Set within California’s stunning Orange County (famously nicknamed ‘The OC’), Anaheim welcomes holidaymakers from all corners of the globe who come seeking thrills, entertainment, action, adventure and fun in the sun. And with everything from spectacular arena sports to shop-till-you-drop retail therapy on offer, Anaheim certainly doesn’t disappoint. It goes without saying that the main draw card of this vibrant Southern Californian city is world-famous Disneyland, which has been serving up magical experiences for the young – and the young at heart – since 1955.
Kids and adults alike flock to Anaheim to experience the world’s most iconic theme park, Disneyland. Home to Mickey Mouse and a Magical Kingdom of 8 themed lands, this wondrous park deserves its reputation as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’. Disney California Adventure Park is another popular theme park located just opposite Disneyland and entices adults and children with animated larger-than-life attractions.
If you prefer baseball and hotdogs to rollercoasters and cotton candy, make a beeline for Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Americans love their baseball and, when you catch a game at this awe-inspiring 45,000-capacity stadium, it’s easy to see why. Grab a hotdog and immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere of the Major League as you cheer on some of the USA’s top sportsmen.
To get even further away from all the Disney buzz to experience a touch of culture in Anaheim, head to Downtown Anaheim. Here you will find the weekly farmer’s market where you can mingle with the locals, or indulge in one of the many cultural events on the Anaheim calendar, including feasts, festivals and art crawls.
Eat and Drink
Just outside the 2 Disney theme parks you’ll find the Downtown Disney District Promenade, which is packed with lively places to eat, drink and be merry. If you’re more interested in escaping the Disney crowds for a while, or just want to experience a little Californian hospitality, head to the Anaheim Packing House in historic Downtown Anaheim for lunch or dinner. This trendy gathering place, which is popular with local and visiting foodies alike, features more than 20 artisan eateries, cocktail bars and even a brewery. The bright and welcoming atmosphere complete with live music on the weekends makes for a memorable Anaheim experience.
Where to Stay
If your visit to Anaheim is all about squeezing in as much Disney action as possible, it will pay to stay right in the heart of the action. The enchanting Disneyland Resort is home to 3 premium hotels, which all feature delightfully themed rooms, restaurants and facilities.
Hotel guests can enjoy a Disney ‘Magic Hour’ on every morning of their stay, which means exclusive access to selected attractions at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park for 1 glorious hour before the parks officially open to the public.
A popular shopping, dining and entertainment complex, Anaheim GardenWalk offers visitors the chance to enjoy retail therapy at big name stores before taking in a movie at the state-of-the-art cinema. When it’s time to refuel, choose from an array of fine dining and casual eateries that offer everything from classic American burgers and shakes to fresh seafood and salads.
For a more local feel, check out the Anaheim Farmers’ Market & Craft Fair, which takes place every Thursday in Downtown Anaheim. Browse the stalls for fresh fruit and vegetables, sample delicious gourmet produce and pick up local arts and crafts, which make for wonderful take-home gifts.
Anaheim Like a Local
When you’ve had enough of the action and want to unwind in the Southern California sun, pack a picnic and make your way to the pristine Yorba Regional Park. This natural wonderland is where locals go to run, cycle, fish and simply relax by one of the park’s 4 lakes.
Rent a bike and explore the grounds on one of the designated cycle trails, or get acquainted with the various species of native wildlife that call this region home. Yorba offers a wonderful budget-friendly day out for the family, and the park’s many amenities ensure there is plenty to keep kids and adults alike entertained.