Archive for the ‘Day Trip’ Category

Oak Canyon Nature Center

June 30th, 2017


Long before Disneyland made Anaheim famous, there was already plenty of natural magic available. Oak Canyon Nature Center is a sprawling 58-acre reserve tucked into the Anaheim hills. Year-round, you’ll find streams winding through the park, incredible native flora and fauna, and plenty of hiking trails. It’s one of the few remaining natural sanctuaries in the area, and it’s begging for you to discover it.

You’ll find the John J. Collier Interpretive Center in the park where you can learn more about the history of the region. A little museum featuring history and live animal exhibits is also available. For those who know about this treasure of Anaheim, the Oak Canyon Nature Center is also a popular venue for special events including June weddings.

A Slice of Paradise

It’s amazing that such a seemingly untouched world is within minutes of bustling Disneyland and a short drive from Los Angeles. However, in order to protect and preserve this getaway within the city, there are some rules. Photographers and videographers are more than welcome, but do need a permit. The park is open sunrise to sunset daily, with the Interpretive Center open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

No parking fees are required to enter the park, but a suggested $2 donation is appreciated. Self-guided tours are available with materials available in the Interpretive Center, or guests can schedule a guided tour by calling 714-998-8380. Please leave pets at home or in your pet-friendly guest room, and bear in mind there’s no cooking, alcohol, smoking, bicycles or skateboards allowed. However, picnicking is highly recommended, especially if you bring a goodie bag from a local restaurant!



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.


Knott’s Merry Farm

December 2nd, 2016


Disneyland isn’t the only area theme park going all out for the holidays! Don’t miss the annual Knott’s “Merry” Farm where the entire park is transformed into a winter wonderland. The Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village Inn is spilling over with treats, ornaments and decorations from local artisans. A seasonal Snoopy Ice Show performance can’t be missed, and live shows happen every night in December.

At dusk nightly, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place, whisking you and your loved ones on a magical journey. Walk along the park avenues and take in the grandiose decorations, from the twinkling lights to the oversized garlands and rich red ribbons. Inside each of the shops and restaurants, you’ll find seasonal delights with holiday themes.

Planning Your Visit

Knott’s “Merry” Farm is conveniently close to a number of Anaheim hotels. Tickets for entrance and shows are available at the gate, or you can book online and save a little time. Season ticketholders don’t have blackout dates, so if you frequently visit Anaheim, this package is a great way to save on future visits beyond the holiday months.

Santa is available daily throughout December for photos and will be taking wish lists of nice boys and girls of all ages. Staying through the new year? Don’t forget to visit Knott’s for their annual New Year’s Eve show with live entertainment, fireworks and special rides!

Huntington Beach Light a Love Parade

December 1st, 2016


A quick drive to the beautiful Huntington Beach on December 4 benefits the local Huntington Beach Youth Shelter. The Children’s Holiday Parade starts at 4:30 p.m. on Main Street and weaves from Orange Street to the Pier Plaza Surf Shop. You’ll find Santa and Mrs. Claus available for pictures, and they’re taking wish lists at 6 p.m., along with a special Snowflake Lighting at the Pier.

Holiday lovers can also arrive early at 2:30 p.m. and sponsor a snowflake! A flurry of snowflakes will be on display throughout the event at the Huntington Beach Pier, each illuminated and featuring the names of the sponsor. All snowflakes remain on display throughout the first week of January, and it’s a fantastic way to ring in the holiday season with goodwill.

In the Spirit

Every year, the CPS of Huntington Beach hosts this beloved event to raise awareness of local children and youth in need. Children ages 11 – 17 benefit from the program, which provides housing and emergency shelter. Reuniting youth with family is a top priority, especially during the holiday season.

This year, come with family and friends, consider a snowflake sponsorship, and take part in seasonal activities that will get you into the holiday spirit. Santa hats, ugly sweaters, and other holiday accoutrements are encouraged!



Adventure City Anaheim

November 30th, 2016


Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm aren’t the only theme parks in Anaheim! Check out Adventure City Anaheim for a quaint, family-friendly experience that will take you back to the day of sweet fair rides, short lines and memories being made. Known as the little theme park that’s big on family fun, the park is open seven days per week and is available for private parties and corporate events.

A number of rides will give you plenty of thrills. Try out the Rewind Racers little coaster where you can go backwards, forwards and all around! It’s the first backwards-forwards coaster in America, offering a shuttle ride like no other. On Drop Zone, you’re taken 45 feet into the air before plunging safely back to earth. Perhaps the gorgeous, vintage 1946 carousel is more your speed—especially when you have your pick of the horses.

The “Adventure” of a Lifetime

Head to the petting farm, and get up close and personal with sheep, chicks, pigs and more. The 24-foot rock climbing wall is an obstacle for anyone ages four and older. The arcade is a challenge old-school style, and you’ll want in on the drool-worthy prizes! Don’t forget to stop by the Thomas the Train Station to build your own layout and tracks.

Birthday parties and special events can take advantage of the Party Tree House and party sky-high. At Parker’s Fill-Up Station, all pizzas are made to order. Where will your next adventure take you?

