The Best Restaurants in Dana Point

Dana Point restaurants are among the best in all of Orange County, but you have to be selective with where you go and what you try. Luckily, we’ve done our own trial and error and found the best dishes that each of our featured restaurants has to offer.

 

To be clear, we liked everything on the menu, but finding the standout items to try at each new restaurant is a must, and we’ve already done it for you!

 

The Harbor Grill

The Harbor Grill is one of the best restaurants in Dana Point thanks to its close proximity to the ocean. Nothing gets you in the mood for quality seafood like smelling the ocean.

 

There are absolutely some great burgers and steaks for the non-seafood lovers out there, but the seafood is what keeps everyone coming back! We are particularly partial to the Barbecued Shrimp “Louisiana Style” and the Pacific Swordfish with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

 

They also have oysters on a half shell, or you can get them fried, so save some room!

 

Kawamata Seafood

If you’re looking for some killer Poke, look no further! You will be hard pressed to find a better one in the OC. The best thing about Kawamata is that they deliver both huge portion sizes and it’s absolutely delicious!

 

This isn’t your typical dinner place, mainly because they aren’t open for dinner. Most will find it shocking, but Kawamata closes at 6 pm daily. We actually have found that this is the perfect closing time for them because Poke is more of a light in between meal than it is a heavy dinner.

 

What we mean is, they get packed for lunch because having a light lunch and heading back to work is the best way to finish your day strong. Imagine having a burger and fries and then going back to work instead. Big difference between how each will make you feel right?

 

Go with the Kawamata for lunch, and you won’t be sorry!

 

Salt Creek Grille

Now that you have a great lunch spot, you have to try a place known for having the best dinner around. Salt Creek Grille is only open for dinner on the weekdays, and they have brunch and lunch service on the weekends.

 

They have a wide array of food including a Porterhouse Stroganoff, a Wood Fired Filet, Chilean Sea Bass, and a make your own omelet for the weekend brunch! They also have delicious sandwiches and burgers the most common kids meals like chicken tenders and mac and cheese.

 

You won’t be disappointed with the variety at Salt Creek Grille, and their unique approaches to some of their dishes will keep your taste buds happy!

 

Hendrix Restaurant and Bar

Hendrix Restaurant and Bar has some of the harder to find dishes in the OC area. On the list of delectable dishes is the porchetta sliders, the leg of lamb sandwich, squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta, tomato, and piquillo pepper sauce, and the classic tuna tartare.

 

You won’t be able to find some of the dishes they serve here anywhere else, and the ones that you can find elsewhere are just done better at Hendrix. If you have yet to try it out, give it a shot when you’re feeling a little adventurous!

 

Join Us!

Finding the best restaurants in Dana Point is a lot easier when you move here, so start looking today!

 

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Halloween Ideas in South Orange County!

For many, Halloween is the best time of the year, better than even Christmas. For one day, people are allowed to dress up as whatever they want: a slice of pizza, Walter White, one of the guys from Daft Punk, etc and not get strange looks from anyone. It’s a time when us mortals welcome paranormal activity, contemplate death, and eat spookily decorated desserts.

Here are few crazy yet amazing fun activities that you can enjoy this Halloween:

 

  1. Pumpkin Patch

If you don’t want to do anything extreme and prefer to relax on Halloween, visit the Irvine Regional Park where there’s a pumpkin field and hay maze. Kids can play in the bounce houses, ride a train, and, if they dare, enter the haunted house! (It’s child friendly, so there is no cause for alarm in the scare department.) During your down time, indulge in some food or one of the popular cookie decorating sessions to relax.

 

  1. Scare Away Hunger!

On October 31st, enter a 19th century home for the most delicious food and wine pairings from Beau Soleil, Bistro Bleu, True Seasons Organic Kitchen, Roma d’Italia, Pandor Artisan Boulangerie, and many, many others. All proceeds will go to the truly noble cause of the OC Food Banks’ “Hope for the Holidays” campaign which provides meals, winter clothing, and toys to families and children in need.

 

  1. The Haunted!

The costume party is for the OC version of Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, who actually exist (according to what we’ve seen on the Real Housewives of Orange County!) On October 30, the Wyndam Hotel will reserve two floors for music and dancing, where four DJs will be playing throughout the night. For food, head to the Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar inside the hotel for sliders and steak.

