Planning a family adventure in Southern California? Jet over to Orange County to discover all the best things to do in Anaheim, CA. Home to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim is one of Southern California’s most popular family vacation destinations.
With expansive theme parks and rich natural reserves, plenty of experiences await in Orange County’s biggest city. Among the top tourist attractions in Anaheim, travelers can experience the ever-so-dreamy Disneyland Park, soak up the natural beauty in Oak Canyon Nature Center, and ratchet up the fun at Adventure City. After a day of sightseeing, see what’s on the menu in the Anaheim Packing District or explore the restaurants, coffee shops, and bars around the GardenWalk.
Ready to discover what to do in Anaheim? Plan the ultimate Orange County itinerary with this complete guide to the best places to visit in Anaheim, CA!
Must-see places to visit in Anaheim, CA
Holding the title of the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland Park is well-known for its family-friendly attractions, renowned treats, and exciting parades. At the famous Disneyland Resort theme park, children and adults alike will not only experience thrilling amusement rides but meet real-life mascots of their favorite Walt Disney characters—like Mickey Mouse and Pluto—and witness surreal street parades.
As one of the most magical places to see in Anaheim, Disneyland Park will uplift your entire SoCal experience. Yearning for some exciting family time? Explore and enjoy the park’s many rides and shows.
While exploring Disneyland, you’ll stumble across several themed lands such as Adventureland, Mickey’s Toon Town, Frontierland, and Critter County. Take your time to enjoy these, especially if you’re a big Walt Disney fan!
As you roam Disneyland, remember to keep a flexible schedule: Queues and transport can be unpredictable. Also, factor in plenty of walking time; after all, this is one of the most popular destinations in the country!
Yorba Regional Park
Spread out over 140 acres, Yorba Regional Park lies near Santa Ana Canyon and is one of the major Anaheim tourist attractions. Designed to capture the serenity of the adjacent Santa Ana River, the park unleashes delightful vistas for visitors.
Visiting Yorba Regional Park is an excellent way to spend time with loved ones while exploring the outdoors. There are numerous fun activities you can indulge in.
Choose from biking trails that connect to the Santa Ana River Trail, or spend your time fishing, sailing, and boating at the Yorba Regional Lakes. Yorba Park also has over 400 picnic tables and shade structures if you want to relax and enjoy a quiet lunch with the family.
Oak Canyon Nature Center
In the mood to witness Southern California’s nature at its finest? Save time in your itinerary to visit the Oak Canyon Nature Center. Nestled deep in the Anaheim Hills, this beautiful natural park spreads across 58 acres.
The Oak Canyon Nature Center offers plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to explore, from a year-round stream meandering serenely through the park to the nearby majestic canyons.
Along the well-mapped-out hiking trails at this popular Anaheim nature park, guests can also observe native wildlife in its natural habitat. Be sure to bring along your camera to capture perfect photos for your Instagram feed!
Craving a little family-friendly excitement? Adventure City is the perfect detour for families looking for bite-sized theme park fun.
Adventure City caters to kids of all ages and sizes, boasting many creative rides for younger age groups and kids 4-feet-tall and under. Those into bigger thrills can also spike the adrenaline on the 45-foot drop tower or the 40-foot-high Rewind Racers family roller coaster.
Besides the rides, young ones can also enjoy the petting farm. Visit to cuddle with cute bunnies, pet goats, and pigs. You’ll also find a kid’s theatre and fun gaming arcade here.
Tired of the activities? Enjoy Adventure City’s family-friendly cuisine, from curly fries to frozen lemonade.
Disney California Adventure Park
Located within the Disneyland Resort, the Disney California Adventure Park is one of the top places to go in Anaheim for family-friendly entertainment. Across its 72 acres, you’ll witness California’s culture and history through the lens of your favorite Disney characters and stories.
Disney California Adventure Park is divided into various themed lands, including Hollywood Land, Grizzly Peak, Cars Land, Pixar Pier, Buena Vista Street, and Pacific Wharf.
Check out Hollywood Land for a glimpse of Hollywood’s 1930s golden age. Or enjoy coastal charms at the Pacific Wharf, paying tribute to the waterfront in Monterey, California.
If you’re looking for more thrills, chase Jack-Jack from tunnel to tunnel on the Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier. Or zip through California’s desert at the Radiator Springs Racers ride in Cars Land.
