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5 Fun Things To Do In Aliso Viejo

Everyday feels like a fun adventure when you live in Aliso Viejo, CA! One of the most beautiful cities in Southern California, it’s known for its pleasant climate and numerous recreational opportunities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, sports lover, or someone who loves adventures, there are plenty of fun things to do in Aliso Viejo.

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Living in Aliso Viejo

Before we jump into my favorite Aliso Viejo activities, here’s a little history! Aliso Viejo was included in the original part of the 22,000-acre Moulton Ranch. It was one of the first planned cities that balanced the residents and the jobs within the city borders. Aliso Viejo is in a perfect location since it’s only 11 miles away from the beach, 10 miles away from Crystal Cove State Park, and just a few minutes away from parks, theaters, and hiking trails. It’s estimated population is around 51,000 people, and it has a local university, with an amazing performing arts center called Soka Performing Arts Center.

Residents love taking advantage of the open green spaces, restaurants with modern dishes, coffee shops, local breweries, and walking trails. Of course there is plenty of adult adventure to take advantage of too! Things like going on an adult private air tour, adult luxury whale watching, and even exploring on adult electric bike rentals can all be a fun way to spend the day!

My Favorite Aliso Viejo Activities

If you live in Aliso Viejo, or are planning to visit, there are so many fun activities! It’s hard to pick just a few, but I narrowed it down to my five favorite things to do in Aliso Viejo!

Explore Hiking and Walking Trails

Hands down, Aliso Viejo has some of the best hiking and walking trails in Orange County. Several of the most fantastic trails are located in the Aliso Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. This is such a popular place to get outdoors to explore because of the amazing facilities!

The Aliso Wood Canyons Wilderness Park has a visitor center with bathrooms, water fountains, and indoor exhibits displaying all kinds of beautiful nature on the trail. They also host weekly educational programs, which is an added bonus to visiting!

Some of my favorite trails include:

West Ridge Trail

This is a great, moderate trail for more experienced hikers that like more of a challenge with some medium inclines. Keep in mind that there is not a lot of shade on this trail, so make sure to bring your sunscreen and plenty of water. It’s a 4.5 mile hike, and it leads straight to the Alta Laguna Park.

Along the way, there are scenic views so be sure to take it all in as you embark on your hike. And the park has bathrooms, water fountains, and shaded picnic areas, so pack snacks and lunch if you’d like to enjoy food when you get to the park.

Please be careful as you explore this trail, because there are a lot of mountain bikers. Other things to note – keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. And there are no dogs allowed on the trail.

Laurel Canyon, Laurel Spur, Willow Trail Loop

Another moderately hard hike, this trail is 3.3 miles long, and the green space and belt around the trail are absolutely beautiful. The trail starts off easy, but there are some hills in the middle of the hike that you should be aware of.

Overall, it’s a great place to hike and enjoy the day out of the city. If you plan to hike this trail, my advice is to wear pants and watch out for the bees during the spring and summer months. Also, note that bikes are not allowed on this trail.

Sulphur Creek Reservoir Loop

Sulphur Creek, or Laguna Niguel Lake, is a great place visit to enjoy a walk, bike ride, or hike. This is an easy trail to take a walk, so it’s a great option for the whole family. The creek is also really beautiful, and there are plenty of things you can do at the creek, like fish, walk, and enjoy the birds and scenery.

There is also picnic areas, tennis courts, and green spaces to run around and explore. Keep in mind that if you drive into the park, there is a fee of $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. An option to save money is to park at the Crown Valley Park and walk in.

Grab A Bite to Eat At Local Restaurants

If you’re foodie like me, Aliso Viejo has some great restaurants that you must try! If you’re in the mood for seafood or a great prime rib sandwich, I recommend a visit to Opah Seafood Grill. Or if you’re looking for awesome Peruvian food, I would definitely try Inka Mama’s. The Lomo Saltado, Chicaharron de Pollo, and Bistek Encebollado are all excellent choices. Lately, if you’re wondering the best place to get Thai food, I highly recommend Thai Bite. The crispy orange chicken, crying tiger, and pad se ew beef are my go-to dishes. You seriously can’t go wrong with any of these choices!

Play Golf At Aliso Viejo Golf Club

If you’re a golf lover, the Aliso Viejo Golf Club is a fantastic course to putt around! The views are beautiful and the fairways are really nice and very well kept. The course has a restaurant, clubhouse, and friendly staff, that are an extra plus to your visit.

After you finish your 18 holes, you can go to the bar and restaurant to hangout with friends, as well as and get a drink bite to eat. If golfing makes you hungry like it does me, I recommend trying the grilled avocado, the burger, or the hangar steak. All three are really good!

Enjoy Parks, Parks, and More Parks!

One of the best things about Aliso Viejo is that they have so many fantastic parks around the city. And are all maintained by the Aliso Viejo Community Park! The parks have tons of open green spaces to play games and sports, shaded seating areas for a picnic lunch, and some of them even have playgrounds for the kids to explore.

Another perk to the parks is that during the spring and summer seasons, the Aliso Viejo Community Park holds free movie nights and concerts in the park. One of my favorite ways to spend a fun night with the family! Click here to get the Orange County movies in the park schedule.

There’s seriously so many parks to choose from! My family loves Canyon View Park, Acorn Park, and Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. It’s definitely hard to pick a favorite!


You can’t mention Aliso Viejo without talking about the amazing beaches in the area! Even though the beaches are not in the city borders, they’re not that far away. And lucky for the residents of Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach is only 7 miles away. So if you’re in the mood to head to the beach, I would definitely recommend this activity!

Once you get there you can enjoy the cool Pacific Ocean, sandy beach, tide pools, boat tours adventure (if you feel like seeing the coast), local restaurants, adult whale watching, and of course walks on the trails. I recommend visiting Salt Creek Beach, Victoria Beach (you will love the pirate tower on the beach), or Aliso Beach.

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Howard Chung

Hey Orange County, I’m Howard Chung! I'm here to share weekly information about the best events, restaurants, shopping and activities in and around Orange County, California. Plus, the best hiking, biking, health and wellness options, new hot spots, and more! Click below to follow us.


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