In Anaheim, California, you can experience the magic of theme parks, unique all-inclusive resorts and the great outdoors.
Home to the world-famous Disneyland Resort, Anaheim is a must-visit destination not just for families, but for anyone seeking world-class entertainment and culture in the Southern California sun. From a thrilling resort with its own indoor water park to Disney’s one-of-kind magic, visitors will find excitement and adventure on this five-day vacation in and around Anaheim.
Day 1: Make a Splash at the Great Wolf Lodge
Once you’ve arrived in Anaheim, settle into your suite at the Great Wolf Lodge and spend your first day enjoying all the amenities this all-inclusive resort offers. Take advantage of the temperature-controlled indoor water park, where you can feel the rush of a water slide, enjoy a dip in a heated pool or feel like a kid again in the interactive play zones. Later, tee off for a competitive game of mini-golf or hit up the Northern Lights Arcade for a chance to win some fun prizes. There are several on-site dining options available to satisfy your appetite. Grab pizza and salad at Hungry as a Wolf, enjoy a cocktail at Grizzly Jack’s Bar and Grille or indulge in sweet treats at Bear Paw Sweets and Eats.
Day 2: The Magic of Disneyland Park and Downtown Disney
Whether you’re a Disney connoisseur or a first-time visitor, it’s best to dedicate at least a full day to experience the magic. Start your morning in Disneyland, the original Disney park that started it all. Make enchanted memories on classic rides such as the spooky Haunted Mansion, the thrilling Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean. Among the many newer attractions, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance lets you wield the power of the Jedi to challenge the dark side, and Snow White’s Enchanted Wish is an exciting journey through the classic 1937 film.
After your day of magic, head to the Downtown Disney District for exciting shopping and dining. Stop by the World of Disney for toys, apparel and collectibles and Disney Home for seasonal décor that’s sure to add a bit of pixie dust to any space. Grab a bite to eat at Black Tap Craft Burgers and shakes, where the Korean BBQ wings are mouthwatering. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Salt & Straw, a family-run ice cream shop with seasonal flavors celebrating local ingredients.
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park
Day 3: California Adventures, Disney-style, and Local Eats
At Disney California Adventure Park, discover seven lands filled with more Disney magic and rides, including the Avengers Campus, Pixar Pier and Cars Land. Take flight on Soarin’ Around the World, which simulates hang-gliding over the many wonders of the world. Feel the rush of Radiator Springs Racers, an ode to the “Cars” movies, or the Incredicoaster, a high-speed thrill ride featuring characters from “The Incredibles.”
Once you’ve explored the park, take a trip to the Anaheim Packing District. This bright, airy food hall features an array of local eateries where you can grab dinner, snacks and desserts. Sample delicious Indian flavors at Adya, enjoy Japanese-style crepes at Crepe Coop or try the decadent grilled cheese at Black Sheep GCB. Stay awhile to sip beer, wine or a craft cocktail at BXCR or Hammer Bar, and catch some live music on select nights at the Stuffed Potato.
The spacious and colorful interior of the Anaheim Packing District food hall
Day 4: Knott’s Berry Farm and an Anaheim Legend
Travel to nearby Buena Park for a fun-filled day at Knott’s Berry Farm. Knott’s started as a humble berry farm before expanding into one of California’s must-visit theme parks featuring thrilling rides, live entertainment and seasonal shows. Feel the power of whitewater on the Calico River Rapids, find new heights on the Dragon Swing and get a pump of adrenaline on the GhostRider roller coaster. For more fun, try one of the many arcade games or cool off in the Gremmie Lagoon. Refuel on delicious food throughout the park, including the famous fried chicken at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, which opened in 1934. For a sweet treat, stop by the Farm Bakery to indulge in delicious pies, cookies and cakes.
After an exciting day at the park, drive back to Anaheim for an unforgettable dinner at the renowned Anaheim White House. Known for its Italian-inspired feasts, this high-end restaurant is housed in an elegant historic home. Sip bold wines, start with an appetizer of succulent lobster ravioli and fill up on braised beef served with wild mushroom sauce.
Thrilling rides dotting the horizon at Knott’s Berry Farm
Day 5: The Great Outdoors and More Entertainment
Beyond theme parks, Anaheim offers a gorgeous landscape to explore. Just a short drive from the city, spend the morning at the Oak Canyon Nature Center, a 23-hectare natural park in the Anaheim Hills. The park consists of three interconnected canyons and provides 6.4 kilometers of hiking trails that wind through oak woodlands and coastal sage scrubs. Keep your camera ready to snap photos of views and wildlife, and stop by the John C. Collier Interpretative Center, which features exhibits with live animals and regional history.
Continue your day at Anaheim GardenWalk, an open-air entertainment district featuring popular restaurants, attractions and shopping, plus special events like live music. Grab lunch at the unique Fire + Ice Grille, where the restaurant’s professional grillers will cook up a custom, all-you-can-eat meal right in front of you. Explore a world of creativity at Art on the Walk encompassing local artists’ murals, installations and galleries.
An evening view of Anaheim GardenWalk and its many shops and restaurants
Fly into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or John Wayne Airport (SNA) and rent a car for a scenic drive to Anaheim.