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Ice Cream in Anaheim

June 11th, 2017

 

Ice cream is nearly as synonymous with Southern California as Disneyland! It’s the sweetest way to keep your cool, especially when traveling to Anaheim in the summer months. Challenge yourself to an ice cream showdown, sampling the best scoops in town. A great starting point is Joe’s Italian Ice. It’s not technically ice cream, but it just might make you a convert with Philly-style flavors like peanut butter and strawberry swirl.

Next up is Brianna’s Ice Cream, a local joint where you can get your “ice cream in a waffle,” which is the only way you’ll take it after you get a taste! As a bonus, Brianna’s is also a great stop for a snack whether you’re craving a mango salad or a sandwich.

Double Down

You’ll definitely be tempted by a double or triple scoop at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. It’s in Disneyland, hosted by Dreyer’s, and completely charming in its old fashioned décor. Get a scoop, float, cone, and a side of a baked waffle. It’s everyone’s favorite sweet stop in the park.

Finally, you won’t want to miss out on the very unique flavors at the Portland-based Salt & Straw shops. There are five locations in Southern California featuring foundational flavors like sea salt with caramel ribbons and avocado and strawberry sherbet. However, their monthly fun flavors are a force to be reckoned with. Are you up for it?

What’s Club 33?

June 1st, 2017

 

Now in its 50th year, Disneyland’s exclusive, members-only Club 33 is celebrating its golden year in style. Just how stylish? Well, you have to be a member to find out. Oftentimes, it’s only the most earnest of Disney fans who even know about this club within the park. It’s nestled above The French Market’s Café Orleans in the New Orleans Square section of Anaheim’s park. Here, you’ll find only five-star restaurants, and membership is highly exclusive.

Although Disneyland does its best to keep the details under wraps, a few of the secrets have slipped. Most renowned for the world-class dishes, all prepared by some of the best chefs in the business, this is Disney dining at an entirely new level. It’s been said that A-list actors, Presidents, foreign nation leaders, and Fortune 100 CEOs are just a few of the guests who have seen the inside of this one-of-a-kind club.

How Can I Get a Membership?

Unfortunately, anyone who has to ask probably won’t be able to snag this particular members-only jacket. Club 33 was originally intended as a private place for Walt Disney to entertain his guests. However, he passed just five months before it opened. There is a waitlist that opens and closes as demand fluctuates, and it’s rumored that the initiation fee ranges from $25,000 – $100,000 with an additional annual fee of up to $30,000.

Supposedly, there are various membership levels, but it’s safe to say that even the “bottom rung members” are treated like royalty. You can spy a few insider sneak peeks online, though nothing has been verified by Disney.

 

Visit Griffith Park

May 25th, 2017

 

The sprawling metro park is home to special events, concerts and boasts numerous attractions for residents and visitors. Check out the Autry Museum on Western Heritage Drive, or rent a bicycle at the Ranger Station parking lot. The Griffith Observatory is a favorite place for the other kind of star spotting, and the Griffith Park Southern Railroad, merry-go-round and Greek Theatre are all popular sites for family fun.

The L.A. Equestrian Center offers horseback riding and stabling, while the L.A. Zoo is also part of this massive park. From pony rides at the corner of Los Feliz and Riverside to Travel Town shops and dining options within the zoo, visitors will need plenty of time to check off everything on their Griffith Park to-do list.

A Park for All

A premier recreation site, visitors can enjoy golf, swimming, soccer, jogging, hiking, bike riding, and even camping at Griffith Park. Shane’s Inspiration is an incredible playground open year round, and the beaches and lakes within the park are sublime for water activities. Open water/no fishing destinations include Del Rey Lagoon, Debs Lake and Echo Park Lake.

Three special events are held in May, including Ten Thirty One Productions’ Great Horror Movie Night on May 5. A Faery Hunt is held May 13 in the Fern Dell area, and May 19 is another horror movie offering at the Old Zoo Picnic Area. Plan your trip now.

 

Mulholland Drive

May 12th, 2017

 

Films have been made, and named, after this famous road, and numerous songs have mentioned it. What makes Mulholland Drive so special, and why should it top the list of your must-do’s while in Anaheim? Located in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, it was named after William Mulholland, a civil engineer. David Lynch, in making his film named after the road, said that you can “feel the history of Hollywood” here.

