Travel Guide to California

2017 Travel Guide to California

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126 2 0 1 7 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A B Y C H R I S T I N E D E L S O L B eneath the suburban facade, Orange County is a diverse collection of cities with distinct personalities. Even Anaheim has established an identity apart from Disneyland, with its massive convention center, revival of the historic Center Street Promenade commerce district, and the bustling Packing House food hall and market. Forty-two miles of idyllic sands fringe the robust, ever-developing "OC," which counts renowned surf breaks, historic missions, art colonies and scenic marinas among its attractions. Its beach cities still embody the casual, creative California of popular imagination, from surf-centric Hunt- ington Beach to tony Newport Beach to artsy Laguna Beach to serene San Clemente. Inland cities that grew among the bygone orange groves have been joined by master-planned communities. Chief among these is Irvine, encompassing a University of California campus, the still nascent Orange County Great Park and several "villages." About 30 percent of OC residents hail from another country, and English is a second language for 45 percent; its Little Saigon is the largest Viet- namese community outside of Vietnam. A true melting pot, the county hosts a dizzying array of ethnic food, festivals, markets and cultural events. Performance venues such as the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the South Coast Repertory are sprinkled throughout the county. Desti- nation shopping malls such as Irvine Spectrum, Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island in Newport Beach vie with dozens of local shop- ping districts. ORANGE COUNTY TOP CITIES Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, San Clemente INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA), located at the juncture of Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Newport Beach near I-405 TOURISM WEBSITES POPULATION 3,169,776 ORANGE COUNTY Diverse cities forge distinct identities apart from beaches and theme parks

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