 

  1. Halloween Time at Disneyland

Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special event that includes trick-or-treating and the Halloween Screams Firework Show, and is unfortunately sold out or this year. However, at least Halloween Time is still running until November 1. During this period, the park is decorated in full Halloween gear and its rides, (like Space Mountain and the ever popular Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas annual takeover) are given a spooky twist! As for food, try the Dia de los Muertos-inspired apples, cake pops and crispies. The park also carries pumpkin-inspired baked goods, dirt and worm apples (chocolate and gummy worms), and ghost marshmallows.

 

  1. Haunted Ghost Walk

Little did you know, Old Towne Orange is said to be haunted. Learn all about it during a ghost walk led by a tour guide who’ll tell you which antique stores and restaurants may have housed the paranormal. If you’re there on the evening of October 29, a community event called Treats in the Streets for games, trick-or-treating, a costume parade, entertainment, and food. Santa Ana also has a ghost walk hosted by the same company, which begins at the historic Howe-Waffle Mansion and explores tales of execution, murder, death that have been buried in the city’s past.

 

No matter where you are on Halloween, these events in South Orange County will definitely carve beautiful memories for years to come. Whatever you do, don’t forget to make it a very Happy Halloween!

 

Don’t Wait!

If you want to be moved into South Orange County in time for all of this years’ festivities, give the Reed Team a call!

 

 

 

5 Of the Best Places to Shop in South Orange County

Finding the best places to shop in South Orange County isn’t hard, but picking your favorite is. With plenty of shopping options and various restaurants in case you need something to eat or drink along the way; shopping in Orange County never has a dull moment.

Whether you’re looking for a unique designer outfit or an unbeatable bargain, there is always a place to suit your needs. Below are some of the best places to shop in South Orange County.

 

Brea Mall (Brea)

Although it’s located in north OC, the Brea Mall is the second largest mall in all of Orange County and was voted one of the OC’s best in the OC Register’s annual Best of OC poll. It is one of the most family friendly shopping spots and has five major department stores stocked with the latest trends and fashions as well as over 175 specialty shops which include True Religion, H&M, Michael Kors and Sephora.

This amazing mall also has several relaxation spots such as the Glen Ivy Day Spa and several quick-serve and sit-down restaurants such as the California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory. The amazing views from inside the mall, its vaulted skylights, Italian tile walkways, tranquil fountains and the free Wi-Fi available for shoppers makes it a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

 

Fashion Island (Newport Beach)

Located near the coast of Newport Beach, Orange County’s premier coastal center is famous for its lovely Mediterranean architecture, graceful trees and serene fountain which makes it feel somewhat like a resort. Fashion Island offers exclusive specialty boutiques and world class department stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s.

This mall is also home to Neiman Marcus, Nespresso, Urban Decay, Nike Women’s, SoulCycle, Trina Turk, Vince, Joie and Halston Heritage. They also have a host of great restaurants which offer both quick-serve and sit-down services. Some notable locations are Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Sushi Roku, True Food Kitchen, FIG & OLIVE, Rick Bayless’s Red O, and CUCINA enoteca.

Exclusive discounts with the OC Stylish Savings booklet are also available at the Guest Services Desk for Travelers or Tourists in the area.

 

Irvine Spectrum Center (Irvine)

Irvine Spectrum Center is one of Orange County’s most popular shopping centers, adorned by its wide open spaces and its town-like atmosphere. This is another family friendly mall with an IMAX cinema and other kid friendly brands such as GameStop, Dave & Busters, The Children’s Place and Cotton on Kids.

The open air center features world class restaurants and lively entertainment options such as The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s, Dave & Buster’s, Improv Comedy Club and Edwards Irvine Spectrum 21. The mall also features Nordstrom, Macy’s and Target, along with more than 130 stores. The Irvine Spectrum Center also has a Ferris wheel that operates all year and offers outdoor ice skating rink during winter.

 

South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza has the greatest selection of high-end shops and is seen as Orange County’s premier shopping center. It has the highest collection of luxury retail outlets such as like Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Christian Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Montblanc, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Versace.

Its main anchors are Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Sears; it also features over 30 upscale restaurants in two blocks of connecting shopping structures. Sergerstrom Center for the Arts is adjacent the main building as well as the Westin South coast and some offices.

