Top 7 Valentines Day Ideas in Orange County

Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate the month of love than with your special someone! Orange County is the perfect place to spend a romantic getaway from dreamy gondola rides to enchanting picnics with a view. We’ve listed a few incredible events and ideas we know you and your special someone will love for Valentines Day and any day!

Valentine Hike+Picnic with a View
1000 Steps Beach
31972 Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Orange County is known for its splendid views and nature strolls. Start off your day with an easy hike to A Thousand Steps Beach, and enjoy a romantic picnic with your significant other. Scope out the beach and discover tide pools and secret caves.

Facade Fun House
The Lab Anti-Mall
2930 Bristol street
Costa mesa, CA 92627
Have some fun at Facade Fun House in The Lab, Costa Mesa. You and your special someone will adore this interactive exhibition where you can take hundreds of photos and post it all over social media.

Liven up with some Cuban Flare
708 Spectrum Center Drive Irvine, CA 92618
If you love authentic Cuban food and Cuban flare, enjoy a lively and romantic meal at the Habana. It is known for their romantic atmosphere with candle-lit ambiance and delicious culinary creations.

Escape Rooms in Orange County
4245 E La Palma Ave
Anaheim, CA 92807
Have a group date and be entertained rummaging your way through these escape games. Rated #1 best escape room in Orange County and Los Angeles, Cross Roads Escape Games is known for its clever and unusual themes, which your team will no doubt love.

Wine Tasting
26755 Verdugo St
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Time to unwind and taste some delicious wine in Orange County’s largest winery. Stocked with over 50 different offerings, you and your special someone will lose track of time delighting yourselves in the abundance of wine. Feeling a little hungry after? You’re in luck! Rancho Capistrano Winery is also home to delicious creations from Chef Adrian de La Torre. It’s no wonder this winery was named “Best Overall Restaurant” in San Juan Capistrano.

Romantic Gondola Ride
3101 West Coast Hwy #110
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Relax and make a romantic gesture by taking your significant other on a gondola ride. Create memories and float swiftly through canals and watch the beautiful horizon as the sun sets.

Valentine’s Day Garden Dinner
Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd
Unit #5
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Indulge in this romantic getaway restaurant, nestled on over 7 acres of land in the heart of Newport Beach. You and your special someone will love the ambiance and fresh cuisine picked right out of the garden.

Orange County is not only the perfect Valentine’s Day destination, but an even better place to live! Contact The Kovacs Connection Team to learn more.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Living in Coto de Caza

Our zip code is 92679. Welcome to Coto de Caza. We love this area and would love to invite you in as a new neighbor. If you are not familiar with the area, we thought we’d give you a few little known facts to set the stage for this magnificent part of Orange County!

  1. Coto de Caza is known as a CDP (a Census Designated Place) and is a gated, guarded suburban planned community of around 4000 homes. As of the last census taken in 2010, almost 15 thousand people call it home. It is one of Orange County’s oldest and most expensive planned communities. The name Coto de Caza means ‘hunting preserve’ in Spanish. In 1968, the area was envisioned as a hunting lodge. That vision came true, now known as the Lodge at Coto de Caza. The community also includes Los Ranchos Estates, a rural community of more than 350 acres that features large custom-built homes.
  2. While it started as a hunting preserve, it has evolved into an exclusive community. The hub of the community is the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club which opened in 1991. Four years later, another golf course to the south opened, giving residents a picture perfect spot to enjoy a round of 9 or 18. Still, in 2017, the country club remains the social hub for Coto, with residents meeting there to work out or grab a cocktail.
  3. Coto de Caza is surrounded by the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park. The park wraps it’s green belt around the neighborhood on the east, north and south. The park is both a treasure and a sanctuary: it is known for its diverse plant and wildlife. Huge oak groves, sycamore trees and several creeks wind throughout the park. The 500-acre park also boasts of 6 miles of equestrian, hiking and biking trails. A few things have been added in the last few years, including the main country club’s Spa and Sports Club, a polo arena and a dog park known as the Canine Corrals.
  4. Speaking of outdoor activities, Coto de Caza hosted a portion of the 1984 Summer Olympics. The community hosted riding, running, shooting and fencing portions of the Pentathlon Olympic events. Princess Anne of England was here to support an athlete, Richard Phelps, who finished 4th at the event. Via Masala is near Coto’s equestrian center, and it was named of the the event’s gold medal winner, Italy’s Daniele Masala.
  5. As you drive around this beautiful, gated community, some areas might look familiar. The Bravo reality TV show The Real Housewives of Orange County is filmed here. Still, Coto de Caza remains a secluded and quiet community. Residents love keeping up the annual traditions, including its Easter EGGstravaganza and the big parade on the 4th of July.
  6. We mentioned our zip code. Homes in 92679 are much sought-after, and we’d love to assist you as we look for the home of your dreams. Homes on the market here in Coto de Caza move quickly, with the median selling price north of $850,000.

