20 Best Things to Do in Brea, CA

Brea, CA
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A part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Brea features vast outdoor spaces and large parks.

The city was so abundant in tar that it seeped from the hills, just in time for the oil boom.

Taking advantage of its wide areas, the city launched a program to display various artworks outdoors.

So, if you tour the city, you’ll occasionally find sculptures just waiting to be discovered.

If you’re planning a vacation here, scroll down for the 15 best things to do in Brea, California.

Shop and Dine in Brea Downtown

Aerial view of Brea Downtown
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Experience the city's liveliness in Brea Downtown, a vast commercial district.

Dine at one of the many restaurants, go shopping, or head to one of the entertainment venues.

Take a stroll in the district and explore the many establishments it offers.

Tall trees at Brea Downtown
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It also hosts a couple of events each year, which you’ll see on its website.

If there’s a particular store or restaurant you’re looking for, you can also check out the directory and map of the district online.

There’s enough parking in the area as well.

The road of Brea Downtown
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Find the Unique Sculptures from the Art in Public Places Project

Established in 1975, Art in Public Places is a project by the city that was made to showcase artworks by world-renowned artists and draw visitors to the area.

The sculptures spread throughout the city were inspired by different themes and created using different styles, methods, and materials.

If you want to view specific sculptures, there’s a list of the sculptures by location and by artist’s name online that you can download as well.

Also, you can check out the interactive map made by the city to easily find the location of the sculpture you’re looking for.

There are well over a hundred sculptures in the city, so make sure you keep your eye out.

Catch a Movie at the Regal Edwards Brea East

Exterior of Regal Edwards Brea East
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If there’s a movie that you just can’t wait to watch, head to Regal Edwards Brea East and buy a ticket.

If you want to have the best time, you can also book the recliner chairs.

Get a snack to munch on from the concession stand while watching.

Check out their website for schedules, gift cards, and promos.

They also offer membership cards, where you can use points to buy all sorts of rewards.

Learn about Oil Operations in the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail

The grounds of Olinda Oil Museum and Trail
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The Olinda Oil Museum and Trail is where crude oil for the Sante Fe raildroad was found, with the original Olinda Oil Well #1.

It is a large property, approximately 12 acres, with old equipment, like a jackline pump and antique oil operation tools.

You’ll also find historic buildings, including the former field office building and a records vault.

Boardwalk at Olinda Oil Museum and Trail
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If you want to explore further, it has a loop trail that offers an immersive experience, putting you up close with the oil facilities and providing insight into what happens in an oil field.

Aside from that, the trail is also home to a variety of plants and wildlife and offers great vantage points as well.

The Field House puts you up close with artifacts used in the oil operations.

For easy navigation, you can also get a copy of the trail map and museum and trail brochure online.

A machine at Olinda Oil Museum and Trail
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Test Your Mind in the Red Lantern Escape Rooms

Do you love a good thrill, working with a team, and racking your brain for solutions?

If you do, pay a visit to Red Lantern Escape Rooms, which has an award-winning 1,000-square-foot escape room.

If you’re the type who thrives in a competitive environment, you can also go head-to-head with a friend.

These sessions are private, so you won’t have to worry about other people besides those from your group.

Check out their website for more information or bookings.

You can book a team-building session and reserve a space for birthdays or even marriage proposals.

If you’d rather sit on the benches, you can still buy gift certificates for your loved ones.

Pamper Yourself with Treatments in The Spa at the Glen

Had a bad and tiring day?

Relax and leave your stresses and worries at The Spa at the Glen.

Lie down and enjoy a good massage.

Beautify your skin with a body treatment, with a scrub and body wrap, or with one of the many facials available.

Get a manicure and pedicure and add extras like French polish.

They have specials too, offering unique treatments.

If you want a thoroughly rejuvenating experience, you can avail of the spa packages as well.

You can book a schedule online and buy gift cards too.

Visit the Museum and Swim in the Olympic-Sized Pool in the City Hall Park

Daytime view of City Hall Park
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A rectangular piece of land with lush plants and trees set amid buildings, the City Hall Park provides a peaceful respite from the busyness of the city.

The kids can enjoy games in the playground or shoot hoops on the basketball court.

For a whole lot of fun with the whole family, dive into the Olympic-sized swimming pool called Brea Plunge.

Located in the southeast corner of the park is the Brea Museum and Historical Society, with numerous artifacts telling old stories about the city.

