Although Tustin has a population of 80,000 people and is located in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, the city maintains an old-world, small-town feel. After all, Tustin’s nickname is The City of Trees, due to the abundance of – you guessed it – trees lining the streets. Many historical buildings are still standing in the Old Town area of the city.
Tustin is known for its pleasant weather and beautiful scenery, consisting of stunning views of the coastline and nearby Saddleback Mountains. It’s also known for having many attractions and services, including museums, parks, and a diverse selection of restaurants offering dishes from around the world.
The Market Place, The District at Tustin Legacy, and Tustin Ranch Plaza are just some of the shopping options available in the city.
Many festivals and events occur throughout the year, including Tiller Days and the Annual Tustin Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in Tustin, California.
1. Relax in a Lemon Orchard in Citrus Ranch Park
In the past, Orange County had an abundance of citrus groves, and Citrus Ranch Park in Tustin is home to one of the last in the region. The park was created to preserve this important part of the state’s history; there are around 1,000 lemon trees situated across 17 acres of scenic parkland.
The pleasant aroma of fresh citrus combined with the natural setting creates a relaxing environment away from the nearby urban setting.
As you stroll through the park, you’ll see many native plants and enjoy spectacular mountain views from the gazebo on top of the hill. Also on site are a playground, picnic area, and walking trail.
2. Savour Greek Fare at Christakis Greek Cuisine
At Christakis Greek Cuisine in Tustin, you’ll enjoy a cosy atmosphere, excellent service, and authentic Greek Cuisine made with love and the highest-quality ingredients available.
The extensive menu includes a variety of appetizers, soups, and salads, and the hummus is said to be the best in Orange County. Some of the entrees available include Mousaka, Pastitsio, Spanakopita, and Chicken Athenian.
3. Play a Round of Golf at Tustin Ranch Golf Club
Although the ambience of the Tustin Ranch Golf Club is one of upscale exclusivity, this 18-hole championship golf course (which has been voted the best golf course in the county) is open to the public.
The course, designed by Ted Robinson, has many challenges and is surrounded by spectacular views. The on-site golf school features instruction by PGA experts.
Also on site is a gourmet restaurant and lounge offering a wide variety of food and drink to satisfy your hunger after a long day on the course.
4. Appreciate Local Art at Chemers Gallery
If you love art, Chemers Gallery in Tustin displays a wide variety of artworks by local artists. This elegant gallery showcases and promotes artists at all stages of their careers.
As you make your way around the gallery, you’ll see fine modern and traditional art, such as watercolours, oil paintings, pastels, and photography. Also available are professional framing services, jewellery, and art restoration.
5. Kick Back with Drinks and Grub at Bar Louie
For a relaxing night on the town, head to Bar Louie, where you’ll enjoy a chic, laid-back atmosphere, quality food, and a range of drinks.
Whether you’re craving martinis or local beer, you’ll find them on the menu at Bar Louie. You’ll also find a wide variety of pub food, including Bavarian pretzels, burgers, fried calamari, and vegetarian options. Happy hour is every weekday evening.
6. Spend a Day Outdoors at Peppertree Park
Peppertree Park in Tustin is a popular hang-out for locals and visitors alike. With large green spaces, a central area close to the city centre, and many facilities available, the park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon relaxing in a peaceful and natural setting.
One of the most notable features of the park is the sound of the bells ringing at the nearby Tustin Presbyterian Church.
On-site features include barbecue facilities, picnic areas with tables and shelters, a playground, washrooms and a water play area. The park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including summer concerts.
7. Admire Luxury Cars at the Marconi Automotive Museum
At the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, visitors of all ages can admire luxury cars spanning several decades. Dick Marconi donated the building and the vehicles housed inside; his family’s personal car collection is among the 70 cars on site.
Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and a sampling of muscle cars are part of the collection, along with vehicles that were driven by well-known people.
8. Tour the Tustin Area Museum
The best way to learn about a town or city is by visiting the local museum. In Tustin, it’s the Tustin Area Museum that showcases the unique history of the city and its people.
Situated in the historic downtown area, the museum displays several artefacts, photos, and documents of historical significance.
Once a year, the museum hosts the Old Town Tustin Home and Garden Tour. This takes visitors through Old Tustin, where they’ll see vintage homes and beautiful gardens reminiscent of days gone by.
9. Indulge in Fine Italian Fare at Pina’s Bistro
While Tustin and its surrounding area is home to quite a few Italian restaurants, Pina’s Bistro stands out.
This eatery, which is family-owned and operated, offers visitors a comfortable, friendly atmosphere where they are treated as part of the family.
Lunch and dinner are served, and you can find a wide variety of quality, traditional Italian options made with the best ingredients. Appetizers, soups, sandwiches, pasta, seafood dishes, and a variety of desserts are available. Spaghetti Bolognese, veal parmigiana, penne sausage and peas and sausage pizzaiola with peppers are just some of the main courses served.
Many of the items, including the sausage, gnocchi, bread, and sauces, are handcrafted by Pina herself. Have a preference for an Italian dish that isn’t on the menu? Ask and you shall receive – providing Pina has the ingredients on-hand.
10. Go Bowling at Bowlmor Lanes
Looking for a unique and fun way to spend an evening out on the town? Look no further than Bowlmor Lanes in Tustin.
Besides 30 bowling lanes – 12 of which are set aside for private functions – there’s an arcade with modern games and a huge sports bar serving a variety of traditional American dishes.
11. Take the Whole Family to Cedar Grove Park
Cedar Grove Park in Tustin offers a variety of facilities suitable for both adults and children. It’s a beautiful green space with plenty of shaded areas for relaxing out of the sun.
On-site, you’ll find picnic spots, an adult fitness area, several children’s play areas, a basketball court, and an amphitheatre. The most interesting feature of this park is that it’s decorated to resemble a treehouse.
12. Stay Fit at Magnolia Tree Park
Whether it be walking, tennis or basketball, Magnolia Tree Park has many facilities where you can play a variety of sports and stay fit during your vacation. This lush, beautiful park also has picnic areas and a playground for children.
13. Experience Unique Culinary Delights at CHAAK
While you’ve probably tried Mexican food many times in your life, you may not have tried the unique blend of Spanish, Caribbean, and Mediterranean cuisines that is the culinary experience of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Lunch and dinner are served, and you can find many traditional options on the menu, including pibil, recados and a variety of seafood dishes. An extensive wine list is also available.
14. Hang Out at Beautiful Victory Park
Victory Park is 4.7 acres of green space dedicated to relaxation for adults and playtime for children.
This scenic park has a spacious turf lawn, where you’ll find cozy cabanas perfect for an afternoon nap or book-reading session. Also on site is a playground and picnic area equipped with barbecues.