We are always interested in finding new and unique ways to spend our time off. For us a perfect spot has just the right amount of food, fun things to do, and nature – and last week Anaheim, California fit the bill. Yes, the same Anaheim with Disneyland – but trust us there is much more to do in Anaheim outside the Disneyland Resort. Here is our recap of a 3-day trip to sunny southern California that included many adventures in Anaheim and the surrounding area.
During our time in Anaheim, we stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground. This hotel is a popular place to stay since it is located directly across from the Disneyland Resort. We loved the spacious rooms with great natural lighting, the Mickey paintings in the room set a positive mood, and views of the water playground made truly feel like a vacation.
During our stay we got a sneak peak of the ‘House of the Retro Future Suite’, which will welcome guests starting summer 2022. The suite is inspired by the previous Tomorrowland attraction inside Disneyland Park.
Originally opened in 1957, the attraction gave visitors a peak into what the future may look like, and Howard Johnson lets you stay in a suite that takes inspiration from the attraction. With views of the pool and futuristic looking furniture, this will make for one unique stay for the lucky guests that stay here (we can’t wait to be back for it!).
Our two other favorites at the hotel were Castaway Cove and the garden pool. Castaway Cove is a pirate-themed water playground perfect for the kids. The garden pool is perfect for soaking in the California sun. It is situated amongst the hotel grounds and surrounded by nature, making it perfect for a mid-day break.
Things To Do
You can’t go to southern California and not hit up the pristine, world-famous beaches. Staying in Anaheim puts you short distance away from numerous options. We visited Huntington Beach. The pier offers views of the coastline, surfers, and is close to plenty of great food options. We suggest going at sunset to enjoy great temperatures and plenty of picture opportunities.
We love sports. Anaheim has plenty to offer when it comes to sports with two professional sports teams – the Anaheim Ducks (NHL) and Angels (MLB). We had the chance to visit Honda Center to catch a Ducks game and had a great time! Having never been to an ice hockey game, we loved the fast pace of the game. There was no shortage of action. Did you know it takes 30 hours and 15 thousand gallons of water to complete the ice? Honda Center is home to the Anaheim Ducks, but also hosts world-class entertainment acts throughout the year. So, make sure when you visit to check for concerts, stand up shows, and of course, hockey.
Knott’s Berry Farm
Have you been putting some jam on your toast in the morning, and you notice it’s from Knott’s? Well, besides making incredible food, they have an amusement park and it’s near Anaheim. Located in nearby Buena Park, Knott’s Berry Farm is home to first-class rollercoasters, stage shows, interactive experiences, delicious food creations and family-friendly fun featuring Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. We went to the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, an annual food- inspired event that celebrates the park’s historic roots by highlighting the little berry that started it all, the boysenberry. Guests can sample one-of-a-kind eats, and check out live shows, music, + plenty more. Our favorite was the Boysenberry BBQ Chicken pizza.
The Food and Drinks
Anaheim Packing District
Located in Downtown Anaheim, the Anaheim Packing District includes the Anaheim Packing House, MAKE Building, Packard Building, Farmers Park, Center Street Promenade and Good Food Hall. We decided to check out the Anaheim Packing House. Anaheim Packing House features over 20 local artisan and shops. This location used to be an old citrus packing facility in the early 1900s. With so many great options for food, it was hard to pick. but We ended up going to The Pie Hole – can’t recommend their blueberry pecan pie enough (even better with a latte).
When on vacation, finding a spot to relax after a long day is key and Radiant Beer Co. fits the bill. Radiant Beer Co. is one of Anaheim’s newer breweries. Located a short distance from the Anaheim Packing District in Downtown Anaheim and the Disneyland Resort makes this location a popular spot. From IPAs to lagers, they always have something fresh. Radiant Beer Co. pours up craft beer, of course, but on special occasions they also serve beer slushies and soft serve beer ice cream. We loved all the drinks there, but the nitro brew was our favorite!
Little Arabia District
California is known for its diversity, and with diversity, comes lots of great cuisines from all over the world. We visited the Little Arabia District, known for its authentic cuisine, markets, shops, lounges and more. With clothing, food and all types of shops predominantly from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, there are no shortage of options.
We visited Forn Al Hara and had a sampling of veggie, beef, and lamb flatbreads – all amazing! Those paired with a yogurt drink is simply perfection. All the baking is done in the stone oven on site, and the staff are kind in explaining the various meal/desert options there.
Our short trip to Anaheim doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the adventures you can find yourself on in Anaheim. From theme parks and food to sports and nearby nature adventures, Anaheim has it all. The next time you are considering a getaway from Texas, we’d for sure suggest you consider Anaheim (and it never hurts being next to the Disneyland Resort, they do call it the happiest place on earth after all).