35 Fun Date Ideas in Orange County, California

13 min read
Looking towards a beach against a building and grass-filled cliff on a nice day
Orange County is full of fun date ideas, like visiting Corona del Mar State Beach

Orange County is a pleasant area located on the West Coast of California. It's full of activities like beaches, concerts, national parks, and amazing restaurants. If you are on the hunt for fun date ideas in Orange County, California, you have come to the right place!

Orange County is south of Los Angeles and is one of the most popular areas in the United States. If you are ready to create a romantic experience with your partner, Orange County is the best place to make memories.

Keep scrolling to discover all of the unique attractions Orange County has to offer for your next date night!

  • 35 California date ideas

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35 Orange County Date Ideas

  1. Plan an evening at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts
  2. Adventure to the Balboa Fun Zone
  3. Experience the Old Towne Orange together
  4. Explore the magical street of the Downtown Disney District
  5. Stroll through the Anaheim Packing District Night Market
  6. Walk along the beach at Crystal Cove State Park
  7. Watch the sunset at Huntington Beach
  8. Kiss at the top of the Irvine Spectrum Center's Giant Wheel
  9. Take a lovely drive to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
  10. Plan your next date at the OC Fair & Event Center
  11. Have a romantic picnic at Seal Beach
  12. Discover the Corona Del Mar State Beach Park
  13. Take a romantic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway
  14. Grab dinner at the FIFTH Rooftop Restaurant & Bar
  15. Go on a romantic whale watching boat tour
  16. Spend some quality time together at the SEA LIFE Aquarium
  17. Hang among the trees at the Fullerton Arboretum
  18. Learn something new together at the Old Courthouse Museum
  19. Go on a hiking date at Thousand Steps Beach
  20. Take your date shopping at Fashion Island
  21. Get the full surf culture experience at the International Surfing Museum
  22. Ride the roller coasters at Knott's Berry Farm
  23. Explore together with an Orange County beach tour
  24. Take a magical Temecula Wine Tour
  25. Explore Mission San Juan Capistrano
  26. Experience an authentic gondola ride with Gondola Adventures
  27. Learn to surf together in San Clemente
  28. Hangout at the food halls in Downtown Santa Ana
  29. Check out the Costa Mesa Art Walk
  30. Take an art class at the Muckenthaler Art & Cultural Center
  31. See majestic birds at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
  32. Volunteer together a the Pacific Marine Mammal Center
  33. Take a day trip to Pasadena
  34. Learn together at the Los Rios Historic District
  35. Take a stroll through Fairview Park

Show all

California Date Ideas Map

A map of California. Use the map to explore all the date ideas.

Plan an evening at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is the perfect place for a date night in Orange County. A variety of classic plays are offered, alongside concerts and ballets.

If you and your significant other want to experience some California culture, watching a show here is a fantastic way to spend your date night.

© ronniechua via Depositphotos
Multi-colored boats moored to a pier against white buildings and a Ferris wheel
Riding the Ferris wheel at Balboa Fun Zone is a perfect date idea in Orange County

Adventure to the Balboa Fun Zone

Balboa Island is one of the fun things to do in Orange Country at night. It is located just off of Newport Beach. You can ride the giant Ferris wheel at Balboa Fun Zone or enjoy some classic American fair food.

This is an iconic landmark in the area and the perfect idea for your next date in Orange County.

Experience the Old Towne Orange together

If you are looking for romantic things to do in Orange County, California, then Old Towne Orange should be at the top of your list.

This historical part of Orange County has one of the oldest hotels in the area, a shopping district called Plaza Square Park, and a trendy section with self-walking tours.

Old Towne Orange is a great place to stroll through with your significant other. It has a charming feel of a historical district with a trendy contemporary vibe, and it is one of the free things to do in Orange County.

Explore the magical street of the Downtown Disney District

Going to the Downtown Disney District is one of the best ways to experience California's famous landmarks. Get the total date experience Disney has to offer, without the price of a daily ticket!

This romantic district has stores, restaurants, and character-themed, IG-worthy photo spots for you and your boo!

Stroll through the Anaheim Packing District Night Market

You can create some magical memories on your date at the Anaheim Packing District’s Night Market. Your date will enjoy the live music and an assortment of available food vendors.

This market was an orange packaging plant but was recently converted into the market you see today. To make it an extra special night, check out the calendar for updated events.

