Luxury Escapes Guide to Anaheim

A playground for all ages, Anaheim is where beloved theme parks, Southern Californian sunshine, eclectic dining and world-renowned sports teams converge, creating a vibrant hub of entertainment with endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

Just 30 minutes from Los Angles city centre, Anaheim feels a world away from the bright lights of Hollywood and Beverley Hills. Gliding off the expressway, you begin to see the towering canyons ahead as you descend into the valley of Orange County. Known for being the home of the iconic Disneyland Resort, this Californian city boasts much more than just theme parks. From world-class dining to outdoor adventures, Anaheim is a luxurious destination that offers something for everyone.

Prepare to have your inner child come out to play at the Happiest Place on Earth! Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim are the ultimate destinations for those seeking enchantment and excitement. Meet your favourite Disney characters and scream your way up, down and around heart-racing rides. Immerse yourself in the various themed lands – from the futuristic Tomorrowland to the swashbuckling Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, you’ll be whisked away from reality, for magical days you’ll never forget!

Disneyland aside, Anaheim is also home to some of Southern California’s most celebrated food and entertainment districts. Famous hotspots like Downtown Disney might initially appeal, but there are plenty of hidden restaurants nestled along palm-fringed roads, housed within colonial-styled mansions, as well as hundreds of tiki bars, rooftop bars, speakeasy’s, craft breweries and more to sip and explore your way through.

For entertainment, the Anaheim Garden Walk offers an outdoor experience with over 20 restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues; Anaheim’s Angel Stadium and Honda Center offer heart-pumping sport and music moments, whilst Knotts Berry Farm and Great Wolf Lodge offer amusement alternatives to the house of mouse. There’s also a host of outdoor activities, leisurely hikes and relaxed picnic spots to keep you busy (or not so!).

You’ll need a car to see the best of the region, so hire one when you arrive, or use a local driver or tour company. Anaheim is the perfect central launchpad to discover the best of Southern California, including Joshua Tree National Park, San Diego and Los Angeles – all within a 90-minute drive.

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Anaheim Escapes

Experience the magic of Anaheim

Things to see and do

Check out a Professional Sporting Event

Gear up for a sports-filled adventure at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium or Honda Center. Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or just looking for a good time, these venues host thrilling matchups that are sure to get the heart pumping. Step into Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to immerse yourself in the all-American experience of Major League Baseball. Meanwhile, at Honda Center, get ready to shout and cheer as you watch the Anaheim Ducks glide across the ice in a captivating game of ice hockey. From the roar of the crowds to the sounds of the game, there’s nothing quite like the energy and excitement of live sports. With a jam-packed calendar of events throughout the year, Anaheim offers endless opportunities to catch your favourite teams in action.

Take on the big thrills at Knott’s Berry Farm

Get ready to buckle up for the ride of your life at Knott’s Berry Farm, the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers visiting Anaheim. With over 40 heart-pumping rides and attractions, this iconic theme park promises to deliver a rush of excitement like no other. Brace yourself for the stomach-churning Xcelerator or ride the waves on the HangTime coaster, the only dive coaster in California. For those seeking a more laid-back experience, explore the park’s rich history in Ghost Town or catch up with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, who call Knott’s Berry Farm home.

Explore Catalina Island

Just a short boat ride from Anaheim lies Catalina Island, a stunning gem in the Pacific Ocean that offers a unique and unforgettable day trip experience. Explore the island’s natural beauty, from the crystal-clear waters to the towering cliffs, and amble down the main street of charming Avalon. For something a little more off-road, rent a golf cart to tour the island’s scenic roads. Capture magnificent natural wonders from every angle, soaring above the iconic coastline on a zipline adventure, hike up to the stunning vistas at the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, then plunge into the iridescent waters on a kayaking, scuba or snorkelling adventure.

Venture outside the city to San Diego’s many delights 

From swanky downtown sports bars to world-famous attractions for the entire family, head to the buzzy and beautiful San Diego for a coastal day trip. Located only 1.5 hours away by car or two hours by public transport, San Diego bursts with family-focused fun. See toys come alive at LEGOLAND® California, featuring more than 60 rides, character meet and greets and 4D movie experiences. If you prefer to see what happens beneath the waves, head to SeaWorld San Diego for marine life encounters, thrilling roller coasters and dolphin adventures. Or, for the ultimate animal encounter, spend a day wandering the seemingly endless San Diego Zoo. Expect to see all the usual suspects, plus lesser-known majestic creatures you may have never heard of.