South Coast Plaza is also a tourist attraction and is included as a stop on bus tours from Japanese and Chinese tourists. So, whether you’re a brand conscious shopper or just want to take in the bounty that is the Orange County, this shopping plaza is definitely worth visiting.

 

The Outlets at Orange

The Outlets at Orange, formerly known as The Block, is the sister to Brea Mall and both are part of Simon Malls. It is the only outlet shopping location in Orange County and is home to over 120 outlets and luxury retail shops. These include Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Off Broadway Shoes, Crocs Outlet, DKNY Company Store, Calvin Klein Company Store, Tommy Hilfiger Kay Jewelers Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store, Gymboree Outlet, and many more!

It is also home to The Van’s Indoor Skate Park. The Outlets at Orange also features other fun and entertainment centers such as, Dave & Buster’s, Lucky Strike Bowling and a huge AMC 30 Theatre with IMAX and over 25 incredible restaurants which make it an ideal spot for family relaxation.

 

Anaheim GardenWalk Plaza (Anaheim)

Anaheim Plaza has a store for all shoppers especially the ones that love the outdoors. Whether it’s buying some clothes from its wealth of retailers such as Ross, Sunglass Hut, Hollister or purchasing groceries from El Super, Anaheim Plaza is your one-stop shopping destination for all of your retail and grocery needs.

The center also offers the best in children’s clothing from stores like 4 Kids Clothes and Carter’s and also features varieties of restaurants such as P.F. Chang’s, California Pizza Kitchen and the Cheesecake Factory.

Anaheim GardenWalk is unique for its beautiful gardens as well its large public spaces.

 

Join Us!

Finding the best shopping in South Orange County is a lot easier when you move here, so start looking today!

7 Things to Do This Labor Day in South Orange County.

Looking for things to do this long Labor Day weekend? There are a number of events happening in Orange County to help you enjoy the last moments of summer. But when it comes to narrowing one down, it can be difficult to choose. Here are our suggestions of fantastic events happening in South Orange County.

Here’s some information to give you some inspiration:

  1. Orange International Street Fair: The Orange International Street Fair is a social occasion where food and leisure activities from varying cultures are offered by non-profit organizations once a year. This may not be strictly South OC, but it is definitely worth the trip to go a few towns away! It’s a custom that brings together various cultures and causes. Experience creative world foods, crafts, folk dancing, and music. Enjoy many different ethnic foods and costumes, and even try beer from the region!
  2. The Great Labor Day Cruise. The Great Labor Day Cruise attracts well over 1000 hot rods, classic cars, and vintage autos of all kinds. The fun filled day is not only a motor show, but it is also filled with fun activities for the kids. Main features include a fun zone just for the youngsters, a model car contest, wild wagon displays, a silent auction, automobile vendors and personal items dealers.
  3. The Santa Ana Zoo: If you are looking for a shady, peaceful, mellow spot to take your family for a day that is low priced and fun, Santa Ana Zoo is the place! Most animals are tranquil and can be seen close up, and there is also an animal barn section. There will be various fun and games for the entire family.
  4. Amusement Parks: Orange County is home to the most famous amusement parks in the world. Some are themed lands while others are wild roller coaster parks. Amusement parks are some of best things to do in South Orange County; there are endless activities for both adults and children.
  5. 5. Huntington Beach Civil War Days: Hundreds of Civil War re-enactors in Huntington Beach Central are hosted at this event each year. The Civil War took place over 150 years ago, but its history still produces emotional effects to this day. Re-enactments feature hundreds of living historians and soldiers from all over the country. There are several shops, a confederate band, cannon blasts, field hospitals, just everything about the civil war. This is an educational and very entertaining event. It’s a great free adventure for the entire family.
  6. Whale Watching: Watching magnificent whales swimming and playing on the ocean’s surface, hopping out of the water, and slapping their gigantic tails is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in nature. Sail out into the ocean for an afternoon of whale watching. You can enjoy the ocean breeze and sunshine while on the lookout for one of the world’s most fascinating creatures.
  7. Eating Out in South Orange County: Looking for a perfect food spot when you visit Orange County? From the best tacos, the freshest sushi to most delicious pizzas. There are many different restaurants to choose from. The list can go on into the hundreds!

Come Find Out!

There is a wealth of things to do and lots of fun to be had this Labor Day in South Orange County. If you want to find out yourself, come this year, or better yet, move here!