Orange You Glad you Took a Trip to
The SECOND most historic town in California
We’re pretty deprived of history here in the southern tip of the American West. Sure we got cowboys and Indians and the gold rush, but you don’t see any churches from 1050 AD lying around.
Makes one feel a little trivial. Or worse, too significant. Nothing was here before ME!
It’s exciting to take pride in our history when we can, even when it’s only 100 years old. That’s why the SECOND oldest historic district in California is a pretty exciting spot.
The town of Orange was founded in 1888 and while the other cities in the area demolished their pre-1920s houses in the 1960s, Orange decided to preserve theirs.
When you are in need of a dose of nostalgia or want a little context for your existence in this future obsessed society, head down to Orange, about 45 minutes south of LA, and visit the historical downtown.
There are a fantastic array of antique shops and vintage clothing stores lining the streets that spiral out from the main circle, so you can bring a little history home.
When you need to wet your whistle and chow down on some vittles there are plenty of options, the most historic being Watson’s Soda Fountain and Lunch Counter.
Although the current interior is reminiscent of a ‘50s diner & drug store, Watson’s has been in business since 1899. I wonder what they were serving back then?
To match their current décor, their shakes are predictably good and their food is predictably greasy. They seem to be obsessed with Melts.
Other attractions in Orange include Chapman University, where you can get a really good film degree, Cafe Lucca, homemade mocha gelato anyone?, and Heavenly Hostess:be sexiest little 50’s housewife you can be.
Now you may be asking, ‘Where can I pick an Orange in Orange?’ before I head home. And the answer is: you can’t.
There are very few orange groves left in all of Orange County these days, though I hear there is one in Irvine (click for review) and perhaps one along the 5 freeway in San Juan Capistrano.
The major industry of Orange that gave it its name is gone, but at least you can walk its old streets, eat a tuna melt and buy an old fashioned hat to maybe capture how it once was.