Cook's Chapel at Anaheim Packing House

10 Historic Venues in Orange County

Painstakingly preserved and lovingly restored, numerous event venues in Anaheim and surrounding cities keep history alive. Meeting professionals can take their events outside the box and offer attendees a slice of Orange County’s colorful history at these local landmarks. From the Anaheim Packing District to oceanfront gems in Newport Beach, these 10 venues take guests on a nostalgic walk down memory lane.

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Once the dream home of the city of San Clemente’s founder, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style structure was built on a seaside blufftop in 1927. More than 2 acres of exotic gardens, which double as event space, complement the building’s striking architectural elements, colorful tilework and uncomparable views of the San Clemente pier.

415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949-498-2139,

Estate on Second

A dedicated event venue in the heart of Santa Ana was once home to the Southern Counties Gas Company, circa 1923. Its beautifully worn brick walls and elegant wood floors reflect the history of the Georgian colonial structure, while providing a blank slate for today’s guests.

207 W. Second St., Santa Ana, 714-636-6045,

Harborside Grand Ballroom

A waterfront icon, the Balboa Pavilion became an anchor of Newport Beach after its construction in 1906, helping establish the recreational harbor as the place to play and stay in Orange County. The stately ballroom inside the Victorian building affords event guests dramatic floor-to-ceiling views of the Balboa Peninsula and harbor.

400 Main St., Newport Beach, 949-673-4633,

Lido Theater

The art deco movie palace has a Hollywood history linked to Corona del Mar resident Bette Davis—legend has it that she insisted her film “Jezebel” be the flick that opened Lido Isle’s now-iconic theater back in 1938. Located a block from the ocean, the theater’s hand-painted wall murals, red velvet curtain and neon marquee transport today’s event guests back to the Golden Age, if only for a night.

3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, 949-673-8350,

Mission San Juan Capistrano

The seventh of 21 California missions established by the Spanish, Mission San Juan Capistrano is a state landmark permanently founded in 1776. Considered the jewel of the mission system, incredibly preserved private event structures range from the majestic ruins of the Great Stone Church to the adobe Soldiers Barracks Gallery, which balances history with high-tech elements including a ceiling-mounted digital projector and 15-foot retractable screen.

26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949-234-1300,

Muckenthaler Mansion

Built in the 1920s, the sprawling 18-room Mediterranean-style mansion is situated on 9 acres of rolling green gardens. The property was commissioned by a former Fullerton city council member, whose son deeded his childhood home to the city to serve as a cultural center. Today, the intimate art gallery, octagonal solarium and stone tile-roofed gazebo offer stunning backdrops for events up to 700 guests.

1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton, 714-738-6595,

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

The former president was born in Orange County, growing up on his family’s ranchland until 1922. His century-old farmhouse birthplace stands on its original grounds, surrounded by a dazzling rose garden. Nearby, the 4,800-square-foot replica of the White House East Room provides a presidential backdrop for any formal event.

18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.,Yorba Linda, 714-993-5075,

Yost Theater

A movie house dating back to 1913, the legendary downtown Santa Ana theater premiered vaudeville, silent films and talkies for the early residents of Orange County. It remains a beloved cultural landmark, offering flexible loft, theater and outdoor spaces in the heart of the city’s historic district.

307 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana, 714-942-6060,