15 Best Things to Do in Placentia (CA)

Written by Bart Meeuwesen
Updated on
Our travel recommendations are based on our personal experiences and research, written by locals and travel experts with deep familiarity with the destination. When you book a hotel or tour that we link to, we may earn a commission.

Placentia is a city of about 51,000 people situated in Orange County. The city is known for its year-round nice weather, quiet neighbourhoods and central location with easy access to the coast and nearby cities.

In Placentia, there are many parks, historic buildings, restaurants and shopping areas such as Placentia Town Center, Sierra Vista Plaza Shopping Center and Village Center of Rose.

A number of festivals and events take place in Placentia throughout the year including The Heritage Festival and the Placentia Tamale Festival.

Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Placentia, California.

1. Get Outdoors at Tri-City Park

Tri-City ParkSource: Crystal Mc / shutterstock
Tri-City Park

Tri-City Park is a great place to spend a day in Placentia. Within its 40 acres of green space, there are many things to see and do.

The on-site lake is where anglers can fish for catfish and bluegill. In addition, birdwatchers can observe a variety of bird species, both native and migratory.

Biking is popular in the park and there are several pathways available. There’s also a walking trail in the park that is almost a mile long.

Other park facilities include a playground and picnic areas with barbecue facilities. Restrooms are also on site.

2. Learn About Local History at the Brea Museum & Heritage Center

Brea Museum and Heritage CenterSource: Brea Museum and Historical Society / Facebook
Brea Museum and Heritage Center

The Brea Museum & Heritage Center and affiliated Brea Historical Society has a main goal of acquiring, preserving and showcasing items of historical significance to the city of Brea and the surrounding area.

Within the many exhibits are over 15,000 artefacts, photos, models and documents. A saber-toothed cat fossil and models of oil derricks are just some of the items you’ll see as you browse the museum. A gift shop is also on site.

3. Spend a Day on the Greens at Black Gold Golf Club

GolfSource: Kati Finell / shutterstock

Black Gold Golf Club is a beautiful course surrounded by spectacular views in nearby Yorba Linda.

This 18-hole, par-72 championship course is suitable for all levels, but also has a few fun challenges. These include water features and elevation changes to keep any game interesting.

The golf carts are modern and come with built-in GPS systems and the driving range and putting green are lit up at night. A wide variety of dishes are available at breakfast, lunch and dinner at Derrick’s Restaurant.

4. Satisfy Your Hunger at Meat Up BBQ

BBQ RibsSource: MN Nice Photography / shutterstock
BBQ Ribs

Since 2014, Meat Up BBQ has been cooking up a variety of delicious favorites. This West Coast-style BBQ eatery features a wide variety of options on the menu including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees such as St. Louis ribs, pulled pork and smoked chicken breast.

On the beverage menu, you’ll find a variety of craft beers including local creations. At any given time, there are 25 beers available on tap. Televisions are set up inside the dining area and outdoor dining is available.

5. Kick Back in Laguna Lake Park

Laguna Lake ParkSource: wzain / shutterstock
Laguna Lake Park

Laguna Lake Park is a beautiful park in nearby Fullerton that features a peaceful lake area. It’s popular among picnickers seeking a peaceful place to enjoy an outdoor lunch and for anglers looking to reel in some big ones including trout and catfish.

Several gravel trails that are suitable for walking, biking and horseback riding circle around the lake.

6. Get a History Lesson at The Bradford House

Bradford HouseSource: Cbl62 / Wikimedia | CC BY-SA 3.0
Bradford House

The Bradford House is a historic property that is currently a museum run by the Placentia Founders Society.

This Victorian-style house, which was constructed in 1902, was once the home of the Bradford family. A visit to this living museum provides you with a look into the daily life of a pioneer family during that time period.

As you explore the two stories and 15 rooms of the home, you’ll see many artefacts, period furnishings, coved ceilings and a double fireplace.

Guided tours of the house are available on certain days of the month.

7. Catch a Live Show At Brea Improv

MicrophoneSource: Andrey Armyagov / shutterstock

While Brea Improv focuses mainly on comedy acts, a variety of other performances, including plays and concerts, take place at the venue as well.

When it comes to comedy, it’s a beloved venue in the area hosting both seasoned and up-and-coming comedians.

This venue is situated in downtown Brea and seats 528 people in its theatre. Also on site is a restaurant serving traditional, American dishes, and a bar serving fine-dining options and beverages in a posh environment.

8. Learn About Plants at the Fullerton Arboretum

Fullerton ArboretumSource: Orange Grove / shutterstock
Fullerton Arboretum

The main focus at the Fullerton Arboretum is the conservation of endangered plant species. Today, this 26-acre botanical garden is the biggest in Orange County.

A series of walking paths wind through the garden, and as you explore it, you’ll see more than 4,000 types of plants from around the globe.

You’ll also pass through a variety of plant groupings representing different ecosystems and geographical areas including woodlands, Mediterranean and desert. Among these wonderful sites are also many native plants and a rare fruit grove.

