10 Favorite Outdoor Activities in Orange County

Hiking at Crystal Cove State Park

El Moro Canyon Trail

My favorite place to go hiking in Orange County is El Moro Canyon Trail at Crystal Cove State Park. This trail is located near El Morro Elementary School along Pacific Coast Highway. Parking is $15 for the entire day, it includes the hiking trail as well as the beach side of Crystal Cove State Park. So to get the most out of it I usually like to go here early in the morning for the hike and then spend the rest of the day at the beach.

More Information: Trail Guide

El Moro Canyon offers the most beautiful ocean views
More from Crystal Cove State Park

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Hiking at Peters Canyon Regional Park

Located in Orange/Tustin, California. This trail is a popular one for Orange County locals. There is a $3 parking fee in the main parking lot area, but I like to park for free near Peters Canyon Elementary school.  The trail is very easy to follow. It simply loops around for about a total of 5 miles and typically takes me about 1.5-2hrs to complete.

More information: Trail Guide


More from Peters Canyon

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Paddle boarding at Newport Dunes

Newport Dunes is a luxury waterfront resort that offers camping, watercraft activities, and a host of entertainment and events. There is really so much to do at Newport Dunes but I typically spend time just paddleboarding here. It is an easy place to launch my board and explore the rest of Newport Back Bay. For parking the first 30 minutes are free but the rate for 1-5 hours ranges from 10-15 dollars. I have my own inflated Isle SUP board but Newport Dunes does offer paddleboard rentals if you need one. More information on that can be found here: Newport Dunes Rentals

Newport Dunes, Newport Beach

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Thousand Steps Beach, Laguna Beach

The Stairs

For fitness enthusiasts this is a prime spot for a killer workout amongst the beauty of Laguna Beach. I recommend getting there early to find a decent parking spot along PCH and 9th street. This beach gets super crowded so earlier you get there the better.

The Stairs of Thousand Steps Beach

Biking Balboa Island to Huntington Beach

A beautiful 6.2 mile bike ride along the boardwalk.

Map of Route
Balboa Island offers a ferry to get to the Balboa Peninsula
Ending the ride at the Huntington Beach Pier

Rollerskating in Newport Beach

Newport Beach Elementary Schoolyard

The schoolyard is a big blacktop area that is also open to the public. The smooth and level blacktop makes it a perfect spot for rollerskating. The boardwalk is also available but can be crowded at times. In addition to rollerskating, there are basketball courts, handball courts, and a playground for kids. A perfect spot to be active and outside with a beautiful beach view.

Rollerskating at sunset, priceless


Newport Back Bay Loop Trail

Another great popular spot for exercise and recreational activities. I often bike, run, or walk along this trail. It’s also very dog friendly. The total loop is 10.5 miles. There are several options for starting points. The two I start at the most are either at the Upper Back Bay trailhead near YMCA, off Irvine Blvd, or at the Back Bay Lookout off Jamboree Road. More information can be found here: Trail Map

Found a nice open area near Back Bay Lookout Point for some yoga

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More from Newport Back Bay Trail

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Heisler Park, Laguna Beach

This a great spot to relax, have a picnic, read a book, and people watch. The ambience of the ocean, palm trees, and blue skies will put you at ease and rejuvenate your mind.

“Birds flyin high, you know how I feel…sun in the sky, you know how I feel…I’m feeling good”

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Bike Ride To Angel Stadium

A fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon is to bike along the Santa Ana River Bed Trail to go to a baseball game at Angel Stadium. I often start at Yorba Regional Park and bike from Weir Canyon to Katella to Angel Stadium. There are several different entry points to start at but that happens to be the closest option for me.

More information on this bike path can be found here: Santa Ana River Trail Guide

Bike Ride to Angel Stadium

The Wedge

This is the spot with the biggest swells in Orange County. The most skilled and experienced surfers and bodysurfers are always found here trying to catch some waves.


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