Shopping in The O.C. is almost as legendary as surfing. Start at expansive South Coast Plaza, California’s largest luxury shopping complex, with iconic luxury brands such as Hermes, Chanel, and Prada. Newport Beach has more spoil-worthy shopping at Fashion Island, where Italian-style piazzas palm trees, and koi ponds (plus ocean views) feel more like a resort than a shopping mall. Another posh option: Fashion Island, just offshore from Newport Beach; check the website for special appearances by top designers.
For bargain hunters, The Outlets at Orange offers more than 120 value stores, including Nordstrom Rack and a Banana Republic outlet, as well as a host of not-just-shopping attractions, including an indoor Vans SkatePark, movie theatres, and bowling at the light- and music-filled Lucky Strike Lanes.
For a twist on big-box shopping, visit Costa Mesa’s relaxing The LAB Antimall, focusing on appealing independent shops. At The ARTery, see quality handcrafts and artwork displayed in tricked-up shipping containers. At South Coast Collection (SOCO), browse at home decor and culinary stores surrounded by handsome landscaping.
If you like your shopping with a dose of entertainment and amusement-park fun, visit Irvine’s Spectrum Center, where a soaring Ferris wheel, plus a carousel and kiddie train for the little ones, give you a unique way to take a break between boutiques. Late nights are lively here too, with movie theatres, Irvine Improv Comedy Club, and quality restaurants.
Whether it’s manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, “The OC” stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always-amazing Disneyland Resort, roughly a 1-hour drive south of L.A. and 2 hours north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best-loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun meter.
“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.” — actor Dennis Quaid
Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA.
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