When non-residents hear “Orange County,” the City of Orange is not usually the first place to come to mind. But Orange has something special to offer visitors and residents in its Old Towne District, the largest historic district in California. The one square-mile contained within Orange’s Old Towne, a nationally designated historic site since 1997, is filled with all sorts of gems. Here are a few of the sites and characteristics that make Orange’s Old Towne District so alluring.
Plaza Square Park
Orange’s Old Towne Square, and the entire city, are centered around Plaza Square Park, which is centered around an elegant fountain. A great place to take in the surrounding area, the quaint plaza makes for an ideal meeting point. It’s also good for people-watching.
Distinct architectural styles
Milling about the Old Towne District, one gets a sense for what life in Orange may have been like in the first half of the 20th century. Most buildings in the district were built between 1888 and 1940. More than 50 architectural styles are represented in the district’s 1,300+ homes and buildings. Bungalow, craftsman, hip roof cottage, prairie, Spanish Colonial, and Victorian are some of the most prevalent styles.
Orange’s entire Old Towne District is a relic of the city’s history. But a few buildings are particularly noteworthy for both appearance’s sake and the role they played in the town’s early days. These include the district’s schools and chapels, as well as the Old Santa Fe Depot and the post office at the intersection of Chapman and Lemon.
Orange’s Old Towne District is widely considered one of Orange County’s best shopping destinations. The district’s quaint aesthetic appeal certainly figures into this equation, but Old Towne’s retail offerings are impressive. Dozens of locally owned boutiques sell antiques, collectibles, clothing, art, and specialty items. When thirst, hunger, or the need to rest strikes, reprieve can be found at one of the district’s cafes or tearooms. One advantage of living in AMLI Uptown Orange is convenient access to Old Towne’s shops.
Small bites and caffeinated beverages give shoppers the boost they need to carry on with a day’s work. But proper meals are another highlight of Orange’s Old Towne District. More than 30 highly-rated restaurants operate within the square-mile historic district, serving everything from authentic Mexican food to southern-style dessert pies. Burgers, tacos, pizza, sandwiches, housemade pasta, and Thai curry are a few of the dishes you can enjoy at affordable prices. If you live in AMLI’s Uptown Orange apartments, all of these dishes can be found within ten minutes.
Like what you just read? Why not subscribe to the AMLI Blog so you don’t miss another post?