Best Downtown Districts in Orange County, CA

Friends are holding shopping bags and laughing together.

When you hear the word ‘downtown’ as it pertains to businesses including bars, restaurants, or anything else, it just sounds cool. There’s a slight essence of exclusivity in the sense that not everyone may not know about these places. 

 

Orange County is jam-packed with these downtown areas and within them, there are a ton of cool places worth visiting. 

 

We’re here to showcase some of our favorite downtown districts in Orange County. Each district comes with its own special environment, vibe, and selection of establishments.

 

Let’s dive in.

 

Best Downtown Districts in Orange County

 

1. Downtown Fullerton

Downtown Fullerton, or DTF, is a hub of historical buildings and a rustic like environment.

 

This downtown district is filled with cool restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail shops, and much more. 

 

It’s located in close proximity to California State University, Fullerton, so this is the prime hang out spot for students during the weekend.

 

2. Downtown Santa Ana

Downtown Santa Ana, or DTSA, has quickly become one of OC’s favorite go-to downtown areas due to the nightlife, dancing, eclectic culinary establishments, 4th Street Market, and awesome bars (including an arcade bar called Mission Control)

 

4th Street Market is an upscale “culinary hub filled with creative chefs, food artisans, and small business entrepreneurs”. It’s one of the newer additions to the city, and one of the coolest too.

 

The nearby Yost Theater is a perfect place to catch a show, or dance the night away as a nightclub during certain times of the week.

 

Taco trucks, underground bars (we’re looking at you, Copper Door), bars above the ground (Proof, we see you), clothes shops, an art walk, artistic paintings and murals on buildings, and much more, make this downtown area one to visit when you want to enjoy yourself and get an experience worth remembering. 

 

3. Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is a shopping center conveniently located right next to Disneyland itself and is a pretty awesome place to go if you either:

 

Don’t want to go to Disneyland itself and spend a bunch of money, or

If you can’t get enough of the park. 

 

Although Downtown Disney is free to enter, you’re probably going to spend money here regardless. It’s hard to pass up on a Mickey Mouse decorated caramel apple or some cool merchandise. 

 

House of Blues is one of the popular establishments here to go out for the night and have a great time. Also, the recent addition of Ballast Point Brewery may help make the night for some more enjoyable. 

 

Much like Disneyland itself, Downtown Disney is always decorated with lights, colors, and has that magical energy in the air.

 

This place is definitely a bucket list place, and when you go, don’t forget your walking shoes. 

 

4. Downtown Huntington Beach

Downtown HB is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Orange County, bringing in a multitude of people that want to enjoy the beach vibe while also getting there shopping, eating, and/or drinking on.

 

Along the sidewalks are tons of cool shops and little carts where you can buy small trinkets, sunglasses, and other items. 

 

During the US Open, Downtown HB gets packed with people and the energy is electrifying. But during any other time, the vibe is still pretty much the same, minus the number of people. 

 

In close proximity to Downtown is Pacific City, where there are even more delectable restaurants and bars with amazing views of the ocean and PCH.

 

It’s never a bad idea to spend a day here, and you can easily walk to the beach and sit in the sand to get away from the hustle and bustle.

 

5. Old Town Orange

Old Town Orange is unique in its own way. Known as the “Antique Capital of California”, this one square mile historical shopping district is packed with tons of cool shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and yes, antique shops.

 

This charming area of the city is perfect for people of all ages.

 

Let’s not forget about The Orange Circle, Old Town’s thriving nightlife area, complete with numerous bars within close proximity.

 

This place holds many events throughout the year that bring in large crowds, including those around the holidays and many of them offer live music.

 

Old Town is just a really cool place to visit and spend a few hours of your day. 

 

The Hotel ATRIUM is the perfect starting point for a day trip to any downtown district in Orange County. The Hotel ATRIUM is conveniently located directly across the street from John Wayne Airport and close to every major destination in the OC. If you’re looking for even more things to do around Orange County in November, check out our attractions page. Book your Orange County stay with Hotel Atrium today!

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