Fall in Love this Valentine’s Day

February 4th, 2016

Spending Valentine’s Day in Anaheim? How lucky you and your paramour are! There are oodles of things to do, like making reservations at Vue Restaurant at Dana Point for their famous V-Day dinner. Held February 13th-15th, dinner reservations start at 5pm with a four course menu on the 14th (the 13th and 15th feature a special entrée). They have discounted valet parking, live entertainment, and for an extra $30 you can add on a wine pairing.

The four course menu at the Winemaker’s Dinner at Laguna Canyon Winery in Laguna Beach is divine. Reservations start at 7pm, and include gourmet “epicurean creations” all paired with artisanal boutique wines. Live music sets the mood, and the views from the Winery are beyond compare.


Wining and Dining

The beloved Dinner for Two at the Orange County Mining Company is a southern California tradition. Gorgeous views in a dining room with floor to ceiling windows is the perfect place to stir up some romance. Nestled in the heart of Orange, this former mining town is steeped in history with fantastic architecture throughout the neighborhood.

If you prefer a little more action on this big day, head to the Silver Stirrup Riding Academy in Lake Forest. A date on horseback is one for the record books. There are two date options available throughout the month of February, so you can make those storybook romances come alive.


Super Bowl Watch Spots

February 2nd, 2016

If you’re lucky enough to be in Anaheim during the Super Bowl, you have a smorgasbord of pubs, taverns and sports bars to cheer along with like-minded fans. The Hub in Costa Mesa is a well-kept local secret, so you won’t have to elbow your way to a good seat. The menu is expansive and features locally sourced ingredients. From the ice cold beer to the state-of-the-art televisions, it’s the perfect hideaway for the true sports lover.

Visit Mutt Lynch’s in Newport Beach, one of the top ranked sports bars in the area (and the views don’t hurt, either!). Here, you can get schooners of beer to go along with that view. The flatscreens are huge, and the prices for cocktails, beer and wine can’t be beat.

Silver Football and NFL Logo On Top of a Green Field

A Great Game’s Brewing

At Tustin Brewing Co., you can discover one of southern California’s finest microbreweries. It’s tucked away in Tustin and dishes up all your favorite game day treats. Great pub food, cold beers, and fantastic oversized screens make Tustin’s a natural choice.

Finally, take a trip to The Olde Ship in Santa Ana. It has the best import beer on tap alongside genuine British fare. The bartenders are friendly, and even though this might be a bar with a nod to our neighbors across the pond, it’s all football all day for the Super Bowl!



February Races Near Anaheim

February 1st, 2016

The race is on—to find the best local races during your February stay in Anaheim! Southern California is one of the best regions to run in the winter thanks to moderate temperatures and gorgeous views. The FV Fit Body Boot Camp 5K Fun Run/Walk on February 6th in Fountain Valley is a relatively easy jaunt for the whole family. Held on a Saturday, it’s the perfect way to kick off your weekend and take in the view from a brand new perspective.

The Help 2 Heal a Heart 2-Mile Run/Walk in Downey is another great option, held on February 6th as well. Shorter runs can count as part of your training for a 10k, half marathon or the big 26.2 miler! On February 7th, the Surf City USA Marathon takes place in Huntington Beach, offering a marathon or half marathon option.


Got the Runs?

Cupid’s Undie Run on February 20th is a one-mile novelty run in Los Angeles. Love is (still!) in the air after Valentine’s Day, and it’s the perfect warmup to the day’s workout or a great way to burn off those V-Day chocolates. On the 21st, the Paws FUR Pink 5k Run/Walk takes place in Orange, along with a one-mile fun run.

Celebrate spring with the Winter’s End 5k, 10k or half-marathon in Santa Monica on the 28th. In the state known for beach bodies and health, it’s time to show Californians what you’ve got.


Disney’s Best Kept Park Secrets

January 14th, 2016

See Disneyland like you never have before, even if this is your twentieth trip to Anaheim! In Cinderella’s castle, there’s a secret suite that was originally created as a getaway for Walt and his wife. It’s gilded in 24k gold, has a “Magic mirror” that’s also a hidden television, and features stunning stained glass features. Look for the window above the fire station on Main Street—it used to light up to let visitors know that Walt himself was on site!

