When Orange County was named, it didn’t have very many oranges. And then it did. And now it doesn’t. The name was adopted officially in 1889 in the hopes it would stimulate growth of the then fledgling industry. The plan worked. Migrant workers poured in and by the turn of the century, oranges became the county’s main crop. But thanks to a century of land development, few of the millions of orange trees that once flourished remain. Ironic.
But the good news is, while Orange County may lack, well…oranges, it exceeds expectations in all other areas with its near perfect weather, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture. Small wonder retirement communities in southern California are where the action is.
As residents of those 55 and over communities in southern California will surely tell you, Orange County is the ultimate blend of hip and historic. With its many active and arty downtown areas, maritime attractions, and of course Disneyland, Orange County is a treasure trove of leisure destinations.
Check out these Orange County activities. You will immediately understand why for those lucky enough to live in a retirement community in southern California, there is never a dull moment.
Old Town Orange is the largest nationally recognized historic district in California. Spending a day among the antique shops, specialty shops, and restaurants is like taking a stroll back in time. The small-town ambiance is reminiscent of Mayberry. You’ll find yourself looking for Aunt Bea and Sheriff Taylor. After lunch, take a drive through the surrounding historic neighborhoods to discover artistically restored homes, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dana Point Harbor is the ultimate destination for any and all waterfront activities. Try your hand at whale watching, sailing, paddle boarding, fishing or – for the more daring among you – parasailing. Set among the backdrop of more than 2500 vessels, the harbor features the Ocean Institute and its full-sized replica of the 19th century tall ship “Pilgrim.” There are also a myriad of special events throughout the year including the TallShips Festival in September and the Festival of Whales in February. As a hub of shopping, restaurants and activities, Dana Point Harbor ranks high on the to-do list.
Spend the day at the historic village of San Juan Capistrano. Explore the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, including its exhibits, museum, chapel and gift shop. Visit the nearby Los Rios Historic District and discover well preserved adobes from the late 16th century.
Get your daily quota of steps in while enjoying the Costa Mesa Artwalk tour. Start at California Scenario, also known as the Noguchi Garden, sculpted by the famous Isamu Noguchi. The tour will lead you to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Westin South Coast Plaza. It winds up at the South Coast Plaza, the largest shopping center on the west coast. Take your pick from30 restaurants for an après tour meal or snack.
Grab a few new friends from your new 55+ retirement community in southern California and book a whale and dolphin watching tour. There are lots of different ticket options as well as discounts for seniors, and kids. Check it out with your buddies and then thrill the grandkids when they visit.
Rancho Santa Margarita is Overture’s premier active adult community in southern California. Call to arrange a tour today. What could be better than resort worthy surroundings in the resort capital of the country?
Orange County may not have as many orange trees as its name would imply, but when it comes to retirement paradise, well…you couldn’t ask for a better place to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Fun in the sun awaits