There is so much to be thankful for this time of year, especially the community of Southern Orange County and the beautiful destination we get to spend the holidays in. If you're staying local this Thanksgiving, there are plenty of events and activities around town to make the most of our time off. It’s also a great opportunity to show family and friends who may be visiting the best of our beach cities. From getting out and active to special dining events and the kick off to the Christmas season, we’ve rounded up local’s favorite ways to spend the holidays.
Run the Dana Point Turkey Trot
Before you gobble til you wobble, get in that morning turkey burn at Dana Point’s 45th annual Turkey Trot. Thanksgiving day is projected to be a beautiful sunny and 70 degrees, so make the most of it by enjoying the coastal views by foot–running or walking! As the nation’s sixth largest turkey trot, the Dana Point race hosts over 10,000 participants and spectators for this beloved community event. With a 5K, 10K, 15K and Kid’s 1-mile Gobble Wobble, there are races for all ages and abilities. It’s not too late to enter the race and a portion of proceeds are donated to nonprofits.
Thanksgiving is all about the evening feast (as it should be) but breakfast is often overlooked. Not at the Waldorf in Monarch Beach! Take the morning slowly and enjoy the day with brunch on the bluffs before the main festivities kick in. AVEO Table + Bar is hosting a Thanksgiving brunch buffet on November 24 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Give thanks with a lavish spread of breakfast entrees, traditional Thanksgiving offerings, a seafood station and seasonal desserts for $139 a person and $70 per child.
Hike Top of the World
This year we’re thankful for year-round warm weather. Get up and get active the day after the big feast with a family hike up Top of the World in Laguna Beach. This is an especially great activity if you have family or friends in town. Enjoy the crisp air and coastal views starting from the trailhead located at the north end of Alta Laguna Blvd. The path is wide enough for the whole crew to hike together and while the path is only moderately difficult, there are three rolling hills to the main view. Reward yourself with post-hike coffees or brunch in Laguna!
Visit the Winter Fantasy Sawdust Art Festival
Some people are already celebrating, but as soon as Thanksgiving ends, the holidays are here! Get into the Christmas Spirit at the Winter Fantasy Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach. Open weekends and select Fridays between November 25th and December 16th from 10 am-7 pm, Winter Fantasy is an outdoor art festival complete with thousands of lights, Christmas decor and handcrafted gifts! Meet local artists and enjoy live music, community performances, art classes, and daily visits from Santa. There will also be hot beverages, libations, and tasty treats to choose from! Tickets are sold online or at the door for $10.
Following the week of Thanksgiving, eat, ship, and shop for the holidays from local businesses at Sleigh the Holidays in Dana Point. In partnership with the City of Dana Point, Del Prado will transform into a one day holiday market on December 4th, 11 am - 6 pm. Shop from over 100 local brands, enjoy music from live bands, grab a cocktail from themed bars and take a picture with Santa, Mrs. Claus or the Grinch. There will be ornament making and cookie decorating, so it’s really family fun for everyone!