Orange County, California

“The Orange County” is one of California’s most well-known attractions, whether it’s manicured beaches or celebrated theme parks framed by oceanfront towns. The Disneyland Resort continues to be one of the world’s greatest theme parks, while Knott’s Berry Farm and other activities raise the excitement level.

Take in the beauty of Laguna Beach, shop in Newport Beach or Costa Mesa’s stunning South Coast Plaza, surf Huntington Beach, and try great food at the Anaheim Packing District. Every city has its own distinct character and appeal, and each sunset is worth viewing.

Imagine the unpleasant smell of orange blossoms. The heady fragrance can almost be tasted. Consider standing in the midst of an Orange Blossom Orchard, where citrus trees are in full bloom, and you may feel as though you’ve been transported back to the 1920s when Orange County’s main cash crop was oranges. Or, as I did, you could be in a small apartment in Irvine in 1984, amid orange groves. The majority of the orange groves have vanished, but the smell of orange blossoms remains a distinctive memory from my time in Orange County, California.

Hunters and fishermen were the first people to live in Orange County, who gathered plants and seeds as well. They were the forerunners of the Juaneño and Gabrielino Indian peoples.

Spain ruled the territory for more than two centuries. Catholic missionaries and Spanish troops established missions and forts beginning in 1769. Spain and Mexico gave retired soldiers land concessions, and ranches were formed as a result. Until the early part of the nineteenth century, cattle, horse, and sheep ranching was at the heart of the economy. California became a state in 1850 as a result of the Mexican War. Floods, droughts, and sickness destroyed the ranchos, and they were sold to Americans with surnames like Bixby and Irvine.

If you think of oranges, Orange County may offer surprises — there aren’t many orange groves left in a place called for them. The term “Orange County” can be used in a number of different ways, including: is depicted as wealthy and surrounded by rich, spoiled people on film and TV, made history when it went bankrupt in 1994; attracts millions of vacationers every year; is home to Disneyland; offers the nation’s finest sunbathing beaches like Laguna Beach. The cities of Orange County, California, are known for their tourism, theme parks, high-tech industries, fashion, and outdoor sports.

Huntington Beach Pier

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