Anaheim, California is probably most famous as the home of Disneyland, the first Disney theme park, known around the world as "The Happiest Place on Earth”, but there is much more family fun to be found in and around this city in Orange County, California.
In addition to Disneyland with its many “lands,” rides, and attractions which grow in popularity year by year, there is Disney's California Adventure. This spectacular addition occupies about 55 acres of the original 100 acre Disneyland parking lot. Located immediately to the south of the Magic Kingdom, this entirely separate gated features all the best of California in condensed form.
The themed areas within California Adventure include an authentic replica of a California seaside resort, complete with a Boardwalk and "ocean front” amusement park. There is a roller coaster, aptly named California Screamin', and other rides. There is "Cannery Row" area representing the Monterey area, a hint of Tinsel town in the Hollywood Studios backlot, a high desert aviation area named Condor Flats, an agricultural section called Bountiful Valley, and daily wine tasting with the Mondavi family from Napa Valley. Finally, there is a wilderness area called Redwood Creek which features the symbol for the entire park, Grizzly Peak. This outcropping in the shape of a bear’s head has a white-water rafting adventure. Also included within the park itself is the Grand Californian Hotel, themed as a wilderness lodge in the architectural style of the historically significant National Parks lodges.
Enjoy sizzling steaks, seafood, exotic entrees, desserts, and a wide range of beverages, including wine and beer at the cafes and restaurants in the Disney parks. From All-American offerings to the authentic flavors of Asia, Mexico and Italy, finding a great meal is easy!
In addition to the Disneyland theme parks, there is Knott's Berry Farm, which began in the 1930s as a roadside stand offering Mrs. Knott’s homemade pies and delicious chicken dinners. Today, it is a theme park with over 165 shows, attractions, and high tech rides for thrill seekers of all ages.
For film lovers, Universal Studios Hollywood (about 35 miles from Anaheim) features rides based on many of its most famous films, such as Back to the Future, Shrek, Jurrasic Park, and Spiderman. Knott’s Soak City USA provides hours of family entertainment with over 20 water rides. Medieval Times places dinner guests in the role of medieval royalty. Jousting tournaments occur nightly as guests dine in the midst of the pageantry and action.
After touring the theme parks, there are museums and cultural attractions to enjoy. The local art museums offer original and rare works of art. The Crystal Cathedral, the largest glass building in the world is located two miles from Disneyland. Two memorable pageants, complete with live animals, are presented there each year. SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Catalina Island, Legoland, and the Long Beach Aquarium are area attractions well worth visiting. For thrill rides, visit 6 Flags California near Los Angeles.
Anaheim is located approximately 30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles and 90 miles north of San Diego. Its central location makes it an excellent place to select as a base for a Southern California vacation. Well-organized tours are available from Anaheim to top attractions in every direction. A vacation in Anaheim will fulfill the children’s dreams, and build a library of pleasant memories for the family that will last a lifetime.