How to select the perfect vacation rental in Orange County
Orange County is the epitome of southern California: beaches and boardwalks, palm tree-lined streets, lush golf courses, and spectacular homes. Stretching all the way from Los Angeles to San Diego, the OC is no one “thing,” but rather a collection of interconnected cities, each with its own character. Here’s our guide to Orange County’s best vacation rental destinations, starting in the north and heading south:
- Anaheim: Taking the family to Disneyland? Renting a home in Anaheim will be the easiest way to get to and from the park. But there’s more to Anaheim than Disneyland alone: adults and older children may appreciate Knott’s Berry Farm’s roller coasters more.
- Huntington Beach: Huntington Beach is California’s surf capital, where steady waves roll into broad plains of sand. This is a city for the active, and there’s so much more to do than surf, including paddle boarding, kitesurfing, sport fishing, and whale watching. At night, wander along Main Street, where you’ll find a bevy of bars pouring draughts from local breweries.
- Irvine: The heart of Orange County, centrally-located Irvine offers easy access to everything the OC has to offer, from the beaches to the west to Los Angeles to the north. Irvine is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city featuring restaurants from all over the world. During the day, enjoy the perfect weather with a hike through Bommer Canyon and Quail Hill Trailhead. At night, head to a rooftop bar in downtown Irvine to enjoy views of surrounding Orange County.
- Newport Beach: Head south down the coast from Huntington to find Newport Beach, which mixes posh luxury with laid-back beach bumming. If the excellent surf isn’t your thing, you’ll find some of the most impressive golf courses in the world here. For a more private experience, head to Balboa Island in Huntington Bay or south to Corona del Mar.
- Laguna Beach: Nestled in a narrow stretch of land between the hills and the Pacific, Laguna Beach offers stunning views in all directions. Laguna has become a wellness destination, chock full of spas and health resorts. Despite the infusion of luxury, you’ll still find that a bohemian vibe exists in the art galleries and boutiques dotted about town. It’s easy to find a beach rental here right on the sand.
- Dana Point: South of Laguna Beach lies Dana Point, home to the Links at Monarch Beach, one of the highest-rated and most exclusive golf courses in the world, with impeccable views of the sea. Head to the Del Prado and Lantern District for shopping, dining, and nightlife
- San Clemente: Quiet San Clemente is where Orange County ends. This is laid-back beach living at its finest. Take a stroll along the beach trail for impeccable Pacific views, or learn to surf at San Onofre beach.