Summer is in full swing, which means your social calendar is probably packed with plans—I know mine is. But between the parties, weddings, vacations and other events, it’s easy to get a little carried away when it comes to spending. So I’ve put together a little guide guaranteed to keep the fun going, featuring 10 free and cheap things to do in Orange County this summer.
1. Huntington Beach Bike Ride // Cruise down to the coast and ride the 8-mile bike path that stretches along Huntington Beach. Don’t have a bike? There are plenty of bike rental shops close by, most for $20/day and under.
2. OC Fair // The annual Orange County fair is a must-visit for anyone who lives in (or is visiting) the area. Carnival rides, cotton candy, funnel cakes—what’s not to love? General admission tickets are only $12-14 depending on which day you go.
3. Corona Del Mar Beach Day // Pack up some snacks, drinks and a good book and head town to the water for a relaxing, sun-filled day in the sand surrounded by a beautiful rocky coastline. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you might even get in the water.
4. PCH Road Trip // Gather a group of friends, split a tank of gas and hit the road heading south on the PCH towards San Diego. There’s so much to see and do, you won’t need to spend much, if anything, to enjoy it.
5. Sawdust Arts & Crafts Festival // View the works of some of Laguna Beach’s most talented artists while enjoying classes, craft demonstrations and more at this annual festival, happening now through September 3. But tickets at $9 per person here.
6. Laguna Beach Bonfire // There’s nothing quite like roasting s’mores over an open fire. Head to your local market and pick up the fixings for those and some hot dogs for a fun night at one of Laguna Beach’s free fire pits. You have to get there early to claim your spot, but it’s well worth it.
7. Top of the World Hike // If you’re looking for the most breathtaking view in Orange County, this is it. Start at the north end of Alta Laguna Blvd. in Laguna Beach and head up the hill for a scenic, one-of-a-kind work out.
8. Crystal Cove State Park // Spend the day exploring one of Orange County’s largest and most luscious parks. Located right off the Pacific Coast Highway, it features 3.2 miles of beach, 2,400 acres of wilderness and a historic cottage area with shops and restaurants.
9. Vans US Open of Surfing // Watch world-famous surfers compete in one of Orange County’s most anticipated annual events. No tickets required—just head down to the Huntington Beach Pier for a front-row seat to the action.
10. Movie in the Park // Head to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine for a free viewing of classic movies under the stars every Friday night.
Have any other tips for free and cheap things to do in Orange County this summer? Share in the comments!