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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Graham

Orange, California Photowalk

One of the most Instagram worthy spots in Orange County is easily the city of Orange, or as the city fathers call the downtown area, Old Towne Orange.

Laguna Beach photographer Jan Schrieber joined me recently on a Photowalk through the historic downtown district, which dates back at least 100 years. The city says the downtown area contains the largest Nationally Registered Historic District in California.

Beyond the antique stores, art galleries and fun stores, we love Watson’s Soda Fountain, circa 1899, (116 E Chapman Ave.) which has been recognized as the first soda fountain in California.

In other words, this is one great SoCal location for a Photowalk and photo shoot.

Jan has the terrific Adventure Muse channel on YouTube. On our two-part collab, in part 1, she joins me in downtown Orange, and then we head to Irvine Park, just outside the town square, for a bike riding adventure on a surrey.

In Orange, Jan and I had a blast roaming the town, looking for the best spots for portraits. Street photography? How about all the oranges everywhere we went?

We noted orange street signs, fire hydrants, chairs, wheels–even many of the locals were dressed in orange on the day we visited.

Photowalk Orange fire hydrant

In the city of Orange, everything seems to be orange, even the fire hydrants. 

Photowalk Old Towne Orange

One of the many classic cars that dot the streets of Old Towne Orange, in Orange, California. 

Jan Schrieber, Orange Photowalk

Laguna Beach photographer Jan Schrieber poses for Jefferson Graham on their Photowalk of Old Towne Orange, in Orange, California. Jan runs the Adventure Muse channels on YouTube

We ended part 1 at Watson’s, for a tour inside and a classic Grilled Cheese and Tator Tots lunch (me,) while Jan had a strawberry salad with pecans. (Watson’s was kind enough to let us shoot video on a busy Sunday afternoon, even though they were packed with customers. Then again, they’re probably used to it, since Chapman College and all those film students, are just a few blocks away.)

Watson's Soda Fountain, Orange, California

Orange is a fun place to spend an afternoon, either for shoppers or photo enthusiasts. It makes an amazing backdrop for environmental portraits and you’ll notice a definite theme to the town when you see the video!


What to do and where to go?

It’s pretty simple. Drive to Orange, which is 5 miles from Disneyland, and right around the corner from Tustin and Santa Ana, and park near the Circle, or as it’s called here, Orange Plaza Square Park. Walk up and down Glassell Street and Chapman Avenue exploring. You’ll find all those old buildings, antique shops and fun restaurants. While we loved Watson’s, many of our social media fans sing the praises of Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen, yummy fare in an old Spanish style house.

What’s your favorite Orange haunt? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham

The @adventuremuse_ and I both fell in love with @watsonscafe in historic @Cityoforangeca on our recent Orange #Photowalk. The 1st soda fountain and killer grilled cheese. What's not to like? Watch the video here: — Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) November 12, 2019

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