Lake Forest, California offers a variety of things to do for both visitors and locals alike, ranging from outdoor recreational activities and historic buildings to wineries and delicious restaurants. For history enthusiasts, some of the history of Lake Forest and the surrounding area can be found at places like the Heritage Hill Historic Park and the Arden Helena Modjeska Historic House.
1.Heritage Hill Historic Park
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Heritage Hill Historic Park encompasses a little over four acres and consists of four furnished and fully restored historic buildings. These buildings span across the history of the early El Toro area and Saddleback Valley, from the era of the Mexican Rancho to the town of El Toro being founded and up through the days of citrus farming in the beginning of the twentieth century. Guided tours are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays to offer visitors with more in depth information. These tours provide an interpretation of the history of the Saddleback area through people, events, and artifacts.
25151 Serrano Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-923-2230
2.Arden Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens
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The Arden Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens is tucked away within an oak grove along the banks of the Santiago Creek in the Modjeska Canyon. The historic house is more than one hundred years old and was once the home of Madame Helena Modjeska, a world-renowned actress. It is named after a forest in “As You Like It.” Tours are available by advance reservation at 10:00am on Wednesday and Saturday. The docent-led tours last around one hour and thirty minutes in duration. Visitors can do a self-guided tour of the historic house and gardens from 11:00am until 2:00pm on Saturdays.
25151 Serrano Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-923-2230
3.Serrano Creek Community Park
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The Serrano Creek Park is a community Park in Lake Forest, California located next to the Heritage Hill Historic Park. This park stretches across quite a bit of land to Bake Parkway, with the creek lined by willow and eucalyptus. Serrano Creek Community Park is somewhat unique, featuring a rustic western environment near the horse stables set amongst the grove of eucalyptus trees. The park contains simulated sandstone rocks that are great for adventurous rock climbing, a pretend car for children, a walking trail that runs along entire length of Serrano Creek, a playground, and horses.
25101 Serrano Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-461-3450
4.Lake Forest Sports Park
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The Lake Forest Sports Park is an 86-acre park and recreation center that first opened in 2014. It is one of Orange County’s largest sports parks with a multi-functional recreational center and 57 acres of sports fields. Among the featured amenities at the Lake Forest Sports Park are five diamonds for softball and baseball, two basketball courts outdoors, two soccer fields with seating areas for spectators, outdoor exercise equipment, three acres of common lawns, thirty-eight lights for sports fields, two playgrounds, and eight gazebo picnic shelters. The Gymnasium/Recreation Center at the Lake Forest Sports Park measures 27,000-square-feet.
28000 Rancho Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-273-6960
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The Modjeska Playhouse is a not-for-profit organization that started out as just an idea of some students at the Trabuco Hills High School in 1990 in Mission Viejo, California. A love for theater is what brought Christopher Sullivan, Joshua Stecker, and Joe Alanes together. All three of them started professional performing arts careers after graduation as educators, writers, directors, and actors. In 2007, they decided it was time to put the idea of opening a theater into action and founded the Modjeska Playhouse, named after the Shakespearean actress Helena Modjeska, as well as the Modjeska Peak of the Saddleback Valley.
21084 Bake Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-445-3674
6.Frisby Cellars Winery
© Frisby Cellars Winery
The Frisby Cellars Winery was founded in the year 2008 and has since been making award-winning wines from grapes sourced from the nearby distinguished vineyards of Paso Robles in California. Frisby Cellars produces wines in the Paso Robles area and then transports them to Orange County where their Tasting Room and Urban Winery is located in Lake Forest, California. The Tasting Room of Frisby Cellars Winery is open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The handcrafted wines produced by Frisby are barrel-aged, blended, and then bottled at the Urban Winery in their Orange County location.
20331 Lake Forest Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-243-6691
7.Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center
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The Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center is conveniently situated at the intersection of the 405 and 5 freeways in the town of Lake Forest. The golf facility includes a nine-hole, par 29 executive golf course that is located amongst groves of orange trees just to the west of the region’s Saddleback Mountains. The course is walkable and is an ideal layout for any beginner level golfers looking for an introduction to golfing. Thanks to two lakes on the course, soft sand bunkers, and many mature trees, however, the golf course still offers a challenge to more seasoned golfers.
