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Best Parks In Orange County

fullerton arboretum header 610x250 botanical garden
(credit: Fullerton Arboretum)

Immerse yourself in nature with a variety of outdoor activities at these popular Orange County parks. Whether you want to enjoy the beach and go surfing, swimming and diving, take part in golf, baseball, softball, horseshoe, mountain biking, fishing, archery, paddle-boarding and horse-back riding or go on a peaceful hike and have a picnic, these OC spots are where it's at.

fullerton arboretum
(credit: Fullerton Arboretum)

Fullerton Arboretum
1900 Associated Road
Fullerton, CA 92831
(657) 278-3407

Feast your senses at Fullerton Arboretum and leave stress behind. The array of plants from all over the world will be pleasing to eyes, nose, touch and soul. Tours are as low as only $3 and will help you learn more about horticulture. You can take a tour focusing on nature, or you can tour the Victorian home and garden on site.

Crystal Cove State Park
(credit: Erik Oginski)

Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3539

Crystal Cove State Park encompasses what makes Orange County's outdoor beauty notorious. From alluring ocean views to accompany a walk or run on the beach, waves suitable for surfers, an underwater wonderland ideal for divers and trails fit for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders alike, visitors are sure to find an enjoyable activity at this charming park. With more than 2,000 miles of terrain and three miles of beachfront property, Crystal Cove State Park will help you feel at one with nature. Grab your surfboard, mountain bike, horse, snorkeling gear or floaties and take advantage of this picturesque park.

Related: Best Campgrounds Around Orange County

peters canyon
Peters Canyon Regional Park
8548 E. Canyon View Ave.
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 973-6611

Peters Canyon Regional Park is fitting for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The mixed terrain consists of open dirt trails, grassland, a lake, a creek and several species of trees including black willows, cottonwoods and sycamores. Nature lovers are in for a treat while visiting this 340-acre canyon due to the variety of landscapes, plants and animals. You may see mule deer, raccoons, bobcats and even an unlikely mountain lion.

(credit: Irvine Regional Park)

Irvine Regional Park
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 973-6835

If you are looking for a place to host a large gathering that is kid-friendly, Irvine Regional Park could be the perfect spot. Bring your grill masters to cook in the BBQ areas and choose from riding ponies, playing softball, visiting the lake, going for a bike ride or playing horseshoe for the ultimate picnic party. Kiddos will be over-the-moon excited to play outside and adults will feel like kids again. If you need to sit down and relax between activities, hop on the Irvine Park Railroad for a scenic tour.

Mile Square Regional Park
16801 Euclid St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 973-6600

To get in touch with nature without leaving the city limits, check out Mile Square Regional Park. The area enables visitors to partake in golf, baseball, softball, archery, fishing, biking and paddle-boating. If you want a more low-key outing, pack a picnic for a relaxing day in the park's designated picnic area. Whether hosting a company party or having a small get together, Mile Square Regional Park is a great place to bring family and friends for a nice day in the Orange County sunshine.

Related: Best Spots For A Picnic In Orange County

Stacy Brecht is a professional writer, dancer, marketer and model in the Los Angeles area. Brecht also enjoys traveling, wine, fitness training, volunteering, movies and trying new restaurants. Her work can be found at


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