Mulholland Drive’s primary stretch is from Cahuenga Pass to Sepulveda Pass and was originally named Mulholland Highway. It was designed in 1924 by a team of developers who were interested in investment opportunities within the Hollywood Hills. DeWitt Reaburn was the engineer charged with the project and said it was meant to be “one of the heaviest traveled and one of the best known scenic roads” in the country.

Re-defining the Scenic Drive

Just 21 miles long, the largely two-lane road hugs the ridges of the mountains and Hollywood Hills. It connects two major areas of US Route 101 and takes drivers across Coldwater Canyon Avenue, Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Outpost Drive and more. However, it’s the views that really make it memorable. You can see the Hollywood Sign, San Fernando Valley and the L.A. Basin.

It’s also the drive where a number of the most expensive homes in the world can be found, although they’re set far back from Mulholland Drive. Taking a cruise along Mulholland Drive, especially at sunrise or sunset, is a beautiful and free way to take in the region. It’s the ultimate welcome to Hollywood.

 

Hot Dog!

May 7th, 2017

 

Anaheim and nearby Los Angeles is a major foodie town, and everything is done bigger, better, and more uniquely here—including hot dogs. Try Corn Dog Castle, a stand at Disneyland with a medieval theme. Choose from a variety of one-of-a-kind toppings, and get them with a side of apple slices to balance the savory with the sweet.

Dog Haus Santa Ana has a variety of toppings and an expansive cheese selection. Pick from organic eggs, avocados, pastrami and sautéed mushrooms before deciding whether to add fig and onion relish, kimchi, haus slaw and crumbled blue cheese or cheese sauce. Try it with crispy fried onion for extra crunch.

All-American Favorites

Wienerschnitzel at North State College is open daily until midnight and offers hot dogs, chili dogs, corn dogs, chili cheese fries and burgers for your late night cravings. Shakes, cones, sundaes and Tastee-Freezes are also on hand. Yellow American cheese, kraut and basic toppings make this a prime spot for comfort food.

At Award Wieners, another Disneyland staple, you’ll find gourmet yet street-style dogs and sausages. Bite into the Uptown Chili Dog or the BBQ Crunch Dog. There are also vegetarian options along with Filmstrip Fries, kid’s menu items and more. This takes dogs to an entirely different level.

 

Walt Disney Concert Hall

May 1st, 2017

 

Home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall is renowned for hosting premium classical, contemporary, jazz and world music. The building itself is a work of art, designed by Frank Gehry and famed around the world as one of the best acoustic endeavors available. Visitors instantly recognize the steel curves of the building, and the interior features hardwood paneling in the auditorium.

A massive structure encompassing 3.6 acres, it’s a Los Angeles landmark and a short drive from Anaheim. The Los Angeles Master Chorale, visiting orchestras and artists, and of course the Philharmonic all consider this one-of-a-kind structure home. It was the vision of Lillian Disney that brought it to reality.

Visit WDCH

In May, numerous events are scheduled at the gorgeous concert hall, starting with Yo-Yo Ma with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile on May 3rd. Get tickets for the Schubert Symphonies featuring Mahler Songs every Friday and Saturday of the month, with each evening offering a different highlighted composition.

On May 9th, the Chamber Music features an all-Schubert performance you won’t want to miss, and Bartók Cycle with Dudamel and Yuja Wang takes the stage May 26 – 28th for Piano Concerto No. 1. Keep an eye on the , and don’t miss out on this incredible Los Angeles experience.

Frank R. Bowerman Landfill Tour

April 12th, 2017

 

Touring a landfill might not seem like the most popular tourist activity, but this incredible tour has a few surprises. Hosted by OC Waste & Recycling, every attendee is required to sign a waiver and wear suitable, closed-toe shoes. In 90 minutes, which includes an overview of safety, visitors learn what really happens to the tons of trash and recycling Los Angeles creates.

Only municipal and commercial solid waste haulers dump at this landfill. A daily tonnage limit is set by the county, and Bowerman has more “diversions” (rejected trucks) than any other landfill in the region. Bowerman is renowned for engineering and environmental excellence. Open for less than one year, the landfill has already racked up awards and established partnerships with the City of Anaheim to power over 26,000 homes.