Sunny dat at City Hall Park
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Check out the exhibits to learn more about its early history.

Navigate the museum’s website for more details about exhibits, schedules, events, and more.

You can also order special items from the gift shop, which you can pick up or have shipped.

For great perks and freebies, you can get a membership as well.

Welcome sign of City Hall Park
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If you’re an art enthusiast, you might want to take a look at the Brea Art Gallery.

It features a plethora of art pieces from up-and-coming artists that will pique your curiosity and stimulate your creativity.

For a hassle-free trip with your friends, you can give them a call and book a guided tour.

What’s more, if you’re bringing a car, there’s all-day free parking as well.

New exhibits are added from time to time, so you might be able to see something different the next time you visit.

Before you leave the gallery, make sure to check out their gift shop, filled with authentic, handcrafted items that are great to take home or give to your loved ones.

If you plan on coming back, you can get a membership for perks and discounts.

Click on their website for more information, including schedules for events, current and past exhibits, and more.

Bike across the City at The Tracks at Brea

Feel the breeze as you pedal your way across The Tracks at Brea, a 50-acre linear park with a two-way bike trail that goes across the city.

If you want to have a leisurely walk, you can do so along the pedestrian path.

If you have time, you can stop and read the interpretive signs, which have exciting information and photographs of the area.

There are two bike repair stations for your safety as well.

For a more invigorating exercise, head to one of the nine fitness stations, with outdoor fitness equipment spread across a small area.

After a good workout, there are shaded seating areas you can rest in, and, if you get thirsty, there are drinking fountains.

For your convenience, restrooms are available as well.

Explore the Great Outdoors in the Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Carbon Canyon Regional Park
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Carbon Canyon Regional Park is a 124-acre outdoor area with 60 acres of developed land full of natural beauty and fun activities.

Invite your friends and family to some friendly competition on the sports courts, including tennis and volleyball.

Have a relaxing time fishing in the 4-acre lake, equipped with two piers.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park
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If you have kids, they can run around in the playground.

For a nice alfresco meal, or if you want a quick bite, head to picnic areas furnished with tables.

There’s a restroom here as well.

What’s more, you can have a barbecue with the whole gang.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park
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The remaining area is home to beautiful, towering redwoods, which you can look at while following the hiking trail.

If you love riding horses, there are equestrian trails as well.

You can also go birdwatching too.

If you have a dog, you can bring it along, provided he is kept on a leash.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park
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Practice Your Swing in the Birch Hills Golf Course

Take out your golf equipment and hit some birdies at the Birch Hills Golf Course, a 3,100-yard par 59 golf course.

Head to the lighted driving range with turf practice tees and practice your swing.

If you’re a beginner or just looking to improve your overall game, you can book a golf lesson with a professional as well.

Or, if you just want to play with a group of people, you can join the men’s or ladies' golf club.

After a fired-up game, you can dine in its on-site restaurant, Treehouse and Grill.

Here, you can savor delicious meals and snacks and drink a cold beverage while having overlooking views of the golf course and driving range.

You can dine alfresco as well.

Check out their website for membership rates and inclusions, restaurant menu, and details on special events.

Before visiting, make sure to book a reservation online for an easier transaction.

Take Your Dog to Play in Wildcatters Dog Park

A wonderful place to bring your beloved dogs, Wildcatters Park has a dog park with lots of convenient facilities.

It’s covered with grass turf where they can safely run around and play.

And, you can sit on one of the benches while waiting for your furry friend.

For meals, sit beside one of the picnic tables available.

If your dog gets thirsty, there are pedestal drinking fountains with attached dog bowls.

Also, there are dog waste cleanup stations too.

For your pup’s safety, the park is divided into two areas: one for small dogs, weighing less than 25 pounds, and another for larger dogs, weighing more than 25 pounds.

Have a Bunch of Laughs at Brea Improv

Exterior of Brea Improv
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For a night full of laughs and entertainment, come to Brea Improv, packed with trendy performers.

If you’re a budding comedian who wants to make it big, you can also send your resume.

However, comedians are not the only performers they feature.

You can sing along to live music or groove to the beat as the DJs bring the bass.

Enjoy great acts along with tasty snacks or savory meals.

They have an extensive menu with a wide selection of drinks to choose from.

If you want to reserve a place for a party, you can choose from three parts of the venue.

