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OC Summer Bucket List
Credit: OC Parks
OC Summer Bucket List
Credit: OC Parks

The Ultimate 2023 Summer Bucket List in Orange County

With a Sun-Soaked OC Summer Around the Corner, There’s Really No Need to Hop on a Plane

Warm weather and longer nights are on the horizon, and we are absolutely itching for it! There are so many things to look forward to this summer, especially in Orange County. Beach days will obviously be aplenty, but make sure to mark your calendars to celebrate summer the way OC locals do. Commemorate warm summer nights with live music in the park, and stay close to the coast with boat and Moke rentals. Your ultimate summer bucket list is here; let’s see how many you can check off this year!


Daycation at Renaissance ClubSport

OC Summer Bucket List
Credit: Michael Piliero

Looking to beat the heat without heading to the crowded beach? A luxury gym and resort pool create the ultimate Orange County experience—Renaissance ClubSport has it all. Start the day with a solid sweat on the spacious gym floor overlooking the pool deck or pop into one of over 80 weekly studio classes! Towel off, detox in the sauna and replenish with a flavorful protein smoothie or delicious lunch at Citrus Fresh Grill & Market. Catch some rays at the pool, and feel like a VIP with poolside service. To turn your daycation into a vacation, book a hotel stay and a life-giving massage at R Spa. Not to mention, Renaissance ClubSport is also kid-friendly, offering those with family memberships three hours of free childcare per day! Kids can play the day away at ClubSport’s outdoor waterpark, and summer camps encourage them to meet friends while being active—all while you enjoy the amenities! It’s the club’s 15th anniversary on July 15, so celebrate with Renaissance ClubSport all summer long.

Location: Aliso Viejo


Rent a Moke and Cruise the Balboa Peninsula

Credit: Timothy Kwon

Soak up the summer sun while cruising down the coast in an eye-catching electric Moke! With the cool ocean breeze running through your hair and trendy shops to stop at along the way, a Newport Beach Moke rental is a summer bucket-list must. Ride in a retro open-air Moke, which can be rented in orange spritz paint, classic white and almost every color of the rainbow! These electric vehicles can be rented for up to five hours, giving you enough time to  ride across on the Balboa Ferry and also explore the peninsula. 

Location: Newport Beach

Hilton los cabos


A Night in Asia at 626 Market

OC Summer Bucket List
Credit: 626 Night Market

Experience the authentic flavors of Asia without the 13-hour plane ride. Inspired by Asia’s open-air nighttime bazzars, 626 Night Market hosts over 250 food and entertainment vendors for a night of culinary creativity and fun. Traveling all over California, 626 Night Market is making its way to the OC Fairgrounds the weekends of June 2, June 9 and Aug. 25. From pork belly baos to loaded fries and live concerts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Admission is $5 online and at the door.

Location: Costa Mesa



Dock and Dine in Newport Beach

Boating is the quintessential Newport Beach summer activity. Hop aboard a sleek and chic electric boat to make a statement as you cruise along Lido Isle. Choose between vibrant blue or playful pink and explore four miles of coastline. Stop for lunch at the iconic Tavern House Kitchen + Bar to dine on Chef David Wilhelm’s coastal cuisine after docking just steps from the waterfront restaurant. If you only booked the boat for a few hours, check Tavern House’s Boater’s menu, which allows you to order for pick-up and enjoy out on the water!

Location: Newport Beach

Hilton los cabos


Street Fair and Chili CookOff in Tustin

OC Summer Bucket List
Credit: Tustin Chili Cookoff

There’s nothing quite like a cook-off to ring in summer. Tustin is hosting its 39th Annual Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off on June 4. Stroll the streets of Old Town Tustin before experiencing the country’s largest one-day chili cook-off. The street fair will also feature local craftsmen, live music and a kids fun zone. It’s the perfect event for the whole family! Plus, craft beers and wine are available for adults to enjoy. Proceeds are donated to local nonprofits too, so it’s a win, win, win! 

Location: Tustin


Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

Art comes to life at the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach. Experience the magic of this annual event as you shop for handcrafted art designed by 162 local makers, watch live glass blowers create stunning vases, dance to live music and even take your turn at the potter’s wheel. The Sawdust Festival opens June 30 and will stay open daily through Sept. 3, so there’s plenty of time to take in all of Laguna’s rich art culture. Libations and local bites will also be available at the Sawdust Saloon.

Location: Laguna Beach


Laguna Beach Music in the Park

Credit: Kyle Smith / Unsplash

Music in the park hits different on warm summer nights. Dance with your hands in the air and toes in the grass! Laguna Beach hosts the annual Music in the Park summer series on Sunday nights in July and August at Bluebird Park. Low-seating beach chairs or blankets are encouraged, and seating comes on a first come, first served basis for the 5 p.m. concerts. Pack a picnic; alcohol is permitted for guests 21+ when accompanied by a complete meal.


Visit the Beach, Mountains and Desert All in One Day

Joshua Tree National Park Joshua
Credit: Joshua Tree National Park

There are a few good things that resulted from the prolonged rainy winter—one of them being lasting snowy mountains! Experience the best of California with a trip through all three terrains in one day. Leave early for a two-hour drive to Big Bear Mountain to hit the slopes when they open. Then, take the scenic route out for an hour and a half to Joshua Tree National Park for lunch at Pappy and Harriet’s before the two-hour ride back to the coast for sunset in Newport Beach. We highly encourage caffeinating at one of these local coffee shops before heading out on your adventurous day.


OC Parks Summer Concert Series

OC Summer Bucket List
Credit: OC Parks

Laguna Beach is not the only city hosting concerts this summer. Find live music near you with the OC Parks Summer Concert Series. The lineup consists of 10 concerts throughout the summer, running on Thursday nights from June 22 to Aug 24. Highlight shows include a No Doubt Tribute July 20 at Mason Regional Park and Queen Nation at Salt Creek Beach on Aug. 17. All events are family-friendly with free parking, food trucks and a beer and wine garden for guests 21+.

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Lover of the beach, food and fitness, Emily enjoys exploring all sunny Southern California has to offer! She has a passion for sharing about her favorite local gems and began writing for Locale in 2022. On the weekends, find her creating recipes for her food blog or out in Laguna!


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