Discover Orange County After Hours


iving along California’s Riviera can spoil a person. Brilliant sunshine and comfortable year-round temperatures mean there’s no shortage of incredible sunrise-to-sunset experiences. By day, we explore 40 miles of postcard-perfect beaches, hike pristine trails in Crystal Cove, hit the links at Pelican Hill,® shop and dine at iconic Fashion Island.® And if you’re not ready to call it a day when the sun begins to set? Not to worry: The OC isn’t, either.

Fashion Island Hotel


Island Hopping


“Locals and guests are drawn to our deck, with its canopy of trees and hanging lanterns.” —Kevin Morales

Spending a full day at Fashion Island is always exhilarating, but it can take a toll on the treads. With more than a million square feet of retail space, it’s easy to fulfill (or surpass) your daily step requirement. Should you wish to congratulate yourself on all that exercise, take a few extra steps and pull up a chair at Oak Grill or Aqua Lounge at Fashion Island Hotel™, “I find the Oak Grill’s softly lit ambiance very relaxing, especially at the end of a busy day,” said Kevin Morales, general manager of both outlets. “Locals and guests are drawn to our deck, with its canopy of trees and hanging lanterns.” Another outdoor area, called Fireside, offers a 2,100-square-foot patio, a fire pit and a menu of its own.

Oak Grill and Fireside offer one of the most extensive wine lists in the area, as well as signature cocktails and a generous selection of craft beers, most sourced from local breweries. Live music can be heard nightly at Fireside; regulars show up for the sunset views and stay to enjoy solo artists performing acoustic renditions of contemporary jazz tunes from the likes of Norah Jones, Michael Bublé and The Weeknd.

For a more upbeat winddown seven days a week, Morales recommends Aqua Lounge, which features a 360-degree bar and an interactive mixology format. “It’s California Contemporary in look and feel, modern without being off-putting,” said Morales. And on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 9 p.m., Aqua can jump-start your weekend or rev it up with a live DJ and dancing.

OAK GRILL 30% off food and beverages for locals Sunday through Thursday. | FIRESIDE Happy Hour: 50% off most menu items, daily 3 – 7 p.m. Live Music: Monday through Saturday 6 – 9 p.m. and Sunday 5 – 8 p.m. | AQUA LOUNGE Happy Hour: 3 – 7 p.m. daily, with select items from the menu of handcrafted cocktails, various wines by the glass, local craft beers and small bites offered at 50% off. | Burgers and Brew: Order up a gourmet burger and draft beer for $10 weekdays 4 – 7 p.m. | Taco Tuesday: Head to the deck for a farm-to-table, build-your-own taco and margarita experience. Tacos $2 each, margaritas $5 each, Tuesdays 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. | DJs and Dancing: Fridays and Saturdays 9 p.m. – close.

Hotel Irvine


Kicking it Back


“For anyone who enjoys turning back the clock to the speakeasy era… Red Bar is the perfect find.” —Gabor Pamer

Business hotels aren’t often known for their after-hours offerings, but Hotel Irvine, which caters to business travelers by day, bills itself more broadly as a “lifestyle hotel.” Its two food and beverage venues, Eats Kitchen & Bar and Red Bar and Lounge, attract locals and visitors whether or not they have business to attend to.

At Eats Kitchen, farm-fresh shareable comfort food meets updated pub concept, with craft beers, signature cocktails, happy hour and themed menus providing plenty of incentive to show up after dark. Not to be outdone, Red Bar and Lounge hops with Happy Hour, Pint Nights and Sip and Smoke themes.

“The outdoor patio morphs into the Macallan Whisky Lounge every afternoon,” said Gabor Pamer, director of food and beverage at Hotel Irvine. “For anyone who enjoys turning back the clock to the speakeasy era, cigar and all, Red Bar is the perfect find.”

For those who prefer their whiskey sans smoke, Top of the Barrel, a modern celebration of the Prohibition cocktail the Old- Fashioned, runs through March and features the traditional, the Smoked Maple and the Apple Pie Old-Fashioned.

Whether you’re rooting for the home team, or against the other guys, there is something about watching sports in the company of a crowd that elevates the entire experience. Red Bar’s 10-foot TV screen and comfortable seating are the ideal go-to. From March 13 through April 2, catch March Madness games and enjoy $4 bottled beer. And on most Saturday nights, stop in to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championships® and take advantage of the bar’s food and drink specials. A cover charge may apply on certain dates.