23308 Cherry Ave, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-859-1455
8.Avila's El Ranchito
© Avila's El Ranchito
Avila’s El Ranchito is a Mexican restaurant that first opened in the town of Huntington Park back in the year 1966. For more than five decades, the restaurants of Avila’s El Ranchito have remained a family-run restaurant business focused on share the home recipes of Mama Avila with everyone in the world. The success of the restaurant is thanks to providing customers with authentic, fresh, high quality Mexican cuisine within a fun setting. Each locations has its own drink specials and specialty dishes. Avila’s El Ranchito is especially known for serving delicious grande burritos, as well as refreshing margaritas.
24406 Muirlands Blvd, Lake Forest, CA, Phone: 949-855-4989
9.Urban Grill and Wine Bar
© Urban Grill and Wine Bar
The Urban Grill and Wine Bar is an upscale and unique eatery that offers boutique wines and gourmet comfort food served by knowledgeable and friendly staff. Founded in 2012, the restaurant was opened to provide the local community with an eatery that is more unique, upscale, and family operated. The owners behind the Urban Grill and Wine Bar have been in the restaurant industry for much of their adult lives. The menu at the grill features an array of dishes that range from some of the best seafood and steak around to simple, but still delicious sandwiches.
27412 Portola Pkwy, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610, Phone: 949-340-2055
10.Bagels & Brew
© Bagels & Brew
Bagels and Brew began with a simple idea, offer delicious food at a great value at a place that customers could call home. With that goal set in mind, the owners set out to establish the ultimate cafe, serving cream cheese spreads and bagels made from scratch, along with some of the tastiest breakfast options and lunch dishes in town. The savory choices on the menu were designed with customers in mind, striving to offer a fresh food selection that guests could enjoy everyday at an affordable price. Only high quality and the freshest ingredients are used in the dishes.
21771 Lake Forest Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-951-8985
11.The Scene Escape Rooms
© The Scene Escape Rooms
The Scene Escape Rooms in Lake Forest, California offers guests a choice of three different escape rooms, each with their own challenge. The Secrets in Suburbia transports participants back to the year 1962 to Anytown, USA to solve a murder, a crime for which they are the prime suspect. The Escape Bus: Firewall room jumps to the year 2033 and guests have to hack their way out of the transport on its way to the maximum security prison. The Deadringers: Coffin Escape Game puts gamers in the ground in the technologically advanced coffin. The Scene Escape Rooms boasts a family-friendly atmosphere.
22661 Lambert St, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-716-6233
12.Peppino's Italian Family Restaurant
© Peppino's Italian Family Restaurant
The Peppino's Italian Family Restaurant is considered to be one of the leading Italian restaurants in Orange County since it opened in 1984. What started out as just a single location in sunny Orange County has now turned into a group of four restaurants, all serving fine Italian cuisine. In addition to the Lake Forest location, Peppino’s Italian Family Restaurant also has locations in Mission Viejo and Foothill Ranch, as well as a pizzeria in the town of Aliso Viejo. Appetizers include calamari, bruschetta, fried mozzarella, fried zucchini, and breadsticks. Main entrees consists of a wide variety of pastas, sauces, veal, chicken, and more.
23600 Rockfield Blvd, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Phone: 949-951-2611
12 Best Things to Do in Lake Forest, California
- Heritage Hill Historic Park, Photo: Courtesy of Steve - Fotolia.com
- Arden Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of mattegg - Fotolia.com
- Serrano Creek Community Park, Photo: Courtesy of SuGak - Fotolia.com
- Lake Forest Sports Park, Photo: Courtesy of dreamnikon - Fotolia.com
- Modjeska Playhouse, Photo: Courtesy of thanasak - Fotolia.com
- Frisby Cellars Winery, Photo: Frisby Cellars Winery
- Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center, Photo: Courtesy of michaklootwijk - Fotolia.com
- Avila's El Ranchito, Photo: Avila's El Ranchito
- Urban Grill and Wine Bar, Photo: Urban Grill and Wine Bar
- Bagels & Brew, Photo: Bagels & Brew
- The Scene Escape Rooms, Photo: The Scene Escape Rooms
- Peppino's Italian Family Restaurant, Photo: Peppino's Italian Family Restaurant
- Cover Photo: City of Lake Forest - Government