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Swap Zoom Screens for Sculptures at These OC Gardens

Photo by Danielle Jaquez

By Danielle Jaquez

Thanks to Zoom university, it’s become increasingly difficult to break free from our devices and get out into the world to enjoy ourselves while social distancing. 

To help escape the screens, explore these three accessible and free sculpture gardens located across Orange County.

Civic Center Park, Newport Beach

Just a short walk from Fashion Island, this hillside park is home to a rotating selection of whimsical sculptures. A winding dirt trail leads visitors through a landscaped terrain dotted with playful art. The sculptures, many of which invite you to interact with them, are hard to resist.

Grab a famous Sprinkles cupcake from next door, smoke a bowl, and wander through the circle of giant bunny statues and oversized orange slices. You won’t be disappointed.

Noguchi Gardens, Costa Mesa

Nestled between busy office buildings sits Noguchi Garden, a courtyard statue exhibit highlighting California’s many ecosystems. Its beauty lies in the subtlety of artist Isamu Noguchi’s portrayal of native California elements. 

Unlike other statue gardens, this hidden gem is purposeful and cohesive, creating a unique visitor experience. 

While the garden itself is compact, it offers numerous locations for cool photos filled with minimalistic backgrounds and sharp angles. The serene atmosphere makes it the perfect place to pause and reflect. Bring a journal, sit among the redwoods, and take a deep breath as you take in the scene.

Heisler Park, Laguna Beach

As a city historically known as an artist community, it is no surprise that Laguna Beach is home to an array of captivating public art. While you can find sculptures scattered throughout the city, Main Beach’s Heisler Park houses some of the more famous pieces, such as the 16-foot “Breaching Whale” statue by Jon Seeman.

Heisler is situated along the top of a cliff that overlooks the coves below, giving visitors a scenic view of the ocean. An excellent spot for a sunset date, you can use the Laguna Beach interactive art brochure to plan out which sculptures you want to visit.

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