Sightseeing in Anaheim

Anaheim is known as the home for one of America’s most famous theme parts, the original home of the world’s most famous mouse, Disneyland. But the city of Anaheim has a lot more to offer that just the Disneyland Resort and its biggest local competitor, Knott’s Berry Farm. Anaheim is so chock full of family fun activities it’s the ideal destination for a family vacation.

Disneyland

The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California was dedicated and a opened in July of 1955 and was the only theme part designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. The park today is divided into realms which branch out from the Central Plaza. The separate realms are almost invisible when you’re immersed in one of them. Originally there were five theme lands; Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland. Since then Holidayland was opened but closed only four years later. New Orleans Square, Bear Country/Critter Country, and Mickey’s Toontown have opened since and have stayed important elements of the park. The park is loaded with attractions, live entertainment, shops, restaurants, and there is a parade, fireworks and a multimedia nighttime show every day. Disneyland is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all the world and caters to the imagination in everyone, no matter their age.

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is located outside of the theme park and designed to give a different experience, one that is a little bit more adult in nature. Downtown Disney offers activities from early morning until late night and is conveniently close for anyone staying in one of the Disneyland Resorts. This amped up city street features a slew of activities including; movies, jazz clubs, dining options, shopping destinations, street performers, and live performances. Even though this destination is one of Disney’s it’s actually, typically, much less crowded and less expensive.

Disneyland California Adventure

Disneyland California Adventure Park is all that you’d expect from a Disney attraction, but this one is focused on California’s history, features and people. The attractions at the Disneyland California Adventure include; Toy Story Mania!, Soarin’ Over California, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, Mickey’s Fun Wheel. For entertainment the Disneyland California Adventure includes; High School Musical 3 Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!, Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!, and Turtle Talk with Crush. Like most other Disney parks the California Adventure is divided into themed park lands and each area has a number of rides, performances, productions, stores, restaurants  and live street performances.

Knotts Berry Farm

Disneyland’s greatest competition in Anaheim is Knotts Berry Farm which claims to be America’s first theme park. The park began simply enough as a berry farm with a unique newly created berry, the boysenberry. To help fund their farm they couple began serving fried chicken and other meals with a slice of boysenberry pie for dessert. Their popularity grew and in 1940 a ghost town was built to entertain the crowds. More attractions grew and the motif changed a bit to more of a traditional theme park. When Walt Disney was alive he and Walter Knott were quite friendly with each other and didn’t see their separate parks as being direct competitors, although through the years they’ve begun to develop in similar ways and are now pretty similar in motif. The park currently features a number of attractions, shopping centers, restaurants, productions, themed areas and very popular holiday events. But the one stop at Knotts Berry Farm that shouldn’t be ignored is the original Ghost Town.

Grove of Anaheim

Grove of Anaheim is an indoor live music venue that packs in some of the most happening acts around. The venue also features a restaurant and sometimes the Grove of Anaheim requires that you purchase a meal in addition to your event tickets. Check the website to see what events are on the horizon and what the requirements are on your target date.

Adventure City

Adventure City is a small theme park with more of its attractions geared toward the younger set, although there are full sized rollercoasters as well. The benefit of selecting this park over the major ones is the price is much more reasonable, the lines shorter and the parks are less crowded. If you or your family is in the mood for a theme park but don’t want to spend all day or an arm and a leg, then Adventure City is the place to be.

Anaheim Family Fun Center

Anaheim Family Fun Center is another smaller theme park full of attractions for families of all ages. Much less expensive that the bigger parks this park can also be experienced ala carte if you’re thinking about just throwing a roller coaster or a quick lap in the bumper cars into your day.

Golden Vine Winery

As with most stops in Anaheim, the Golden Vine Winery is a Disney owned attraction. This beautiful winery is located on Grizzly Peak with meandering walkways through the landscaped vineyard into the courtyard. Guests are welcome to tour the grounds, taste the wines, explore the Blue Sky Cellar art work, or just sit back and enjoy the day. Once a year the Disney California Food and Wine Festival occurs with a number of events, diners, wines, and tapas to enjoy.

Angel ‘A’ Stadium of Anaheim

Angel Stadium of Anaheim is the home ballpark to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim making it an excellent stop for tourists who are baseball fans, especially in the upcoming year. The stadium is the fourth oldest active major league baseball stadium and has been selected to host the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The stadium has its roots back in 1966 when ground was broken for the stadium which became the Angels official home in 1966. Visitors may also want to take in a concert at the Grove of Anaheim, in the northwest corner of the parking lot.

There are other sights and sounds to take in during your visit to Anaheim but the city is really best known for its world-class amusement and theme parks. So any visitor to the city would truly be remiss if they skipped all of the thrills and spills this city has to offer.
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/Loren Javier

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