakers to get your sea legs before heading out to sea.  Satisfy your need for speed on single or double jet skis at up to 60 mph! Capo Beach Watercraft rentals and Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center/Pure Watersports have them all.

Sensational Swimming
It’s the classic beach pastime, splashing and swimming with your family and friends in the glistening Pacific Ocean. Bring the toddlers to Baby Beach, its mellow waters are ideal for family fun. Soak up the surf vibe at Doheny State Beach, Salt Creek Beach and Strands Beach.  While famous for surfing, there’s plenty of room for swimming and sunning on these legendary sands.  

Visit Huntington Beach

Surfing and the Summer Olympics
Known as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach was immortalized as the quintessential surf town throughout its one hundred plus years of surf history. With 10 miles of uninterrupted beaches, surf culture is visible everywhere. The legendary Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, made his first visit to Huntington Beach in the 1920s and introduced surfing to the mainland. His statue now stands in the heart of Downtown Huntington Beach. In 1959, the first surfing championships were held in Surf City USA, making the destination the most famous venue for competitive surfing on the west coast. Throughout the years, Huntington Beach has immortalized itself as a surfing destination, consecutively hosting the Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing and VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. The debut appearance of surfing in the Tokyo 2020 games will solidify the importance of this sport culturally as well as the destinations they come from. 

If you want to learn how to surf, Surf City USA is the place to do it. Endless summer weather, shallow moderate wave conditions, and professional surf instructors make it easy and accessible for everyone to catch a wave. Huntington Beach surf schools are open year-round and offer lessons for all ages and experiences. Here are a few places to learn how to surf in Surf City USA: 

Destination Irvine

New Micro Food Hall Herb & Ranch in Irvine
Nestled in the business complex of UCI Research Park, Herb & Ranch (a nod to Irvine’s ranch beginnings) is an incredibly refreshing dining experience. Whether you linger in the impeccably styled space or pop in and out for a quick bite and coffee, you will not be disappointed. The modern farmhouse-inspired, micro food hall concept created by culinary mastermind and Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey, is filling the void in what today’s working society needs. With Malarkey’s successful culinary ventures down in San Diego, he was tasked with bringing a fresh perspective to breakfast and lunch cuisine to Irvine. 

Malarkey says, “During breakfast hours, guests can order a multitude of items from The Grill Breakfast and Coffee Bar including California or veggie burritos, ricotta toast with honey, blackberries, tarragon and smoked almonds and bacon or veggie hash with slow cooked eggs.” 

Visit Laguna Beach

Health and Wellness
Visit Laguna Beach launched “Pathway to Zen” – the first destination-wide wellness trail. The “Pathway to Zen” is a one-of-a-kind wellness trail for artists, adventurers, experience collectors, and mindful travelers seeking rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul.

For the six million visitors traveling to Laguna Beach each year, “Pathway to Zen” is mapped out on Visit Laguna Beach’s website and showcases 12 year-round stops to experience aura readings, Chakra massages, Laughter yoga, natural foods, organic beauty products, mind-blowing hikes, crystal shops, and more. Experiences range from free to five-star, so regardless of your vibe, Laguna Beach has something for everyone. 

“Pathway to Zen” is the embodiment of the magic of Laguna Beach and its transformative, healing powers,” said Ashley Johnson, president & CEO of Visit Laguna Beach. “We want our visitors to experience more than just a day trip to the beach. By following the “Pathway to Zen,” they will experience a world-class destination that offers unique and immersive opportunities by local business owners with deep roots in the community and a passion for holistic living.”

Settled and founded as an artist’s colony and one of California’s first hippie dens, Laguna Beach is the perfect place for anyone seeking connection with nature, self and community – a market that now resonates with a diverse audience group ranging from Millennials to Boomers who want to get away from it all, or into it all. Guests are invited to book an exclusive wellness overnight package in Laguna Beach at the only National Geographic Unique Lodge of the world in California, The Ranch Laguna Beach.

  • Enjoy the best available room rate
  • Waived resort fee
  • A day pass to Sycamore Spa or a free, extended 30-minutes to any treatment
  • An in-room wellness swag bag with locally made products curated by @VisitLaguna
  • Use WELLNESS to book

The “Pathway to Zen” guide and special deals can be found on the Visit Laguna Beach website. Click here for more information.

Visit Newport Beach

No date? No problem. Valentine’s Day is not just for coupled-up love birds. The thing to remember about the day is that the best relationship you can have is with yourself. So, this weekend, plan to set aside some “you time” and—because the next few days are all about love—resolve to find ways to love spending time solo. Like, with a bottle of bubbly and a complete, head-to-toe pamper sesh. Here are the many places you can go to treat yourself in Newport Beach.

Your at-home avocado face mask is good enough for a regular evening spent binging The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but since you’re your own amour, you deserve a better gift from yourself. So here’s what to do; schedule a treatment—face, body, hair, anything that makes you feel like your best self—at The Spa at Pelican Hill, and you’ll earn access to the spa’s plethora of offerings for the whole day including. (The caveat: you have to book a session that’s 50 minutes or more). Like, the fitness center, the large saltwater tub and the eucalyptus steam room, to name a few. The best part? You don’t even have to leave the place to tend to the munchies. The spa boasts a menu of seasonally sourced grub, tonics, smoothies and of course, vino to enjoy while your stress melts away.

That book you’ve been itching to read? Crack it open against the soundtrack of crashing waves at Crystal Cove Beach—until it’s time to eat. Turn up alone or with a friend at Marché Moderne, a local French gem which has plenty of awards under its belt for whipping up the kind of food you’ll be raving about for months. On the place’s $135 six-course Ocean Tasting menu, you’ll find Santa Barbara sea urchin served with grapefruit gelée, fresh oregano, watermelon radish and avocado, as well as Maine lobster ushered in with roasted cap of ribeye, au poivre and duck fat fries. All to prove, you don’t have to have an S.O. to enjoy a well-curated, perfectly choreographed tasting menu, especially if it tastes anything like Marché Moderne’s. Food is love, no matter how you slice it or who you slice it with. End of story.

Shopping, working out and noshing on the delicious grub—there’s so much to do in this little picturesque nook of town. Give your skincare routine a facelift by scooping up essentials at Aesop or Cos Bar. Break a sweat at Curl Fitness, a boutique gym that plays host to yoga, spin, pilates, Zumba, and Bootcamp classes. Whatever you do, make sure to bookend your day at Nobu. Take advantage of the restaurant’s $85 cocktail omakase menu, which features superb drinks-and-food pairings like the very fitting “Golden Hour” cocktail, which is served with scrumptious lobster tempura. Or the mezcal-forward “Vida Violetta” (boosted by maraschino liqueur, blueberries, serrano pepper) and paired with grilled wagyu, rosemary egg sauce and roasted vegetables. (You can thank us later).

Newport Beach is the perfect place for a pampering session.