There's a lot more to this town than Mickey and magic
Anaheim and surrounding Orange County are geographically diverse, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and Santa Ana Mountains to the east. Forests, beaches, cliffs and canyons are all part of Anaheim's dramatic landscape. Anaheim is an action-packed city, from frenetic theme parks and sporting events to fascinating museums and breezy beaches.
Theme Parks, Attractions and Entertainment
Disneyland Resort is Anaheim's crown jewel, and Disneyland is the resort's original classic theme park, with eight themed lands containing more than 60 attractions. At the "Happiest Place on Earth," you can choose to ride on one of Davy Crockett's canoes, the Disney Railroad, a monorail or a submarine. Be sure to watch the fireworks, parades and enchanted tropical birds singing and dancing in the Tiki Room.
Next door, Disney California Adventure Park highlights classic Disney and Pixar characters on rides named after Goofy, Mickey and Ariel, the Little Mermaid. You can glide through the sky (parachute-style) on the Jumpin' Jellyfish and cheer at the Pixar Play Parade and awesome World of Color nighttime show.
Downtown Disney District houses a vast array of retailers selling everything from park-themed souvenirs and personalized teddy bears to the latest bestsellers. You can retreat to the House of Blues for great musical acts and leisurely dining.
At Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, you can ride through at total of six loops, rolls and corkscrews on the Silver Bullet. On the Windseeker, riders experience a sense of free flight in a swinging gondola that's lifted 301 feet in the air. And don't forget to taste Mrs. Knott's mouth-watering chicken.
Neighboring Knott's Soak City is a vintage beach-themed water park where you can shoot through a tube, ride a wave or float down a lazy river.
For a budget-priced, family-friendly theme park alternative with wholesome appeal, try Anaheim's Adventure City. At Flightdeck Air Combat Center (with classroom and in-flight instructions) you can enter a simulated military cockpit and experience what it's like to pilot a jet fighter or Boeing 737 passenger plane. If you prefer ground-based steering, you can test your skills at indoor European-style electric kart racing—at K1 Speed.
Orange County Performing Arts presents a wide array of offerings, including everything from Broadway shows and jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras, operas and the highly regarded Anaheim Ballet. Honda Center and City National Grove of Anaheim are two more top arts venues featuring internationally acclaimed performers.
Honda Center houses the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks. Major League Baseball's the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim calls Angel Stadium home. The city also hosts the U.S. Men's and Women's National Volleyball Teams.
The Great Outdoors
Engaging outdoor activities are plentiful in the vicinity of sunny Anaheim. You can go rollerblading, biking or hiking on land or kayaking, sailing, surfing and stand-up paddling on the ocean. Sportfishing, harbor cruises, gondola rides and whale or dolphin watches are all popular pastimes. Various excursions are available out of Dana Point Harbor and Newport Beach. Local sportfishing catches include bass, yellowtail and halibut. With a license, you can also drop a line off any of Orange County's piers.
Touted as California's "Golf Coast," Orange County contains more than 40 championship golf courses graced by fabulous views. Many were developed by legendary pro golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.
Orange County contains 42 miles of Pacific shoreline with entertaining beach towns and boardwalks. You can build a sandcastle, walk the pier, or catch a wave at Huntington Beach (Surf City, U.S.A.). Check out the Surfing Walk of Fame and International Surfing Museum, and don't miss seeing the statue of surfing's patriarch—Duke Kahanamoku—at the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway. In Newport Beach, visit the Balboa Peninsula to go parasailing or whale watching, pedal a bike down the boardwalk, then grab a fresh-baked donut or ice cream cone. Laguna Beach is best known for its blazing sunsets and string of galleries showcasing visual arts by local residents.
There's a great variety of museums to visit in and around Anaheim.
Learn about California's history and browse through a worldwide spectrum of fine arts and ethnic artifacts at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art. You can see interesting solo and group exhibitions by local and worldwide artists at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach. All styles of California art (spanning three centuries) are the focal points at Laguna Art Museum. At the Crystal Cathedral, you can step inside a church with shimmering walls and ceiling crafted from 10,000 glass panels. The Lyon Air Museum displays vintage aircraft, transport vehicles and related mementos from World War II.
The groundbreaking MUZEO reaches beyond the traditional museum concept with its constantly changing, interactive exhibits and special events.
The not-for-profit Marconi Automotive Museum showcases vintage race cars, motorcycles and classic Ferraris and Lamborghinis to benefit Orange County children. Newport Harbor Nautical Museum in Balboa's Fun Zone gives visitors a glimpse of Southern Californians' seafaring past. If you're interested in politics, you might want to visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Birthplace and Museum to learn about the individuals and events that influenced the executive decisions of America's 37th president.
For More Information:
County Visitor & Convention Bureau
California Travel and Tourism Commission