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What To Do In Fountain Valley CA

Centrally located in Orange County, Fountain Valley is a well-planned urban community that was incorporated in 1957. A classic bedroom community with a middle class residential area, Fountain Valley has a population of 55,313 as of 2015. With its abundance of recreational activities and outdoor parks, Fountain Valley offers residents a great quality of life.

Originally inundated with swamps, and inhabited by the Tongva people, the area was called “Gospel Swamp” from the early 1880s through the early 1900s as roving preachers set up tents. A severe drought in the 1870s turned marsh into rich farmland, flowing with natural springs and artesian wells. Thus the name Fountain Valley was born due to the great supply of water. Drainage canals were built by early settlers to allow for the land to be drained. In 1903 a James T. Talbert formed a drainage district that allowed the wandering Santa Ana River to be channeled resulting in a jump in land values from $10 to $500 an acre. By 1920 the population had grown from 20,000 to 61,000 area residents.

A field crop area until the mid-1930s, Fountain Valley was known for producing mostly beans and sugar beets. Since the 1930s Fountain Valley’s agricultural emphasis has remained on crops like tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, beans, asparagus, corn, lettuce and carrots. By the 1950s there was talk of incorporation due to a concern of being annexed to Santa Ana or Garden Grove. With voters supporting incorporation in 1957, Fountain Valley soon became the 21st largest city in Orange County. 1960 ushered in the new San Diego (I-405) Freeway. The community was divided in half which drove up land values and attracted housing developers. Regardless, Fountain Valley has always been focused on improving the quality of life for residents and has established itself as a forward thinking community. Prior to the Freeway development, Fountain Valley had created a Master Plan. It is for this reason that Fountain Valley is known as Orange County’s best-planned community.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Fountain Valley CA

Our mini guide below will help you find some of our favorite things to do during your stay in Fountain Valley, California!

Known for the family-friendly atmosphere and the unique arts and culture community, Fountain Valley has a variety of activities to offer, whether you are traveling with the family or simply traveling alone. From theater to parks to annual events and festivals there’s plenty to explore during your stay in Fountain Valley and these are some of our favorite ways to explore the city!
 

Live Entertainment

 

Festival Ballet Theater

Founded in 1983, Festival Ballet Theatre is Orange County’s premiere professional ballet company. They strive to provide an environment that is nurturing for both dancers and choreographers and to offer ongoing and inspiring educational outreach programs. The Festival Ballet Theater presents both classical and contemporary performances for the community. Past productions include Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Swan Lake and the annual The Nutcracker performance.

Point your toes at: 9527 Garfield Avenue

Reserve your tickets at: 714-962-5440 or (714-309-1280)

 

Saigon Performing Arts Center (SPAC)

Located in Little Saigon, Saigon Performing Arts Center (or SPAC) hosts performances that range from sketch comedy to music. This 578 seat venue is the dedicated theater for VietFace, which is a well -known Vietnamese American cable station. The SPAC facility is also home to the VietFace state-of-the-art studio. With a mission to both entertain and preserve, VietFace broadcasts shows from SPAC which are deeply rooted in the culture of Little Saigon.

Get in the audience: 16149 Brookhurst Street

For more information call: 714-839.9820
 

Explore Something New

 

Art Center

The Art Center opened its doors in 2002 and offers classes for kids, teens and adults, catering to all skill levels. Students work at their own pace and are exposed to various techniques using acrylic or oil paints on canvas. Each class is limited to 10 or 12 students and adults have the opportunity to take part in day-long art workshops. Classes are offered Monday – Friday.

Discover your inner Picasso at: 18440 Brookhurst Street

Call for class information at: 714-593-6936
 

Clubhouse Academy Center for the Performing Arts

Clubhouse Academy offers acting, dance, gymnastics, cheerleading and martial arts classes for all levels of experience and all age groups. The theater program students participate in regular productions throughout the year (including favorites like “Willy Wonka”). Musicals run for 3 weeks at a time so be sure to check the schedule to see if there’s a live production while you are in Fountain Valley.

Support the arts at: 10200 Slater Avenue

Call for more information at: 714-593-0753

Take a break with the family and enjoy some of the activities available in Fountain Valley. From theater to art to historical sites, there are plenty of family-friendly things to explore while you are in Fountain Valley. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly attractions.
 

Explore the Arts

 

Art Center

The Art Center opened its doors in 2002 and offers classes for kids, teens and adults, catering to all skill levels. Students work at their own pace and are exposed to various techniques using acrylic or oil paints on canvas. Each class is limited to 10 or 12 students and adults have the opportunity to take part in day-long art workshops. Classes are offered Monday – Friday.

