Orange County’s Wildlife & Beach Tour: Discover the Hidden Gems

photos by Carmel L. Mooney

Next time the Southern California coast beckons to you, why not get off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems of Orange County under the guidance of an educational guide and naturalist.

OC Wildlife & Beach Tour offers full, half day, shopping tours, artist colony tours, eco tours, wine tasting tours and specially tailored tours to fit just about every age, need, or desire.

Orange County’s bounty of spectacular wildlife, sea mammals, sparkling beaches and tide pools provides the perfect back drop for nature lovers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore and enjoy.

“Many people who come to this part of California want to see attractions like Hollywood, Disneyland, and Knott’s Berry Farm,” says owner Cheri Ikerd. “We get people who want to see our beautiful beaches and wildlife, which many people don’t know we have. It’s a whole new way to see Orange County.”

This tour company offers door to door service from many area hotels. Participants enjoy touring historic beaches, exploring tide pools, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, wilderness parks, nature reserves, and artists’ studios and colonies, just to name a few of the gems.

The tours are great for all ages and generally include light walking, with lunches available.

Whales, dolphins, seal lions, harbor seals, sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, waterfowl, and shorebirds are just a small sample of the many and varied coastal wildlife often spotted on the tours.

What’s more, this company, with a heart, gives back to the community and the environment by donating a portion of all its profits to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The eco-tour company also is involved in community clean up activities, and conservation and educational stewardship.

OC Wildlife & Beach Tour works hard to support local merchants and artists. Local restaurants and shops work as partners with the eco-tour company to give guests discounts, creating a win-win situation for all. “We even get locals coming in from Los Angeles just to do our tours and after our tours they enjoy dinner or shopping,” says Ikerd.

Visitors from all over the world send notes of appreciation to Ikerd for her company’s commitment to making a difference in their lives and for protecting the beauty of Orange County’s marine life and the environment.

“I feel lucky to be able to give back in so many ways and to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. I am very fortunate that I love my job and have great tour guides that have a love for the ocean and marine life too,” says Ikerd. “We strive to model after our Native Americans…Be good to the land and the land will be good to you.”