12 Best Date Night Ideas In Orange County, California - Updated 2024

date night ideas in orange county
| 5 min read

A charming region in Southern California, Orange County entices visitors because of its beauty and numerous attractions. It has a huge complex of amusement rides, world-class shops, restaurants offering Californian cuisines, and breathtaking beaches that will surely give you a great experience and awesome surfing spots. You can also enjoy their festivals and events, like California Surfing Day that is celebrated every 20th of September, where you can go shop for new beach gear or catch a wave. Each town has its unique vibe, and every sunset is worth watching. Stay in one of the top vacation rentals or beachfront hotels for a more memorable trip! If you’re traveling with your special someone, you can check out our list of the best date night ideas in Orange County, California.

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1. Go for drinks at The Brant Kitchen & Bar

Take your next date night to a new level of culinary excellence at The Brant Kitchen & Bar: an ideal setting with its enchanting ambiance and romance-crafted menu. It offers the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable moments together. Commence your evening by indulging in some delectable appetizers. Explore a realm of flavor with entrees and pair your meal with handcrafted cocktails while you lock gazes under ambient lighting’s gentle radiance.

The Brant Kitchen & Bar – is more than just another restaurant – as they offer couples, not merely dinner but rather culinary escapades—an ideal destination for an unforgettable date night filled with gastronomic delights.

The Brant Kitchen & Bar

Address: 21058 Pacific Coast Hwy, Ste M250, Huntington Beach, Ca, 92648

Website: The Brant Kitchen & Bar

Opening Hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 9pm; Fri: 11:30am - 12mn; Sat: 11am - 12mn; Sun: 11am - 9pm

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2. Test your problem-solving skills and teamwork at The Escape Game

Escape into a world of adventure and mystery with your partner at The Escape Game in Irvine. Picture this: You and your date, locked in a 1950s-style prison cell, working together to orchestrate a daring escape in “Prison Break.” Feel the thrill as you explore an abandoned oceanic laboratory in “The Lab,” solving puzzles and uncovering secrets side by side. In “The Heist,” channel your inner secret agents to recover a priceless Monet painting as a dynamic duo.

It’s the perfect date night that will have you and your partner bonding, laughing, and creating unforgettable memories. Discover if you have what it takes to conquer the challenges and escape together within 60 minutes. The Escape Game in Irvine offers the ideal blend of excitement and teamwork for an unforgettable date night.

The Escape Game

Address: 655 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618


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3. Go on a sunset walk at Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach opens!
Source: Photo by Flickr user Bennilover used under CC BY-ND 2.0

When it comes to date night ideas, Orange County never fails to surprise. And if you want to keep it simple, yet intimate, this cheap date idea in Orange County is always an excellent choice. Known as the home to many adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts, Laguna Beach is one of the hot spots in the city that promises you a great experience the whole duration of your visit. You can never go and visit Orange County without experiencing what this lovely beach has to offer. You may even book a teardrop camper rental and stay close to this iconic place. From water thrills to romance, Laguna Beach is always the right choice.

Laguna Beach

Address: Laguna Beach, California, USA

Website: Laguna Beach

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4. Have fun at Downtown Disneyland

Downtown Disney 2014 Fountain Build a Bear
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Patrick Pelletier used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Bring out the kid in you as you visit one of the best date spots in Orange County. Promising you a day filled with outdoor thrills, shopping, and food, Disneyland is one of the places that never gets old. And if you’re thinking of bringing your special someone with you in Orange County, Disneyland is always a lovely place that anyone will want to experience for herself. There’s a little for everyone to indulge no matter the age. From exciting rides to shooting games and meeting your favorite Disney characters to trying out candy floss again- Disneyland will surely bring you back down memory lane.

Downtown Disneyland

Address: 1580 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, United States

Website: Downtown Disneyland

Opening hours:Mon - Thu: 10am - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 8pm

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5. Arrange a dinner date at Orange Hill Restaurant

Escargot, Orange Hill restaurant, CA
Source: Photo by Flickr user OBiTRAN used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This romantic thing to do in Orange County as you sit with your special someone while gazing lovingly at each other on a candle-lit dinner never goes out of style. Located on the hills of Orange County, Orange Hills is one of the must-try restaurants in the city. It’s also a hot spot for romantic dates, especially with its warm and intimate ambience. If you choose to dine in Orange Hills, you’ll have two options. One, you can opt for indoor dining where you can enjoy its classic and elegant interior, or two, choose to dine on its patio where sweeping views of the city will welcome you. Make sure to try out their steaks and pair it with a glass of wine for the best experience.

Orange Hill Restaurant

Address: 6410 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869, United States

Website: Orange Hill Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 4:30pm - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm, 4:30pm -9pm

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6. Explore OC Night Market

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you’re one of those couples who enjoy food trips and shopping, you might love trying out this fun date idea in Orange County. It’s a great place to take your special someone, especially with all the things you can indulge in during your visit. Whether you choose to make a quick stop or truly explore everything the market has to offer, you won’t be going home without a smile on your face. Trying out varieties of Asian food and purchasing quality products at affordable prices has that kind of effect. If you plan on finding what the rave is all about, make sure to visit between the months of May to July.