So if you are wanting to call this exclusive, gated planned community home, contact our team at The Kovacs Connection!

Top Turkey Fails and 5 Places to Enjoy a Fabulous Feast in Orange County

Shutterstock/Andrey Armyagov

We know, you tried so hard. You had visions of an amber roasted turkey just ready to carve while your adoring family complimented you on your kitchen prowess. Aaahhh, but it was not to be. Don’t worry: you’re not alone. Many cooks have had epic fails in the kitchen on the 4th Thursday of November. So we’ll cut you some slack, give you a laugh or two, then our team at The Kovacs Connection will tell you where to go to get a fabulous Thanksgiving Day feast in Orange County.

Butterball Turkey has a famous Turkey Talk Line on Thanksgiving, where worried cooks can call in and get some much-needed advice. 50 trained men and women staff a building in Naperville, Illinois every year. They work 12 hours a day to make sure your Thanksgiving meal comes off splendidly. They are chefs, dietitians and nutritionists and they have heard it all. Consider this: on Thanksgiving Day alone they answer more than 10,000 calls from 6am to 6pm. As with anyone who deals with the general public, these good-hearted folks have heard it all. Here are a few stories from epic turkey fails.

When a Turkey Talk Line staffer asked a caller what state her turkey was in (meaning was it frozen or thawed) the caller replied “Florida.”


A man called in to tell the staffer that he had cut his turkey in half with a chainsaw, then wondered if the oil from the chain would affect the bird.

A woman in her 70’s called the Talk Line: it was the first time she had cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving because her mother had said she was tired of cooking and it was time her daughter got a clue.

A proud gentlemen called the Talk Line to say he had wrapped his turkey in a towel and stomped on it, breaking the bones so it would fit in his pan.

After discovering a turkey in his dad’s freezer from 1969, a man called the Talk Line to ask about the best way to cook it.

Shutterstock/Bochkarev Photography

So… you are not alone. How about ditching the apron and the carving knife and heading out for a gourmet meal? Here are a few ideas for you of places to go in Orange County for a Thanksgiving feast.


The Atrium Building provides a picturesque setting for this modern bistro’s contemporary food, as well as the revolving art displays.

Five Crowns

Exciting contemporary seasonal cuisine found in an English-inspired setting.

The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon

Chef Michael Rossi presents contemporary fare in a rustic setting that contrasts with its industrial park surroundings in Anaheim.


Innovative cuisine set against one of the prettiest spots along the Laguna Beach coastline.

TAPS Fish House and Brewery

Notable beers join steaks and seafood in Brea’s lively downtown area.

So there you have it. No reason to fret. No turkey to roast. No sides to make. No worries. The only thing you need to make… is a reservation!

Want more Thanksgiving restaurant ideas? Contact our Orange County experts at The Kovacs Connection today!

Best Family Biking Trails in OC

Pump up the tires, fill your water bottles, grab your helmets and let’s hit the road! At The Kovacs Connection we know fall is the perfect time to spend with your family on two wheels. There are trails throughout OC for every athletic and skill level, but we’re concentrating on the best family biking trails! And if your wheels are in need of a tune-up, we’ve also given you some information on some of the best bike shops in OC.

Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park

This is a great trail if you’re thinking about a picnic mid-way. Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail runs 18 miles from Laguna Niguel to Whiting Ranch. You and your kids are on a trail off the road, so you’re not worrying about the traffic. The massive trees provide a ton of shade, which makes it perfect for when the kids need to stop and rest. The rest areas have historical information about OC as well.

Photo Courtesy

Santa Ana River Trail

This is a great trail if you are biking with younger kids. The Santa Ana River Trail stretches from Huntington Beach to Weir Canyon Road, and the trail is away from traffic and pretty level. Keeps down the “Mom, when are we going to stop?” conversations. Some added benefits are the parks that you will ride to along the way, where the family can chill for a bit and the kids take advantage of the added play time and nature centers

San Clemente Beach Trail

This trail has a bit of everything for your family. First of all, it’s gorgeous, with the trails running right along the coastline. It’s not too long, and it ends at the beach, so pack a picnic and make a day of it!

