Nicknamed the Disneyland City, Anaheim, California is well-known for being where families and Disney lovers can go to enjoy amusement park rides and their favorite Disney characters. This city is also well-versed in athletics, with two major sports teams hailing from the area, The Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Angels.
German families originally settled Anaheim. The name Anaheim is Germanic with Ana after the Santa Ana River and Heim meaning home. The families recognized the area as their home, and the name represents that over a century later. Anaheim also relied on harvesting grapes for vineyards, as well as carpentry and mechanics, to keep their city afloat.
Shopping and dining are significant experiences wherever you go, but Anaheim offers both in one convenient location. The South Coast Plaza on Bristol Street is celebrated as one of the premier shopping and dining destinations for both Anaheim and neighboring Costa Mesa. You can park in one of the spacious lots, then walk the neighborhood to over 250 boutique shops and eateries. Guests can shop for name brands, such as Gucci, Cartier, or Coach, then enjoy a delicious dinner of homemade ravioli and red sauce at Maggiano's Little Italy.
Modern Anaheim is home to Disneyland, but it's also home to the Paint the Night Parade. Both of these events are arts based to represent the thriving arts scene in California. The Paint the Night Parade features Disney and Pixar favorites, like the Cars characters, decked out in beautiful, vibrant lights. There are dancers, a great Disney soundtrack, and interactive activities for the crowd that encourages audience participation. Fireworks signal the end of the event.
If Disneyland is too big for your tastes, try out Adventure City. This small amusement park features 17 rides, interactive shows, and fun things to do for kids and adults.
Anaheim locals are big on celebrations and festivities that coincide with the seasons. Winter, for instance, gives life to the Nutcracker Festival on the first Saturday of December. This festival includes a tree-lighting ceremony, visits from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and his reindeer, and rides, food, and entertainment for the whole family. Other annual seasonal Anaheim celebrations include the Halloween Parade and Fall Festival at the Center Street Promenade, Easter at Downtown Anaheim Farmers Market, and the Civil War Reenactment in March.
Have time for a little obscure entertainment? The Muzeo is an Anaheim location that specializes in offhand facts and random trivia. Their exhibits revolve around unique themes that change regularly. In the past, the museum has offered strange, fascinating insights into the world of chocolate, as well as the costume history of Downtown Abbey characters.
For nature lovers, Anaheim's Yorba Regional Park is a grassy oasis with playgrounds, picnic areas, and baseball fields. Geese and ducks teem in the ponds, while the Santa Ana River Bike Trail weaves 22 miles to Huntington Beach. The smaller paths are perfect for dog walkers, joggers, and strollers.
For more nature, the Oak Canyon Nature Center on East Walnut Canyon Road is a beautiful place for a hike. The various trails are themed for further enjoyment. If you love automotive and career history, stay on the Steam Trail to see vintage mining cars and the entrance to an old miner's cave.
While Anaheim has flourished in attractions in the last century, there are still lots of green knolls and grassy, open spaces to roam around in the area. Up until the construction of Disneyland in 1955, Anaheim was an agricultural community. Rapid growth and development have brought more of a city atmosphere to the area, with big hotels and attractions, but the border of Anaheim and Riverside county features old-school neighborhoods and close-knit rural communities.
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