Orange County Weekend Hit List

Being an Orange County native, I am only slightly biased when I say Orange County is the best place to live in California. There is so much to do, so many places to see, and so many people to meet. I especially love the variety of food in the area. While I have spent the last 18 years seeing all that I can there, sometimes you can only get a weekend away. Here is a list of my top places to hit on a weekend trip to Orange County:


Friday Night: Dinner at Cucina Enoteca @ the Spectrum

    The spectrum is and will always be one of my favorite outdoor malls. The stores will keep you on the latest fashion trends and the restaurants will keep you on the treadmill. Cucina Enoteca is a trendy Italian restaurant located on the north side. Personally, I love the burrata + tomato as an appetizer and pappardelle as a main dish. You cannot forget the pop-rocks strawberry lemonade. If you have a sweet tooth like me, Somi-Somi is a new Japanese ice cream place that is just a short walk from dinner. Lastly, you can spend your night either catching a movie at Regal, kissing your date on the Ferris wheel, or even playing arcade games at Dave and Buster's.


Saturday Morning: Breakfast at Ellie’s Table, San Clemente and Beach Walk

    Ellie’s Table is an adorable little cafe that carries a bunch of different homemade pastries, salads, sandwiches, and so much more. Every treat can be paired with a coffee or tea. Situated right off of PCH, Ellie’s is only a minute walk down to the San Clemente Beach Trail, that runs along the water. You can watch locals catching waves, families walking their cute dogs, or little kids learning to ride a bike. The trail finishes at San Clemente pier where you can indulge on Bear Coast coffee.


Saturday Day: Grab lunch at Bear Flag Fish Co.

    Poke is a Southern California staple, and Bear Flag Fish Co. does it best. There is a large variety of fish options and different combinations to purchase your favorite. Every time, I order a small seafood plate with Ahi poke, rice, and avocado. If you do not like raw fish, you can get a burrito or tacos with your choice of fish. Bear Flag is located in the Pelican Hill shopping center on PCH and in Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach. If you are looking for cute photo ops, I recommend checking out their Lido Marina location!


Saturday Evening: Take-out dinner from Papa’s Tacos on PCH, dinner on the West Street Cliff

    With so many miles of beautiful coastline, watching the sunset is a must. In Laguna Beach, there is a little Mexican restaurant on PCH called Papa’s Tacos. They have amazing street tacos, rice bowls, and salads. After you pick up dinner, you walk two blocks north on PCH, and you’ll reach West St. Cross PCH and you’ll see a wide open lot with a cliff over the beach. It is the perfect spot to lay out your blanket and watch the sunset with your best friends or boyfriend. The bluff may be beautiful but it does not even compete with the view over West. After sunset, you can take a short drive to Afters Ice Cream. Afters is famous for their milky bun, and rightfully so. I usually get a milky bun with cookie monster ice cream and cookie crisps as my topping. You cannot go wrong with all their unique and delicious options!


Sunday Morning: Breakfast at Haute Cakes Caffe

    On your way back to LMU, you should definitely plan to stop at Haute Cakes in Newport Beach. The restaurant is both cute and trendy, with many vegan-friendly options on their menu. My personal favorite breakfast is the oatmeal blueberry pancakes. They are TO DIE FOR. Kit Coffee is right down the street if you want cute pictures with your latte. There are quite a few boutiques around Haute Cakes if you’re looking to pick something to remember your weekend by!