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Most Scenic Drives in Orange County, CA

Whether you live in or are just visiting Orange County, one of the best things to do here is go on a scenic drive. There are many beautiful places to explore in Orange County that are just a short drive away. You can even experience many of them simply by spending the day driving around and enjoying the surroundings without leaving your car. Whether you’re looking for the best places to explore in Orange County or you just want something different to do this weekend, below are some of the most scenic drives that you should definitely check out.

Carbon Canyon

overlook view of the beach on a scenic drive in orange county, california

Image by Derek Liang is licensed with Unsplash License

A great place to start is the Carbon Canyon scenic drive. This scenic road runs through Chino Hills State Park, which connects the city of Brea to Chino Hills. On this route, you’ll find the town of Sleepy Hollow, which is a small residential community built back in the 1920s.

You’ll also be able to spot small cabins along with a few larger homes tucked away in the back. This drive is especially pleasant later in the winter when everything starts to turn green again. This is a fairly short scenic drive, making it a perfect choice if you’re looking for a little detour one day.

Dana Point Harbor

Next on our list is the scenic drive at Dana Point Harbor. This is a great trip to take if you’re looking for some outdoor activities to do at the end. After a short drive of just over a mile, you’ll come to a spot where you can whale watch, relax at the beach, camp out for the night, or go for a hike, among many other options.

There are also some great restaurants at the end if you want to grab a bite to eat after your drive. The Dana Point Harbor scenic drive connects to the Pacific Coast Highway, so this is an excellent choice if you’re looking to extend that scenic drive a little further and want something to do at the end.

Laguna Canyon

If you’re looking for a scenic drive to take you to Laguna Beach, be sure to check out the drive through Laguna Canyon. This 8-mile drive will take you along a winding road that features wilderness, some small local shops, great hiking trails, and the only natural lake in Orange County. Spring is an excellent time to take this scenic drive, as the surrounding hills are covered in new grass. This is another drive that connects to the Pacific Coast Highway for when you want an extended adventure.

Live Oak Canyon

Another canyon drive, the Live Oak Canyon scenic drive, is located in South Orange County and features a spectacular windy road through the wilderness. Along this road, you’ll pass some majestic large oak trees and small local shops reminiscent of a simpler time. Be sure to check out the general store along this road, as it offers some great local treats and unique items. To reach the Live Oak Canyon Road, you’ll want to take El Toro Road northeast from the I5, turning right before you pass Cooks Corner, a local biker bar with a lot of history.

Pacific Coast Highway

The biggest and most well-known scenic drive in Orange County is the Pacific Coast Highway. This 655-mile-long road stretches most of California’s coast and passes right through Orange County. All along this highway, you’ll get great views of the coast, including three harbors in Orange County.

Our 35-mile section of this highway also features a few shopping districts, great places to eat, places to spend the day at the beach, and a state park. No matter how many times you drive the Pacific Coast Highway, it never gets old, so be sure to make this one of your next scenic drives, even if you’ve done it before.

Santiago Peak

The scenic drive to Santiago Peak is reserved for people with four-wheel-drive vehicles. This is an off-road trail that features some obstacles along the way that only a vehicle with high ground clearance and an all-wheel-drive system will be able to handle. If you have the right vehicle, you’ll be treated to one of the best scenic drives in Orange County.

Making it to the top isn’t easy, but if you’re able to do it, you’ll get to enjoy some amazing views of Orange County, including Lake Mathews and Mount Baldy. To get to this scenic drive, you’ll need to first drive through the Silverado Canyon.

Silverado Canyon

Speaking of the Silverado Canyon, this is an excellent scenic drive in its own right. Silverado Canyon received its name from the abundance of silver once discovered in the surrounding hills. There’s only one narrow road through the canyon, which is 6 miles long and has a 25-mph speed limit. At the end of the road, you’ll reach a dead-end, which is the entrance to the Santiago Peak dirt road. However, even if you don’t adventure up to Santiago Peak, the Silverado Canyon offers plenty to look at along the way, including some historic mining locations.

Go Take Your Next Scenic Drive in Orange County

There you have it, seven great options for a scenic drive in Orange County. These are only a few of the best options, with many more out there if you’re willing to explore. Whichever road you choose though, you can be sure that you’ll love the scenery and the experience.

If you’re a resident of Orange County, you can do your part to improve someone else’s scenic drive. You can do this by improving the exterior of your home through exterior wood refinishing.  We all want our homes to look their best, and some exterior wood refinishing is often a great way to do this. To learn more about exterior wood refinishing in Orange County, please contact Teak Master today. We’d be happy to visit your home and provide you with an estimate or discuss some of your options with you.

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