World-Class Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
The king of retail in the County of Orange remains South Coast Plaza with its sister complex South Coast Village. This is one of the premier shopping centers of the world, ranking among the top metropolitan markets in every retail category measured--from bejeweled watches to Italian suits.
Over 270 of the world's most prestigious retailers-- Hermes, Jil Sander, Prada, Fendi, Chanel, Gucci, Mikimoto, and Christian Dior, to name just a few--are interspersed throughout this shopping mecca which was created and developed by the Segerstrom family in 1967 on what had been bean fields. There are also over two dozen great restaurants in the South Coast Metro district including the much-lauded Gustaf Anders, Troquet, Joachim Splichal's Pinot Provence, Wolfgang Puck Café, and Antonello Ristorante.
Just down the street from South Coast Plaza is The Lab Anti-Mall where you can get a henna tattoo or one of the finest Cuban meals in the southland. Overlooking the California coastline is Fashion Island in Newport Beach, the most successful open-air shopping center in the country, with over 200 shops, restaurants, and department stores including Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus. The Shops at Mission Viejo recently had itŐs Grand Re-Opening to debut an upscale, casually elegant shopping experience for the fast-growing south County.
The Irvine Spectrum Center and The Block at Orange are relative newcomers to the scene, but both have added a number of unique retail and entertainment options to the County of Orange scene. The Irvine Spectrum features the Edward's 21-screen theater complex, one of the largest in Southern California, and a six and a half story, stadium-style IMAX theater, plus fascinating dining emporiums like Dave and Buster's, where in addition to feasting on St. Louis-style pork ribs, you can enjoy a number of interactive electronic games at The Million Dollar Midway. The Block at Orange opened late in 1998 with Vans Skate Park, the largest such facility in the world, Ron Jon Surf Shop, the largest surf shop in California, and more than 100 other restaurants and shops.
But not all of the County's unique shopping and dining experiences will be found at these mega-malls. Old Towne Orange is known as "the antique capital of California" with more than three dozen stores filled with collectibles spread out around a '50s-style downtown plaza. Little Saigon, in Westminster, shows the County's diversity with a mind-boggling array of Vietnamese restaurants, bakeries, delis, and shops.
Scattered throughout the County are such unique eateries as Newport's Speedway Racing Bistro, a motorsport-themed restaurant, the Comedy Mystery Dinner Theater in Cypress, as well as Wild Bill's Wild West Dinner Exravaganza and Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, both in Buena Park, where your meal comes with jousting matches or saloon dancers.