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Anaheim may be best known as the site of the original Disneyland. You don't have to be a Mickey Mouse fan, though, to take advantage of all that Anaheim has to offer visitors. Catch a baseball game at Angel Stadium or a concert at Honda Center. The city's many family-friendly, garden-court rental lodging options also make great base camps for exploring other parts of California's Orange County.
Before Disneyland opened on the site of an Anaheim orange grove in 1955, American amusement parks were viewed as seedy, disreputable venues for the lower classes where smart people made sure to protect their valuables. Walt Disney's vision was of a more wholesome place where grownups and children could enjoy spending time together. Disneyland's architecture resembles a wheel with the famous statue of Walt and Mickey at its hub and themed landscapes like Fantasyland, Adventureland, and New Orleans Square occupying the space between the spokes. More compact than its Florida counterpart, Disneyland is much easier to get around in and has a number of attractions you won't find anywhere else like the Matterhorn bobsleds, the Indiana Jones experience, the Submarine ride, and the Alice in Wonderland-themed attractions.
Disney California Adventure Park derives its inspiration from the history and culture of the Golden State. The park recreates some of California's most famous landmarks in miniature. Place of show should probably go to its Pixar-inspired homage to Route 66. Best of all are its rides like the California Screamin' rollercoaster, the Tower of Terror, and Radiator Springs Racers, which features special appearances by the cast of the Pixar hit “Cars”.
Knott's Berry Farm lies seven miles outside Anaheim's city limits. In the 1920s, the Knott Family sold fresh fruit, preserves, and pies at this site and the roadside attractions began as a way to attract passing motorists. Today, Knott's Berry Farm attracts over 3.5 million visitors a year. Take a spin on the Xcelerator, a hot rod rollercoaster that plummets more than 200 feet at speeds over 80 miles an hour, or catch up with old pals from the beloved comic strip “Peanuts” at Camp Snoopy.
Balboa Fun Zone is an old-fashioned boardwalk-style amusement park 20 miles away from Anaheim at Newport Beach. Though the Ferris wheel here is the only traditional ride, there's no end of other things to do. Rent a jet ski boat, a kayak, or a standup paddleboard. Book a whale watching cruise, and catch a glimpse of giant blue whales, gray whales, and finbacks as they migrate to their breeding grounds in the warm coastal waters off Baja California.
Anaheim, California, is sunny and warm all year round. Even in the winter months, temperatures seldom dip below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the summer, the thermometer frequently tops 90 degrees. Though it's hot, it's not humid, and that means you won't get too uncomfortable strolling between rides. Just be sure to carry a water bottle and to wear plenty of sun block.
Anaheim is 15 miles away from both John Wayne Airport (SNA) and Long Beach Airport (LGB) and just 30 miles from Los Angeles International. Limited public transportation is available, and many of the hotels in the area offer shuttle service to the resorts and theme parks in the area, but motor vehicles are the most convenient mode of transportation. Anaheim is served by the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5), the Orange Freeway (SR 57), and the Riverside Freeway (SR 91).