Moving to a new place means finding your favorite hangouts, meeting new people, and immersing yourself in the local cuisine, atmosphere, and culture. If you are searching for a new home in a diverse area with exciting opportunities lurking around every corner, look no further than Orange County, CA. The full immersion can’t begin until you unlock the front door, so use this guide for moving tips as well as suggestions to get you started as you discover what Orange County has to offer.

Quick Moving Tips

Downsize your stuff before you move.

Use self-storage until you get settled in.

Keep your sanity with a moving schedule.

Pack an essentials box for each family member.

Plan your moving route.

Unique Places to Eat in Orange County

Orange County is well-known for its beautiful beaches, but the variety of dining options offered here are like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Before you start exploring, fuel up at one of these restaurants to start your Orange County experience off with a bang.

Oceans & Earth

If you have special diet restrictions or are simply looking for a true farm to table experience, Oceans & Earth offers an organic, 100 percent gluten-free menu. All produce is grown a few miles down the road on the executive chef’s aquaponic farm, and their menu reflects the changing seasons. Whether you are looking to keep it simple with a grass-fed burger or want to kick it up a notch and try a sustainable seafood dish such as their chilean sea bass, you are sure to find something you love on their constantly evolving menu.

Playground

This communal dining experience will leave you feeling like you’ve made new friends at the end of the evening, which is a welcomed bonus since you are new to the area. Something about sitting in an intimate setting with strangers and enjoying food brings everyone together, which is a concept that Playground wholeheartedly embraces. The chefs here take classic ingredients and elevate them alongside a menu of rotating dishes that can include anything from gnocchi to roasted duck, and everything is super fresh. It’s important to make a reservation and read the restaurant’s site carefully, as they have some expectations of patrons.

BurntZilla

BurntZilla takes American comfort food like burgers and hot dogs and turns them into something totally unexpected. The portion sizes are small--think sliders and minis--which is great for sharing, sampling, and kids with small appetites. The interior of the restaurant is a tad on the small side, so it’s not recommended for big parties. Must try: the carne asada tater tots.

The Cannery

If you’re a seafood lover, you have to swing by The Cannery in Newport Beach. This joint has a lot of history behind it and features a stunning view since it’s located right on the water. The menu features a ton of fresh items and an expansive wine list that covers both California bottles and imported. Must try: the Lady Larkin Burger. It’s ground short rib with caramelized onions that melt in your mouth.

Adya

For those looking for a restaurant that uses locally sourced items for their menu, Adya will fit the bill nicely. Working with local growers to obtain fresh, locally-grown vegetables, this beautiful restaurant blends California produce with Indian flavors to present something totally unique. Tip: the watermelon chaat is perfect for a hot Cali afternoon.

Other Cool Things to Do

Rent a Duffy boat to sightsee (Tip: Use Groupon to reduce the price).

Go nighttime paddleboarding at Newport Dunes.

Explore the 200-year-old Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Spend the day at the Bowers Museum.

Catch a Los Angeles Angels baseball game.

If you’re fortunate enough to move to Orange County, keep an open mind and allow yourself to experience things you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll thank yourself for it later and quickly learn why those in Orange County are proud to call it home.

Article written by Chloe Pearson of Consumer Health Labs