VacationsBrea has all the charm of an old-fashioned city and and ideal location close to Los Angeles, Orange County theme parks and shopping galore. Brea is known as North Orange County's destination for dining and shopping, in fact. Brea Mall, Brea Marketplace, Brea Gateway Center, Downtown Brea, Union Plaza and East Imperial Center are some of the shopping areas in Brea.
Downtown Brea is the hub of entertainment and nightlife with a 22-movie screen theater, Improv comedy club, weekly Farmer's Market, annual Jazz Festival and holiday events and things to do.
Are you looking for arts, culture and history?
Be sure to see Arts in Public Places sculpture collection that include 20 quality installations throughout the city.
"Orange Grove Fountain" is a five-piece sculpture designed as a symbol of Brea's history of orange groves. The bright and playful contemporary sculpture is a whimsical interpretation of an orange grove with elements reminiscent of grove trees. With water flowing over the pieces, the fountain is also a symbol of Brea's prosperity. Brea's earliest settlers were attracted to the location because of the availability of water. This brightly colored interpretation of an orange grove celebrates Brea's abundance and history with a refreshing splash. Artist Meg Cranston's contemporary work accentuates the Downtown Brea ambiance while reminding the public of the close link between Brea's natural and cultural history.
Another delightful sculpture by world renown artist Niki de St. Phalle can be seen at Brea Mall. La Lune (The Moon) is one of four such public installations by the French-born artist whose work was whimsical and fun.
On the historical side of things, the name Brea, means tar in Spanish. The tar seeped from the hills. Native Americans and early immigrant settlers knew that the goop was great for weatherproofing items and it supplied a great source for fires. The oil was just waiting to be discovered and it was! Union Oil Company struck it rich in 1898 when the first oil well, Olinda Oil Well #1, came in, paving the way for the thriving city that Brea is today.
The town didn't actually begin to develop until 1911 when businesses and small industries sprang up to serve the oil field workers and their families. On January 19, 1911, the old map of the town of Randolph was refiled under a new name, Brea, and the city eventually incorporated in 1917. Oil finds declined, but Brea continued to grow. Several museums offer a glimpse into Brea's rich and interesting past, including a park where you can see one of the original Field Houses used during the oil boom at Olinda Oil Museum and Trail, open several days each week. ci.brea.ca.us
Museums and attractions to visit in Brea include:
Brea Art Gallery
Brea Museum and Heritage Center
Olinda Oil Museum and Trail
Annual Events in Brea:
Bridal Show (last Saturday in January)
Spring Boutique (third Saturday in March)
Jewelry Show & Women's Accessories
Country Fair July 4 Country Fair 7
Concerts in the Park July through August
Nutcracker Craft Boutique -third Friday and Saturday in November
City of Brea's annual Tree Lighting Celebration