A children’s garden is also on site, and throughout the year, a variety of events are held at the facility including nature classes.

9. Admire Beautiful Art at the Brea Art Gallery

Brea Art GallerySource: Brea Gallery / Facebook
Brea Art Gallery

Situated in nearby Brea, the Brea Art Gallery is a large space filled with beautiful art from around the world.

Since the early 1980s, the gallery has been showcasing traditional and modern art created by both local and international artists.

Once you are finished admiring the art in the on-site galleries, you can head outdoors and check out the 163 sculptures that are located around the city as part of the museum’s affiliated Art in Public Places Program.

Throughout the year, the gallery hosts various events, such as workshops, presentations and lectures. A gift shop selling art, books and souvenirs is also on site.

10. Visit the Fullerton Museum Center

Fullerton Museum CenterSource: LunaseeStudios / shutterstock
Fullerton Museum Center

A visit to the Fullerton Museum Center will ignite your interest in history, science, art and humanities through a variety of fascinating exhibits and engaging programs.

For more than 100 years, this museum has been showcasing items representing the pop culture of the last 120 years.

The most popular exhibit is the one that features two galleries filled with Fender guitars and the history associated with this iconic musical instrument. Throughout the year, various rotating exhibits are featured.

Workshops, lectures, concerts and classes are some of the events that take place at the museum. A gift shop is also on site.

11. Plan Your Escape at Red Lantern Escape Rooms

Escape RoomSource: graletta / shutterstock
Escape Room

Red Lantern Escape Rooms is the biggest escape room facility in Orange County, and it’s where you can participate in an exciting activity suitable for the whole family.

If you’ve never participated in an escape room, you’re in for a fun and thrilling day of solving puzzles, finding clues and racing against the clock to escape a locked room. These rooms feature movie and amusement park themes.

12. Check out the Placentia Certified Farmers’ Market

Farmers MarketSource: Arina P Habich / shutterstock
Farmers Market

The Placentia Certified Farmers’ Market is open once a week throughout the year, and is the place to check out if you’re seeking fresh, local produce.

Across the 30 or so vendors, you’ll also find many other items including organic eggs, homemade bread, dips, hot prepared food items, baked sweet treats, jewelry and handcrafted soap.

13. See a Live Performance at the Muckenthaler Art and Cultural Center

Muckenthaler House, Art and Cultural CenterSource: Jim Feliciano / shutterstock
Muckenthaler House, Art And Cultural Center

Situated in nearby Fullerton, the Muckenthaler Art and Cultural Center was built in the early 1920s. Today it serves as a cultural venue showcasing many performances throughout the year.

On average, about 60 events take place including a variety of theatre performances, concerts, special galleries and festival events.

The venue itself is something to see. The Spanish Colonial Mansion has 18 stately rooms and is situated on a sprawling eight acres of land.

14. Dine on Authentic Mexican Fare at El Farolito

El FarolitoSource: David Tonelson / shutterstock
El Farolito

For almost 50 years, El Farolito has been serving delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This cosy, family-run eatery provides diners with a friendly, laid-back space to enjoy a wide variety of dishes.

Appetizers, burritos, salads, enchiladas and a selection of entrees including steak picado, pork carnitas, pollo ranchero and machaca de carnitas are just some of the items you’ll find on the extensive menu.

Margaritas and a wide variety of tasty cocktails are among the items available from the beverage menu.

15. Learn How To Ride a Horse At Yater Performance Riding

Horseback RidingSource: Iancu Cristian / shutterstock
Horseback Riding

Yater Performance Riding in nearby Brea is a horde-riding school that offers training to would-be riders from the of three and up. The training is provided by experienced and fully trained instructors with a passion for horses and riding.

Some of the things you can learn include the basics of riding, training, saddling and grooming. Once you have the basics down, you’re ready to take an excursion in the surrounding hillside and valleys.

If you already know the basics or are a seasoned pro, you can skip the lessons and embark on a sunrise or sunset excursion into the countryside.


15 Best Things to Do in Placentia (CA):

  • Get Outdoors at Tri-City Park
  • Learn About Local History at the Brea Museum & Heritage Center
  • Spend a Day on the Greens at Black Gold Golf Club
  • Satisfy Your Hunger at Meat Up BBQ
  • Kick Back in Laguna Lake Park
  • Get a History Lesson at The Bradford House
  • Catch a Live Show At Brea Improv
  • Learn About Plants at the Fullerton Arboretum
  • Admire Beautiful Art at the Brea Art Gallery
  • Visit the Fullerton Museum Center
  • Plan Your Escape at Red Lantern Escape Rooms
  • Check out the Placentia Certified Farmers' Market
  • See a Live Performance at the Muckenthaler Art and Cultural Center
  • Dine on Authentic Mexican Fare at El Farolito
  • Learn How To Ride a Horse At Yater Performance Riding