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Best Places For A Girls Night Out In Orange County

Header-Saddle Ranch
(credit: Saddle Ranch)

While there are many ways to remedy the stress of a long workweek, there is nothing quite like a girls' night out. There's simply no greater feeling than dressing up and heading out on the town with your best friends in tow. And, with luxury bars and unique restaurants, Orange County is the ideal place to eat, drink and be blissfully merry with your favorite ladies. Whether you're searching for a laid back wine night, a crazy cocktail experience or simply an excuse to eat a decadent dessert, these spots are perfect for your next girls' night out.

: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)
(Credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

SOCIAL Costa Mesa
512 West 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 642-2425

This new-American restaurant combines the fresh ingredients California is known for with classic dishes from the South. With a dynamic ambiance to accompany the original menu, SOCIAL Costa Mesa provides a lively experience that you and your girlfriends won't soon forget. The dinner menu is always evolving, currently featuring dishes like chicken and waffles with Louisiana hot sauce and bourbon sugar cane syrup, Spanish octopus with chorizo and fingerling potatoes and a winter citrus salad drizzled with bergamot sherry vinaigrette. Or, have a cheat day and enjoy SOCIAL's Cheat Day dessert—Devil's food chocolate cake topped with banana ice cream and hazelnuts. This trendy hotspot also has a professional mixologist on staff capable of whipping up unique, colorful cocktails complete with housemade syrups. The cocktail menu is also seasonal, but consistently features the most creative drinks that perfect for adventurous nights on the town. Try the Risky Business for a tart, bubbly drink flavored with passion fruit or the Apple of My Pie for a toasted treat of dry gin, spiced pear and cinnamon meringue.

Twisted Vine
(credit: Twisted Vine)

The Twisted Vine
127 West Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 871-1200

While Temecula's wineries aren't that far away, they're a little too far for a girls' night out. Wine lovers rejoice because Fullerton is home to the perfect alternative. The Twisted Vine is an upscale wine bar with an old-fashioned ambiance—complete with a wooden bar top, faded brick walls, a shelf filled with wine bottles and mood music. Their wine selection includes reds and whites from all over California and beyond, including imports from France, Italy, Spain and Germany. They also have two French sparkling wines and five different dessert wines as well as a selection of craft beers. Each week, The Twisted Vine also offers customized wine and beer flights, which can be a great way for groups to sample a variety. In addition to drinks, order from a diverse food menu, offering everything from baked Brie to flatbreads and pastas. For dessert, try the chocolate fondue or opt for their latest special—a beer flight paired with Girl Scout Cookies!

Saddle Ranch
(credit: Saddle Ranch)

Saddle Ranch Chop House
20 City Boulevard
Orange, CA 92868
(657) 221-3136

A chophouse may not seem like the ideal place for a girls' night out, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Saddle Ranch is, by far, one of the most exciting places to spend an evening. The restaurant's menu features home-style cooking—baby back ribs, potato cheese fritters, Jack Daniel's sloppy joes, meatloaf, prime rib and Cajun burgers. For dessert, they offer a three-foot-tall cotton candy tower, cinnamon rum raisin bread pudding and a roast-your-own-s'mores platter (complete with outdoor fire pits for roasting and relaxing with yours girls). Saddle Ranch also offers a selection of specialty drinks served in carafes. With spiked honey lemonade, ranch rum punch and the Gold Rush margarita, you'll be sipping these signature cocktails all night. While the fun desserts, tasty drinks and blend of country and rock music provide an exciting time as is, the real highlight will be riding the mechanical bull. You and your girlfriends can make it a competition, taking turns to see who can stay on the longest.