Labor Day Weekend’s Orange Street Fair

September 2nd, 2016


Visitors to Anaheim are in for a real treat at the Orange International Street Fair, a massive, 15-street festival spanning September 2-4 where you’ll find themed streets paying homage to a variety of regions and countries. With eight stages of live entertainment, an arts and crafts street for the kids, and more food and beverage vendors than you can possible try in one long weekend, the decades-old fair is just what you need for your southern California getaway.

A non-profit event, the Orange International Street Fair began in 1973 to celebrate food, community and fun in Old Town Orange, California—just a short drive from your hotel. This year, it’s expected to be the biggest yet with over 42 food and alcohol booths spanning those many streets. You’ll find handcrafted treats and crafts from local artists as well as a community booth area where you can learn more about the non-profit participants.

Plan Your Weekend

From All-American Street to Swiss Road, Australian Avenue to Italian Avenue, there’s no shortage of options for indulging in any type of cuisine you’re craving. Alcohol sales are open until 9 p.m. all three nights, but do bear in mind that parking is limited. Ask your front desk agent for help with transportation if you need a designated driver, or enjoy a dry event (but head there early to get the best parking spots!).

A portion of proceeds benefit local non-profits.

Labor Day Weekend in Anaheim

September 1st, 2016


A lot of travelers are heading to Disneyland for the long weekend, and while that’s a fabulous yet popular choice, Anaheim has a slew of other options at the ready too! For the college crowd, AVALON Hollywood is the biggest collegiate event venue in the area, and they have a special event taking place September 4. It’s a 19+ crowd with doors opening at 8 p.m. and the party goes on ‘til 4 in the morning. At AVALON Hollywood, a top entertainment venue, you’ll find the best in EDM with four music rooms.

DJs feature trance, hardstyle, progressive, trap and more. Since there’s no school or work the next day for most, it’s your last chance to celebrate summer. All college/university students are welcome and bottle service starts at $450.

The Labor Day Interfaith Harvest is also happening at The Abundant Table. Come together, regardless of faith, to harvest, share and celebrate the bounty.

Nobody’s Working for The Weekend

The Impresario Group Black Party kicks off September 4 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Tickets range from $30-150, but book yours soon! Attendees come from all over the world for the most renowned event of the year hosted by The Impresario Group, Rouse House Entertainment, BleedingLuv Entertainment and more.

Nearby, The City of Maywood Festival Carnival on September 2 is your chance to check out classic games, rides and sporting events. Family friendly, there are four stages of entertainment, plenty of food vendors, and a beer garden for the 21+ crowd.

Anaheim Events You Can’t Miss

July 5th, 2016

It’s the peak of summer, and there’s nowhere better to be than Anaheim! Countless events are taking place this July, starting with the Family Beach Days July 1 from 10am-2pm. At the Dockweiler Youth Center, a slew of family-friendly games, like ping pong, basketball and badminton, are on hand—all complementary! Hosted by the department that governs 17 of the area’s beaches, it’s an event to help you keep your cool and escape from the sun for a few hours before barreling back to your surf lessons and sand castle competitions.


The Palisades Park Tour is held regularly throughout the summer with tours beginning at 10:30am. These walking tours give you an insider, expert perspective on the gorgeous landscapes of Anaheim. Learn watercolor artistry, and gather with new friends for a picnic by the sea.

July Finds

Every Friday in July, Fullerton’s BIGS Bar and Restaurant offers $10 all-you-can-eat fish tacos with a drink purchase. You’ll also find late night happy hour prices on other items, the latest music videos streaming from high-tech televisions, and a number of bar games from billiards to Monster Jenga!

Ready to dance off those endless tacos? Free Zumba classes are offered at the DYC in Los Angeles every Friday at 5:30pm(??). Hosted by the Department of Beaches and Harbors, simply show up ready to show off your moves—or the ones you’re about to learn!


Pre-Mother’s Day Afternoon Sail

May 4th, 2016


Think you missed the great whale watching of 2016? Think again, because Dana Point is offering a special pre-Mother’s Day Afternoon Sail on Saturday, May 7 from 2-4:30. Raise the sails and even help steer the ship while you take in the gorgeous California coastline. Refreshments will be served, and this incredible deal is just $70 for adults and $50 for children. Sea Star members snag an extra 10 percent off, and ticket prices include same-day admission to the Ocean Institute Education Center.

Image copyright Catherine Lane 2015

Register early, because Dana Point cruises often sell out. It’s a bit past peak whale watching season, but it’s still possible a few sightings will occur. Bring your sunscreen, camera, and best nautical attire for an intimate getaway that’s a perfect precursor to mom’s weekend.

Sailing and Whaling

Visiting the Ocean Institute is a unique way to meet some of the Anaheim area’s most interesting of residents. It’s a learning experience for all, with day camps for the kids and adult-friendly exhibitions. The Tallship Sails adventure cruises operate year-round, but only on May 7 will a special Mother’s Day brunch be served.

No matter how you celebrate the mom(s) in your life, make it really stand out this year by whisking her away on a sunset cruise.