A walkway to a stone overlook against a sea-line under a partly cloudy sunset sky
Crystal Cove State Park is one of the fun date ideas in Orange County, California

Walk along the beach at Crystal Cove State Park

At Crystal Cove State Park, you can create a romantic experience. This is a beach lover's favorite as it covers over 3.2 miles of the coast.

When you visit Crystal Cove, you and your date will love the open spaces and natural seashores. Take the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to ensure you are going in the right direction, as this park can be difficult to find at first.

Looking towards a pier over water with waves, against a yellow-blue sunset sky
Huntington Beach Pier is an ideal location for a beautiful sunset-watching date night

Watch the sunset at Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is the prime location to watch the sunset in Orange County. Take your date to the pier, or venture down the rocky hillside to enjoy the quiet sandy beaches. Either way, Huntington Beach Pier is a gorgeous backdrop to any sunset-watching date night.

© MichaelVi via Depositphotos
Irvine Spectrum Center is one of the fun date ideas in Orange County, California
Irvine Spectrum Center houses a Ferris wheel, stores for shopping, & a comedy show

Kiss at the top of the Irvine Spectrum Center's Giant Wheel

The Irvine Spectrum Center has something for any date night. There is a Ferris wheel, stores for shopping, and a comedy show center called Irvine Improv.

This area is covered in lights and has the full Orange County vibes you are looking for. That's why the Irvine Spectrum Center is one of the best date ideas in Orange County.

A wooden walkway with a beach on one side & palm trees on the other under clear sky
Laguna Beach has numerous places to eat and lots of shops one can stroll through

Take a lovely drive to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

California is known for the canyon roads down to the beach, and Orange County makes no exceptions. The Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a coastal region at the bottom of Laguna Canyon Road.

There are multiple places to eat at, and plenty of shops to walk around during your date at Laguna Beach - one of the best California beach towns.

© stephstarr9363@gmail.com via Depositphotos
Looking towards a colorful tornado ride swinging under a blue sky at a fair
OC Fair & Event Center is a 150-acre venue & houses carnivals with thrilling rides

Plan your next date at the OC Fair & Event Center

The OC Fair and Event Center has year-round events open to the public. You can plan your next date at the OC Farmers Market or a concert.

You can see the center's online calendar for the best events coming up for your next date night. The event center is also home to the Speedway track and an amphitheater. There are events for all couples!

A boardwalk over water with benches, against a partly cloudy sunset sky
Walk the pier at Seal Beach before or after your picnic with your date

Have a romantic picnic at Seal Beach

Watching the sunset from the pier at Seal Beach is one of the top things to do in Orange County. It has been a part of Orange County since the 1900s. The Seal Beach Municipal Pier is also a popular spot to bring a blanket and sit for a picnic with your loved one.

Aerial of a beach with a small cove and a cliff with bushes under a cloudy sky
Enjoy the tide pools at Corona Del Mar with your date

Discover the Corona Del Mar State Beach Park

When you see Corona Del Mar State Beach, you'll find what a world-class beach looks like. The start of your date can be at Newport Harbor; then, you can picnic at Corona Del Mar Beach.

If you plan your date around low tide, you can enjoy some shallow tide pools called the Little Corona's tidepools. Either way, visiting this beach is one of the best date activities in Orange County.

Aerial of a road winding around a green cliff with a shoreline on the side
The Pacific Coast Highway offers the best ocean views for a romantic road trip

Take a romantic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway

There is nothing more romantic than driving down the Pacific Coast Highway with your significant other.

This iconic highway has the best ocean views, making it one of the most romantic places in Orange County. The PCH goes from North of San Francisco down to San Diego.

Grab dinner at the FIFTH Rooftop Restaurant & Bar

Orange County has rooftop bars sprinkled across the area. But the FIFTH Rooftop Restaurant & Bar is a fun place to have a cocktail with your bae.

Your evening will start with the best views of the city. If you go at the right time, you might be able to see the California Adventure Park nightly fireworks.

Whether you just want to have dinner or some cocktails, this is a fantastic choice for your Orange County date night.

A whale's tail sticking out of blue water against a green cliff with houses
See whales, dolphins, and other wildlife on a whale watching cruise

Go on a romantic whale watching boat tour

If you get the chance, you should visit the bustling Dana Point Harbor for whale watching for your next date. You can enjoy a place to eat at one of the restaurants and shop around Dana Point before or after your whale-watching cruise.

