Best Weekend Getaways in South Orange County

Whether you live in Orange County permanently or are just visiting for the weekend, there’s nothing like a weekend getaway to keep the Summer fun and relaxing. Even if you live in Orange County year-round, you don’t need to take a big, expensive vacation this Summer to enjoy the sun and get away! There are plenty of spots and hidden gems where you can escape for the weekend!

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa

Overlooking the beautiful ocean, the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa sits in between Laguna Beach and Dana Point. It is one of South Orange County’s finest hotels and it loved by every visitor! A weekend at the Laguna Cliffs Resort is perfect for couples who want a quiet weekend away. The days can be spent lounging by the pool or getting a massage at the spa, while the evenings can be spent walking the quaint streets of Laguna Beach. Services at the spa include a couples massage, lip and eye treatments, facials, waxing, body scrubs and more! The hotel has two divine restaurants and offers guests the choice between a buffet or continental breakfast in the mornings. The OverVue Lounge and Deck is a great place to grab craft cocktails for happy hour!

Monarch Beach Resort

Surprise your significant other with a weekend stay at one of the most beautiful hotels in southern California! This large resort is located in Dana Point, overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway and ocean coastline from the top of the hill. Although the resort is one of the most expensive in the area, it is well worth the price! Visitors can choose between a variety of room options and sizes. Aside from having one of the most gorgeous pools and lounge areas, the Monarch Beach Resort also has a stunning, green golf course and a full-service spa. This is also a great place to stay if you can’t find a babysitter for the weekend because the hotel offers an all-day kids club to keep the younger ones busy! The resort has an assortment of eight different dining options as well as catering for special events. One of the restaurants is even located on the beachfront and can be accessed by complimentary shuttles. Nothing beats morning walks on the beach, starry nights by the water and breathtaking views all weekend long!

Casa Tropicana

Looking for something a little more quaint and intimate? Casa Tropicana is a beachfront boutique hotel in San Clemente and is loved by many for being one of the cutest and most romantic spots in South Orange County. Only steps from the beach, visitors can easily enjoy walks on the ocean trail and peaceful waterfront dining every single morning and evening! Couples can purchase romantic packages that include champagne, roses and chocolate strawberries. Casa Tropicana is also very close to the popular Avenida Del Mar that is packed with local shops and restaurants. Visitors can spend Sunday morning strolling the local Farmer’s Market in San Clemente. You don’t need to go far to get relaxing and valuable time alone together!


For more great advice on local places to stay or information on South Orange County talk with one of our realtors today. A weekend getaway in South Orange County might be just the deciding factor you need to know where you want to live!


How to Spend the 4th of July in South Orange County

South Orange County is great in the Summertime and especially festive in July when Independence Day rolls around. Residents of South Orange County love to celebrate the 4th of July so much so that the events, parties and celebrations don’t just attract locals, but lots of visits attend as well! There is a variety of options for every age, family type or location, so to help you decide what to do this 4th of July we have compiled a cheat sheet for the big day!

Dana Point

Doheny State Beach: Looking for the classic southern California 4th of July experience? Watch the fireworks on the beach! Doheny State Beach, one of Dana Point’s most popular beaches is pretty crowded all day long with families and couples trying to bask in the glory of this national holiday, but in no way does the beach die down throughout the day. In fact, the later it gets, the more crowded Doheny State Beach gets because starting at 9 p.m. there is a grand firework show over the ocean. There are shuttles throughout the day to take visitors and locals back and forth from Dana Hills High School to Dana Point Harbor so beach goers do not have to worry about parking.


Marriott Laguna Cliffs Buffet: Give your tastebuds a treat and enjoy a relaxing night with the whole family by reserving your spots now for the Marriott Laguna Cliffs All American Ocean-View BBQ Buffet! An adult ticket for this spectacular Fourth of July extravaganza is $99 or a child ticket for $40. The ticket includes valet parking, a full buffet equipped with a mac and cheese station, live entertainment and music and a full-blown firework show to finish off the night.


