Orange County has a rich history that's evident in many of its attractions. Step back in time with a guided tour of the Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens. Explore the Heritage Hill Historical Park for over four acres of discoveries, including the 1863 Serrano Adobe, 1890 El Toro Grammar School, and 1908 Harvey Bennett Ranch House. The Old Orange County Courthouse is the oldest court building in the state, having been dedicated in 1901.
If you're looking for enchanting family friendly highlights, you can't miss Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim. Orange is home to the Orange County Zoo and the one-third scale Irvine Park Railroad for children. The Discovery Cube in Santa Ana and Pretend City Children's Museum in Irvine offer hands-on educational activities so engaging that children won't even realize how much they're learning.
Orange County has a little of everything to cater to your needs no matter what type of vacation you're looking for.
When to Visit Orange County, CA
Orange County has comfortable weather year-round, so you can enjoy moderate temperatures and plenty of sunshine in any season. December is the coldest month of the year with an average high of 69 degrees and average low of 46. August sees the highest temperatures of the year, with an average high of 85 and low of 64.
Annual festivals and celebrations take place almost every month of the year in Orange County, so it's always worth checking the calendar before your visit to see what you might find. In February, you can take part in the Annual Monarch Butterfly Day in Fountain Valley and the Taste of San Juan. March brings the Festival of Whales in Dana Point and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Huntington Beach. San Clemente hosts the Annual Gardenfest in April. Hit the Tustin Lobsterfest, Doheny Blues Festival, or Garden Grove Strawberry Festival in May.
Summer is one of the busiest seasons in Orange County as families on vacation flock to the area. Food and wine festivals and summer festivals take place all over the county. Try the Wags n Wine event in Huntington Beach if you have a furry friend traveling with you. San Clemente has the Ocean Festival in July, and the Orange County Fair takes place in Costa Mesa in July and August.
Fall is ripe with festivities as well, including Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach, the September Tall Ships Festival at Dana Point, and the San Clemente Sea Fest in October. If you're in Orange County over the holidays, you can take the Irvine Park Railroad to meet Santa Claus.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Orange County, CA:
Orange County, CA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Orange County, CA. Browse these charts to determine the least expensive dates to book in Orange County during the year.
Luxury Hotels in Orange County, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $144.01
If you're looking for luxury in Orange County, the hotels on Disneyland property are a smart place to start. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa features three imaginative full-sized pools, a children's pool, a twisting waterslide, a companion hot tub, and private cabana rentals. You can dine on site, enjoying an upscale dinner at Napa Rose, a relaxing drink at the Hearthstone Lounge, or a buffet breakfast with your favorite Disney characters at the Storytellers Café. The Mandara Spa can satisfy your need for additional pampering, while Pinocchio's Workshop offers supervised activities for children.
The Disneyland Hotel is another luxurious option with two pools, two waterslides, and two whirlpools. In the evening, flickering tiki torches will guide you to the famous Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. You can enjoy island fare at Tangaroa Terrace, fine dining at Steakhouse 55, and buffet dining with Disney characters at Goofy's Kitchen.
If you're looking for luxury outside Disneyland, try the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. Guests here step into marble tiled entries to find spacious rooms with cozy seating areas, plush beds, and oceanfront balconies. Oceanfront dining options and an outdoor lounge offer food and drinks with an unforgettable view. For additional pampering, the Aquaterra Spa can handle all your needs.
Affordable Hotels in Orange County, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $116.03
Affordable hotels abound in Orange County, California. If you're looking for a low-priced room that won't stretch your budget during your stay, you'll find the Motel 6 chain has a big presence in this area. These pet-friendly hotels will welcome everyone in your family, including four-legged friends. You'll enjoy free expanded cable and complimentary morning coffee.
Outdoor pools are available at the Motel 6 Stanton and Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate. The Motel 6 Santa Ana offers an outdoor hot tub. Other convenient locations around Orange County include the Motel 6 Anaheim Stadium–Orange and Motel 6 Anaheim Fullerton East.
The Santa Ana Travel Inn is another affordable choice in the area. This hotel features cozy rooms with a mini-fridge and coffee maker so you can keep both hot and cold beverages on hand. Complimentary Wi-Fi and cable television will keep you entertained. The 24-hour front desk staff will make sure your needs are always met.
Rooms at the Rainbow Inn in Anaheim feature refrigerators and microwaves, so you can easily keep snacks, beverages, and even simple meals handy. The outdoor pool gives you a relaxing place to lay back and soak up the California sun. Complimentary Wi-Fi will keep you connected and help you plan ahead throughout your stay.
2 Star Average Prices: $82.17
Orange County: Real Discounts
If you're looking for discounted hotel rates, your best option is usually to begin with hotel chains that you're familiar with. Sticking with the same chain gives you a chance to take advantage of loyalty programs that let you accrue points you can use later for special perks or affordable vacations.
The Fairmont Newport Beach offers discounts for seniors, government employees, and AAA or CAA members. Special packages offer added indulgences like discounts to local attractions or a luxurious breakfast in bed.
Hilton HHonors members can use or earn points at locations like the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach, Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport, or DoubleTree by Hilton Santa Ana Orange County Airport. These hotels also offer discounts for AAA and AARP members, military families, and locals.
If you participate in Marriott Rewards, consider the Fairfield Inn & Suites Tustin Orange County or Newport Beach Marriott Bayview for great deals that will let you use your points. These locations also offer discounted rates for seniors, AAA and CAA members, and government and military employees.
Best Value Hotels in Orange County, CA
Value hotels combine top amenities with affordable prices for a great deal that puts every dollar to work. If you're looking for a mid-priced find with plenty of perks, try these options.
The Best Western Plus Irvine Spectrum Hotel features spacious two-room suites that are ideal for travelers who want a little extra space. With a private bedroom and separate living area, it's easy to spread out. Each suite features two 40-inch flat-screen televisions, a microwave, a refrigerator, a wet bar, and a coffee maker. You'll enjoy a free hot breakfast every day to help you greet the morning right. On-site amenities include an outdoor pool, spa, fitness center, and business center.
The Fairmont Newport Beach is the best pick for people who want lots of added activities. The hotel offers yoga, tennis, bocce ball, and basketball. You can check out boogie boards, beach volleyball equipment, and sand toys for a fun day at the pool or beach. The on-site Spa Sante offers massages, wraps, facials, scrubs, and hand and foot treatments. Citrus and AVO Bar + Restaurant offer on-site dining.
Every room at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach–Dana Point is a suite with separate sleeping and living areas. Wi-Fi, MP3 clocks, and two televisions offer easy entertainment no matter where you are. A chocolate chip cookie at check-in promises a sweet stay, and amenities like a bar, pool, and fitness room ensure that all your needs are taken care of.
Getting Around Orange County, CA
You don't need to rent a car to successfully navigate Orange County, California. The OC Bus has 77 routes covering the area, so you can hop on and enjoy convenient transportation to nearly any destination in the county. The best way to navigate the bus system is using its free mobile app. This gives you arrival times for the next bus, text alerts that will let you know if something is delaying your ride, and detailed information on the schedule and routes.
If you have cash on hand, trips are just $2 each. You can also purchase a one-day pass right on the bus for unlimited trips throughout the day. Five-day and 30-day passes are available online.
Orange County is a major tourist destination offering something for every type of visitor, from young travelers who are hoping to meet Mickey to adults interested in exploring the area's history. Book a comfortable room in Orange County and start your adventures.