My Favorite Orange County Outfit Photo Locations

I've been searching online for more places to take photos in Orange County when I realized...why don't I just create the thing I've been looking for? One of my favorite Insta-friends who always cheers up my feed, Penny Darling, did a post like this on her favorite walls in her area recently, and I couldn't help but be inspired. I always enjoy learning more about where my favorite bloggers take their photos, so I think it's time I share the stories behind my photos too.

Of course, Orange County is a big place. Many of my photos have been taken in my neighborhood (or my parents' or brother's houses) and while I love the places I've found in the area, I could never cover the entire county. I'm sure there are a million other places I've never been to, despite being close by. So consider this a working list. These are the places that have worked best for me, but I'm excited to keep finding more to add to it.

Psst, locals: click the title of each locations for directions


You've heard me talk about Balboa Island before, no doubt. It's the most quintessential Southern California spot, in my opinion, and it's the first place I bring out of town visitors. Yes, pretty much all of the beaches around here are amazing, but Balboa is exactly what you think of when you think of California. You take a ferry to get the island, there are little local tourists shops, palm trees line the streets, there are multiple frozen banana stands and salt water taffy stores... it's perfect. There are a million beautiful houses and buildings to take photos in front of, but none of them beat the infamous pier. 


Possibly my absolute favorite place in the area, I grew up wandering around historic Old Towne Orange, or as it's often known, The Orange Circle. Filled with old buildings, antique stores, and some seriously amazing food, I spent most of my weekends looking at old things there in high school, and I've never stopped coming back. It's right up the street from my dad's restaurant and I freelanced for a paper about the area for about two years, so it holds a special place in my heart. It also is an incredible place for photos. You could walk almost anywhere in the Circle and stumble upon a cute spot. Brick walls and cute shops are in abundance here. Some of my favorite places to take photos are the sides of random buildings (first photo), the fountain in the center of the circle (second), an alley way (third), and the back of the public library (fourth). 


Santa Ana has not necessarily been known for being the nicest area, but the downtown area has really been revitalized in recent years. My friend Lori who used to take my photos brought me here a couple of years ago for pictures, and I've loved using it for photos. I found the mural (first photo) when I was looking for a rainbow staircase (the gate to get to it was locked) and stumbled across this alley behind Native Son; the blue door is the back of a restaurant (second), and the pink door (third) is a donut shop! 


I surprisingly don't have a ton of photos from downtown Fullerton, despite it being one of my favorite places to hang out. My brother and sister-in-law live right up the street, so I've spent a lot of the time in the area. The courtyard where the California wall lives (first photo) is a true treasure, and Dripp Coffee (second) is a seriously adorable. 


I've been using this location a lot recently, and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. The Gardenwalk is an outdoor shopping/dining center right next to Disneyland, and they recent hired a bunch of artists to paint a TON of cool walls. It's an Instagram dream come true. The lighting always happens to be good at the plant wall I've featured a couple of times, but I'm hoping to get some good shade at the Sara M. Lyons wall next time I go. I took some photos of Jessica in front of it when she visited, and it's almost too good. 


I'll be honest, I had basically no opinion on Garden Grove until I moved here. Now that I do, though, I can safely say that it's filled with cute little spots that make for great photo locations. Most of my photos these days are taken in my sweet neighborhood, but I also walk across the street to the little downtown area for photos pretty often. The best spot by far is the local theater that has not one, but two great spots on its walls. Half of its side wall is this weird as hell mural, and the other half is this painted this great rust color. Yep, these two spots are actually the same wall!


Growing up in Anaheim Hills, I spent a lot of time in this huge park not far from my house. Despite living elsewhere now, I can't help but go back to Yorba Regional Park every so often. 


For nature photos, the best spot in the area has to be the Fullerton Arboretum. It's better than a park, but still free and full of trees, cacti, flowers, and other various plants. It's so pretty that one of my best friends got married there a couple of years ago, which makes it even more special to me.


This one is a bit bittersweet. In Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda, there are a handful of hills that overlook the cities that people refer to as "top of the world." This one, located in an empty lot in an insanely expensive Yorba Linda neighborhood, was always my favorite. Unfortunately, it has since been overrun with weeds and has been fenced off. Still, I've managed to sneak into a few other spots on that hill that are almost as good. P.S. this neighborhood is famous for having an enormous white house that sits on top the hill. It went up for sale a few years ago so there are photos online of the interior, and it's completely ridiculous.

Old Town Tustin

When I lived in Tustin, I often walked downtown to this area. Like all of the other downtown areas on this list, it has great brick walls and cute apartments that I want to live in.


Another HUGE park in the area, this one stretches for miles and is gorgeous. Not to mention that killer bridge. 


Talk about a random find. I've only taken photos here once, but I'm itching to go back. I drove by this middle school with color block walls in Orange one day, and I drove back to take photos on a weekend. It's just another example of how great locations are the last place you'd expect. 

And of course...

Disneyland

I got my pass pretty recently and I almost always go when at night when it's too dark for photos so I haven't gotten a chance to take too many here, but I can't ignore the fact that one of the most famous photo locations in the world is right down the street from me. I'm proud of all of the hidden gem of locations I've found, but nothing can ever beat the happiest place on earth.


As I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great OC locations. Are you an Orange County local who has a favorite spot? Or do you have any tips for finding great spots in your hometown?

2 comments

  1. An impressive series of photos and some great dresses and skirts. You look really great in them. I was wondering though if you ever wear pants?

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  2. I don't live in the area at all, but find this a lovely peek into your everyday life. How fun!

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