Discover your inner Picasso at: 18440 Brookhurst Street

Call for class information at: 714-593-6936
 

Festival Ballet Theater

Founded in 1983, Festival Ballet Theatre is Orange County’s premiere professional ballet company. They strive to provide an environment that is nurturing for both dancers and choreographers and to offer ongoing and inspiring educational outreach programs. The Festival Ballet Theater presents both classical and contemporary performances for the community. Past productions include Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Swan Lake and the annual The Nutcracker performance.

Point your toes at: 9527 Garfield Avenue

Reserve your tickets at: 714-962-5440 or 714-309-1280
 

Indoor Activities

 

Prehistoric Pets Reptile Zoo

Housing over 100 species of exotic reptiles, arachnids and amphibians from around the globe, The Reptile Zoo provide visitors with a unique educational experience. The current location is 10,000 square feet and offers hands-on learning (not for the faint of heart!) Some of the animals are rescues, some were born at the zoo and others hail from private collections; nonetheless each reptile has its own story. The Reptile Zoo also offers interactive displays and presentations.

Learn about reptiles at: 18818 Brookhurst Street

Call for more information at: 714-500-0591
 

Fountain Valley Skating Center

A popular local destination for family fun, Fountain Valley Skating Center has something for everyone. The rink has all of the bells and whistles (or lights, music and a disco ball that spits out fog) and offers the original 4 wheel roller skates instead of the inline skates. There are even skating stands available for beginners. Be sure to check the schedule online for sessions and times.

Skate the day away at: 9105 Recreation Circle

Give them a call at: 714-847-0022

Fountain Valley provides ample opportunity to spend a day surrounded by nature. With its abundance of parks and tree lined streets, Fountain Valley offers residents a great quality of life.You’ll find an abundance of recreational and outdoor activities for any age in Fountain Valley. These are some of our favorite ways to spend a day out-of-doors in Fountain Valley.
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Explore Local Favorites

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Mile Square Regional Park

Walking into Miles Square Park you’ll find sweeping green spaces and well-maintained paths. With 607 acres, this urban oasis is a hidden jewel, home to two fishing lakes;a soccer fields; three regulation golf courses; an archery range; and three softball diamonds. While you’re here be sure to rent a paddle boat or one of many bike options including tandem or cruisers, double or single Surreys, quad sport, deuce coupe or a chopper.

Stroll through the park at: 16801 Euclid Street

Give them a call at: 714-973-6600
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Mile Square Golf Course

Established in 1969, Miles Square Gold Course is one of the premier golf courses in Orange County. This is a must-play course while you are in the area where you will find the finest putting greens in all of Southern California. Miles Square offers two challenging 18-hole courses, a full service clubhouse and a 14 stall driving range. Not a golfer? Try your hand (or foot) at FootGolf which entails players kicking a soccer ball into a cup taking as few shots as possible.

Perfect your swing at: 10401 Warner Avenue

Call for a tee time at: 714-962.5541

Breakfast

You may be used to starting your day with a bowl of cold cereal or that easy-to-grab protein bar, hoping it will carry you through until lunchtime. While you’re in Fountain Valley however, we want you to take the time to enjoy one of the many locally owned restaurants in town. There are some great spots here for breakfast nourishment and we’ve narrowed down some of our favorites to take the guesswork out of it for you.
 

Crafted Donuts

Known for their vegan donuts (yes, we said vegan donuts!) and homemade glazes, these donuts are huge and Homer Simpson approved (they even have a donut named Homer Simpson). With flavors ranging from Mudslide (with a real Kahlua filling) to Maple Bacon / Chocolate Bacon it’s almost impossible to choose just one. Their Strawberry Cheesecake donut has been featured online by Whiskey and Donuts (paired with an Aberfeldy 12 year old Whiskey) and while we listed Crafted Donuts as a favorite breakfast option, they are just as good for lunch or dessert. We’re not judging.

Grab a donut at: 18011 Newhope Street

Call them at: 714-277-3656
 

Paul’s Coffee Shop

Featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” Paul’s is a military themed diner owned by former Marine, Phil Martinez. The menu is full of the expected diner standards; omelets, waffles, burgers and pancakes but keep an eye out for the specials board. On any given day you might find Korean barbecue with kimchi, the Hawaiian omelet stuffed with pineapple and ham, or linguica (Portuguese sausage) and eggs. And of course there is always the chicken fried chicken. Paul’s also serves the famous S.O.S. meal, (creamed beef on toast), served by all branches in the military and delivered on the original stainless steel military trays.

Find them at: 16947 Bushard Street

Give them a call at: 714-965-3643

 

Mel’s Diner

Known for fast service large portions and cinnamon buns (only available on weekends), Mel’s Diner is tucked away in a strip mall but if you can find it, you will be rewarded.Their biscuits and gravy are second to none and the service is seriously top notch. This has long been a favorite spot for locals who appreciate the home-style cooking and friendly atmosphere. Note: Mel’s is closed on Tuesdays and only accepts cash.

