Take a step back into Orange County history with a walk through Old Towne Orange. The traffic circle at Plaza Park at the intersection of Chapman and Glassell marks the center of one square mile of restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and antique stores. Treat yourself at California’s original soda fountain and spend the afternoon searching for treasures from the past. Here are a few of our favorite spots in Old Towne.
Country Roads Antiques is full of country collectibles with a garden in the back. Outdoors you’ll find patio décor, plants, and other fun items. Antique Station and Orange Circle Antique Mall are packed full of rooms overflowing with everything from fringed jackets and collectible Pyrex to lava lamps and lunchboxes. Kids will love seeing old Loony Toons memorabilia, read-along picture books that came with records, and old porcelain mugs that came with the purchase of a meal at McDonalds.
Country Roads Antiques: 204 West Chapman
Antique Station: 178 South Glassell
Orange Circle Antique Mall: 118 South Glassell
Best Places to Eat
Watson’s Soda Fountain & Café, established in 1899, is a blast from the past. Stop in for breakfast (it’s served all day) or a sweet treat from the counter. Another fun spot is the Filling Station Café. Another popular spot for breakfast all day, but their lunch and dinner menus are also full of traditional favorites. Diners will feel the nostalgia of the old days as they dine on old-fashioned comfort food at this gas station-turned café. Orange Elks Lodge #1475 is another great stop for lunch or dinner. You must be a member or be with someone who is, but the delicious meals are affordable and served in a fun and friendly environment. On weekdays, lunch is served from noon until 2:00 for $6.00. Sundays they have movies or sports on the big screen TV. Dinner is served every Friday from 6:00 – 8:00.
Watson’s Soda Fountain: 116 East Chapman
Filling Station Café: 201 North Glassell
Orange Elks Lodge: 211 East Chapman
A Few More Favorites
The Army Navy Surplus store has everything from camping supplies to military gear and more. Kids and adults alike love this shop for the hours that can be spent searching through lanterns, pocket knives, and tents. Music lovers would stop in to Mr. C’s Rare Records to browse the vast selection of vinyl. Just a few steps away from the heart of Old Town is Chapman College. Take a trip to the basement of Leatherby Libraries for a free visit to the Huell Howser exhibit. The exhibit features images, texts, and memorabilia from the late host’s adventures filming PBS’s popular show California’s Gold. He helped teach others about so many wonderful and unique locations around California, and the exhibit continues to educate and inspire.
Army Navy Store: 131 South Glassell
Mr. C’s Rare Records: 148 North Glassell
California’s Gold Exhibit at Chapman College: 1 University Drive
Best Time to Visit
Visit Old Town every Saturday from 9:00 – 1:00 for the weekly farmers market. Located at 303 W. Palm Avenue, the event features fresh local ingredients, a kid’s club, yoga classes, cooking demonstrations, and more.
The Orange International Street Fair has been happening since 1973. Every year on Labor Day weekend, 15 streets surrounding Plaza Park are packed with ethnically diverse food vendors, entertainment, arts and crafts for kids, dancing, local artisans, and vendors from around the community. A fantastic community event that is fun for the whole family.
About Old Towne District | Orange, CA
Plaza Historic District