You can see the floor plan as well as check their events schedule from their website.

Have a Few Games in Arovista Park

Arovista Park is great for sports lovers, with baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball facilities.

If you get hungry after a long match, there are concession stands here, too.

Or, you can bring a bunch of succulent meat and have a blast with the team with a good barbecue.

For your convenience, restrooms have been placed here as well.

For a laid-back time with friends or family, head to the amphitheater, located right in the park, and watch some movies.

Ride a Horse in Yater Performance Riding

Yater Performance Riding gives you the chance to ride majestic horses.

Don’t worry if you’re still a beginner, as they offer basic lessons, including grooming and saddle.

There are occasional events here as well, which are filled with fun activities.

Its founder, Danielle Yater, has been buying and training horses for a long time.

She sometimes rescues horses as well.

Check out their website for rates.

Explore the Underwater with Seas the Day Scuba

When it comes to scuba diving in Southern California, no one does it better than Seas the Day Scuba.

Casey Connell is the owner and operator of Seas The Day in Brea, California, bringing a wealth of scuba diving expertise.

The store on Imperial Highway provides comprehensive PADI diving instruction programs and courses for divers of all experience levels, from novice to technical and salvage.

Divers and instructors with extensive expertise lead the classes.

In addition to providing training, the business sells a variety of diving gear.

It also provides professional advice on choosing the right gear for different situations.

Practice Your Aim at Orange County Indoor Shooting Range

This shooting range, located in Brea Central Business park, has been serving the community since 1985.

This shooting range is a must-visit if you find yourself in the area.

You can expect to have a great time shooting guns here because of the helpful personnel, comfortable atmosphere, and outstanding condition of the available weapons.

Plus, we forgot to note that they provide sales of firearms and ammunition for private use.

Participate in a private handgun-shooting class that lasts for two hours.

Their shooting range is available for use as well.

Bond with Your Family over Art at Color Me Mine Brea

Store sign of Color Me Mine Brea
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A family may have a great time together with the coloring in Color Me Mine Brea.

This establishment is a ceramics studio where customers may paint their pieces. In this shop, you may choose four hundred various ceramics.

Plates, flower vases, figurines of all sorts of animals, holiday decorations, and more!

Customize ceramics with paint and drawings, and the company's trained personnel will take care of firing and glazing them.

You don't need creative talent to create art.

Everyone, no matter their age, may enjoy playing Color Me Mine Brea.

Shop at Brea Mall

Entrance to Brea Mall
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Brea Mall, located in the heart of Brea, boasts approximately 1,310,000 square feet of retail space and more than 175 retailers, including major name-brand outlets.

The Simon Property Group has owned and maintained the mall since it opened in 1977.

The mall has four large department shops, including Macy's, Nordstrom, JCPenney, and Children & Home, and a food court with a selection of fast food and casual eateries.

Macy's at Brea Mall
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In addition to a full-service day spa and several popular eateries, the mall also has Italian tile pathways, vaulted skylights, fountains, and original art sculptures.

As it stands now, the mall's construction will provide a wide variety of new shops, a wide selection of entertainment options, and a multi-story housing complex.

Foodcourt in Brea Mall
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Sample Local Beer and Enjoy Fresh Seafood at TAPS Fish House & Brewery

Exterior of TAPS Fish House & Brewery
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Brea Downtown is home to TAPS Fish House & Brewery.

It opened in 1999 and is a popular destination in North Orange County, thanks to its architecture.

It resembles a magnificent old brick warehouse in New Orleans or San Francisco.

Inside, the high ceilings, hand-forged wrought iron accents, and rich woods all contribute to a relaxing and luxurious atmosphere.

There are between 30 and 35 beers on tap, brewed in the classic styles of England, Belgium, and Germany, winning several awards for their authenticity.

Its wine selection has been honored with the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, providing a high standard of wine for wine-loving visitors.

TAPS Fish House & Brewery celebrates seafood by bringing international delicacies to the table.

Its staff hand-cuts seafood and steaks daily to guarantee the highest quality and freshness.

Relax and take in the sights and sounds of one of Orange County's most exciting and engaging eateries.

Final Thoughts

Brea is a land of natural beauty, with expansive outdoor areas, lush flora and fauna, and thriving local wildlife.

In contrast, the downtown area offers exciting attractions, with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

For your next trip here, consider the best things to do in Brea, California, above.

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