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Next Stop, Anaheim!

2012-09-01, Feature, by Amy Kapp

 Extend your trip to Anaheim by a day or two—there's so much to see and do, and the natural scenery is unparalleled. 

Before Walt Disney made Anaheim a family destination, the city received attention in an unexpected way by comedian Jack Benny. In a January 7, 1945, KFI radio sketch, as Benny and his entourage await passage to New York, a L.A. Union Station conductor (played by Mel Blanc) announces, “Train leaving on track five for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc–amonga!” Intended as a throwaway line, this bit became so popular with listeners that Benny continued to use it, and Anaheim became a household name.

Founded in the 1850s by German immigrants, Anaheim has a rich history, from its early wine making days to its booming citrus industry. Home to 343,000 residents and receiving approximately 20 million visitors each year, the 50-squaremile city is an entertainment mecca, with several major sports teams, the largest convention center on the West Coast, 47 parks, and cultural attractions for all ages.

Food and Attractions  

Anaheim Resort District  

Theme-park aficionados will find no lack of fun at the Disneyland Resort, host to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Both are accessible via Downtown Disney, which boasts an assortment of souvenir shops, boutiques, and eateries. For affordable southern fare, try the House of Blues Anaheim—a popular restaurant/bar and concert venue. Foodies may opt for Uva Bar across the street, where Spanish tapas are served al fresco.

Near the Anaheim Convention Center, restaurants pepper the streets, many with familiar names. Diners who wish to save a dime may try McCormick & Schmick’s, which offers a happy hour daily from 3 to 6 p.m. Eastward is Angel Stadium (tours available), Honda Center (host to the Anaheim Ducks), and the Flightdeck Air Combat Center—where you can channel your inner “Top Gun” in a simulation. Like currywurst? Just further north, The Phoenix Club offers German food and beer in the Loreley Restaurant and smaller Bierstube (pub).

Anaheim and Adjacent  

For history and culture, head to the Anaheim Colony district. You’ll discover Founders’ Park, which has two historic homes (note—homes/facilities are open only the first Saturday morning of each month; grounds are open daily), and Pearson Park, with its 85-year-old amphitheater. Nearby is Muzeo, a unique museum exploring culture, history, and the natural world. If the sights make you hungry, head to the Anaheim White House, which serves traditional French-American food in a restored landmark. The chef has been nationally recognized for providing free meals each night to motel children; to date he has fed more than 420,000 kids.

For a little culture and shopping, Old Towne Orange is a one-square mile area south of Chapman University. In addition to being the largest nationally registered historic district in California, it contains an eclectic mix of antique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Pit stops include Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen (careful, there’s no sign), Haven Gastropub, and The Bruery (one can pair beer or wine flights with cheese tastings).

For burger lovers, In-N-Out Burger (there’s one northwest of the resort area) has a cult following. If you like Mediterranean food , head to “Little Arabia,” where Kareem’s, an unassuming order-at-the counter establishment, makes fine falafel. Or, try Olive Tree, recognized by O.C. Weekly as the Best Middle Eastern Restaurant of 2011.

Further Afield  

If you can’t stay away from theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm resides ten miles north of Disneyland in Buena Park, California. This western-themed attraction, known for making the boysenberry a commercial success, boasts the famous Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

And, if you love beaches, you’ll love Anaheim’s proximity to 42 miles of coastline. Get in some whale watching at Newport Beach via Balboa Island, experience the surfer culture of Huntington, or enjoy the artistic vibe of Laguna.

Many sites are accessible via the Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) system. An adult, all-day pass costs $4. Reservations are highly recommended for most restaurants.   


Parks Build Community Dedication Ceremony  

El Sereno Recreation Area and Children’s Nature Play Garden 

Thursday, October 18, 2:00 p.m.  

Congress attendees are invited to join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks for the dedication of NRPA’s newest Parks Build Community project, the El Sereno Recreation Area and Children’s Nature Play Garden. This new park, one of the mayor’s 50 Parks initiative to bring parks and recreation to underserved communities in Los Angeles, features a playground donated by PlayCore, a specially designed children’s nature play garden, walking paths, and landscaping. The site has been designated a national demonstration site for the Natural Play and Learning Areas initiative by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Learning Institute of North Carolina State University. The Trust for Public Land is a major partner in the design and construction of this unique urban park.

The park is located in at the corner of Concord and Lowell Streets in the El Sereno Community of Los Angeles. A limited amount of transportation will be provided by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.



Anaheim/OC Visitor & Convention Bureau 

Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART)  



Anaheim White House 887 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805, 714.772.1381, (Lunch not served Saturday/Brunch Sunday/Reservations requested)

The Bruery Provisions 143 N. Glassell St. Orange, CA 92866, 714.997.2337, 

Downtown Disney Dining Directory 

Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen 141 S. Glassell St. Orange, CA 92866, 714.633.3038, 

Haven Gastropub 190 S. Glassell St. Orange, CA 92866, 714.221.0680, 

House of Blues Anaheim 1530 S. Disneyland Dr. Anaheim, CA 92802, 714.778.2583, 

In-N-Out Burger 600 S. Brookhurst St. Anaheim, CA 92804, 800.786.1000,  

Kareem’s Restaurant 1208 S. Brookhurst St. Anaheim, CA 92804, 714.778.6829, (Closed for dinner Sunday and Monday)

McCormick & Schmick’s Grille 321 W. Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA 92802, 714.535.9000, 

Olive Tree Restaurant 512 S. Brookhurst St. Anaheim, CA 92804, 714.535.2878, 

The Phoenix Club Loreley/ Bierstube 1340 S. Sanderson Ave. Anaheim, CA 92806, 714.563.4166, (Closed Mondays)

Uva Bar & Café 1580 Disneyland Dr. Anaheim, CA 92802, 714.774.4442,  



Angel Stadium 2000 Gene Autry Way Anaheim, CA 92806, 714.940.2070, (Tours available on Tuesdays during off-season/Call to confirm.)

Beaches and Coastlines  

Disneyland/Disney California Adventure 1313 S. Disneyland Dr. Anaheim, CA 92802, 714.781.4636,,,  

Downtown Disney  

Flightdeck Air Combat Center 1650 S. Sinclair St. Anaheim, CA 92806, 714.937.1511, (Closed Mondays/Reservations highly recommended/Must be done via phone)

Founders’ Park 400 N. West St. Anaheim, CA 92801, 

Knott’s Berry Farm 8039 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90620, 714.220.5200, (Hours vary depending on month/ season)

Pearson Park 400 N. Harbor Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805, 

Muzeo 241 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805, 714.956.8936,  

Newport Landing Whale Watching 400 Main St. Newport Beach, CA 92661, 949.675.0551, (Runs through November/Call for information/reservations)

Old Towne Orange,  

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