Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Lake Forest, CA

  • Published 2022/08/19

California is one of the most famous states in the United States.

Disneyland, Golden Gate Bridge, Silicon Valley, and the iconic Hollywood sign stands all define the state.

Besides those big-ticket attractions, California also features smaller but equally attractive cities.

For example, you can go to Lake Forest, a prosperous city in Saddleback Valley, Orange County.

Lake Forest, formerly El Toro, is full of natural landscapes and great significant landmarks worth visiting.

In Lake Forest, you can find about 30 breathtaking parks, outstanding restaurants, and cafes.

Prepare yourself for the numerous adventures you’re about to do in Lake Forest.

Go hiking or biking on scenic trails, golfing, fine dining, solving puzzle games, and more!

Check out the best things to do in Lake Forest, California.

Travel Back to the Past at Heritage Hill Historical Park

Exterior of a church at Heritage Hill Historic Park

Steve Cukrov /

It’s never boring to know the history of a place, wherever it is.

At Heritage Hill Historical Park, you can take a trip back to the past of Lake Forest and the rest of Orange County.

Heritage Hill Historical Park spans four acres, showing the history of Lake Forest and Orange County.

Four furnished and restored buildings represent the historical period of their construction.

A house and a library at Heritage Hill Historic Park

Steve Cukrov /

There are guided tours through the building, and you can see numerous artifacts on display.

This place is perfect for you, especially if you’re a history enthusiast.

Pack your brain with exciting facts while you take pleasure in the momentous past of Lake Forest.

Spend the day at the Heritage Hill Historical Park!

Indian village at Heritage Hill Historic Park

Steve Cukrov /

Have a Toast at Frisby Cellars Winery

Do you feel like sipping a glass of fine wine?

Don’t hesitate to stop by at Frisby Cellars Winery.

Frisby Cellars Winery has produced quality wines for over a decade, offering wines from freshly harvested grapes in the Paso Robles vineyards.

When you visit, you’ll learn about wines.

You’ll see how they make wine and pour them into barrels.

Then, you can also learn more interesting facts about wineries.

Stop by and have a toast at Frisby Cellars Winery when you’re in Lake Forest!

Flex Your Skills at Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert golfer, Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center is one of the best places to visit in Lake Forest.

Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center offers challenging courses that keep you playing more.

It is perfect for all golfers.

If you’re inexperienced, don’t worry!

There is a practice center within your reach.

Who knows?

You might like golf more than you expected to!

Besides being the perfect place for playing golf, it showcases the beauty of nature.

The course has two clear, clean, spectacular lakes, tall trees shading you from the scorching sun, and vividly green Bermuda grasses.

Practice your swings at Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center!

Relax at Serrano Creek Community Park

When you find yourself drowning in stress, where do you go?

You go to the nearest park.

In Lake Forest, find peace in the soothing environment of Serrano Creek Community Park.

Serrano Creek Community Park is a magnificent place where you can bond with your friends and family without worry.

You can see the eucalyptus and willow trees lining the park and a spectacular walking trail along the creek.

Moreover, there’s a children’s playground and manufactured sandstone rocks, which are fun to climb if you feel like moving around.

Visit Serrano Creek Community Park now and have a mini-getaway from the worries!

Grab a Quick Bite at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Exterior of Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

The Image Party /

Who doesn’t like bar-b-que?

At Lake Forest, you can find a well-known barbecue restaurant called Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que has operated for over two decades, earning renown for serving Southern cuisine.

Its bestsellers are its slow-cooked meats, though they also serve other delicious meals.

Grab appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, chicken, and more.

Order your favorites like baby back ribs, Texas beef brisket, and other delicacies!

Grab a quick bite at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que now and enjoy its upbeat music and other exciting events.

Hike the Red Rock Canyon Park Trail

Canyons are, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular natural formations that exist.

The Red Rock Canyon Park Trail in Lake Forest leads to the famous Red Rock Canyon.

Hiking this trail for one to two hours will lead you to the stunning view of unique red rocks and the unusually gorgeous landscape of the Red Rock Canyon.

You’ll see birds, flowers, wildlife, and more along the trails.

Also, there are plenty of trails leading to this canyon, so the other scenic trails might come into view while you walk.

The terrain of the Red Rock Canyon Park Trail is mostly flat, so it’s perfect for all levels of hikers.

Bring plenty of water, wear outdoor gear, and hike through the RedRock Canyon Park Trail!

Figure Out Your Getaway from the Breach Escape Games

Are you a fan of escaping thrilling and adrenaline-rushing escape rooms?

Enter the doors of Lake Forest’s Breach Escape Games.

Escape rooms are one of the most exciting games to play now.

Give your brain a workout while having plenty of enjoyment.

Find clues to solve excellently structured puzzles inside attractive rooms featuring exciting stories.

You have an hour to escape the room.

Breach Escape Games offers four games for escape room enthusiasts: Secrets in Suburbia, Grand Theft Galaxy, Toyshop of Terror, and U.S.S Destiny.

Find a way out of the thrilling and exciting rooms of Breach Escape Games.

