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Six Great Things to do in Orange County This Spring

Orange County abounds with attractions, but many are overpriced or too crowded to truly enjoy. Here are six things to enjoy this spring, which are reasonably priced and not overly crowded. Each is an easy day trip, meaning you can enjoy them all during the week the kids are out of school.

1. Head to Heisler Park

Located in Laguna Beach, Hesiler Park is one of the best areas to enjoy views of the Pacific and its sea life. There are beautiful gardens lining the beach, adorned with plants and flowers for enthralling pops of color. Surfing is popular, but many come just to watch the surfers, see the whales and dolphins, frolic with the starfish and crab, play volleyball, Rollerblade or stroll the boardwalk. It's a dog friendly park. You can also see the touching 9/11 monument, built of steel beams from the World Trade Center.

2. Buzz to the Flightdeck Air Combat Center

Take off and land in a Boeing 737 flight simulator, or experience the thrills of combat in an F-16 fighter jet simulator at this one of a kind aerial venue. You can participate in a 45 minute combat flight or choose from 30,60, and 90 minute trips in the Boeing 737. If you're more into watching the action than taking it on yourself, you can view the pilots and hear their conversations with air traffic controllers from the monitoring center.

3. Beat It to the Balboa Island Ferry

If you need to get from Newport to Balboa, shave 30-45 minutes off your trip and sit back while the Balboa Island Ferry carries you and your vehicle. It's a historical adventure and an excellent way to see the waterfront areas. For a small fee, the ferry takes 2-3 cars at a time across to the island. It's a great way to save time, save on gas and see some things you can't see by driving yourself.

4. Come on Over to Crystal Cove State Park

Offering over three miles of public beach and 2,400 acres of woodlands, Crystal Cove is a great place to hike, horseback ride, mountain bike or enjoy the water by surfing, swimming or scuba diving. The coast is set up as an underwater park, and there are lots of tidal pools and sandy coves to explore.

5. Next Up, Visit Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Richard Nixon was one of history's most controversial presidents, and here you can learn everything you want to know about this man, his family, his presidency and Watergate. The library and museum feature movies, interactive videos and activities for older children. You can stroll through the First Lady's Garden, climb on board Nixon's own helicopter, visit his restored birthplace, see their clothing and China dishes and view many historic items from our country's history.

6. Alas, See the Anaheim Ducks Play

Orange County is also home to the pro hockey team, the Ducks. Get Anaheim Ducks tickets and enjoy a thrilling show as fists are thrown, sticks are wielded and a hockey game occasionally breaks out. Even if you're not into sports, the Ducks put on a great show, offering fun special events for all ages and a chance to see the celebrities and other interesting people who frequent the games.

Orange County is a beautiful, interesting place to explore, and spring is a perfect time to be here.

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