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Archive for the ‘Things To Do in Anaheim’ Category

Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting

December 2nd, 2016

 

Only a “nut” would miss the 21st Annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting in downtown Anaheim. On Saturday, December 5, you can watch the inaugural lighting, and get treated to the yearly holiday bazaar where you can stock up on gifts, crafts, decorations and more. With free admission and parking, along with events from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in southern California.

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There are free kids craft activities until 5:45, free snow play (in California, it’s made by machines and perfectly fluffy!), and free train rides so you can sit back and enjoy the holiday spirit. Family-friendly musical shows take place throughout the day, and of course, your favorite Christmas treats are on hand.

‘Tis the Season

An International Food Fair takes place throughout the day, with trucks and booths offering unique holiday treats from around the world. Authentic Christmas pudding pairs perfectly with your holiday shopping. At 6 p.m., gather in the square for the lighting of the 50-foot tree, or swing by any day after December 5 to check out the thousands of lights and decorations adorning Anaheim’s community tree.

It all happens at Feldhaus Circle, with plenty of parking and public transportation access.

Holiday Light Displays in Anaheim

December 1st, 2016

 

There are many places to enjoy the holiday lights in Anaheim, but having an insider’s guide gives you a major advantage. Beyond Disneyland and the famous Nutcracker tree downtown, you’ll also want to head to Kraemer and Birch in nearby Brea. The so-called “Eagle Hills neighborhood” is known for putting on an incredible show, and this neighborhood gets into the spirit early!

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In Fountain Valley, try the Brookhurst Street and Heil Avenue neighborhood, or plug 16801 Euclid into your GPS. This lit-up neighborhood features plenty of parking nearby, and you can cruise the street or park and walk to take in the twinkling lights and over-sized decorations.

Light it Up!

Long Beach gives you Daisy Avenue, located between the Pacific Coast Highway and Willow Street. Families looking for Griswold-level lights need to come to the beach. Afterwards, swing by the golden coast for some legendary seafood-inspired Christmas fare at one of the many coastal restaurants.

Talega’s Seaside Neighborhood in San Clemente is another local secret, where the neighbors compete for who has the most, brightest and most spirited of decorations. You don’t want to miss out on this display, especially when there are cafes offering up hot cocoa (and something a bit more caffeinated) to keep those spirits shining.

 

Grand Central Art Center

November 30th, 2016

 

CSUF’s Grand Central Art Center is home to Fullerton’s College of the Art’s “open exploration of contemporary art and visual culture.” Here, you’ll find art and exhibits from local and international artists committed to collaboration and community. Located in nearby Santa Ana, the museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, with a First Saturday Art Walk from 7 – 10 p.m. CSUF art students compete to live on site, just ten miles from the primary campus and minutes from the freeway.

In the art center, you’ll find a combination of commercial, residential and educational resources. At over 45,000 square feet, this entire city block offers studio spaces for visiting artists and students, the Grand Central Main Gallery, Education and Teaching Gallery, Hipcooks, Project Room, Gypsy Den Café, and Grand Central Theatre amongst many additional resources.

A Work of Art

The Grand Central Theatre offers ongoing performances throughout the year. Tickets are just $5 for performances and can be purchased at the Clayes Performing Arts Center Box Office until 5 p.m. on the day of each show. Last minute tickets can be secured online. All performances are offered by the CSUF Theatre and Dance Department, a nationally recognized program.

Artist-in-Residence programs welcome the best artists in the world to the Center. Community-engaged projects bring the arts to the local Anaheim area, and you can check out the online calendar to see which exhibits and shows are showcased during your stay.

 

 

Anaheim Thanksgiving Guide

November 20th, 2016

 

Spend the holidays in sunny southern California where you get the best of both worlds: Incredible Thanksgiving feasts along with sandy beaches and warm weather. Many of the restaurants at Disneyland feature Thanksgiving classic fare including juicy turkeys, moist stuffing, pies, sides and more. However, it’s also a great time of year to visit the park with shorter lines, less crowds, and the opportunity to bond with loved ones.

The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon is a popular pick, offering a prix fixe menu starting at 2 p.m. This rustic, charming diner is a family favorite, and the innovative dishes provide generous portions and spins on classics. You might also want to check out Buca di Beppo for a full turkey feast along with their regular menu. Feasts are available for a fixed price based on party size, and they are open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (though reservations fill up fast!).

