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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.