Blind Rabbit
(credit: Blind Rabbit)

The Blind Rabbit
East Santa Ana Street
Anaheim, CA 92805

For an adventurous night, grab your ladies and stop by The Blind Rabbit. This charming little bar is modeled after the speakeasies of the Prohibition era and makes for an extra special outing because of that. In keeping with the theme, there is no phone number or explicit address, though the bar is located within the Anaheim Packing House. The secret space requires reservations and limits each group's visit to 90 minutes. But, that's plenty of time for you and your girls to experience it all. The hidden entrance lies behind some faux sake barrels, and once you're done, you'll exit through a bookcase. The dimly-lit room it tiny, but it has a bar top, a few tables and a piano player providing guests with live jazz music, transporting you straight back to the 1920s. The bartenders craft specialty cocktails that are pretty fantastic to look at. The menu changes with the season, but current offerings include the spicy, bourbon-filled Lion's Tail, complete with allspice and Angostura bitters as well as the tropical Topless Hula Girl, a refreshing cocktail mixed with coconut liquor, lime and Tiki bitters. Though there are more options for cocktails than snacks, they do serve limited food including the ever-popular duck confit mac and cheese and the deconstructed cobbler with a blueberry orange filling. Before you leave, squeeze into the bar's photo booth for a souvenir to remember your night out.

La Vida Cantina
(Credit: La Vida Cantina)

La Vida Cantina
1870 Harbor Boulevard
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 612-2349

Located in Costa Mesa's Triangle Square, La Vida Cantina is a thrilling spot to let loose and celebrate your friendship. While you can sit inside, the real atmosphere lies in the massive outdoor patio. Tables lie underneath thatched roofs where the flickering light from nearby fire pits mixes with live music to create an enchanting ambiance. With various happy hours each day of the week, La Vida Cantina is a great place to bring your girls for dinner and drinks. Their Mexican-inspired menu features classic selections with a fresh twist—spicy enchiladas, nachos, empanadas, tacos, quesadillas, churros and more. With both indoor and outdoor bars, you won't find better margaritas anywhere. Choose from a variety of flavors: raspberry, cactus fruit, tamarindo, pomegranate, cranberry, ginger mint, pineapple jalapeno, blueberry and, of course, lime. The drink menu also has specialty drinks like a raspberry jalapeno martini and the Mexican Mule. If you're ladies who love to dance, the Sutra nightclub is located right across from the cantina in the same complex.

Rooftop Lounge
(credit: Rooftop Lounge)

The Rooftop Lounge
1289 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-2446

Most seaside bars have that relaxing beachy atmosphere that Orange County girls love, but The Rooftop Lounge takes it a step further. This luxury lounge is literally located on the rooftop of the La Casa Del Camino hotel, giving you the perfect panoramic view of the ocean and Catalina Island. Settle in with your girls to feel the stress melt away as you're surrounded by a brilliantly colored sky: make sure you arrive in time for sunset for one of the most breathtaking views you'll ever see. The Rooftop Lounge is known for its mojitos, made with fresh mint leaves and a variety of fruit, including strawberries, mango and pineapple. They also offer a selection of beers, wines and Irish-themed cocktails like the whiskey-based Emerald Isle and the Skinny Leprechaun made with Malibu. In addition to drinks, the lounge serves soups, salads and sandwiches, but their appetizers are what really stand out. Munch on hummus and pita bread, guava BBQ meatballs, chilled edamame or fire-roasted shrimp salsa with corn chips. If your group is looking for a more relaxed environment, you won't find anywhere better in the OC.s

Pinots Palette
(credit: Pinots Palette)

Pinot's Palette
2479 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
(714) 400-9016

With a bar that serves a wide selection of wine and craft beer, Pinot's Palette is a unique place for a girls' night out. Rather than the wine, the biggest appeal of this art studio is the paint-and-sip model and creative environment. With both public and private classes, you will have a blast dancing to music and sipping wine while you craft your very own paintings to take home. With the guided instruction of an art teacher, you and your friends will all be painting the same subject. The teacher will describe the techniques necessary to create your masterpieces so you don't have to be an artist to enjoy a night at Pinot's Palette. Once you've finished, make sure to take a group photo with your ladies and all of your paintings. For those that aren't into the bar scene, this is a new and interesting way to enjoy a girls' night out.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.
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