Orange County is a beautiful place to live and work, whether you like being in natural or man-made environments. You can actually get the best of both if you take the time to scope out places that let you see the Orange County city lights. Here are the best places we’ve found so far:
The Great Park Balloon is a hot air balloon that lives in Irvine’s Great Park and is available for public use. Pay $10, and the balloon will gently bring you up to 400 feet. Once you’re in the sky, enjoy 360 degree views of Irvine – don’t forget your camera! You can ride the balloon at night, so you can see all of the pretty lights down below.
The road up to Turtle Rock can hardly be considered a hike, as many people have easily done this trek in jeans. You can expect a short little stroll with a slight incline that starts in the middle of a residential Irvine neighborhood. Once you’re at the top, you’ll be treated to views of Irvine and the greater Orange County area.
Santiago Peak is not for beginners, but it’s so worth it if you can make it up there. This is the highest natural point in Orange County, so you can expect amazing views. Make sure to give yourself ample time to get back down, so you don’t get caught in the mountains in the dark.
The views from the top of Peter’s Canyon are a little more suburban, but it’s beautiful to have the nice Tustin homes contrasted with the sunset behind them. This is a moderate hike that can easily be completed in an afternoon or morning, so you should be able to hike down to the bottom after you get your view fix. Score!