Top Destinations in Orange County and the San Diego Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Huntington Beach | Eric Saunders

Looking to take advantage of the Orange County and San Diego area’s year-round warm weather and spectacular scenery? We’re here to help with a quick look at some of the top destinations in Orange County and the San Diego area for outdoor enthusiasts.


Carlsbad, north of San Diego, is a picturesque coastal city with endless outdoor destinations to explore. South Carlsbad State Beach, an uncrowded and expansive beach, provides visitors with opportunities to go camping, surfing, and hiking. At Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, guests can explore a charming Spanish-style rancho and wander through the sprawling grounds where wild peacocks freely roam.

Carlsbad | Samantha Jean


Encinitas is a renowned beachy paradise north of San Diego. Its expansive shoreline attracts outdoor enthusiasts, including joggers, beach volleyball players, and surfers. While Encinitas’s numerous beaches are a major attraction, the city offers even more to explore. For example, the San Diego Botanic Garden is a perfect place to relax. The tranquil garden covers over 37 acres in Encinitas, and visitors will appreciate its rare and exotic flora. 

San Diego Botanic Garden | Lance Anderson


Brea is a charming city and one of Orange County’s premier destinations for art, history, and culture. Beyond its cultural offerings, visitors will discover ample outdoor attractions to appreciate both within and around Brea, including top-notch golf courses and picturesque public parks. To experience the California wilderness, visit Chino Hills State Park, located just east of Brea. Spanning across 14,000 acres, this massive park is a vital habitat for California wildlife and contains excellent hiking and biking trails open to the public.

Chino Hills State Park | Rafael Campos

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, a coastal city in Orange County, is renowned for its incredible beaches and ideal surfing conditions. Also, several major parks and nature reserves nearby attract outdoor lovers. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a sprawling natural area comprising wetlands and coastal dunes, is a hotspot for birdwatching. And Huntington Central Park, nestled in the city’s heart, is a major urban park with over 300 acres of grassy fields and lush forests.

Huntington Beach | Mike Fox

Newport Coast

Newport Coast, a coastal community within the Newport Beach area, is home to some of the most stunning outdoor destinations in Orange County. It houses small nature reserves such as the Buck Gully Reserve. Also, it borders massive natural attractions, including Crystal Cove State Park, which encompasses over 3.2 miles of coastline, turquoise waters, and a soft-sand beach, along with over 2,400 acres of scenic wilderness for exploration.

Crystal Cove State Park | Natalia Sedova

Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos, a small inland city in Orange County, offers much for outdoor enthusiasts to experience. It houses acclaimed local golf courses and charming public parks. And nearby, El Dorado Nature Center comprises over 100 acres of outdoor space. This vast area includes a golf course, picturesque hiking trails perfect for spotting local wildlife, and tranquil bodies of water for visitors to enjoy. 

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