Orange County is located in Southern California, an hour south of Los Angeles. It is home to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and of course, several famous beaches. USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda lives and writes in the area.
Kaira has set her upcoming must-read domestic thriller, The Favorite Daughter, in Orange County. It is already receiving advance praise from Publishers Weekly as “an exceptional psychological thriller,” and as “delightfully wicked fun” from Kirkus Reviews.
The Favorite Daughter takes readers on a journey of psychological suspense set in an upscale Southern California community. Perfect for fans of B. A. Paris and Shari Lapena.
Kaira says one of her favorite reasons to love the Orange County area arrives at sunset. Then, no matter where you are on the coast, you’ll be treated to a brilliant display of vibrant colors as the sun slips into the Pacific Ocean. While it’s hard to pick only 10 spots, here are Kaira’s favorites.
1. Crystal Cove State Beach
And if you’re hungry, grab a burger at the Crystal Cove Shake Shack, operating since the mid-1940s. Providing sweeping horizon views from an elevated patio ensures you’ll catch the sunset no matter where you are seated. For a more elegant meal, make a reservation at The Beachcomber Restaurant. Converted from a classic Californian cottage into a restaurant, it is steps from the pristine beach.
Crystal Cove State Park:
The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove:
The Shake Shack at Crystal Cove: https://crystalcove.org/the-shake-shack-keeps-on-shakin/
2. Heisler Park in Laguna Beach
Heisler Park offers a spectacular, manicured cliffside park filled with art, and at sunset, it’s breathtaking. After the sunset, walk down the steps to Main Beach and into town for dinner.
3. The Wedge in Newport Beach
The Wedge is the spot to see amazing waves that can sometimes reach up to 30 feet, and the surfers that tackle them, all while watching the spectacular sunset.
4. Seaview Park in Laguna Niguel
A bit out of the way and requiring a car, Seaview Park is well worth the drive. Especially if you are looking for a sunset seascape that includes rolling green hills, mountain peaks in the distance, and a more intimate crowd-free viewing. Here you will also find an easy hike, picnic areas, and a chance to see up-close beautiful Southern California nature.
5. Seal Beach Pier
Seal Beach Pier, the second-longest wooden pier in the state of California, is a beautiful spot for sunset. Here, you can literally walk into the sunset and enjoy a vast expanse of beach. Perfect for families.
6. Huntington Beach Pier and Ruby’s Surf City Diner
Looking for a sunset dining experience at the end of a pier? Head to Huntington Beach Pier and Ruby’s Surf City Diner, a ’40s-style diner great for every occasion.
7. Surf and Sand’s Splashes in Laguna Beach
For an exquisite meal on the edge of the surf during sunset, there are many choices in Laguna Beach, my hometown. One of my favorites is Surf and Sand’s Splashes, literally on the edge of the sea.
8. Rooftop Bars with Ocean Views
Looking for a rooftop bar with ocean views and live music? Several come to mind including Tanner’s Treehouse in Huntington Beach https://meritagecollection.com/pasea-hotel/dining/treehouse-lounge, https://www.instagram.com/meritagecollection/. And in Laguna Beach, The Rooftop http://www.rooftoplagunabeach.com/, https://www.instagram.com/rooftoplounge/, or Skyloft https://skyloftoc.com/, https://www.instagram.com/skyloftOC/.
9. Montage Resort
Perhaps, my most magical memory with my kids includes time spent watching them play in the Oceanside park in front of the Montage Resort. The gardens are spectacular, and the beach is beautiful.
10. Renting a Duffy
A fantastic experience is renting a Duffy, an electric boat with canopy, at sunset. Renting a boat to enjoy the evening on the water will be an experience you will never forget.
Author bio — Kaira Sturdivant Rouda is an accomplished business leader, entrepreneur, national speaker, and internationally bestselling and award-winning author. A former magazine editor, and society columnist, Kaira won the Stevie Award for Women in Business for creating the first female-focused residential real estate brand, Real Living, and growing the brand to more than 22 states before its sale to Berkshire Hathaway. Her first book, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, led to a national speaking tour where she inspired thousands. Turning to a full-time writing career, her most recent works are Best Day Ever and The Favorite Daughter (releasing in May 2019).
Active in the areas of homelessness, food security, and empowering women and girls, in her twenties, as a volunteer, Kaira created the first walk-in emergency shelter for homeless families in Central Ohio. Kaira has received numerous awards for her community service, including the national Kiwanis Service to Mankind Award, among many others. She lives in Southern California with her husband, Congressman Harley Rouda, and her four twenty-something children.
To connect with Kaira, visit her website, KairaRouda.com, her Facebook.com/KairaRoudaBooks; and on Instagram @kairarouda, Pinterest, Twitter @KairaRouda, Tumblr, and YouTube.