When many think of the state of California, they might not always immediately go to a historical mindset. We usually think of youth and vitality and beauty and even adjectives like fast-moving come to mind. But historical? That’s not usually the first adjective. Maybe it should be. Here are a few of the historical spots that define our beautiful city of Orange County, CA.
There are several historical parks in the city of Orange County, including the Heritage Hill Historical Park. This beautiful park is situated on slightly more than 4 acres and offers four completely restored historical buildings that date back to Saddleback Valley, the founding of the town of El Toro and subsequent school in 1890, St. George’s Episcopal Mission and the citrus farms that dotted the landscapes into the 20th century. It’s a literal trip to the past. Bo worries about entry fees or tour fees within the Heritage Hill Historical Park if your group is fewer than 7. After 7 people, the park strongly encourages a reservation and a charge of $2 per person is required.
The Ramon Peralta Adobe and museum is founded on part of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. It is the only adobe that is still standing in the canyon. Especially important is the smaller museum located on the grounds that provides a trip to the past, via drawings and other memorializations, so that we can better understand how we got here today.
The CarnegieLibrary is a favorite for many residents and visitors. Located in Anaheim, this Orange County historical site was built in 1908 and opened one year later in 1909. It remained a public library until the mid 1960s and in the 1970s, it temporarily housed the City of Anaheim administration offices. Today, it’s a museum for local history.
With its beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the Balboa Inn remains one of the most spectacular presences within Orange County. It’s been on the National Register of Historical Places since 1986 and today, you might find any number of Hollywood actors. It’s true that the 9’ high doors were a draw for NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Once named the Alicia Court Theatre, the Fox Theatre Complex was built in 1924 by C. Stanley Chapman. It was built to provide vaudeville and silent movies to locals and on either side, a two-story building was used for retail and cafes. It has been heavily renovated, but the core of the building, with its Italian influences, can be identified.
A recessed entry courtyard was built into the original structure and that courtyard, though changed immensely over the years, remains today. That’s important because many renovations on a building can ensure it loses its unique design elements and that too often the originality is lost.
The historical places in Orange County, CA are many. If you’re vacationing in southern California or are just looking for a weekend getaway, consider the many “must-see” sights in this very special area within the state of California.