Take a closer look at Cinderella in the fountain—adults should crouch down. She looks poignant or sad to most adults but from a lower angle you can see (and kids always can!) that she is actually smiling. See if you can spot the secret “smellitizers” that blast appropriate aromas around the park, such as sea smells near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

P52 - Week 3 Circles - Mickey Power

The Magic of Disney

If you keep an eye out, you might spy one of the many feral cats that call Disneyland home (although they most often come out at night). Try to count the steps between garbage bins in the park. Walt found that it took him 25 steps to eat a hot dog, and that’s why he dictated there be a bin every 25 steps no matter where you go.

From the real human skull on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride to the Club 33 in New Orleans Square, Disney is brimming with secrets eager to reveal themselves to you.




Top Celebrity Sighting Spots

January 10th, 2016

Up your odds of spotting your favorite celebrities by hanging out where they’ve been known to linger. There are numerous Hollywood/LA tour companies offering tours of celebrity homes, local shooting destinations, and other hot spots where you might see an A-lister. You can also stack the odds in your favor yourself! Take a cue from the paparazzi and go to Asia de Cuba/the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

Go to Beacher’s Madhouse, a late night spot where paps normally lurk at closing. BOA Steakhouse has the paparazzi waiting at the valet and nearly every night there’s someone famous slinking in for a great cut. Bootsy Bellows on Sunset Boulevard is a popular place for spotting the younger Hollywood crowd.


The Celeb Lifestyle

The Brentwood Country Mart is a great place in the morning to play paparazzi. Or head to Maha Yoga where Tommy Chong has breakfast nearby every day and Arnold Schwarzenegger is regularly seen. Bristol Farms is the celeb preferred grocery shopping center, and Chateau Marmont is a good choice for a posh dinner out.

Nobu remains a beloved dinner spot for celebs like George Clooney, and Joan’s on Third is a nice choice for breakfast. You can also try Osteria Mozza, Koi and Urth Caffe. Whether you spot a celeb or not, you’re sure to dine like one!




Anaheim’s Public Transportation Cheat Sheet

January 10th, 2016

Getting around Anaheim doesn’t require a rental car or a reliance on taxis. The public transportation is fast, affordable and easy. The ARTIC Transportation Hub (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center) is the newest southern California transportation hub. It begins at the Angel Stadium and of course races through Disney attractions, offering sophisticated and lightning fast transportation to the hottest destinations in Anaheim.

The OCTA Bus has been the region’s most popular form of transportation for over 40 years. Plan your trip online, get your first ride free by claiming a code on the official website, and get absolutely anywhere in the OC without dealing with that infamous LA traffic.

Mother and child in commercial bus

You Get Around!

Amtrak, the nation’s premier rail service, has numerous stops in the Anaheim area. In fact, there are 22 local Pacific trains with on-board amenities like free Wi-Fi and reclining seats. Bicycle racks are also an amenity many travelers love. Metrolink is Anaheim’s rail system, with 11 stations offering 42 round trips every day.

Megabus is the local city to city option, offering express services all the way to San Francisco. Tickets start at just one dollar. There’s also the Anaheim Transportation Network and Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) with 16 routes available.




Satisfy Your Dessert Cravings

January 1st, 2016

Anaheim is a sweet spot in southern California with the dessert shops to prove it! Of course, you can find plenty of sweet treats at the local theme parks, including Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, but there are also options in the real OC itself. Patty’s Cake and Desserts is known for unique creations and homemade goodness, and you can custom order just about any dreamy dessert you can imagine.

Marceline’s Confectionery is a favorite for kids and adults alike, offering a variety of sweets to satisfy any craving. At OMG! Dessert Lounge you can really get your sugar on, complete in a charming setting that will quickly become a southern California tradition.

Caramel and chocolate Pavlova meringue cake

Cravings, Satisfied

Amazing Cakes serves incredible cakes (of course!) but also a variety of chocolates, cookies, parfaits and more. Andrew’s Ice Cream and Dessert is just the ticket for a sweet cool down on one of those legendary OC hot days. Polly’s Pies Restaurant is a traditional Americana diner known for pies with a variety of fillings.