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

2301 University Drive

Newport Beach, CA 92660

(949) 923-2290

This is a great trail for the nature lovers in your group. The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve includes a 10-mile path called the Back Bay Loop. It’s a wide trail and takes you around the back bay area of Newport Beach. There are places to stop along the way, including a nature center, the Back Bay Science Center, and several picturesque parks.

San Diego Creek Bikeway

The San Diego Creek Trail is more than 9 miles long, and bisects the city going east-to-west.  On the western end, the trail connects with the Back Bay trail in the City of Newport Beach.  On the east end, it ends near the junction of I-405 and State Highway 133. Along the trail is easy access to parks, retail centers, neighborhoods and more, providing a welcome escape from the heart of a bustling city.

Best Bike Shops in OC

The Path Bike Shop

215 W. 1st St., #102

Tustin, CA 92780

(714) 669-0784

Rock N’ Road Cyclery

5701 Santa Ana Canyon Road

Anaheim Hills, CA 92807

(714) 998-2453

Santiago Cycling

115 Prospect Ave.

Tustin, CA 92780

(714) 544-6091

Bicycle Discovery

8800 Warner Ave.

Fountain Valley, CA 92708

(714) 841-1366

Two Wheels One Planet

420 E. 17th St.

Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(949) 646-7717

The Best Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Mission Viejo Home During the Fall Season

Fall Can Be Your Friend

Typically, the best time to sell your home is during the summertime. But many people who are looking to buy in Mission Viejo look all-year long for the right house. So this fall, it’s important to showcase your home at its best, so you can get the best deal at the closing table. So our team has packed up a few home staging tips as a guideline to get the most looks at your property. Yes, we know it’s a lot of work, but you need to pack it up anyway, and this gives you a head start while increasing the value of your property


Need we say more? Yes! We can all become blind to the clutter around us.

  • Pack up your books, clothes and personal items and place them in the garage or storage unit.
  • Family photos, the kid’s artwork on the refrigerator, all of it has to go.
  • Clear out your closets! Donate what you don’t wear to charity.
  • Have a dim light? Exchange it for a brighter one.
  • Do your doors open easily? If you’re hearing creaking, fix it.
  • Hire a professional cleaning service to deep-clean your home before it’s listed.

Home Staging Tips Room by Room: Living Room

Potential homebuyers have likely seen several homes before yours. How do you make your property stand out above the rest? Space and cleanliness. The living room is usually the first room they see, so make sure it looks terrific.

  • If there is a dark corner, light it up with a lamp.
  • If the fireplace has seen better days, scrub it clean.
  • If the room looks cluttered, remove the furniture that isn’t necessary to make it look bigger.
  • Keep the room simple, with a splash of color here and there.

The Kitchen

Yes, we know this is the room you most dread to clean. But a kitchen can sell a home or kill a deal, so it’s worth your time to invest in this arduous task.

  • Box up all the dishes, flatware, cookware and glassware except one matching set.
  • Have your cabinets seen better days? Think about a fresh coat of paint or stain.
  • Honestly evaluate your appliances. Need a good cleaning? Need to be replaced with stainless steel?
  • Scrub grime from backsplashes and cabinets.
  • Clean out the pantry, leaving some empty space: makes it look bigger
  • All trash cans need to be emptied and put away


The bedroom is, by nature, a personal space. However, when you are putting your home on the market, it needs to be a place where potential homebuyers can visualize it as their personal space. So that means taking care of a few things:

  • Pack up all the clothes you can to make your closets look more spacious.
  • Get a set of matching hangers to create a sense of balance and order in the closet.
  • Take away the knick-knacks that scream male or female.
  • Put your jewelry and other valuables away
  • If you have a video game console in the bedroom, put it away to create some serenity


Just like the kitchen, bathrooms can get grimy, and you may not even notice it. But a potential homebuyer who walks in certainly will see it all. To get an offer on the table, consider these tasks to make your bathroom a happy place.

  • Pull on those rubber gloves and let’s get some elbow grease working to de-grime the area.
  • Re-caulk around the tile if needed
  • De-clutter (there’s that word again) your countertop, around the tub, inside the shower.
  • Throw away, pack up or store your personal products.
  • Create a luxury spa feel with soft towels, candles and plants
  • Make sure the toilets aren’t leaking or running
  • If you have hard water stains try using vinegar to remove them

Contact The Kovacs Connection to get with a realtor who can list your home, and get it from ‘Listed’ to ‘Sold!!’

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Spiroview Inc