Bite into a biscuit at: 9430 Warner Avenue, No. 1

Give them a call at: 714-963-2662

 

Dinner

It’s the most important meal of the day and it’s the perfect time to explore some of Fountain Valley’s best known spots. Whether you are planning a night out with the family or a dinner date, Riverview has some amazing options for that special meal. Be sure to try out one of our favorites from the list below.

 

Au Lac FV

Au Lac is a gourmet vegetarian restaurant but don’t let that scare you off. Since 1997, their food has been known to satisfy even the most discerning omnivore. The restaurant has two kitchens and two menus: cooked and raw or “living.” There is even a tea bar that mixes up herbal elixirs to heal both body and mind. A true labor of love, Au Lac thoughtfully prepares each dish with conscientiously sourced ingredients. The menu boasts plenty of diverse options including mouth- watering desserts. Awarded the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for consistently great reviews, Au Lac should be at the top of your restaurant list.

Find them at: 16563 Brookhurst Street

Give them a call at: 714-418-0658

 

Inka Cantina

Inka Cantina is a traditional Peruvian restaurant showcasing family recipes from the Northern Coast of Peru and the Andes. Menu items range from seafood, chicken, beef, lamb and vegetarian dishes and include Peruvian staples like papa seca (dried organic potatoes), lucuma (Andean fruit), choclo (Peruvian corn) and huacatay (Andean herb). In the background you’ll hear the soothing sounds of flute and charango music while you drink maracuya (passion fruit juice) and chichi (a homemade fermented drink) by the pitcher. Inka Cantina offers some of the best Peruvian food available anywhere, so don’t miss this gem while you are in Fountain Valley.

Find them at: 18279 Brookhurst Street

Give them a call at: 714-965-4600

 

Moonlight Pizza and Chicken

It’s pizza with an ethnic flavor and Moonlight Pizza and Chicken is considered one of the best Middle Eastern options in Orange County. This is Middle Eastern cuisine at its finest. And while they do serve pizza, we recommend sticking to what they do best; classic Middle Eastern delicacies. You can’t go wrong with the hummus, baklava, rotisserie chicken or the kebabs (lamb, shish kebabs and luleh or ground beef). They also offer a daily buffet which is a local favorite, stocked full of fresh homemade options including dolmas, tabbouleh and hummus. Moonlight Pizza and Chicken is a favorite of locals and usually only discovered by word of mouth so don’t tell anyone we told you about this place.

Discover this local favorite at: 9895 Warner Avenue

Call them at: 714-963-4488

 

Dessert

Skip the store-bought snacks and take in the sweet smell of freshly made baked goods and ice cream at one of our favorite dessert spots! Not only will you savor the flavors but you’ll relish the sounds of a happy belly from these melt in your mouth treats. These are the places we run to for a great sweet treat.
 

Sensitive Sweets

Specializing in gluten free, vegan and nut free treats, their freshly baked goods are allergy free, which means no gluten, soy, nuts, diary, peanuts or sesame. Everything is also baked in a nut and gluten-free facility. Even the most skeptical non-vegan will tell you; these desserts are to die for. Who wouldn’t like a cookie dough truffle or some incredible garlic knots? Sensitive Sweets also does made-to-order cakes and offers an online store so you can share this find with friends and loved ones.

Satisfy your craving at: Slater Plaza, 17431 Brookhurst Street

Give them a call at: 714-968-9169

 

Kawaii Bakery

Winner of Best Bread via OC Weekly, Kawaii is an Asian bakery with French style influences. They bake daily so everything is incredibly fresh. This is a small space, hidden behind Winchell’s right before you hit 405. Walk inside and you’ll find a variety of creative cakes, pastries and breads. Where else can you find cheese hot dog bread? We also recommend the hazelnut cake and the pork sung bun. A word of caution: this is a cash only establishment.

Find them at: 17020 Magnolia Street

Call them at: 714-596-6178

 

Ikram Bakery

You can eat in or take out at Ikram, a wonderful counter-serve bakery offering Turkish desserts, sandwiches and dishes. Their true specialty:savory pies and deliciousbreads. Try the Pogaca, which is a buttery soft roll filled with spinach feta and either kasseri or feta cheese. Also be sure to sample the simit, which is similar to a bagel but covered in sesame and a bit saltier. There’s a bit of Turkish food renaissance occurring in the OC these days but Ikram remains at the top of the list if you want to experience real Turkish food.

Find them at: 9895 Warner Avenue Suite F

Give them a call at: (714) 964-5726

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