Hike Oak Canyon Nature Centre

Oak Canyon Nature Centre is a beloved escape from the city’s bustling streets, offering a year-round wilderness escape. Spanning 58 acres of natural parkland, consisting of three adjoining canyons, hiking trails and woodland scrub, there is a trail to pique the interest of every hiker. Ascend the 2.3km Oak Canyon Bluebird and Wren Trail for outstanding wildlife encounters and panoramic views of the lush forests and meandering streams below. For an extra special experience, head up at sunrise and watch the natural world come to life in a burst of colours.

Hit the surf at Huntington Beach

Hang ten at Huntington Beach, just a short drive from Anaheim. Also known as Surf City USA, thanks to its excellent waves and surfing conditions, this vibrant beach town stretches over 15 kilometres with numerous surf shops and schools to rent gear or take lessons. Once you’ve mastered the waves, explore the nearby pier, grab a bite at a beachside cafe, or enjoy beach volleyball, biking or jogging. For a more relaxing experience, stroll the downtown area or visit the International Surfing Museum.

Be charmed by small-town life in Old Towne Orange

For lazy days, leaf peeping and antiquing, take a stroll through the heritage streets of Old Towne Orange. Embrace the charm of yesteryear as you stumble upon history, starting at the plaza’s 1937 fountain. Wander in and around bric-a-brac stores tucked quietly between quaint restaurants and soda fountain shops. Home to over 1,300 buildings, many of them originals from the town’s early days, these picturesque streets have also been the location for many television shows and films, including episodes of The West Wing, Ghost Whisperer and First Daughter. You’re sure to be wooed by the charm of small-town life with an afternoon jaunt through these tree-flanked, idyllic boulevards.

Make a splash at Great Wolf Lodge

Prepare for a howling good time at Great Wolf Lodge, the ultimate indoor water park resort in Anaheim, California. With a variety of thrilling water slides and attractions, including the Howlin’ Tornado and the Wolf Tail, there’s no shortage of aquatic fun for kids and adults alike. Beyond the water park, guests can enjoy a range of other activities, including mini-golf, arcade games and a MagiQuest interactive adventure game. When you’re done with all the excitement, indulge in comfortable accommodation, dining options, and spa services.

Use Anaheim as your central base to explore the best of SoCal

With its central location and easy access to major highways, Anaheim serves as the perfect base for exploring the best of the Golden State. Take a scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to experience the stunning beaches and seaside towns of Orange County and beyond. Head inland to the breathtaking Joshua Tree National Park, where you can hike, climb, and stargaze under the desert sky. Or venture south to the vibrant city of San Diego, just 90 minutes away, to soak up the sun, surf, and culture. Whatever your interests, Anaheim offers an ideal base for your Southern California adventure. From the mountains to the sea, the possibilities are endless.

Visit the Happiest Place on Earth

You don’t need to wish upon a star to make your Disney dreams come true at the Happiest Place on Earth! Enter the enchanting Disneyland in Anaheim, where a world of wonder and magic awaits. Immerse yourself in the charm of the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle and explore the various themed lands that make up this legendary theme park. Across the way, you’ll find Disney California Adventure Park, the home of all things Pixar and superhero related. With a range of attractions and experiences to choose from, including thrilling rides, live shows, and character meet and greets, you’ll need three to five days (at least!) to see it all. Break up your time adventuring around the Parks by exploring the surrounding region and all its magical gems. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned veteran, Disneyland never fails to bring joy!

Top places to eat and drink

Anaheim Packing House

There’s nothing worse than not being able to choose what cuisine you want to eat when travelling. Thanks to the arrival of the Anaheim Packing District and their ever-expanding roster of merchants, you don’t have to settle. More than just a simple food court, this food hall is a gastronomic temple that stretches from full-service restaurants to niche eateries - plus there’s a bar and a speakeasy. Tucked behind a wall in the corner of the building, follow the rabbit down the hole to The Blind Rabbit. The name and style of this hidden gem is a wink to the Prohibition era, whilst the rotating list of seasonal cocktails are slung with care and showmanship. In between savouring sips, nibble on light bar bites such as duck confit mac and cheese. 