Downtown Disney District
Thriving with open-air cafés, glittering boutiques, and street musicians, the Downtown Disney District is a must-visit for your Anaheim sightseeing experience. Centrally located within Disneyland Resort, the main street is chock-loaded with shopping, dining, and entertainment options for the whole family.
If you’ve built up an appetite while wandering around the Disney parks, settle down at one of the many restaurants and eateries around the Downtown Disney District. Indulge in mouth-watering Italian cuisine at Naples Ristorante e Bar. Or wash down Southern California cuisine with a refreshing beer on the rooftop patio of Ballast Point Brewing Co., one of the most popular craft breweries in Anaheim.
Traveling without the kids? Adults will love the list of late-night entertainment options and atmosphere in the Downtown Disney District, including bowling with cocktails and beers at Splitsville Luxury Lanes or enjoying the smooth sounds of live jazz performances with friends at Flambeaux’s Jazz Club.
Anaheim Packing District
One of Downtown Anaheim’s most interesting spots, the Anaheim Packing District comprises several revitalized buildings and attractive parkland. The area centers around the former Anaheim Packing House, a historic citrus-packing warehouse dating back to 1919. The building has since been restored and converted into a multi-story food hall that’s one of the tastiest places to eat in Anaheim.
Favorites at the Anaheim Packing House Food Hall include chicken tikka poutine at The Kroft and the Southern comfort food at Georgia’s Restaurant.
Continue your food adventure across Santa Ana Street at the MAKE Building, another historical landmark. Once a marmalade factory, the 1917-era building is now home to several popular local culinary hotspots, including the Pali Wine Company, Unsung Brewing Company, and Jav’s BBQ.
Get some fresh air in the Anaheim Packing District with a walk around Farmers Park. Featuring a redwood boardwalk and grassy lawns, the two-acre park is also home to two more popular Anaheim restaurants: 18 Folds, famed for its melt-in-your-mouth dim sum; and Poppy Seed, an upscale farm-to-table hotspot.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Affectionately termed “The Big A,” Angel Stadium of Anaheim is one of the most famous ballparks in the United States. Home to the Angels since the 1960s, it’s the fourth-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball and one of the must-see Anaheim attractions for sports fans.
If you’re visiting Anaheim during the MLB season, try to squeeze in a baseball game and join legions of fans cheering on their Los Angeles Angels with an “Angel Dog” in hand. Check out the MLB’s official Angels site for game times and ticket sales.
The Rinks Anaheim ICE
Don’t think California and ice hockey belong together? The Rinks Anaheim ICE might change your mind. Once the practice rink for the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks, the indoor ice rink complex is now one of the top points of interest in Anaheim for visitors and locals alike.
If you’re new to skating or need a refresher, the Rinks Anaheim ICE is a fantastic spot to get some practice in. Book yourself in for an ice-skating lesson to nail your form, or join in on a public skating session to burn a few calories and escape the California sun.
As you’re making a few loops, be sure to admire the rink’s stunning architecture. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the building resembles a pair of huts, with a unique wood-beamed ceiling waving over the rinks.
Once known as the Arrowhead Pond Anaheim, the Honda Center is one of the city’s must-visit attractions for sports fans. The arena hosts the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League along with top-selling concerts and family-friendly events like Disney on Ice.
If you’re visiting Anaheim during the hockey season, try to fit in a hockey game at this exciting 17,000-seat stadium. Visit the NHL’s official site for more details on home games and where to find tickets.
Not interested in sports? Check out the Honda Center’s official site to see upcoming events, including concerts, figure skating events, and comedy shows.
South Coast Plaza
Love shopping and wondering where to go in Anaheim? Strap on your stilettos and traipse over to the South Coast Plaza. Located 20 minutes south in Costa Mesa, the popular shopping center is the largest mall on the West Coast and one of the largest in the United States.
South Coast Plaza is home to over 250 fashion boutiques and trendy restaurants. Luxury shoppers will have a chance to browse all their favorite brands like Hermes, Prada, Gucci, and Christian Dior.
After your shopping extravaganza, check out the food options at one of the mall’s 35 restaurants and eateries, offering everything from fine dining to casual eats.
If you’re looking to add a dash of culture to your shopping trip, time your visit with a performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Featuring several distinct venues, the performing arts center is one of the top spots around Orange County to catch a concert, musical, or opera.
Check the official schedule to see what’s on during your visit.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Seeking a fun destination where the kids can let loose? Stop off at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. Located east of downtown, the indoor recreational park is one of the top Anaheim points of interest for family-friendly excitement.