Firework Cruise: If you want to be in Dana Point for the 4th of July, but everything sounds a little too crowded for your liking, a firework cruise might be just the thing! There are a variety of different cruise options to choose from depending on your preferences, but most include dinner and, of course, a front row seat to some of the best fireworks on the water! For more information on the cruises and prices check out the website here!

Laguna Niguel

All Day Celebration: If you’re looking for an all-day event then Laguna Niguel is the place to be! Festivities start as early as 7:30 a.m. with the 5K walk/run and the 10K run! Following the adult runs, the children will have an opportunity to compete in their own set of races starting at 9:30 a.m. Throughout the morning the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a pancake breakfast buffet for just $5! Then grab your picnics and blankets for a live concert at the Crown Valley Community Park. From Crown Valley most attendees walk less than a mile to Regional Park for the Firework Spectacular kicking off at 9 p.m.!

San Clemente

Firework Show: San Clemente puts on a great firework display each year at the end of the San Clemente Pier. San Clemente is a great place to be if you’re looking for a more low key 4th of July. Residents and visitors looking to see the fireworks do not necessarily need to walk down to the pier to see the spectacular display- the show can also been seen from other parts of the beach and the rolling hills around San Clemente.

San Juan Capistrano

4th of July Celebration: This 4th of July celebration is one of the best in all of South Orange County because there is something for everyone! The festive carnival begins at 3 p.m. and includes games for the kids, vendors for food and drink as well as a beer/wine garden for the adults! Live entertainment kicks off at 6 p.m. and the party continues until the grandiose firework show at 9 p.m.!


The Fourth of July is far from the only holiday South Orange County gets festive for! If you’re interested in more information on South Orange County, the communities or current listings contact one of our agents today!



South Orange County Beach Guide

Dana Point Harbor Beach

If the name doesn’t already give it away, this beach is located along the harbor of Dana Point. It is a smaller beach, but great for a calm, family day. There is a swimming area for children, and a grass park behind the beach for picnics and barbecues. This beach is the way to go if you’re trying to avoid lots of  traffic and difficult parking.

Doheny State Beach

One of Dana Point’s more popular beaches, the Doheny State Beach is split up between north and south. The north side of Doheny State Beach is where more active beach goers like to visit because it offers beach volleyball courts, paddle boarding rentals and low tide surfing for beginners. The north beach also has a visitor’s center equipped with indoor tide pools, an aquarium and family-friendly exhibits. The south side of the beach is great for swimming as well, but also has campgrounds if you wish to sleep under the stars.

Aliso Beach

Aliso Beach, located along the Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, is somewhat famous amongst the skim boarder crowd of Orange County. Visitors can find a slew of skim boarders doing tricks, flips and riding the waves at anytime during the day, especially in the mornings. Aliso Beach has a strong current that creates, tall, crashing waves on the shore. One thing about Aliso Beach, that not many Orange County beaches have, is a large parking lot, so it is easily accessible!

Crescent Bay Beach

One of the larger beaches in Laguna, Crescent Bay, located off Cliff Drive, is a well-known spot for tanning, scuba diving and whale-watching. There are two popular spots for scuba diving- Dead Man’s Reef and Seal Rock. During low tide, visitors also like to explore the tide pools, filled with marine life that appear on the rocks of the beach.

Thousand Steps Beach

Beach and workout in one? If you’re prepared to work for your beach day, then head down to Thousand Steps Beach. Although you do not have to climb exactly a thousand steps to get to it, there are quite a few. Many Orange County locals like to get their morning workout in at Thousand Steps Beach. The walk down the stairs isn’t quite as bad as the walk back up, so you have to be prepared. People love Thousand Steps Beach because of the intimate feel, and the seclusion. It’s also great for tide pools and exploring caves!

Calafia Beach

A great destination for a sunny day, Calafia Beach is one of the best beaches in San Clemente! If it’s a hot day, be sure to get here early because parking can fill up very fast. No need to pack a lunch for the family if you are going to Calafia Beach, because there is a cafe right on the sand!

