Disney Land

Exploring Orange County

A century ago Orange County lived up to its name. This dry, sunny land, which stretches from the Santa Ana Mountains to the beautiful Pacific coastline, was indeed scattered with orange orchards and farms. Today, the region is a mass of freeways and suburban housing. Visitors to the county can explore a wide range of museums, sites of historical interest, and entertainment complexes.

In the mid-1950s, the roads leading to the county's theme parks still passed through extensive orange groves. At that time, Disneyland was attracting its first enthusiastic crowds, and a local boy called Richard Nixon had become Vice President of the US. Today, orange groves have given way to urban development and fruit crate labels have become collectors' items. More than two million people live here, enjoying perennial sunshine and a high standard of living.

The coastline of Orange County is lined with wide, sandy beaches and a succession of legendary surfing haunts, marinas, and artists' enclaves. In the affluent coastal towns, few visitors can resist the temptation to seek out a cliff top bar and watch the sun set.

Inland lies a variety of cultural sights. Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, is a reminder of the days of the Spanish Franciscan settlers. The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana houses superb examples of the art of indigenous peoples from all around the world. At Yorba Linda, the impressive

Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace commemorates the life of Orange County's most famous son.

OrangeCounty is the entertainment capital of California. For visitors seeking family fun and roller-coaster thrills, there are the homey Knott's Berry Farm, America's oldest theme park, and the fantasy kingdom of Disneyland, which is, as the saying goes, "the most famous people-trap ever built by a mouse."