The Cookie Lady Shop serves mouthwatering cookies with a cold glass of milk. Sarkis Pastry dishes up a variety of sweet solutions, whether you’re craving a buttery chocolate croissant or a decadent slice of five-layer cake. Try a sweet foot truck or ask your front desk staff for their own local recommendation!


Fashion Island: A Must for the Fashion Forward

December 9th, 2015

Located in Newport Beach, Fashion Island is the ultimate destination for the fashionista. Just like Rodeo Drive, it’s a shopping hot spot that you can’t miss during your southern California adventure. Endless stores, restaurants, and a massive cinema provide entertainment for the whole family, and a means of looking great at the same time. Featured shops including Peloton, Brooks Brothers, and Modern Romance.

Indulge at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, where every detail is perfect and the steaks are divine. The full cinema experience includes much more than a snack bar—beer, wine, delectable desserts and a full café menu is at your fingertips. Oversized leather seats and the Sony RealD XLS Cinema System brings the best of Hollywood to life.


Fashion, Fast Forward

Depend on your personal shopper to find exactly what you need. Stop by Cucina Enoteca to re-energize with authentic Italian fare. There are always special events happening, like Forever 21’s Back to School Uniform Sale, which has been extended through December. The annual holiday tree lighting takes place November 7th and 8th, Disney style.

Santa’s house opens November 13th, and you can’t miss Black Friday at Fashion Island. Dress, look and feel like an A-lister by making Fashion Island one of your first Los Angeles stops.


Add Rockin’ Taco Tuesday to Your Itinerary

December 9th, 2015

You know you’re at the happiest place on Earth when Rockin’ Taco Tuesday is always available for some mid-week excitement. Available at Who Song and Larry’s, located at 1525 West Katella Avenue just a short drive from the Pavilion Hotel, it’s a true fiesta every Tuesday (and every other day of the week!). Take advantage of $3 carne asada, carnita, or chicken tacos. If you really bring your appetite, there’s also a pig roast from 4pm to close on the patio. You won’t find any better eats in Anaheim, and Tuesday will quickly become your favorite day of the week.

However, Who Song and Larry’s isn’t the only place rocking Tuesdays. Just ten minutes away in Fullerton, Tuesday is the new Friday night. Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday here, and you’ll find happy hour prices throughout the day. Get three fat tacos for $5 at Bourbon Street. For just $2 per taco at Chronic Tacos, you can eat ‘til your heart’s content.


Taco Time

The Continental Room features $1 tacos every Tuesday, $2 beers, and a DJ that plays ‘til close. Opening at 5pm is the Commonwealth Lounge and Bar, where 2 tacos for $3 or two tacos and a pint of Modello for $5 is the winning combination for many.

From La Palapa Grill to the Pint House, make Tuesday a new tradition when visiting Anaheim!

Search for Celebrities on Hollywood Tours!

October 20th, 2015

Depending on the tour you choose, you can see up to 50 celebrity homes in a star studded Hollywood Homes tour—and they’re not all in Hollywood, of course! Going from home to home doesn’t guarantee a star sighting, but you certainly increase your odds when you’re in the right neighborhoods and smack in front of the sprawling multi-million dollar mansions. But which celebs might you spot?

The LA tours know where Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise and Orlando Bloom live for starters. You’ll see where Christina Aguilera calls home, Richard Gere and Madonna. Steve Martin, Jackie Chan and Nicolas Cage also live here. You’ll be introduced to the former sprawling homes of Aaron Spelling, Lucille Ball and of course the current Playboy Mansion also.

Home, Sweet Home

The ride itself is also phenomenal, whisking you along Rodeo Drive to see famous landmarks like the Wilshire Hotel and Harry Winston Jewelers featured in Pretty Woman. Plus, the tour guides know the tell-tale signs of a celeb on the move (like which cars they really drive!).

However, tickets do sell out, so book as far in advance as possible. With most tours, children under age three ride for free—and hotel pickup near Anaheim is possible. Bring your camera and get ready to search for the stars.