When I say “what is there to do in Anaheim, California?” do you automatically answer Disneyland? I suspect that’s the first answer on everyones mind, but did you know there are so many other things to do in Anaheim? My husband and I just went to Anaheim with our friends and it was such a fun vacation. Of course, we went to Disneyland because we are big Disney lovers, but we had several days to fill on our days off of Disneyland. We found so many fun places to go and yummy places to eat, so when you’re planning your next trip to Anaheim think beyond Disneyland-you will not be disappointed!
Fun Things to do in Anaheim (Other Than Disneyland):
Anaheim Garden Walk:
Did you know the Anaheim Garden Walk has dining, shopping and entertainment all located in one beautifully landscaped plaza? Located just about a block away from Disneyland, the Garden Walk has enough to keep you and your family entertained for an entire day! With restaurants such as Roys, Bubba Gump, Johnny Rockets, Cheesecake Factory, House of Blues, P. F. Changs, and more, you will find exactly what everyone is craving!
So many yummy options, I think the trick will be choosing one! 🙂
In addition to wonderful dining, Anaheim Garden Walk has lots of fun shopping and entertainment. Whether you are in the mood for bowling, seeing a movie, listening to live music, or trying your hand at an escape room, the Garden Walk has it all. Have I mentioned shopping!? 🙂 You’ll find lots of fun shops along the streets at the Garden Walk. What a fun way to spend a sunny California day!
Have you ever done one of the escape room adventures? We went for the first time in Anaheim and we had a BLAST!! So, essentially you are put in a room (the themes of the room vary) and you have to solve puzzles to make it out in less than an hour. We went to Cross Roads Escapes Games in Anaheim and did the Fun House Room. It was amazing. This activity is for ages 16 and up, so not the best if you are traveling with little ones. Call ahead for reservations, and you can choose which type of mystery you would like to solve. We went with 4 adults (none of us having done this before) and we all totally loved it! It turned out to be one of our favorite activities we did in California. (Just a note, the Garden Walk has one of these escape rooms as well.)
Anaheim Packing House:
The Packing House is another hot spot in Anaheim…literally, this place is happening! The Packing House is a unique blend of food, live music, and a festive atmosphere. It features over 20 eateries with foods from all over the world. We went on a weekend night and it was quite busy, so plan to stand in line for your food if you go on a busy night. We waited in various lines for about 45 minutes to place our orders, and then waited maybe another 20 to get our food.
What makes this worth it is the variety of foods you can get there. We had Indian Cuisine, French Bakery, Ramon Noodles, and Cheeseburger Fries, but the most unique food came at dessert time! We ordered “I am Snowball” which is rice puffs that are sprayed with liquid nitrogen and served steaming cold!
This was unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. The actual rice puffs tasted a bit like cereal, but dipped in the chocolate it was pretty tasty. The best part of this dessert is eating it while it’s steaming, and then blowing the steam out as you take each bite! We had plenty of giggles while we ate this one!
All in all, the Packing House is worth a visit, but expect lines and some waiting for your food. Probably don’t hit this after a long day at Disneyland, try it when you aren’t tired! 🙂
Okay, I know the beach is not in Anaheim but let’s be honest…can we ever skip beach days? I don’t live next to a beach, so any chance I get I’ll definitely hit one. Anaheim is about 30 minutes away from several beaches, two of my favorites are Newport and Huntington. This trip we went to Huntington Beach and we had such a great day there.
Have you every been to Duke’s before? They are found all over in Hawaii, but as far as I know, California is the only place they have them on the mainland. It’s one of my very favorite places to eat! If you ever find yourself close enough to a Duke’s (whether in California or Hawaii) I would strongly recommend stopping by.
Duke’s has a dining room that will provide you with more of an upscale dining experience. We have eaten in the dining room many times in Hawaii and are always delighted with our food. This time we decided to hit the bar and order from the bar menu. We ordered fish and chips and hamburgers, and let me just say, YUMMY! Everything came out perfectly. The hamburger was so big I had a hard time even biting into it! The fish and chips were fresh and crispy with a perfectly flavored tartar sauce for dipping.
Saving the best for last, we ordered ourselves a slice of Hula Pie! This made our list of “must haves” in Hawaii and it’s making the list in California as well. Macadamia nut ice cream with a cookie crust topped with chocolate and whip cream, it is a plate of happiness! Seriously, you need to have this in your life!
Beach Days-Whale Watching Tours:
Have you ever considered a whale watching tour while visiting California? We have done it in Hawaii, but never in California so we decided to give it a try. Before you go, I would recommend doing a little research about which types of whales are migrating during your visit. There are several companies that operate whale watching tours, but they all take reservations so call ahead to make sure you have a spot on the boat.
We had a lot of fun just enjoying the ocean on a bright sunny day. We had 6 kiddos in our group ages ranging from 7-14 and they all loved this! I would definitely recommend taking medicine before you go if you have a tendency to get motion sickness, and bring extras for those who may discover they get motion sickness on the boat! 🙂 We saw lots of dolphins, some sea lions and two whales on our tour. All in all, it was a great day at sea!
We know that lounging in the sand, soaking in the sun, and playing in the waves is all part of a perfect beach day, but have you ever rented bikes and gone for a ride along the boardwalk? If you are wanting an activity to break up the beach lounging, a bike rental might just do the trick. It’s such a fun way to take in the atmosphere up and down the coast and enjoy the sea breeze. Bike rentals are usually all over the boardwalk and are very affordable.
If you are in a group or traveling with younger kiddos, these carts could be a good option. They are a little trickier than a single rider bike because you are pedaling everyone together, but you are guarantee a few laughs during the ride!!
If you are looking for authentic Italian cuisine, look no further than Mama Cozza’s! It was featured on the Food Network’s show “Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives” and has a wall of fame which is fun. The menu is packed full of classic Italian dishes and everything we tasted was amazing. The serving sizes are very large so plan to take some food home. The pizza was perfectly cooked with a crispy crust and loaded with toppings, it was one of our favorites! All the pasta choices came smothered in your choice of homemade sauces and I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them…super delicious! If you are craving Italian, you will be very happy with this restaurant!
Okay folks, if you are a burger and fries loving person like I am, this needs to be on your list of places to eat in Anaheim! Umami Burger knows how to make a yummy hamburger, seriously, so mouthwatering delicious. They also serve chicken sandwiches if you aren’t in the mood for a hamburger, and they are equally as delicious. And as if yummy hamburgers aren’t enough, they have a fry menu that will change your world. Smothered fries with braised short ribs, gravy and chives is like comfort food at its finest, we wanted to lick the plate when we finished. Or maybe you would love maple bacon fries with sweet potato fries, maple braised bacon, salt and chives? They were literally dripping with sweet goodness, loved them so much. I promise you will fall in love with this place if you haven’t already!
Have fun planning your next trip to Anaheim and remember, there are so many fun possibilities…you may even need to plan two trips! 🙂
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