Things to Do in Anaheim & Buena Park
When people think of what life is like for folks who actually live in Southern California, images similar to Huntington Beach typically come to mind. Appropriately nicknamed “Surf City USA,” Huntington Beach’s 10 miles of coastline and warm temperatures make outdoor living possible year round.
Popular activities revolve around the wide, sandy beaches, from surfing to volleyball, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding. When the sun sets, beach bonfires become the star attraction in the sand. Huntington Beach has more than over 500 fire rings, free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hot dogs and s’mores cook nicely under the stars.
The Huntington Beach Pier is one of the longest piers on the West Coast, stretching 1,850 feet into the waves. It serves as the unofficial center of all of the action and is located on the Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street. Visitors can fish, shop, eat or just wander.
Nestled in between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Orange County Coast is best known for its stretch of cities that run along the scenic Southern California shoreline. With 40-plus miles to lay your towel in the sand, life here is centered around the beach.
Some of the best known cities that make up the Orange County Coast include Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente. Along with the expected beach activities like surfing, swimming and soaking up the sun, the Orange County Coast has numerous beach trails for avid hikers. Piers dot the coast and downtown main streets loaded with shopping and restaurants are typically only steps from the sand.
Knott’s Berry Farm, a 160-acre (65-hectare) amusement park in Buena Park, California, is one of the most-visited theme parks in the United States. The attractions—from dizzying roller coasters to scream-inducing thrill rides—and water park make Knott’s a popular option for family fun in Southern California.
One of America's favorite dinner attractions, Medieval Times Buena Park presents an exciting evening of family entertainment based upon the glory of Medieval Spain. Experience spectacular pageantry, dramatic horsemanship, breathtaking swordplay and romance while feasting on a four-course banquet served in true medieval, pre-silverware fashion.
The Medieval Times dinner and show are held in a mock 11th-century, fortress-like Spanish palace, complete with red tile roofs, palm trees and blazing southern Californian sun. Guests feast on oven-roasted chicken, spare ribs, potatoes and pastry, while the experience culminates in an authentic jousting tournament between six brave knights of the realm.The castle also features a bar, gift shop and the Hall of Arms, which displays myriad medieval artifacts and a medieval torture museum.From the famous Andalusian Stallions to authentic weapons and historic jousting tournament, this recreation will surely transport visitors back to a colorful period of European history.
Located in Yorba Linda, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum documents the life and legacy of the controversial 37th president of the United States. Visit the museum—fully renovated in 2016—to engage with interactive displays, new exhibits, multimedia presentations, and replicas of the Oval Office and East Room.
Baseball fans will surely want to visit the stunning Angel Stadium, one of the finest ballparks in America and home to the major league Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels pack in huge crowds inside the Big A, which is a hop, skip, and a jump away from Disneyland. Watching a game here is not only an exhilarating experience, but it’s also a scenic one, as you have prime views San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains.
The main entrance to Angel Stadium includes two giant Angels hats. Outside home plate gate is a full-sized brick infield complete with regulation pitcher's mound and lighted bases. The most notable feature, however, is the “California Spectacular" in which geysers erupt and a stream cascades down a mountainside covered with real trees and artificial rocks, right behind the left-center field fence.
You can buy same-day bleacher tickets to a game at Angel Stadium during the baseball season, from April to October. If you can, purchase tickets in advance, especially late in the season.
A museum that enriches an understanding of different cultures, the Bowers Museum is a must-visit for its imaginative exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, kids' art and music education programs, and other community events.
The Bowers Museum permanent collection includes more than 100,000 objects focusing on several areas, such as African, South Pacific, Asian, Native American, Pre-Columbian art, and California plein-air painting. The museum also presents a variety of special exhibitions through fruitful partnerships with Smithsonian, the Nanjing Museum, the Shanghai Museum, and the British Museum, among others.
Two blocks south of the main building, the Kidseum offers multi-faceted art and cultural educational experiences for young children, their families, and the community. It provides kids a fun environment where imagination and creativity are not only encouraged, but nurtured.
You don't have to be religious to appreciate the architecture of the Christ Cathedral, formerly the Crystal Cathedral. Looking like a cross between a modern office complex and a science fiction movie set, the cathedral is built in the shape of a 4-pointed star and boasts 10,661 windows, seating capacity for 3,000, and an organ with 16,000 pipes.
Christ Cathedral, designed by postmodernist architect Philip Johnson, anchors a vast campus of gardens, reflecting pools, fountains, and sculpture. As you wander through the grounds, don't miss the freestanding modern Gothic prayer chapel on the cathedral's north side; its pillars are made of eight different types of Italian marble, and inside is a five-piece lead crystal cross that weighs 200 pounds/90 kilograms. Of note are the rectangular panes of glass, which are not bolted to the structure but instead they are glued to it. This was intended to allow the building to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8.0.
Inspired by the beach towns and surf culture of Southern California, Knott’s Soak City is a great way to beat the summer heat. From dueling tube slides to a relaxing lazy river and a children’s pool area, the whimsical water park is an essential Orange County summer experience for the whole family.
Board a replica 18th-century Spanish galleon in Buena Park for the Pirates Dinner Adventure, a family-friendly evening that includes a swashbuckling show and buffet dinner. Enjoy a night of action, comedy, adventure, and romance, complete with dramatic sword play, gravity-defying stunts and acrobatics, fiery pyrotechnics, and dazzling special effects.
More Things to Do in Anaheim & Buena Park
Disneyland Resort® houses two theme parks: the iconic Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park. Disney California Adventure® Park is the newer park and contains attractions such as Hollywood Land and Pixar Pier, while Disneyland® Park—Walt Disney’s original 1955 creation—is home to Space Mountain, Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through and the Haunted Mansion.