Live Like the Real Housewives of Orange County for a Day

Even if you've never watched "reality" TV shows (yeah, right), you've probably heard of "The Real Housewives of Orange County," the OG of the "Real Housewives" franchise on the Bravo network. If you've ever dreamed of living like one of these privileged, so-Botoxed-their-faces-never-move Southern California ladies, here's how to spend a day in their stilettos. If you'd prefer to live like a real housewife of Beverly Hills, here are some helpful tips for doing just that.

1. Check into the Monarch Beach Resort (formerly the St. Regis Hotel)

Yes, this is one of the most expensive hotels in the OC, but when you walk out onto the perfectly manicured grounds overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Dana Point, you'll be standing on the exact spot where Tamra and Eddie staged their dream wedding—so it's absolutely worth cashing in your 401K to stay here. Actually, room rates start at around $350.

2. Cruise (the Perimeter of) Coto

Flickr/Joel Duggan

Unless you happen to live there or know someone who does, you can't go inside Coto de Caza—the upscale, guard-gated community where many of the housewives lived during the first few seasons—but that doesn't matter anyway since most of them have moved out. Simply roll down your car windows and take a drive past those gates the show made famous, breathing in that luxurious, oh-so-nouveau-riche air.

3. Work it all out at CUT Fitness
People working out on fitness equipment at a busy gymGetty Images/iStockphoto

As you get in shape at Tamra and Eddie's gym just a few minutes from Coto in Rancho Santa Margarita, argue with your workout buddies whether calling someone "Mrs. Roper" at her own costume party qualifies as an insult. Just be very careful not to overexert yourself—you don't want your sweat to unglue your false eyelashes.

4. Pretend to shop at Neiman Marcus Fashion Island
Travel Destination: Newport Beach, CaliforniaGetty Images​​​​​​​

Tell the salespeople at this chi-chi Newport Beach department store that you're just looking at those $4,700 Gucci handbags as you discuss with your friends whether Vicki really knew Brooks was faking cancer. You might also want to take a 15-minute drive to South Coast Plaza, an enclosed mall in Costa Mesa where you're more likely to encounter one of the real housewives with no cameras trailing her.

5. Squabble over sunset cocktails
laguna beachshutterstock​​​​​​​

Gather with your friends around an outdoor table at the Las Brisas Restaurant in Laguna Beach, order up some margaritas and "champs," and fight over who truly has whose backs as the sun sets on another glorious Orange County day. Wooo!

Laura Goldman is a freelance writer, lifelong Angeleno and frequent visitor to the OC. Check out her i Still Love Dogs blog and follow her on Twitter.

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