Thanks for the Memories

Prefer to enjoy your holiday meal in the comfort of your oversized guest room? Many restaurants offer to-go options, including Zov’s Anaheim. They pack up fresh, homemade full Thanksgiving meals for up to 15 guests. It’s all there from the turkey to the yams, stuffing to mashed potatoes, carrots, salads, rolls and desserts.

For those who prefer to go turkey-free, try Morton’s for their seafood, steak, and Thanksgiving-infused sides. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is dishing up their full menu, and McCormick and Schmick’s is surf and turf with a holiday twist.

 

It’s a Ghost Town!

November 16th, 2016

 

The Calico Ghost Town is just a short drive from your Anaheim hotel, located at 36600 Ghost Town Road in Yermo. Open every day, except Christmas, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., you can make camping reservations by calling 800-TO-CALICO, or simply stop by the Wild West mining town that’s been a tourist favorite for over 100 years. In 1881, the biggest silver strike in the state took place after 500 mines drummed up more than $20 million in just 12 years. However, in the 1890s, silver began to lose its value and Calico residents fled.

When all the miner’s left, they abandoned what was a thriving city just a few years prior. Calico became a ghost town at lightning speed, and Walter Knott (of Knott’s Berry Farm) bought the town in the 1950s. All buildings were restored and now look identical to their heyday of the 1880s. In 2005, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared Calico the official California Silver Rush Ghost Town.

You Look Like You’ve Seen a Ghost

The San Bernardino County Regional Parks system manages Calico, the ghost town that draws visitors from around the world. Find out more about the city’s history, and take in the beauty of the surrounding desert. You’ll also find contemporary restaurants, shops, and options for camping and outdoor fun around Calico. However, do keep in mind that Calico mines are dangerous, and much of the city is not handicap accessible.

Visit the Lucy Lane Museum to check out artifacts, the Maggie Mine to see a restored mine over 100 years old, and the Mystery Shack Tour where you’ll be amazed at the optical illusions. Ghost tours, gold panning and the Odessa Railroad are all waiting for you to explore, discover, and enjoy a blast from the past.

Black Star Canyon

November 6th, 2016

 

Don’t think all the stars in the L.A. area are in Hollywood! At Black Star Canyon, you can get away from the bustle of the city without having to travel far. This remote canyon in the Santa Ana Mountain Range is a watershed and popular spot for mountain bikers, hikers and star gazers.  The incredible scenery makes it irresistible for photographers and nature lovers, too.

There are still remnants of the old mining operation, including shafts, equipment and coal piles around the area. In the 1920s, a small road was built along the eastern part of the mountains, opening up the canyon to explorers. You can now access the area’s uppermost areas thanks to these early route-builders, although the roads are not maintained.

Wild Beauty

There are numerous hiking and biking trails, although the lines are blurry when it comes to what parts of the canyon are legally private. You’ll see “private property” signs, but the local sheriff’s office has confirmed that any trails are public property. It’s part of what makes the region so appealing, and helps to keep the amount of outdoor lovers at bay. Come experience what a truly quiet wild slice of the Santa Ana Mountains is like.

Many visitors ask local restaurants and diners to pack a picnic lunch for them and head for the hills for fresh hair, incredible views, and the chance to stumble upon some wildlife. With a rich history and urban legends galore, this is one part of the Wild West you don’t want to miss.

 

Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Phoenix Club

October 10th, 2016

 

Known as one of the best German pubs and restaurants in town, the Phoenix Club puts on an Oktoberfest like no other. With events held throughout September and October, there’s sure to be a festival for every visitor to enjoy. Even better, the restaurant underwent a big reconstruction in the summer, so this year’s Oktoberfest will be the best yet! It’s all leading up to “Karneval” in November, the Mardi Gras of German parties.

Costumes are always encouraged at the Phoenix Club, especially during the Oktoberfest season. Raucous singing and dancing can always be found, along with happy hours Tuesday through Saturday. Dining here during the autumn means more than indulging in the incredible menu. It’s a non-stop party filled with cultural traditions and plenty of imported beers.

Party On!