Unwind at Foothill Ranch Community Park

If you feel like unwinding after a long day or week, visit Foothill Ranch Community Park.

Foothill Ranch Park is an excellent place to unwind.

The park offers an area wide enough for picnic stations, playgrounds, and sports facilities.

These facilities include soccer fields, baseball grounds, and basketball courts.

You can also take a stroll along the relaxing paths of the park.

Pack your picnic necessities and sports equipment, and head to Foothill Ranch Community Park.

Get Your Body Moving in Lake Forest Sports Park

Welcome sign of Lake Forest Sports Park

Nandaro, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a sports enthusiast or want to work up a sweat, visit the Lake Forest Sports Park.

Lake Forest Sports Park is a perfect place to get some exercise alone.

Otherwise, you can go with your friends and family for fun with recreational activities.

The air is garden-fresh, and it spans 86 acres.

Children playing at Lake Forest Sports Park

Nandaro, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This park has many sports facilities, including baseball grounds, soccer fields, and basketball courts.

You can also enjoy other amenities such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and exercise equipment.

Moreover, if you’ve brought a dog with you, don’t worry.

Dogs are welcome in most parts of the park.

Get your body moving and have fun at Lake Forest Sports Park.

Get Cozy and Fill Your Belly at Bagels & Brew

When walking the streets of Lake Forest, don’t forget to stop by Bagels & Brew!

Bagels & Brew is a warm, cozy, and friendly cafe anyone would want to visit.

You can enjoy great meals, including their famous fresh and delicious bagels.

The cafe also serves burgers, breakfast meals, chicken sandwiches, and smoothies.

You can even do some work there if you want, thanks to their Wi-Fi connection.

Bring your companions along to chill in the cafe.

Moreover, you can enjoy the food at reasonable prices.

Bagels & Brew is a must-visit place in Lake Forest.

Stop by the cafe, relax, and satisfy your taste buds.

Visit the Heroes Park

Situated on Jeronimo road, Heroes Park is a park you shouldn’t miss if you like riding a bike, walking, and playing sports.

You can even do a barbecue afterward.

You can also play America’s pastime, baseball, since they have baseball/softball grounds.

Heroes Park also has a soccer field.

Go for a Skating Session at Etnies Skatepark

Daytime view of Etnies Skatepark

Clamshell Deathtrap, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Skating is one of the coolest sports in the world.

If you are up for a skating session, head to Lake Forest’s Etnies Skatepark!

Etnies Skatepark is the largest free-skate park in California, with over 62,000 square feet or 5,759 square meters.

You can use your skateboard or roller skate to enjoy the vast space.

Put on your safety gear, get on that skating board, and go for a skating session at Etnies Skatepark.

Give Your Dog a Trip to Barker Ranch Dog Park

You’ll find the perfect place for your furry friend at Baffin Bay, Lake Forest.

This place is Barker Ranch Dog Park.

Let your dog have all the fun and adventure while you enjoy the fresh air in the park.

You might even make new friends with other dog owners.

The park has two separate playing areas and separate entrances for small and big dogs.

They also have water stations to keep the dogs hydrated and benches for you to sit.

Dogs need some time alone sometimes.

Give them some quality time at Barker Ranch Dog Park!

Dine at Avila’s El Ranchito

Are you craving Mexican Cuisine?

Dine at Avila’s El Rancho!

Avila’s El Ranchito is a family-owned restaurant that has operated since 1998.

Since then, it has grown in popularity, expanding to 13 locations in California.

Stop by this restaurant and delight in a platter of fajitas, enchiladas, or any cuisine item you choose.

You can even enjoy a specialized combo from Avila’s El Ranchito!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Chill at Urban Grill and Wine Bar

Stop by for a drink and delight in the soothing ambiance of Urban Grill and Wine Bar.

You can find this bar in Foothill Ranch, California, seven minutes from Lake Forest.

Enjoy cocktails, wines, beers, and grilled delicacies at this grill and wine bar.

This restaurant is an excellent option if you feel tired and need a quick drink.

Try Urban Grill and Wine Bar’s signature drinks and order the tasty grilled items on their menu to satisfy your appetite!

Admire the Views at the Borrego Canyon Overlook Park

Scenic view from Borrego Canyon Overlook Park

Kelvinkccheng /

Another spectacular attraction near Lake Forest is the Borrego Canyon Overlook Park.

You can find it in Foothill Ranch, nine minutes from Lake Forest.

The park is perfect for leisurely strolling and letting children play on the playgrounds.

Visit the park to see evergreen trees, maple-colored leaves on the ground during fall, and well-designed picnic pavilions.

These pavilions have barbeque pits as well.

Bring your family and friends to bond and have fun while admiring the views of the Borrego Canyon Overlook Park.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to relax, enjoy, have an adventure, or get yourself entertained, Lake Forest has everything you need.

Since the city draws few crowds, you can easily find peace amid its soothing natural environment.

You don’t even have to worry about the streets of Lake Forest because it is one of the top 10 safest cities in California.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Lake Forest, California!

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