“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.”
Millions of boomers watched the SS Minnow pull out of the harbor for that fateful three-hour tour each week. Most don’t know that “tropic port” is actually in California’s Newport Beach in Orange County, a location better known today as the OC.
Orange County boasts of being the “heart” of Southern California. Here visitors find the world-famous Disneyland Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm, and 40 miles of coastline. In Newport Beach, whale-watching cruises offer glimpses of the giant blue whale, dolphin and other fascinating marine life. Orange County contains several notable shopping malls, including South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, the largest mall in California.
Orange County is the third most populous county in California, while at the same time is the smallest area-wise. The OC is known for its affluence and political conservatism, ranked in an academic study among America’s 25 most conservative counties.
Many Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here, including Ingram Micro, First American Corporation and Pacific Life. Regional headquarters for international businesses in Orange County include Mazda, Mitsubishi and Hyundai. Food service companies such as Del Taco, Taco Bell and Marie Callender’s have headquarters in the City of Irvine, as well. Tourism also remains a vital aspect of Orange County’s economy; Disneyland is the second-most visited theme park in the entire world.
The county’s proximity to Los Angeles entices many film and media celebrities to have homes here. John Wayne lived in Newport Beach; so did Richard Nixon and the Righteous Brothers, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield. Steve Martin, Will Ferrell, Michelle Pfeiffer, Diane Keaton, Bonnie Raitt and Gwen Stefani also call Orange County home.