Orange County is a 3+ million population area south of Los Angeles, comprising Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Ana, and Huntington Beach. The area is mainly suburban and there is no anchor city. Despite its relatively urban and spread out geography, there is good running to be found in Orange County. The best places to run in Orange County are along the 40 miles of coastline, some of the hill areas, an excellent series of recreational trails, and some large parks.
Our favorite places to run in Orange County are along the beach and on the bluffs in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point. The Santa Ana River trail stretches for 30 miles between Huntington Beach and Riverside. There are also great parks and trails in Irvine and around the university. If you’re in Anaheim at Disneyland or the convention center, we must say the options aren’t great. Best bet is to head 2 miles over to the Santa Ana River Trail, or drive to Mile Square Regional Park or Huntington Beach. As for getting around: car required. Not that much public transportation in the area.
For more running options in the greater L.A. area, see our Los Angeles Running Guide, and for a great getaway or vacation, visit Catalina Island, which has some fantastic running options.