In Old Towne Orange -- a mile-square district established during the citrus boom of the late 19th century -- reverence for the past is part of daily business. At the center is Plaza Square, where cars whip around the Victorian-era fountain and garden in a traffic circle once trod by horses and buggies. Around the plaza, old-fashioned soda fountains, barber shops and historic buildings mix with trendy fashion retailers and wine-tasting salons. It's not surprising that Old Towne Orange has been dubbed the "Antique Capital of California," with antique depots crowding the district.
Walk into the past
Would you like some history with your latte? Stop in at the local Starbucks (101 E. Chapman Ave.,  628-9622), housed in Orange's original 1886 bank building, to check out the dramatic carved wood ceiling. Sit in a pew while you wait for your table at PJ's Abbey (182 S. Orange St.,  771-8556, www.pjsabbey.com), a full-service restaurant occupying an 1891 Victorian Baptist Church. Traffic in art -- not fruit -- at the former Sunkist Orange County Fruit Exchange Building, now home to the Exchange Fine Arts Gallery (195 S. Glassell St.,  997-8132).