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Orange County California's Most Beautiful Park - Visit It For Free
Orange County California is truly one of the most beautiful places to live in the United States. There is so much to do here, that you can take a vacation without ever leaving home. In the heart of Orange County is the City of Irvine. Considered the, "Safest City in America" by the FBI's 2009 data, this city also offers excellent schools, healthcare, employment opportunities, and housing developments. It doesn't hurt that Irvine averages 281 sunny days per year either. Even in the winter, the daytime lows only dip into the upper 50's. That leaves a lot of time to enjoy the outdoors.
I have lived in Orange County for over ten years. Having two children who basically grew up here, I have seen a lot of our local parks. The one I find the most beautiful is Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park in Irvine. This park sprawls 42 acres. It features; a softball stadium, 3 additional lighted softball diamonds, 3 lighted soccer overlay fields, 4 batting cages, 6 lighted tennis courts, 2 child play areas, 1 open play area, 1 amphitheater/stage, 2 concession stands, bicycle trail access, 4 barbecues, 6 group picnic shelters, 4 restrooms, 17 drinking fountains, and electrical outlets. There is no charge to enter the park, and parking is free as well.
Kids will love it here! They can play softball, baseball, kickball, soccer, or enjoy the variety of playground equipment in the park. There is even a special section for the tiny ones, complete with a little playhouse and a water table. It is also the perfect place for a family outing, reunion or picnic. Between the grills and availability of electrical outlets, you can cook just about anything here. There are several, clean restrooms placed in all different sections of the park for easy access.
This is also the perfect place for a birthday party. The park even allows you to bring in bounce houses for the kids. Balloons, kites and model airplanes can be flown here. Pets are welcome too. The picnic shelters are covered to provide shade. They also have several picnic tables inside of each one. Note: If you want to be sure to have a picnic shelter available for you on a specific day, make sure to fill out an application with the city. See the website link below.
What sets this park apart from the others is its beautiful landscape and hardscape. There is a high spot where the American flag flies proudly above it all. It has been designed to welcome all visitors who wish to pay tribute to it. I love the gorgeous fountain that appears to be home to a mallard duck family. My favorite place though, is a very quite spot in the park featuring a small waterfall. To access it, you walk through an arbor covered in flowering trees.
Now that my kids are older, I go to this park to walk. It is a perfect spot for exercise. My brain stays occupied, as well as my legs. I love to see all of the gorgeous sites, smell the many different flowers, and watch all of the activity going on. The pictures here were all taken with my Blackberry phone on my last walk around this beautiful park a few days ago. Enjoy!