Even if you don't see whales, the coast is full of dolphins and other wildlife. This will surely be an experience that will bring you and your date closer together!

Spend some quality time together at the SEA LIFE Aquarium

The Californa SEA LIFE Aquarium is an extremely romantic place to walk through in Orange County. The Aquarium hosts tropical fish, stingrays, and jellyfish.

You can take cute couple pics with a giant aquarium background or continue your date with a private feeding session with some of the animals.

© Wirestock via Depositphotos
An open metal gate leading to an arboretum with brown grass, vegetation and trees
Fullerton Arboretum is a 26-acre botanical garden & contains rare & endangered plants

Hang among the trees at the Fullerton Arboretum

A date at the Fullerton Arboretum is to be in the middle of a massive 26-acre botanical garden. Bask in the pleasant California weather at this urban oasis.

This botanical garden is a world-class plant conservation center and hosts plenty of areas to spend quality time with your partner. You can enjoy some rare and endangered plants or just stroll through the gardens together.

© scukrov via Depositphotos
A pathway between green grass to a Romanesque Revival brown building with a red roof
Old Courthouse Museum was opened in September 1901

Learn something new together at the Old Courthouse Museum

The Orange County Old Courthouse Museum is located in Santa Ana and has been a staple in the historic district since the 1900s.

You can learn something new with your boo at some of the temporary or permanent exhibits here, like about the history of the OC. Enjoy the historic area after strolling through the Old Courthouse Museum.

An open cave from which a sandy beach with seashore is visible under a blue sky
Walking at the Thousand Steps Beach is a fun activity to bond with your date

Go on a hiking date at Thousand Steps Beach

There is no better way to bond with your lover than by walking 1000 steps down to a quiet Orange County beach. You can pack a picnic and spend some time by the Pacific Ocean.

After a few hours here, you can climb back up the 1000 steps to complete the grueling bonding mission. Then you can both say you took the challenge and climbed the Thousand Steps Beach!

Take your date shopping at Fashion Island

Another Newport favorite, Fashion Island, has premier shopping experiences for all styles. There are a variety of high-end stores and plenty of dining options.

After some shopping, you can enjoy the luxury cinema and an alcoholic beverage with your significant other. Shopping here is one of the fun OC date ideas!

Get the full surf culture experience at the International Surfing Museum

If you and your partner love surfing, then you have to visit the International Surfing Museum. This is a non-profit museum located in Huntington Beach.

The International Surfing Museum has the best exhibits covering the surfing history and culture of Orange County. You and your significant other can learn about the events that shaped the sport's history here.

© topphoto via Depositphotos
Looking up at a green color roller coaster against palm trees and clear blue sky
There are roller coasters, carnival games, and carnival food at Knott's Berry Farm

Ride the roller coasters at Knott's Berry Farm

Whether you are an adventure seeker or want to enjoy some fair food, Knott's Berry Farm is a fantastic place for a date night. There are roller coasters, carnival games, and carnival food.

Your date will find joy in the Snoopy-themed park and feel like it's a day at the state fair. You can spend all day in this amusement park with your partner!

A beach and greenery-filled cliff with palm trees and a town under a clear blue sky
Get the ultimate views of the OC by beach hopping your way around

Explore together with an Orange County beach tour

When exploring Orange County, consider taking your date on a beach tour. There are segway options, electric bike tours, or a classic driving tour down the coast.

There are self-guided tours as well, but some of the best options are coastal sightseeing tours. You can enjoy spending time with your lover and getting the ultimate views of Orange County.

© KGriff via Depositphotos
Looking at a vineyard with several hot air balloons flying against clear blue sky
Temecula Valley is home to many award-winning wines

Take a magical Temecula Wine Tour

Even though North California is known as wine country, South Orange County is home to Temecula Wine Valley. You and your date can sample award-winning wines and see the largest wine cave in Orange County here.

Enjoy wine flights, charcuterie boards, and a guide to help you through the spectacular wines. That's why a date at the Temecula Wine Tour from South Orange County visiting some of the best Temecula wineries is a must-do!

Looking at stone ruins with arches in the middle, against a clear blue sky
San Juan Capistrano is full of Spanish-influenced architecture and culture

Explore Mission San Juan Capistrano

When you are looking for a place to take your date for the day, consider the quaint city of San Juan Capistrano. This town is full of Spanish flair in architecture and culture.

