How to Spend Three Days in and Around Anaheim

There is plenty to discover on a thrilling three-day trip to the sunny city of Anaheim
There is plenty to discover on a thrilling three-day trip to the sunny city of Anaheim | © Matthew Gush / Alamy Stock Photo

The main pull for visitors to this part of California is, unsurprisingly, Disneyland. And it’s a worthy tourist attraction. But there are many other reasons you should consider Anaheim for your next trip. Top-tier sports, craft beer trails and peace-inducing parks are just some of the exciting activities on this three-day Anaheim itinerary.

Where to stay

First things first: you’ll need somewhere to sleep. If you’re looking for luxury (and a waterslide) check in to the Grand California Hotel & Spa in Disneyland. For an apartment stay, try Hotel Pepper Tree where you’ll have a kitchen alongside the usual amenities. For a bit of boutique there’s Hotel Indigo, handily positioned next to the popular outdoor shopping and eating area of Anaheim GardenWalk. And if it’s a sporting spectacle that has brought you to town, Ayres Hotel Anaheim is close to the Honda Center, home of the Ducks ice hockey team, and Angel Stadium, where you can watch the Angels play baseball.

It may be famed for Disneyland, but Anaheim is also home to magical sunsets | © Matthew Gush / Alamy Stock Photo

Day one

La Palma Beer Trail

Settle in, unpack and prepare your palate for a brew or two. Anaheim is home to one of the most exciting craft beer scenes in the country. For a tasting tour, try La Palma Beer Trail, on which you visit breweries along (or near) La Palma Boulevard, sampling an eclectic range of beverages. Spots such as The Bruery, Bottle Logic Brewing and Stereo Brewing are among a host of passionate crafters producing tipples well worth the steps.

Anaheim Packing District

Restaurant, Food Court, Indian, $$$
© Brad Torchia / Culture Trip
Every beer bonanza should be followed by a decent meal – and Anaheim delivers. The Packing District food hall has scores of independent merchants all in one place. Eat inside or al fresco with fine fare from the likes of Georgia’s Kitchen, which serves succulent soul food; Urbana, offering mouth-watering Mexican; and Umami for big beefy burgers.

Center Street Promenade

Shopping Mall
Walk it off at the shopping paradise that is Center Street Promenade. Find one-of-a-kind, hand-selected clothing at RARE by Goodwill, get a stylish cut at the Single Barrel Barber Shop, and super-cool new outfits at Look Boutique and The Good. You can also restock your stomach with a vegan snack at Gypsy Den or dessert at House of Chimney Cakes.

House of Blues Anaheim

Restaurant, American, $$$
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 10: Singer/musician Brandi Carlile and musicians/singers Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth perform in concert on August 10, 2013 on the Hard Way Home Summer Convoy  Tour at Anaheim House of Blues in Anaheim, California. Photo by Barry
© Barry King / Alamy Stock Photo
As early evening approaches, it’s time for a little music. Live gigs and concerts are a big part of the local culture, although few venues offer an experience quite like the House of Blues. The show starts before a single note is played thanks to its floor-to-ceiling paintings, tapestries and murals. The venue also has many stages, small and large, so you’re just as likely to find a well-known star as a rising talent.

Day two

Huntington Beach

Natural Feature, Shopping Mall
Surfer, Huntington Beach, California, United States of America,
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Get up early and head to the beach – Orange County has some of the best slivers of sand in California. For a surf and sunbathe there’s Huntington Beach, where the greatest wave riders come to compete and relax. The vibe is everything one would expect from a place known as Surf City USA: beachfront restaurants serving fresh seafood, great breweries and bars, and sensational views. You could also shop at Pacific City, a relaxed retail hub with little boutiques offering chic Californian wares.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Natural Feature
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, USA
© Citizen of the Planet / Alamy Stock Photo
Nearby, Huntington Harbour is a must-visit collection of man-made islands peppered with places to eat an al fresco lunch. After a very chilled meal, either lay on the sand or head just outside the city to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, where you can explore unspoiled wetland teeming with birdlife.

Honda Center

The Honda Center in Anaheim California, Home of the Mighty Ducks National Hockey League team
© Ken Howard / Alamy Stock Photo
Head back to your hotel to change and, if it’s baseball or hockey season, catch a game. The Ducks play at the Honda Center and the Angels at Angels Stadium. Both have passionate local support and watching them live is an exhilarating Anaheim experience.

Day three

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park,shoreline,beach,coast,ocean,sandy,people,
© Alan Mahood / Alamy Stock Photo
On your final day, wear comfy shoes and enjoy the beautiful parks and gardens of Orange County. If you want to try something a little more challenging, Anaheim’s position between the Santa Ana mountains and the Pacific Ocean means there are dramatic and picturesque hikes nearby. Try Crystal Cove State Park, where you can combine a beachside stroll among tidal pools with 2,400 acres (971ha) of forest, filled with trails to suit all abilities.

Phở 79

Restaurant, Vietnamese

For lunch, visit Little Saigon to enjoy superb Vietnamese food. This neighborhood is home to a selection of top-quality eateries, such as Pho 79, which dishes out classic beef pho (noodle soup) and bun rieu, a rice vermicelli dish served here with minced crab. Don’t fill up completely though, leave enough room to hit a Vietnamese bakery for steamed buns or fried dough.

Anaheim Founders’ Park

Historical Landmark
After lunch (and pudding) head over to Anaheim Founders’ Park where you’ll historical buildings that immortalize the agricultural history of the city. The mid-19th-century Mother Colony House is one of the earliest structures in Anaheim, while the Woelke-Stoffel House is a two-level Queen Anne delight. You’ll also see a replica of a windmill and carriage house, plus a series of exhibits that offer a glimpse into the colorful past of the city.

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