Anaheim, California is home to Disneyland theme park. This is where it all began, and where dreams come true. It is the magical home of Mickey & Minnie Mouse, and an all star cast of dream-makers. From fireworks shows, musical parades, fantasy rides, and the marvels of imagineering, guests from around the world visit the original Disneyland Resort park which doesn't just offer its own brand of charms, but also is located in the best weather in the world in Southern California's Orange County.
Anaheim has over 100 hotels catering primarily to Disneyland tourists. While most visitors stay close and save money by walking to the theme park rather than parking there, some like to stay approx. 10-20 miles away at beaches. The drive takes around 30-45 minutes.
Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center are the two biggest draws in the city. But there's also a large baseball stadium where the Angels play their home games, an ice hockey area for the Mighty Ducks, and an Amtrak train stop providing easy access to the baseball games. Also enjoy a variety of community-oriented entertainment and events in Anaheim such as the Summer Concerts in the park, Easter Egg Hunts and Halloween Trick or Treats.
Cultural celebrations include the popular annual Greek Festival and month-long Oktoberfest at Anaheim's Phoenix Club.
For the winter holidays, Disneyland Christmas celebrations really steal the show for exciting decor, but simplicity is always in style at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Nutcracker Ballet delights all ages and involves fine community dancers and guest artists.
There are over 100 hotels in Anaheim, countless affordable chain restaurants, and some great shopping opportunities. Stately palm trees line the boulevard entrances into Disneyland Resort and a local bus transports tourists to their hotels from the park. But there are also tour buses taking guests daily from most hotels to Universal Studios Hollywood, about an hour northeast of Anaheim in Los Angeles area.
Anaheim was named for the German "Ana's home" and was originally settled as a lush area ideal for fruit orchards and farms. Anaheim might have remained another bedroom community of the greater L.A. basin of Walt Disney hadn't negotiated the acquisition of land to build a place to take his kids for entertainment and amusement. Disneyland eclipses any other tourist attraction in Southern California with its 15 million or more visitors who purchase tickets and book hotels to fulfill their very own dreams or those of their children.
Anaheim is growing and Disneyland is maturing, now offering a beautiful Garden Walk shopping center with outdoor multi-level plazas, statues, art murals, and fountains, plus some great restaurants such as California Pizza Kitchen. It is walking distance from the theme park and a perfect getaway for shopaholics to spend time, or after-park entertainment seekers to catch a movie or late night cocktail and meal.
When it's time to pack your bags and visit Anaheim, be sure to give your self time for the surrounding attractions and events. A week would be ideal for taking in the Southern California theme parks, beaches and sights.