Hit the floor for a day of bouncing rambunctiously on a series of trampolines or challenging your family members to a game of bouncy dodgeball.
Want to test your strength and agility? Scale up the climbing wall or leap between challenging obstacles on the Ninja Warrior course.
Knott’s Berry Farm
Located in Buena Park, just 15 minutes from Downtown Anaheim, Knott’s Berry Farm offers far more than its humble name implies. What started out as a roadside berry stand on State Route 39 has now become one of California’s most famous classic theme parks.
Families visiting Knott’s Berry Farm will get their pick of everything from screaming on exciting thrill rides to cooling down in the water park.
Even if you don’t want to spike your adrenaline, you can wander around the park’s thematic areas. Get a taste of the Old West at the 1800s-era Ghost Town, enjoy SoCal beach vibes at The Boardwalk, unearth California’s Hispanic heritage at the Fiesta Village, or hang out with beloved Peanuts characters at Camp Snoopy.
Visiting during the holidays? Check Knott’s Berry Farm’s special events calendar to see if you can time your visit with one its exciting festivals, including Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, Knott’s Spooky Farm, or Knott’s Merry Farm.
STC Anaheim GardenWalk
Sitting at the heart of the Anaheim Resort District, the STC Anaheim GardenWalk is one of the city’s top entertainment destinations for visitors and locals alike. The outdoor shopping center offers everything from nightlife to fine dining to live music.
Worked up an appetite on your Anaheim sightseeing adventure? Indulge in a tasty dinner at one of the Anaheim GardenWalk’s many restaurants & bars, including the California Pizza Kitchen, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and The Cheesecake Factory.
For an evening you won’t forget, slide over to the famed House of Blues Anaheim to rock out to live music with a side of Southern comfort food. (Check the House of Blues’ official events calendar to see who’s playing during your vacation.)
Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center
Located on Anaheim Blvd in historic Downtown Anaheim, Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center is one of the city’s premier cultural destinations. The museum is a must-see for art lovers, featuring a broad array of rotating exhibits representing artists from all around the world.
Besides its art exhibitions, the Muzeum Museum hosts several enticing events throughout the year. Take a look at the museum’s special event calendar to see if anything overlaps with your trip itinerary.
City National Grove of Anaheim
If you’re a music fan, don’t miss the chance to catch a concert at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Originally a Hollywood-themed restaurant named Tinseltown, the distinctive site rebranded less than a year into its tenure as an indoor music venue.
Today, the Art Deco-inspired City National Grove is one of the coolest places to go in Anaheim for live music. The concert venue hosts a variety of acts, ranging from famous world-class performers to lesser-known tribute bands.
Navigate the official site for information on upcoming concerts and events.
Orange County Zoo
For animal lovers, one of the most popular things to do in Anaheim, CA, is to stop by the Orange County Zoo. Located in Irvine Regional Park in Orange, the small 8-acre zoo features the animals and plant life of the Southwestern USA in their natural habitats.
Highlights at the Orange County Zoo include mountain lions, bald eagles, great horned owls, coyotes, and black bears. Younger kids will also love the petting zoo, putting them face-to-face with goats, sheep, chickens, and pot-bellied pigs.
The Orange County Zoo is open seven days a week, all year round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Missing the California seaside? Plan for a day trip to Huntington Beach. Known as Surf City USA, the coastal town lies just 35 minutes from Downtown Anaheim and is a wonderful escape from the landlocked city.
If you’re looking to ride the waves, head straight for Huntington State Beach. Home to some of the West Coast’s finest swells, Huntington State Beach is one of the most famous beaches along the coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego.
Rather stay on land exploring what to do in Huntington Beach? Learn more about the sport of surfing at the International Surf Museum, Surfing Walk of Fame, and Surfers’ Hall of Fame, all located in downtown Huntington Beach.
For another option to soak up the SoCal coastal vibes, meander down to Newport Beach. Just a half-hour from Anaheim between Los Angeles and San Diego, the glamorous coastal town is a wonderful day trip destination with plenty to see & do for everyone, from beautiful beaches and outdoor activities to shopping and dining.
Nature lovers should set their sights on the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, one of the top tourist attractions in Newport Beach. Lace up your hiking shoes for a walk along one of its hiking trails to the sound of birds humming a sweet tune.
If modern trappings are more your thing, focus your visit on Lower Newport Bay. Explore the cool coffee shops and delicious restaurants & bars of the Cannery Village or around Newport Beach itself for a taste of some of the area’s finest seafood.