Hipmunk City Love: A First Timer’s Guide to Anaheim

With world-class attractions and spas, trend-setting boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and unparalleled history and art, Anaheim has a distinct identity. Whether you’re travelling solo or with kids, here are some recommendations if you’re planning to visit the city for the first time.

Best time to Visit Anaheim

As a family destination, Anaheim’s peak season is between May and September, during summer and school holidays. With a Mediterranean climate all through the year, summers can get really hot so visitors may be limited to indoor activities. The best time to visit Anaheim is during the off-season when the crowd is relatively low.

Getting Around Anaheim

The nearest airport is John Wayne International Airport in Santa Ana, which is about 15 minutes from Anaheim. There are taxi stands outside the airport, as well as in the city area at the Amtrak Station. Be sure to check with your hotel if they offer complimentary or shuttle service for your commute. Another option for getting around the city is to make use of Anaheim’s city or theme park buses.

Eating in Anaheim

The Disneyland resort is brimming with fine dining and fast food catering to the preferences of every traveler. If the kids are with you, head to Disney’s PCH Grill for character dining with Mickey and friends, or meet Cinderella and Snow White for lunch at Ariel’s Grotto.

Photo by Mariano Reyes via Trover

The taste of real Anaheim lies in the diverse flavors made by the eclectic array of restaurants. Try the brisket and homemade sausages at Blake’s Place, or if you’re looking for non-American cuisine, Papa Hassan is known to serve some of the most scrumptious Middle Eastern meals in town. If you’re looking to shop and eat at the same time, Anaheim Town Square and Anaheim Garden Walk play host to a number of trendy boutiques and fancy restaurants, and the city also enjoys a vibrant nightlife.

Where to Go

When in Anaheim, you can’t miss the world-renowned theme parks. Relive the Disney stories by visiting Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the vibrant fairytale ambiance at Disneyland.

Photo by David P via Trover

In addition to theme parks, Anaheim is also home to other outdoor attractions like Yorba Park, where the locals set out on a long stroll along the Santa Ana River. Adventure City, an interactive museum, is also a great choice for kids.

Places to Stay

Hotels in Anaheim, especially in Disneyland, are expensive year round and tend to surge during peak season. If you’re on a budget, consider staying in Buena Park, where the hotel rates are relatively cheaper no matter what time of year you visit. Visitors seeking a more homelike stay can book an entire home through Airbnb, although keep in mind these accommodations are not necessarily budget-friendly.

With such a vibrant yet laid back vibe, Anehiem is considered one of the safest cities in the world. Families and solo travelers alike are welcome to check out everything this Southern California destination has to offer.

Featured Photo by Bryan Board via Trover.com

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