Things to do in Anaheim & Buena Park

Itineraries for Your Trip to Anaheim & Buena Park

Anaheim & Buena Park locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Anaheim & Buena Park for First Timers

Curated by Elisa Parhadtravel writer and mom of two in Los Angeles.

Spending a vacation in Anaheim is a rite of passage for just about anyone who visits Southern California. Luckily for my family, we live close enough to sneak in frequent visits to California Adventure, Disneyland, and Knott's Berry Farm. Our family favorite is Knott's for the thrilling roller coaster rides and water park. If you haven't been, the park is filled with history and icons, including historic fried chicken dinners and boysenberry pie. (Steve Martin once worked at the park's Ghost Town attraction.)

However you decide to spend your time, Anaheim makes a great base for exploring the many attractions of the area, as well as Los Angeles and Orange County. Here's how I'd do it in three days.

Days are typically sunny and warm, with summer days downright hot—stay hydrated.

If you only have time for one thing, make it Disneyland, an American classic.

Day 1

Orange County is well-situated for a whale-watching tour, with several species of whales traveling through the area throughout the year. Pair this with dolphins, seals, and flying fish, and you've got a marine safari to look forward to.

The beach is one of Orange County's top assets. Why not check out several on an epic beach crawl to include the tide pools of Crystal Cove State Beach, surfers at Huntington, and a Balboa Island ferry ride? Don't forget your sunscreen.

Day 2

Most visitors come to Anaheim for a day at a theme park, and there are several. Whichever you choose, expect it to be an all-day affair, so come prepared with sunscreen and water. And then dig into the fun and the food. At Disneyland, I recommend the famous Dole Whip and Monte Cristo sandwich. Afterwards, consider getting a mai tai or mocktail at another spot that excels in a themed environment—a tiki bar. Two excellent, local choices are Strong Water and Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar outside the Disneyland Hotel.

Day 3

President Nixon grew up in nearby Yorba Linda, and it's where his presidential library stands today. Learn about his legacy, see the 12-foot-high (3.7-meter-high) Berlin Wall section, and tour his replica Oval Office and Rose Garden. Behind the museum is Nixon's childhood home, built by his father in 1912 using a home-building kit.

Anaheim is home to several sports teams, including the Los Angeles Angels baseball team and Anaheim Ducks hockey team. It's fun to see a game. Grab dinner at the Anaheim Packing District beforehand for a wide range of crowd-pleasing food options.

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