Green Ideals

At Bowerman, visitors see the incredible benefits landfills offer via state-of-the-art renewable energy technology. Bowerman hosts a number of environmental protection systems and engineering excellence. There’s also a nature reserve, an erosion and sediment control area, and landslide mitigation management.

Children at least five years old are welcome, and carpooling is encouraged since parking is scarce. Located in nearby Irvine with easy interstate access, contact the landfill directly to schedule your tour. Public tours are capped at 14, but larger and private groups can be arranged.

What’s on Rodeo Drive Right Now?

April 8th, 2017

 

Famous Rodeo Drive is known for high-end shopping, but few non-locals can say exactly which shops are available. Current options include 208 Rodeo, Anne Fontaine and Balenciaga. You’ll also find Burberry and Bulgari, and affordable staples like Brooks Brothers. At the intersection of fashion, entertainment and dining, it’s truly an outing destination for all.

Check out the renowned Beverly Hills Wilshire where numerous films and photo shoots take place. It’s also a popular event venue available to rent. Cartier, Chanel and Céline are on the strip, along with Dior and Dolce & Gabbana.

Head to the 90210

In the heart of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive is home to Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci and Harry Winston. Shoppers can also find Guess, Jimmy Choo and La Perla Boutique. Lacoste has a boutique on Rodeo, as well as the world-known Lancer Skincare dermatology suite. Stop by Louis Vuitton, or spend the afternoon perusing Miu Miu.

On Rodeo Bistro and Lounge is a favorite spot for drinks and light fare, or check out Sidebar for a classic cocktail. The Polo Lounge is another hot spot, where you can take your breakfast while seated in the lap of luxury (or enjoyed in front of Tiffany).

LA Beer Fest

April 5th, 2017

 

April 8th marks the 9th annual LA Beer Festival. Buy your tickets soon! Last year’s event sold out, and this year is slated to be even bigger and better. Enjoy dozens of domestic and international beers, more than a dozen food trucks, and live entertainment throughout the festivities. Located at the LA Center Studios, this short and lively festival goes only from 12 – 3p.m., so come early to imbibe.

A second session is available from 5 – 8p.m., and many beer lovers reserve both tickets. Admission includes bottomless tastings, but food is sold separately. Opt for a Connoisseur’s Ticket for $80 to take advantage of a reserved indoor/outdoor deck, one-off beers not available for general admission, and luxury restrooms.

Bottoms Up

All proceeds benefit Noah’s B-ark, Inc., an organization that rescues dogs from kill shelters to place them in loving homes. Proceeds specifically help with funding food, veterinary bills and shelter for the rescued pets.

Reserve your tickets now, and make sure to coordinate with friends so everyone is at the same session. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to try out a variety of gourmet beers and cuisine from some of the area’s top-ranked establishments.

 

The Area’s Top Burgers

April 1st, 2017

 

When staying in Anaheim, sometimes nothing will do but the best burger in town. That’s when you head to The Counter, a build-it-yourself joint and local chain. Every possible sauce and topping is available here along with a smorgasbord of buns. Simply tick off what you want and pick any sides, and your customized burger is whipped up by the fast and friendly crew.

The aptly named Best Burgers is part burger restaurant and part Mexican cantina. You’ll also want to try their wings served with a variety of sauces. If you can’t decide between homemade burgers or Mexican cuisine that’s authentic and fresh, why not have both?

Burger Up

Stout Burgers and Beers are known just as much for their brews as their innovative burger toppings. Try the Truffle Shuffle with sautéed mushrooms, brie and truffle aioli. The Six Weeker features fig jam, arugula and caramelized onions. Even better, all their burgers come with a recommended beer pairing.

Ohana Burger boasts Asian-inspired flavors alongside local beers. However, you have to start with the oxtail chili cheese fries smothered in garlic aioli, jalapeños, cilantro and topped with a fried egg. You can build your own burger or select from classic or Asian inspirations, including the Warrior with marinated Angus beef, sweet onion marmalade, Japanese coleslaw, katsu BBQ, citrus aioli and a fried egg.