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USA: Eastern Sierra, Los Angeles, New York City, Niagara Falls, Orange County, San Francisco

Orange County, California, USA: The Hidden Gems
by Cheri Ikerd, California, USA

Orange County has a multitude of things to offer vacationers, including nationally acclaimed amusement parks like Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. But, did you know Orange County is a mecca for fascinating wildlife, sea creatures and beautiful beaches?

Beach Some of the hidden treasures in Orange County (OC) are the incredible coves with breathtaking ocean views. You can also enjoy tide pools and see shore birds, dolphins and whales. The tide pools are a great way to explore many different invertebrates (animals without a backbone), including sea stars, sea anemones, sea urchins, hermit crabs and more. Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are great beach areas to explore the tide pools, but remember not to remove any animals, shells or rocks as they are marine life protected.

Seals and Sea Lions can be seen at Seal Rock or at a facility where some of these adorable mammals have been rehabilitated and released back to the wild, after they were injured.

Heron OC also offers many places to nature lovers including hiking trails, ecological reserves, wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries. The ecological reserves, wetlands and sanctuaries are spectacular places to observe unique birds that migrate from thousands of miles away. And, some birds are year-round.

In Irvine, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach - Bolsa Chica, you can view shorebirds, waterfowl, marsh birds, sea ducks, plunge divers and skimmers. If you're visiting any of these places, it's important to refrain from feeding the birds as they are wild. They need to be able to fend for themselves on their own and human food can harm them. In addition, it's important to put all trash in containers, since the birds tend to eat the trash if left on the ground. The trash can get stuck in their stomachs and cause them to starve to death, since they can't properly digest it. Thus, it's important to not pollute, so the wildlife and sea creatures will be around for our kids and grandkids to enjoy for years to come.

Orange County Image Gallery Photo viewer Photo viewer

Dana Point Laguna Beach Hotel Laguna & Main Beach Rosita Seal Sea Star Shorebird

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