Rooftop Bars & Restaurants: The FIFTH, RISE, Parkestry, and Top of the V 

When the sun sets in Anaheim, there’s no better place to be than a rooftop bar and restaurant –maybe it’s the high-and-mighty vibes but toasting to good company is just more fun amongst the clouds. These open-air spaces offer you a front-row seat to Disneyland, so close that you can even hear screams from the rides in the distance. Once you make your ascent, you’re welcomed with twinkling lights, charming al fresco seating and delicious menus. But the real show starts when the fireworks illuminate the sky over Sleeping Beauty’s castle –not a bad way to enjoy a drink or two. Head to The FIFTH, RISE, Parkestry and Top of the V for immaculate vantage points of the magic. 

Tiki Bars: Strong Water & Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar   

Aloha and ahoy! The glamour of retro and shipwrecked tchotchkes have made a comeback in a big way in the form of tiki bars. These mysterious and adventurous watering holes offer up more than just delicious libations they offer an immersive experience, handed over by friendly folk in floral-printed shirts, while tropical music plays on repeat. There are two hot spots in town: Strong Water and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Head to the sunken treasure ship of Strong Water to sip on their signature drink, the Zombie King, served up in a disgustingly gruesome tiki mug. Or play intrepid explorer for the evening with a visit to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar made famous from Disney’s Jungle Cruise. Bring a daring friend with you to savour the ‘Uh Oa’ – legend says this fruity Polynesian concoction is cursed by the tiki goddess of disaster. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Anaheim GardenWalk

This alfresco open-air mall combines some of life’s greatest things: eating good food and fresh air. After dark is when things really come alive – fire pits light up the street and entertainment venues turn their music on when the lights turn off. The best place to experience food, music and art at its best is at House of Blues. Southern dishes reign supreme, – think shrimp Po’boys in soft French bread, smoked brisket sandwiches and fried chicken. Stay in after dinner and dance the night away to live music or their resident DJ. 

Downtown Disney District  

There’s another place to get your foodie fix of Disney-themed items: Downtown Disney District. Wander the bustling open-air promenade, filled with the sweet sounds of street musicians and let your nose lead the way. Tuck into an Italian feast of pure perfection at Naples Ristorante e Bar; indulge your sweet tooth with a scoop of ice cream at Salt & Straw or watch all the action from Ballast Point Brewing Co., satiating your thirst with their delectable array of craft beers on tap. The best bit? You don’t need a ticket to the parks to enjoy this magic-filled strip. 

Roscoe’s Famous Chicken & Waffles 

While it may not have been the originator of the iconic fried chicken and waffles combination, Roscoe’s Famous Chicken & Waffles has done more for the craze than most other restaurants. Opened in 1975 by Harlem native, Herb Hudson, the soul-food restaurant chain has home to many arguments over its near-50 years of trading: should the chicken and waffles be eaten separately? Drenched in maple syrup and hot sauce? Or maybe by curving the waffle around the crunchy morsels and eating it like a taco? Whatever your preference, the wide-ranging offering means you can experiment, or try something completely new! If you’re not a fan of either, the menu is filled to the brim with soul food staples including chicken chilli, mac and cheese and, of course, corn bread.

Center Street (Pour Vida, Healthy Junk)

Lazy afternoons call for leisurely strolls, and the best place for it is under the palm tree-flanked sidewalks of Center Street Promenade. Hop between freshly made pastries at Okayama Kobo, Pour Vida’s uniquely crafted tacos and health-conscious comfort food at Healthy Junk. If none of those options tickle your fancy, at the end of the street you’ll find ‘Good Food’ – an aptly named foodie mecca where you’re sure to find something to tantalise your tastebuds. Whether you’re in a sweet state of mind, or need an espresso hit, this snazzy street perfectly mirrors the delightful melting pot of cultures that California is known for. 

