Anaheim is the most populous city in Orange County, Southern California. With 336,255 inhabitants, it is the 10th largest city in California and 54thin the United States. Needless to say that Anaheim features amazing beaches and quite impressive landscape, just like most of the western cities of the Pacific state. But the endless beaches with white sand and cool breezes are not the main attraction in Anaheim, as the city is home to several famous US venues.
So after landing on LAX or on John Wayne/Orange County Airport, we highly recommend renting a car ($ 22- 55/ day) and driving off to see what this beautiful city of the west coast has to offer.
1. Disneyland Park
First and most popular attraction of Anaheim is the world widely known amusement park, featuring numerous fun rides, games and daily contests. The immense resort includes more than 60 attractions, 50 shops and 30 restaurants. The featured rides include Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Make the most of your chance of meeting your childhood mates, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie and Goofy. Stroll to the nearby Disney’s California Adventure and try the magnificent restaurants from Downtown Disney. The GardenWalk also provides fine dining and world-class stores for some holiday shopping.
2. Anaheim Convention Center
Business people from everywhere meet daily at the largest convention center on the West Coast, and one of the largest in the world. Today a real jewel of modern architecture, the center has undergone three years of expansion and renovation. It is a true landmark of Orange County and a popular attraction of Southern California.
3. Angels Stadium of Anaheim
Home of the 2002 World Champion Anaheim Angels, the stadium accommodates up to 45,100 people and features important sporting events in its wide landscaped courtyard.
4. Honda Center
This gigantic venue is Southern California’s premier entertainment and sports events location. The 650,000 square-foot arena is home to NHL’s Ducks of Anaheim, the NLL Anaheim Storm and the John R. Wooden Classic. Honda Center is the place where major events, concerts and games are held throughout the year, including the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and the Harlem Globetrotters.
5. Knott’s Berry Farm
This popular Anaheim attraction is America’s oldest amusement park, featuring six Old West theme parks: Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, Wild Water Wilderness, Indian Trails, The Boardwalk and Camp Snoopy. The numerous rides include Take off like a shot on Silver Bullet, Knott’s new suspended coaster that takes riders through six inversions. Knott’s Berry Farm offers world-class thrills and ensures tons of fun with your family on its 160 acres, with live shows and wild rides.
6. Medieval Times
Anaheim is the city of make belief, with venues that take you back to the Middle Ages at the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Surrounded by the thunder of hooves, the clash of lances and swords as the knights engage in battle, you will enter a whole new universe of magic. Tourists are welcome to attend the royal feasts and witness the chivalry and courage of the medieval fighters.
7. Discovery Science Center
For those who are fascinated by science, there’s no more interesting place to visit than the Discovery Science Center, featuring more than 120 hands-on exhibitions, numerous science shows, workshop, fieldtrips and 3D laser spectacles.
8. Orange County Fair & Exposition Center
The fair provides entertaining yet educational opportunities for tourists, preserving the California agricultural heritage. The annual Orange County Fair, Centennial Farm, The Ranch, Youth Expo and more than 100 events throughout the year are not to be missed.
9. Adventure City
This is one of the numerous theme parks of Anaheim. Featuring spinning, twirling, zooming rides, captivating shows, a petting farm, a theatre and a 24-foot climbing wall, it is one of the most popular attractions of Anaheim, appealing to all ages.
10. The Grove of Anaheim
The 27,140 square feet venue hosts yearly concerts, events and entertainment shows, featuring a wide array of artists, Grammy winners and diverse genres, from comedy to country, hard rock to Latin. The Grove is a beautiful place and it’s perfect for exciting special events, corporate functions, products launches, weddings, galas and concerts. Definitely a place to see.
11. Newport Beach
One of the most important and visited attractions of Anaheim is the beach. Newport Beach that is, a nine mile white sand strip, on the West Coast of Southern California. The shore line is perfect for swimming, surfing, fishing, sailing, yachting, snorkeling and sunbathing. There are so many things to do on the beach, including Balboa Pavilion, the Newport-Balboa Ferry boat, harbor cruises, boat rentals, rollerblading, sand volleyball, outdoor concerts, tennis and trips to Catalina Island. Newport Beach also features world-class shopping, waterfront dining, and championship golf courses. Framed by the Saddleback Mountains, Newport Beach’s ecological reserve is very popular with birders.
12. Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
The largest museum in Orange County and one of the finest in California, Bower’s Museum promotes human understanding through art, featuring extensive exhibitions and collections of paintings, tribal art, Native American artifacts, Pre-Columbian Mexican art, as well as Central and Southern American pieces. The galleries illustrate the rich, colorful history of the people who once lived on the premises.
13. Mission San Juan Capistrano
“The jewel of the California Missions”, Mission San Juan Capistrano is the birthplace of Orange County (1776) and the 7th Californian mission, named after the 14th century Italian theologian St John of Capistrano. The Mission stands as a witness to California’s rich heritage, embracing its cultural history and its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European influences. The 10 acres are covered by lush gardens and cool fountains, so walking through the vast parks will offer peace and serenity.
14. Universal Studios Hollywood/City Walk
Everyone comes to California to go to Hollywood, even if it’s just to experience the glamour of the movie stars. Enjoy the thrills, magic, stunts and special effects of the world’s largest motion picture and TV studio and LA theme park. Take your chance of meeting someone famous, then take a stroll through LA and stop at its cool restaurants, clubs and cafes on the exciting Universal CityWalk.
15. Flightdeck Air Combat Center
Experience the thrills of flying a plane in the Flightdeck simulation center, as you have the opportunity to pilot fighter jets in actual cockpit simulators. Try the Boeing 737 flight simulator; it is definitely an unforgettable experience. This Anaheim attraction is consistently voted one of the top things to do in Orange County.
California is one of the most wonderful holiday destinations one could choose. Due to its endless beaches covered in white sand and the cool breeze of the Pacific, this West Coast country receives millions of tourists every year, travelling from across the world to get a taste of the California sun. Disneyland is the place where all come to be surrounded by their childhood heroes, whereas Anaheim’s endless attractions and exciting venues transform Orange County into an amusement park in itself. So book your trip to Southern California, succumb to the magic and let yourself be entertained.