Mariposa Beach

This secluded beach in San Clemente is great if you are looking for a quieter day on the sand. It is a little tricky to find. The beach can only be accessed through a pathway underneath the footbridge for the San Clemente Coastal Trail. The pathway goes under the railroad tracks and brings you to the calm beach. However, if you are planning a day at Mariposa, be sure to check what the tide is like, because on days with high tide this beach becomes very small.

San Onofre State Beach

This long beach stretches from San Clemente to the edge of Oceanside. The beach is technically in both Orange County and North San Diego County. The most popular area of San Onofre State beach is called Bluff’s Beach. There is parking all along the beach and can be accessed through six different trails. There is also another part of San Onofre called the Surfing Beach that is said to have the best surfing breaks in all of Orange County.


For more great advice on South Orange County, check out some of our other articles! To learn more about the housing market in South Orange County contact one of our realtors today!

Summer To-Do List

Orange County is the place to be this Summer! Not only is the weather fantastic, but there is so much to do! Whether you need an activity to take the kids to, or you want to plan a fun date night there’s always something going on throughout the Summer! Start making your to-do list now of events you want to attend!

Dana Point

Movies in the Park

            Throughout the month of June, Dana Point hosts movies in the Lantern Bay Park that are great for the whole family! Grab your picnic basket, a blanket and some snacks and don’t miss these fun Friday nights in the park. Some of this Summer’s movies include Moana, Zootopia and The Jungle Book!

Concerts in the Park

July is just as lively in Dana Point with the Summer Concerts in the Park held at Sea Terrace Park! Each Sunday, during July, two different bands take the stage- one between 2:30-4 pm and one between 4:30-6 pm. Pack some appetizers and maybe even a few wine spritzers and enjoy the live music with your friends!

San Clemente

Farmer’s Market

Although it is something residents and visitors can attend year-round, Summer is a great time to stop by the local Farmer’s Market! The vendors bring in lots of great foods and flowers during the Summer, so you can eat fresh all Summer!

Ocean Festival

Keep your calendars open July 15th and 16th because the Ocean Festival is an event you won’t want to miss! Bring the whole family out to watch ironman land and water competitions like a surf competition, beach run and fishing contest. The event also offers food, art and a kids play area.

Annual Arts and Crafts Show

This San Clemente event features over 100 artists of all different disciplines. Visitors are invited to walk through the exhibitions of jewelry, paintings, ceramics, clothing and much more! This arts and crafts fair is a great place to find birthday and Christmas gifts. This year the event will take place on August 19th at the Community Center!

Rancho Santa Margarita

Bike and Trike Parade

            Families are a big fan of this event that takes place in the morning of July 4th! Participants of all ages are invited to decorate their bicycles, tricycles and sometimes even pets in patriotic décor and ride them around the lake! This fun parade begins at 10 am and is a great way to start a day of celebrations! After the parade, many families head over to the Lago Santa Margarita Beach Club for the fun activities, food and games!

 Great Rancho Campout

For just $15 per person, families, friends and relatives can all bond at the Great Rancho Campout! This unique event takes place the first weekend in August and includes an never-ending barbeque dinner, Wild West themed games, watermelon eating contest, campfire sing-a-long, smores and a hefty pancake breakfast! What more could you want? Get your tickets starting July 10th before they sell out!


More of Orange County

Street Fair and Chili Cook-off

            This Chili Cook-Off Street Fair is certainly not one to be missed! On Sunday June 4 from 11:30 am- 6 pm, visitors, locals and friends will come to participate in the contests, taste all of the delicious food and browse the carnival attractions! Arts and crafts vendors are also featured throughout the fair! The Street Fair is sure to offer your family a day packed with fun, laughter and a full stomach!

OC Fair

One of Orange County’s most iconic Summer events, the OC Fair is rolling into town on July 14th! This month-long fair features star-studded names for the Summer concert series, family-friendly competitions, a carnival with wild rides, a craft beer roundup for the men, a wine competition for the ladies, copious amounts of tasty food and so much more! Once you go once, you’ll want to go all Summer!


The fantastic Summer months are just one of the reasons so many families love to live in Orange County! For more information on events, specific cities or even available houses, contact one of our agents today!