Anaheim White House

Indulge in an unforgettable culinary adventure at Anaheim White House, where exquisite Italian cuisine meets stunning Colonial-style architecture. This iconic restaurant is more than just a place to dine; it’s a lavish experience that will leave you wanting more. As you step into the grand 1909 mansion, you’ll be transported to a world of opulence and sophistication, where antique decor and grand chandeliers set the scene for extravagant plates of food, including creamy lobster ravioli, the signature salmon chocolat and T-bone steaks. The extensive wine list, with a range of vintages from around the world, is the cherry on top, with sommeliers on hand to offer the perfect pairing.

Poppy & Seed

Nestled in Anaheim’s downtown area, Poppy & Seed is the crown jewel in the city’s brunch scene. Bursting with charm and character, the light-filled space features sleek wooden accents and colourful murals, making it a very popular Insta spot. From classic avocado toast to the sweet and savoury French toast with bacon and maple syrup, the menu features both inventive and classic takes on brunch dishes. Pair your meal with a refreshing iced latte or a smooth and creamy cappuccino for the ultimate experience.

Venture to the La Palma Beer Trail

California is known for its thriving craft beer movement, and Anaheim is no exception. Whether you prefer a more traditional brew or a bold sour, you don’t have to travel far to find a spot to share a refreshing drop with friends, especially considering Anaheim is home to more breweries than any other city in Orange County. Sample Anaheim’s best by embarking on the La Palma Beer Trail, a string of innovative breweries within walking distance of each other. To truly take advantage of Anaheim’s crafty suds, sign up for the Anaheim Brew Pass and enjoy exclusive savings at some of the best spots in town. After all, is there anything more refreshing than an ice-cold beer in sunny Orange County? 

Lux moments

VIP Shopping at South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island 

In a city where the sun has a remarkable influence on local fashion, South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island offers a world-class shopping experience. Set beneath the towering palm trees of Newport Beach with panoramic ocean views, Fashion Island is an open-air centre packed with specialty shops, more than 30 restaurants, luxury brands, movie theatres and signature events. For an all-encompassing retail experience, head to South Coast Plaza and its 250+ prominent boutiques, critically acclaimed restaurants and the celebrated Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The impressive line-up includes Gucci, Hermès, Cartier, Harry Winston, Saint Laurent and more.

Shop Until You Drop Off Tour at LAX (including VIP Lounge access) 

If you’re flying out late from LAX, there’s bound to be some downtime between checking out of your hotel and hopping on the plane. Make the most of your last hours in the city with a Shop Until You Drop Tour to Citadel Outlets. Perhaps the only outlet mall constructed as an Assyrian Castle straight out of Babylon, the building exists as a shrine to contemporary style. Fashion-forward shoppers and tastemakers can scour Prada, Miu Miu and Gucci and more in search of their newest piece at a great price. With transfers from your hotel to the outlets, complimentary luggage storage, all-day access to the VIP Lounge with Wi-Fi, snacks and drinks, as well as return transfers to the airport, you’ll swan into the airport feeling relaxed and ready for your onward flight.

Hop on a Warner Bros. Studios or Universal Studio Hollywood VIP Tour

You’re always walking on a red carpet with a VIP Tour at Warner Bros. Studios or Universal Studios Hollywood. Step into the spotlight with an exclusive stroll through Universal Studios backlots, where TV shows like Seinfeld and The X-Files and films like Inception were filmed. Then, step into the A-listers’ inner sanctum by tucking into a lunch prepared by the crew’s executive chef. Perhaps a particular boy wizard has captured your heart, or you fancy a coffee at Central Perk? Head to Warner Bros. Studios for unprecedented access into exclusive areas. Whether you’re a film aficionado or simply curious what goes on behind the scenes, a VIP tour is packed with all the lights, camera and action. 

Become a Top Gun at Flight Deck 

Great balls of fire! Trade the ordinary world for a set of wings and see if you’re maverick enough to be a Top Gun with Flight Deck. After you’ve dressed the part, you’ll hit the classroom for training lessons on aerial tricks, shooting and dodging your worthy opponents in an ultra-realistic military flight simulator. Take your seat in the cockpit, adjust your headset then launch from an aircraft carrier in your F/A-18 - when you hear ‘Fight’s On, Fight’s On’ it’s all systems go. Soar up and swoop down, taking every care to stay out of the line of fire. All that’s left to do is feel the need, the need for speed.