Where to Enjoy the Retro Downtown Charms of Orange County

From Orange to Tustin, these urban centers are worth a visit.

Yes, there are other “downtowns” in Orange County other than Downtown Disney. In fact, these charming civic centers offer wonderful selections of shops, dining and overall vintage charms. Orange Coast magazine recently profiled a few of these urban treasures. Here’s what they recommend in downtown Orange:

Shopping 

Every antique and vintage aficionado knows: For the best hunting in the county, head to Orange. A time warp awaits with shops like Country Roads Antiques and Gardens, Joyride, and Orange Circle Antique Mall, making the city a paradise for casual browsers and serious shoppers.

Fountain plaza 

At the city’s heart is perhaps its most iconic architectural element: a 1937 Westinghouse light-up electric fountain. The picturesque town plaza, an idyllic spot to sit and watch the world go by, is one of many Orange sites on the National Registry of Historic Places and was designated as such in 1978.

Dining 

The variety of restaurants in Old Towne is hard to rival. Visitors can get a taste of Cuba, Italy, and France in no time by visiting just one corner of the plaza. Flavorful beef empanadas from Felix Continental Cafe, delicate macarons from Paris in a Cup, and fresh pasta from Francoli make it all possible.

Architecture 

With strict preservation standards in place, the streets of Old Towne are peppered with buildings that make visitors feel as though they’ve taken a trip to yesteryear. The historic district covers 1 square mile to include more than 1,300 homes and buildings, representing 53 styles of architecture.

Find more highlights on downtown Fullerton, Brea and Tustin here.

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