For a romantic date, you can walk through the gardens at the museum and learn about the history of Orange County in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a unique attraction that can be great fun for a couple!

Experience an authentic gondola ride with Gondola Adventures

For one of the ultimate romantic dates in Orange County, there is nothing better than to take your lover on a gondola ride in Newport Beach. These are realistic gondola tours that include artistic boats and a private guide.

© SvetlanaSF via Depositphotos
Looking towards a beach with a lifeguard tower and a pier over water under a blue sky
San Clemente is one of the best beaches to learn to surf

Learn to surf together in San Clemente

If you and your date want to learn to surf together, take a beginner class in San Clemente. Orange County beaches are the best beaches to learn to surf! You and your date can do a beginner course, or if you are more experienced, pay for a private lesson.

A street with buildings and palm trees on each side, under a partly cloudy sky
Santa Ana is a fantastic place to market hop and try different foods

Hangout at the food halls in Downtown Santa Ana

Southern California is known for its trendy outside street markets. The 4th Street Market in Santa Ana is a fantastic place for your future date nights in Orange County.

These markets are great places for you and your date to enjoy a variety of Cali foods. The hall is full of restaurants that serve fried chicken and Mexican Asian fusion. The patio has a nice ambiance too.

Check out the Costa Mesa Art Walk

If you are looking for a free date in Orange County, then doing the Costa Mesa Art Walk is the perfect date idea for you. The walk includes world-renowned international artists like Noguchi and Joan Miro.

You can do the free audio tour from your phone and guide your date through the unique pieces. You can impress your date with a cultural experience while learning something new about Orange County.

Take an art class at the Muckenthaler Art & Cultural Center

Learn something new with your date at the Muckenthaler Art & Cultural Center. This center was originally an 18 room mansion for the Muckenthaler family in 1925.

The family donated the mansion, hoping the community would use it as a creative outlet. Today, this mansion hosts a cultural museum, musical performances, and art classes.

See majestic birds at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

If you and your lover want to spend time together in the great outdoors, consider taking a walk at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.

As one of the fun dates in Orange County, Tucker Wildlife Center is a picturesque park with plenty of opportunities for bird watching.

Volunteer together a the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a rescue center that practices releasing mammals, like injured sea lions, back into their natural habitat. The organization is a non-profit and is taking in new volunteers.

You can grow together through helping animals and have the opportunity to get close to multiple sea lions. It is the perfect date idea for couples looking to do something new.

A city hall building with arches and a brown dome, surrounded by green grass
A road trip from Orange County to Pasadena with your date is a must-do

Take a day trip to Pasadena

If you are looking to do a day trip with your date, consider driving to Pasadena for the day. This mini road trip from Orange County offers eclectic shops, famous restaurants, and a beautiful city center.

Well-known music festivals are hosted at Pasadena, and they also have art and food festivals on some weekends.

Learn together at the Los Rios Historic District

If you and your date are into history, the Los Rios Historic District is located in San Juan Capistrano, perfect for your next date experience. The entire town is equipped with plaques that will teach you about the town's history.

The Los Rios Historic District is one of the oldest occupied neighborhoods in California. It dates back to 1794 when many of the buildings in this district were built.

A close-up of a plant against an orange-yellow sunset sky
Fairview Park is home to numerous historic sites and a ton of bike trails

Take a stroll through Fairview Park

If you want a quaint date experience, take your date to Fairview Park to enjoy 194 acres of woodlands. Within this park, there are multiple historical sites and a ton of bike trails.

You may want to bike if you want to see the entire park. Otherwise, a stroll through the park will be the perfect way to spend some quiet time together.

In Summary

Whether it's your first date or 100th, this list is full of romantic spots in Orange County to check out. Hopefully, you got more than one idea to try while spending time with your loved one on this special part of the California Coast.

Whether you are into museums, rollercoasters, Disney, or simply a foodie, these coastal date ideas are sure to please any level of adventurer you are spending quality time with.

Now all you have to do is pick a day and tell your date! What are you waiting for?

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

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Written by Rachle Morgan

Rachlemorgan WRITER As a travel blogger and writer, I want to provide the most accurate information for my fellow travelers. I have been to all 50 states and 16 countries. I'm grateful for travel because now I have friends around the world.


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