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Discover Fullerton’s Hidden Gems

Nestled in the heart of Orange County, Fullerton is a city that boasts more than just its convenient proximity to famous attractions like Disneyland and stunning beaches. Beyond the well-known landmarks, this vibrant college town harbors a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by those willing to venture off the beaten path. From unique culinary experiences to artistic havens, Fullerton’s lesser-known treasures offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and diverse culture.

1. The Muckenthaler Cultural Center

With its Sunset Garden once called “Heaven on earth,” by the Los Angeles Times, The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is a true hidden gem for arts and culture enthusiasts. This historic mansion turned cultural hub offers rotating art exhibitions, indoor and outdoor concerts, and educational arts programs, particularly for arts and ceramics. Its stunning architecture and manicured gardens provide a picturesque backdrop for events and leisurely strolls alike.

While most events and classes do come with a cost of admission, the Muck grounds, Sculpture Garden, and Sunset Garden are free and open to the public every day!

Photo Source: muckenthalermansion.com

2. Café Veronese Gardens & Gallery

A family-owned, French-style Korean café, Veronese is truly a unique hidden oasis in Fullerton. From the outside, it may appear as just another house along Commonwealth Avenue, but as you enter through the house to the “backyard,” you encounter an inviting overgrown garden complete with a small, running stream and eclectic artwork. Around the garden is a selection of various tables and chairs in which guests can sit, often decorated with drawings and quotes from past guests. Come and enjoy an array of delicious teas and coffees or enjoy a sweet or savory delight from the menu. Our favorite is their Korean cheese ramen, which will keep you coming back again and again!

Note: They are currently closed as they transition to a new location just down the road. We’ll share when they open!

Photo Source: Yelp

3. The Night Owl

For those seeking a cozy atmosphere, cozier beverages, and an artistic scene, The Night Owl is a hidden in plain sight within the heart of downtown Fullerton. This quaint café offers a delicious selection of classic and artisanal lattes and teas. With its relaxed ambiance and warm hospitality, it’s an ideal spot to unwind and savor the local flavors with a book or with friends. Every Friday and Saturday night, come sit out on their outdoor patio to enjoy some live music from great local bands.

If you’re an artist and want to share your own work, every Tuesday they offer a music open mic night starting at 8:30pm. They also host an open mic poetry night on the last Sunday of the month!

Photo Source: Yelp

4. Fullerton Arboretum

Spanning over 26 acres, the Fullerton Arboretum is a hidden sanctuary on the California State University, Fullerton Campus for plant enthusiasts and nature lovers. Home to a diverse collection of plants from around the world, including endangered species, this living museum offers educational tours, workshops, and serene trails that wind through themed gardens. Come and stroll through the dirt paths that wind through the unique foliage or pack a picnic to enjoy next to the many turtles and water lilies floating in the pond.

An extra bonus? Entry is entirely free! (Though they do welcome donations!)

5. Villa del Sol

Tucked away in downtown Fullerton, Villa del Sol is a charming courtyard that transports visitors to a European-inspired village. A popular location for weddings and special events, the stunning enclave is lined with boutiques, galleries, and cafes and is a wonderful place to explore unique shops and enjoy a leisurely meal al fresco. Whether enjoying some sweet ah-boong or taiyaki from SomiSomi, perusing the shelves of The British Grocer, or enjoying a drink in the upscale underground Cellar, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

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