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Though Walt Disney’s original theme park put Anaheim on the global map, the city’s first claim to fame was its 25-year reign as the largest wine-producing region in California. Agricultural roots run deep, with a burgeoning resurgence of winemakers and brewers weaving a new kind of magic in the famous family fun zone. From the crack of the ball at Angel Stadium to the tang of craft sours at Hoparazzi, Anaheim proves that its recent coming of age isn’t just for the little ones.
ALL THE REASONS PEOPLE LOVE ANAHEIM:
Dine and Dance: Hit the city’s farmers’ market or grab some grub near this Anaheim hotel at one of 20 artisan eateries in the restored 1920s commerce buildings of the Anaheim Packing District. Join the lawn party for live music and turf dancing in the adjacent two-acre park, or stroll the boardwalk and thriving olive grove.
Pro Sports: Angel Stadium is the shining star of pro sports in Orange County, but the Anaheim Ducks put on a show of their own at the Honda Center. Join the baseball and hockey action at home games or ballpark tours, and head over to Huntington Beach for pro surf tournaments when nearby at this Country Inns & Suites hotel.
Tasting Rooms and Breweries: Indulge in pours, flights and sippings at the vineyard-framed Terrace Wine Tasting room near Golden Vine Winery or the contemporary, science-inspired Bottle Logic microbrewery. Raise a glass to the past at the Anaheim Brewery, a pre-Prohibition watering hole established in 1888.
FAMILY FUN IN ANAHEIM:
So many romping through Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure® Park is hands down the most popular thing to do in Anaheim. By all means, get your Disney on – but tip a hat to simpler times at the Adventure City family theme park, with old-fashioned carnival rides, a vintage 1946 carousel, petting farm and children’s theater. Raise the energy bar with go-karts at K1 Speed or trampolines at Skyzone, and skate off leftover energy at The Rinks, the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH:
Surfside: Cruise palm-fringed Beach Boulevard in Anaheim to the renowned 1,850-foot surfer’s pier at Huntington Beach, about 20 minutes away from the city. Throw a line in the ocean, and sizzle your catch over a roaring beach bonfire at sunset. Visitors and locals mingle on Main Street, which bursts with trendy cafes, surf shops and high-fashion boutiques. Join the stream of rollerbladers on the boardwalk near this Anaheim hotel, or boogie board the wild waves; rental shacks dot the sand near the pier.
Pacific Coast Highway: Head south on Pacific Coast Highway for the ultimate oceanfront drive from Corona Del Mar to Laguna Beach. Take a break at Crystal Cove State Park, where history and culture collide in beachfront Japanese sharecropper cabins abandoned during the Japanese internment camp-era of World War II. Savor some seafood at The Cliff, with al fresco dining on towering cliffs above the windswept coves of Laguna Beach.
Hiking: Locals embrace the wild beauty of Orange County’s inland forests, deserts and canyons by trekking to remote spots. From the end of Trabuco Creek Road, about 30 miles from Anaheim, hike about 1.5 miles to reach the 18-foot cascading waterfall at Holy Jim Falls.
WHEN TO VISIT:
Orange County has gentle, sunny weather year-round, with average winter temperatures in the low 70s, rising to the 80s in the summer. Theme park visitors converge on Anaheim each summer, making autumn and winter ideal times to visit.
ANAHEIM INSIDER TRAVEL TIP:
For peaceful and worry-free downtime, grab some picnic supplies from the Packing District farmers’ market, and enjoy a picnic at the 16-acre Ronald Reagan Park in the Anaheim Hills.