OC Night Market

Address: 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States

Website: OC Night Market

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7. Watch theater shows at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts - Segerstrom Hall - Credit RMA Photography - 05IMG_0614
Source: Photo by Flickr user NPDOC used under CC BY 2.0

Another great date idea is to watch the performance of theater artists at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Known for its exceptional architecture and outstanding performances showcased, it’s no wonder a lot of tourists make it a priority to watch at least one show whenever they are in the city. And if you’re someone who once dreamt of performing on a stage or a big fan of performing arts, Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes you with open arms. Enter a world full of music, dancing, and pure talent as you watch one of the most exciting shows in Segerstrom.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Address:600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States

Website: Segerstrom Center for the Arts

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8. Indulge more at The Fifth Rooftop Restaurant and Bar

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you’re after a romantic night filled with tasty food and refreshing drinks, The Fifth Rooftop Restaurant and Bar is always a great choice. Situated on the fifth floor of The Grand Legacy at The Park Hotel, The Fifth is a perfect place for great music and excellent dining experience. It’s the place to go if you’re someone who appreciates a diverse mix of tasty cuisines, well-crafted cocktails along with a live band while watching the sweeping city views. One tip- if you plan on visiting, make sure to make a reservation since they don’t accept walk-ins.

The Fifth Rooftop Restaurant and Bar

Address: 1650 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802, United States

Website: The Fifth Rooftop Restaurant and Bar

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 5pm -10pm; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 11pm; Sun: 11am - 3pm

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9. Prepare a bonfire at Huntington Beach

The Motion of the Ocean - Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ron Kroetz used under CC BY-ND 2.0

What’s a cozier thing to do with your loved one than a bonfire night by the beach? Orange County is one of the cities in Southern California famous for its stunning coastlines and surfing destinations. Your trip to the city will not be complete without visiting the charming coast of Huntington Beach. After a long day of exploring everything the city has to offer, a retreat on the beach is a great idea. Directly across from the beach is a 500 fire ring arrangement waiting to keep you warm. Make sure to bring blankets, chairs, and of course, smores for a bonfire experience you won’t forget. Enjoy listening to the soothing sound of the waves and watching the moonlit sky.

Huntington Beach

Address: Huntington BeachCalifornia, USA

Website: Huntington Beach

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10. Join a Ferris Wheel ride at Balboa Fun Zone

Balboa Fun Zone by D Ramey Logan
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Don Ramey Logan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the oldest and most famous amusement parks among tourists in Newport Beach is Balboa Fun Zone. It’s both a popular attraction for families and couples alike. There are a lot of fun activities you can indulge in if you plan on spending the rest of your day here. You can start with whale watching, harbor cruising, or renting bikes and exploring everything the park has to offer. To complete your visit, a ride on the Ferris wheel is a must. The ideal time to join a Ferris ride will be when the sun’s about to descend the horizon, especially if you want to enjoy breathtaking views.

Balboa Fun Zone

Address: 600 E Bay Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92661, United States

Website: Balboa Fun Zone

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 5pm; Fri - Sun: 11am - 6pm

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11. Enjoy a gondola ride at Gondola Adventures, Inc. - Newport Beach

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you’re planning a romantic date with your special someone you might love taking a gondola ride with Gondola Adventures, Inc. in Newport Beach. Dubbed as the most stunning gondolas in The States, nothing beats a ride on one of these. It’s a perfect date for anniversaries and proposals. Imagine being rowed around the beautiful scenic harbor while sipping on a glass of wine and enjoying dessert. It’s an experience you won’t regret.

Gondola Adventures, Inc. - Newport Beach

Address: 200 N Bayside Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States

Website: Gondola Adventures, Inc. - Newport Beach

Opening hours: 12am - 12pm (daily)

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12. Take in breathtaking views on a luxurious cruise tour (from USD 59.0)

To fully experience Orange County, a cruise tour is a must. And if you’re celebrating a special occasion or planning on popping the big question, you might love joining a luxurious sunset cruise tour from Dana Point. It’s the perfect trip to take a break away from the bustling big city. Not only that, but you’ll also get to enjoy organic wines while taking in the breathtaking ocean views.

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Luxury Catamaran Sunset and Wine Cruise from Dana Point

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

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Fall in love with life as you explore Orange County

There’s nothing more special than being with your special someone while exploring the beauty around you. What better place than to start with this stunning coastal city that is Orange County? To make your travel more extraordinary, feel free to check out our list above of the best date night ideas.

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Frequently asked questions about best date night ideas in Orange County, California

1. What are some free or cheap date night ideas in Orange County?

Orange County, California, is not only known for its stunning coastal views and vibrant communities but also for the variety of romantic experiences it offers to couples on a budget. A few cheap date night ideas to consider are going on a sunset walk at Laguna Beach, preparing a bonfire at Huntington Beach, and exploring OC Night Market.

2. What outdoor activities in Orange Country are great for date nights?

Orange County offers a wealth of outdoor activities that make for memorable nights. Whether you and your partner are nature enthusiasts or adventure seekers there’s something for everyone. Some outdoor activities that are great for date nights are going on a sunset walk at Laguna Beach, preparing a bonfire at Huntington Beach, and going on a luxurious cruise tour.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Michelle, a devoted writer and travel enthusiast, endeavors to make a living through her love for words. Her objective is to explore the world, connect with diverse individuals, and motivate others...Read more

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