Try the fried mac and cheese or spicy sweet potato fries to get your appetite revving. It’s a must before those stuffed beet rolls topped with gravy and loaded with bacon arrive. The sauerbraten, or marinated sirloin roast, is a fan favorite complete with homemade ginger snap gravy served alongside red cabbage and spaetzle.

For travelers looking for a special banquet facility for wedding receptions, parties, business meetings and more, you’ll find it all at the Phoenix Club Banquet Room. Throw your own Oktoberfest, or take advantage of the surrounding festivities to create a party atmosphere for the record books.

 

Grizzly Dance Festival

October 3rd, 2016

 

The second annual Grizzly Dance Festival is sure to be a wild ride! Hosted by the Grizzly Dance Company and Grizzly Hidriago, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is home to four epic days of dancing from October 13-16. Celebrating 12 years of ferocious dancing, there are four rooms on deck. Salsa, kizomba, bachata, zouk, merengue, punta, reggaeton and hip hop are just a few of the styles that will be taking over this massive event.

If you want to really optimize your dance, sign up for one of the many workshops led by global champion teachers. From beginner to advanced salsa boot camps to choreography, there’s something for everyone. Check out the incredible challenges and competitions, join a choreo crew, and enjoy the many live concerts scheduled during the hottest days of October.

Heat Things Up!

With a pool party always available to help you keep your cool, you’re going to need it—after all, the dancing goes until 5 a.m. every day! There’s also a special Halloween costume party complete with prizes that you won’t want to miss. Day of the Dead costumes are especially popular, but you can come in any incarnation you like.

Select from a variety of ticket packages, with early bird specials available through the beginning of October. For more information including a full schedule, competition entries and ticket sales, visit the official website.

 

Best Thai in Anaheim

August 27th, 2016

 

An eclectic foodie scene near Anaheim means you’ll find some of the best Thai cuisine this side of Bangkok, just minutes from your hotel! Imperial Thai Cuisine offers dine-in, takeout and delivery of their special dishes like the Flipping Tofu sautéed a golden brown and served with a house-made sauce, Thai Chili Basil with assorted fresh veggies, Rad Na with broad rice noodles and Chinese broccoli with a beer oyster sauce, and the Crying Tiger with prime beef marinated in spices with a spicy lemon sauce.

Delicious vegan thai curry

Suthathip Thai Restaurant features classic appetizers like Thai Rangoon, Crispy Tofu, Curry Puffs, and Thai Fish Cakes to get started. The Spicy Eggplant entrée has eggplants and chilies in a spicy sauce with onion and basil, and the Cashew Nut dish has stir-fried cashews with onion and water chestnuts in a secret house sauce.

Thai Lovers Unite

The Win Thai Cuisine Restaurants are known for their Stuffed Chicken Wings with glass noodles and sweet/sour sauce, their Shrimp Tempura, deep fried with a variety of veggies, as well as their BBQ Chicken Satay served with peanut sauce. From their Beef Noodle Soup to the Chow Mein, it’s comfort food done right.

There’s the Spicy Thai Restaurant, Chaba Thai Noodle and Grill, and Thai & Laos Market to try, too!

 

Salsa Clubs in Anaheim

August 7th, 2016

 

The Anaheim region is a real salsa hot spot, and if you want to strap on your dancing shoes while staying along the golden coast, you have plenty of options. Bravo Nightclub is a top-ranked Latin dance haven with two floors, themed nights and live music most weekends. Open ‘til 2 a.m. with themes ranging from goth to gay night, there’s truly something for everyone here. Plus, the drink specials are always generous.

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At the Costa Rica Restaurant you’ll find not only authentic Tico fare, like the country’s famous purple rice, but also live Latin dancing and lessons on most weekend nights. Nothing pairs better with their Tacos Ticos than a little cumbia to end the night.

Salsa + Salsa

El Calor Mexican Restaurant and Nightclub is a popular nightclub with an impressive roster of DJs constantly spinning and shaking things up. It opens at 9 p.m. and boasts fantastic reviews from the salsa world. You’ll find classes as soon as the club opens, followed by dancing into the wee hours. All ability levels are welcome.

Tapas Flavors of Spain is another restaurant turned salsa nightclub, pairing flavorful Spanish tapas with some of the best music and intimate dancing in the city. Flamenco shows are featured on Friday and Saturday nights, and salsa lessons are free following the shows.