Here's a friendly town to stay and experience normal Orange county life without the major grandiose fluff for which this region is known (sterotypcially). As one of the more older towns in O.C. , Tustin has indeed established an identity, yet not so much to dedicate many pages here on VT. Tustin makes for a good place to stay for accommodations, as there are several comfortable hotels and motels. Close to Tustin are attractions in the city of Orange, Santa Ana (Bowers Museums, Taco Bell Discovery Center, zoo), Irvine (Irvine Spectrum, concert venues) and in Anaheim (Disneyland, Edison Field, The Block at Orange).
Tustin has a little old town area (tiny) but if one likes the charm of strolling down old cobblestone sidewalks along narrow streets, it's worth a look here. For commercial shopping, there are 3 major destinations: The District, Larwin Square, and the Tustin Marketplace. Out of these, the former and latter are somewhat upscale. Larwin is more mundane and less defined, but is the original heart of the city.
Ah, Placentia! This little, very unassuming town has some potential with a growing population, mostly family households. Its name derives from "pleasant" and rightly so, it is a kind of Pleasantville in overall atmosphere. Being close to Anaheim may make it get on some tourist viewing map. There are generally less crowded and afforadablehotels for lodging if town for Disneyland or other North O.C attraction.
Towards the east, the town is considerably upscale with the breathtaking Alta Vista Golf Course and dreamy million dollar homes off Rose Dr and Alta Vista St!
Fountain Valley is a very amicable place to live. The biggest highlight of all here is local favorite, Mile Square Park (pictured), a giant recreational area perfect for sports and for a stroll that would give one a great work out. FV is yet another suburban community of Orange county that is fairly diverse in population (though with a very strong presence of Vietnamese and other south Asian cultures). Ride down Euclid St or Brookhurst St (off th 405 Fwy) to get a good glimpse of town.
With the largest concentration of Vietnamese living outside Vietman, the area designated as Little Saigon in Orange County is a well-trafficked spot by the locals. And while a popular destination for some Asian ethnic groups, Little Saigon remains "off-the beaten" for the most part.
Located southwest of Disneyland between Hwy 22 and I-405, the main focus of Little Saigon is Bolsa Ave., which runs through the city of Westminster. Considered at the heart of Little Saigon is Asia Garden Mall and Little Saigon Plaza. While plenty of the commercial activity takes place in Westminster, the Vietnamese & Vietnamese/Chinese community is wide-spread, not only spanning several cities in the O.C., i.e., Westminster, Stanton, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and Fountain Valley, but also in Los Angeles County, specifically the San Gabriel Valley region.
Having been assigned to an internship in Westminster, after work, I'd usually drive over to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant and order pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) for take-out since mom and bro loved it so much. Good stuff, especially in the cold.
Well, call her either a sung or unsung city. The Southern California rock group, Sublime, has a song called "Garden Grove". Singers who have lived at least at one point, include the lead singer of Offspring, Dexter Holland and of Save Ferris, Monique Powell. Moreover, famous athletes, Troy Polamalu (NFL-Pittsburgh Steelers) and Lenny Dykstra (former player of the MLB's Philadelphia Phillies) have called Garden Grove home.
The highlight of this town by FAR is the Crystal Cathedral (many pictures in my Travelogues),lead by famous spiritual leader, Robert H. Schuller. A visitor should come here for a spiritual or an architectural experience! Aside from this, G.G. is a good alternative place to stay when in the Disneyland area. There is a "hotel row" which is in a convenient area, between the theme park and The Block at Orange! Otherwise, GG is quite on the modest side. Some neighborhoods have their share of criminal concerns but then others are great places to be and prove to be highlights of good, less expensive real estate in Orange county.
Home to 96,000+ residents, Mission Viejo is quintessential Orange county. For the most part, it is a fine, rich and safe city for visiting and staying. In fact, in 2006, it has been named a top 5 US "safest city" (ranked #4), as far as being safe from dangerous crimes such as assaults and murders. The town, born in just 1988, can be easily characterized as "sleepy", "quiet" and "peaceful". What's particularly I find nice is that MV is not typically "vanilla drab" for a suburb. A nice hangout and interesting landmark here is the Kaledioscope, which is visible off the 5 freeway when in town. Also, the Shops at Mission Viejo may just be the "grandest little luxury" mall and somewhat of a secret shopping mecca within the county. More info on shopping tips to come! One great highlight here is the lake with her namesake, which covers a good part of town. Mission Viejo is about a 30 min drive away south from the city of Orange and Anaheim area down the 5 freeway.
Hart Park is the oldest and largest park in Orange covering roughly 45 acres. It is located near Glassell Ave. and the 22 Freeway. It is also accessible from the Orange Circle by going west on Glassell till you see the park on the left hand side.
Hart Park boasts a wide array of facilities including picnic areas, barbeque pits, tennis courts, swimming pool, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, and sand volleyball courts.
There is also a band stage where local performers play in the summer series of "Concerts in the Park".
Address: 701 S. Glassell Ave.
Eisenhower Park is partially hidden by trees and various foliage from the main streets that borders the park. Because of this, the park goes largely unnoticed throughout the year by all except the local residents.
Eisenhower Park, named after the former US president, covers an area of approximately 21 acres. The park includes picnic areas, barbeque pits, a gentle running creek, a large lake, and many trees. Eisenhower Park is also a local favorite among newlyweds taking wedding photos.
Address: 2894 Tustin Ave. (near the intersection of Tustin and Lincoln)