EATS KITCHEN Happy Hour: 5 – 7 p.m. daily with $2 bites, $4 draft beers, $5 craft cocktails and $6 wines. Taco Twosday: $2 street tacos and $5 margaritas. Wednesdays and Saturdays: dollar-an-oyster all night long. | RED BAR AND LOUNGE Happy Hour: 3 – 7 p.m. daily with 50% off food, featured cocktails, wine by the glass and local draft beer. Wednesday Pint Nights: 7 p.m. – close with craft beers at $5. Sip and Smoke: Daily from 3 p.m., sample 1-ounce pours of different vintage single-malt Macallans and pair them with your choice of a cigar. DJs and Dancing: Thursday through Saturday starting at 9 p.m. Bonus: Saturdays at Red Bar, Happy Hour restarts at 10 p.m. with 50% off food and beverages.

The Resort at Pelican Hill


Sunset Serenade


“They come for the unmatched view and stay for the food and service.” —Derek Domeracki

Perched on its 504 ocean-view acres, The Resort at Pelican Hill® is an architectural homage to Italy’s renowned Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio. With two championship golf courses, a Forbes Five-Star spa and a wonder of a swimming pool, it’s easy to expend all of your energy before the sun goes down. Turning in early would be a crying shame, though, because the Resort’s twilight offerings are every bit a match for what’s on tap during the day.

Whether plans call for wrapping up the day gently or kicking off the night’s festivities, the Great Room Social Lounge is the place to be at sunset. Take advantage of specially selected cocktails and wines, along with a live vocalist, a combo that provides the perfect accompaniment to the glorious setting sun.

“I think the sunset is the initial reason many people come to the Great Room,” said Derek Domeracki, general manager at Andrea. “They come for the unmatched view and stay for the food and service.”

With all of these options at your fingertips, why choose one when you can do it all? Start your evening with Coliseum Pool & Grill’s Happy Hour, then join the Great Room Social Lounge crowd for an unforgettable sunset accompanied by appetizers, wine and acoustic-guitar tunes. If you’re left wanting more, catch the coach over to Pelican Grill for dinner, drinks and an engaging musical trio in the bar. Should you wish to return to the Great Room to finish out the evening with the live band and dancing, the coach will be at the ready and whisk you away.

With as much to do at night as during the day, maximizing life on California’s Riviera, whether it’s during a vacation or after work, can be achieved with a simple mindset adjustment: When the sun sets, it’s time to head out, not in.

COLISEUM POOL & GRILL Happy Hour: 3 – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with 50% off shared plates, cocktails, beer, and wine by the glass. GREAT ROOM SOCIAL LOUNGE $5 at 5: Select bites and beverages $5, until 7 p.m. daily. Live Local Bands: 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. | PELICAN GRILL Wine Wednesdays: Panoramic views of the Pacific and 50% off select California wines. Entertainment schedule subject to change.

Oak Creek Golf Club


A Shot in the Dark


“We’ve got 65 grass tees spread out over a 3½-acre teeing surface and 10 acres of landing area,” —Rob Tanaka

Between the three Tom Fazio designed courses at Pelican Hill® and Irvine’s Oak Creek,® golfers are hard-pressed to name a better place to live, practice and play. But there’s only so much daylight, and life can get in the way of our golf practice, so how are we to hone our game?

While you may not be able to get in a full round, after-sunset practice sessions at Oak Creek Golf Club® are not only an option—they’re a pleasure. Named Orange County’s best practice facility in 2016, Oak Creek kicked it up a notch in March 2017 with the installation of a state-of-the-art LED lighting system on the range.

“We’ve got 65 grass tees spread out over a 3½-acre teeing surface and 10 acres of landing area,” said Oak Creek General Manager Rob Tanaka. “With 10 targets and up to 300 yards from the longest tees, you can literally work on any shot, day or night.”

While hitting balls at night might seem counterintuitive, the lights at Oak Creek actually improve on daytime practice conditions. “Unlike earlier-generation lighting systems, the LED lighting is so pure that you can see the ball flight the entire time,” said Tanaka. Add to that the chipping area, sand bunker and large putting green, and Oak Creek after dark turns into the perfect place to channel your inner Tiger Woods.

If, on the other hand, you’re feeling your Happy Gilmore, grab your bag and show up at 8:30 p.m. for happy hour on the range.

While beer, wine and snacks are served all day at the practice facility, happy hour sweetens the deal with upbeat music, reduced pricing on beer, wine and large and small bags of balls.


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