Since long before the Housewives put it on the map, Orange County, California has been known for its sandy beaches, world-class shopping and dining, and theme parks. It’s quintessentially Southern California where Gwen Stefani, Nate Berkus, Jeffree Star, and Harvey Guillen once called home. Nestled along the coast about 30 miles south of Los Angeles, OC is a travel destination where you will find diversity in culture, food, and experience.
You may think that OC is limited on what it offers visitors, but take it from an OC native–there is always something to discover. Yes, there is Disneyland–and we’ll get to that–but beyond the House of the Mouse, OC is perfectly located near the ocean, mountains, and busy urban landscapes. The galaxy’s edge is just the beginning!
I could go on, but let’s get down to the details. Let me take you to Anaheim, where you can eat, relax, and explore in one of the most enviable climate locations in the world.
STAY | The Westin Anaheim Resort
If you’re looking for a sanctuary within steps of the Happiest Place on Earth, look no further than The Westin Anaheim Resort. Newly opened in June 2021, The Westin Anaheim is a relaxing haven of wellness and renewal, operating on six pillars of well-being ‘for a better you’. When you walk onto the property you are immediately welcomed by a living wall of greenery bursting amidst the white and earth tones of the lobby.
A landmark hotel set in the heart of Anaheim’s Resort District, The Westin Anaheim Resort occupies eight acres and offers 618 stylish guestrooms including 121 suites, a signature 2,860 square feet Westin WORKOUT® Fitness Studio, a resort-style outdoor pool, and seven signature restaurants and bars, including a stunning rooftop bar overlooking Disneyland® Resort’s Nightly Fireworks and Disney California Adventure.
Standout accommodations include the Park View Suites, with 785 square feet of space equipped with a separate living and dining area that opens up to a balcony overlooking Disneyland® Resort. The property also promises to have a very White Lotus vibe that will make you want to lounge in your plush bed, soak in your luxurious bathtub, or savor a cocktail while you soak in the Southern California views.
If you’re in town for business, The Westin Anaheim Resort also features 23 meeting rooms, a 16,120-square-foot grand ballroom–and the best part, it is steps to the adjacent Anaheim Convention Center.
Want to enhance your stay? Take advantage of The Westin Anaheim Resort’s offerings to make your time with them unforgettable.
When the hunger creeps up on you, The Westin Anaheim Resort has everything your heart may desire right on the property as it offers guests seven unique culinary experiences throughout the property – from grab-and-go convenience to full-service fine dining.
A standout is Tangerine Room, their signature restaurant showcasing modern Californian dishes celebrating local, seasonal ingredients and an extensive global wine list. From sunrise to well after sunset, enjoy signature dishes such as their SoCal benedict with cage-free eggs, prime beef and quality steaks.
BE HAPPY | Disneyland Parks
There is absolutely no need for an introduction to the Disneyland Parks. You know it, you love it, you can’t live without it! Disneyland opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California, the beginning of a global empire that has spawned theme parks and experiences for all ages around the world.
Discover the excitement of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, which features two amazing theme parks—Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park! A multi-day ticket will let you make the most of your visit and see what both parks have to offer! There is nothing I can share to prepare you for the overwhelming fun you will have when you visit the Disney Parks. What you can do to ensure you make the best use of your time is to plan out your visits and explore one park at a time.
As you make your way into the park, take in the small-town nostalgia of Main Street USA with its horse-drawn carriages, tasty treat shops, and Dapper Dans crooning your favorite classic tunes. From there, head straight through Sleeping Beauty’s castle into Fantasyland, where most visitors can enjoy classic Disneyland rides like the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction, It’s a Small World attraction, and Mad Tea Party attraction.
Disneyland Park features classic attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and rides inspired by some of your favorite Disney films such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Pinnochio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. You’ll also find the incredible new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge campus an immersive experience that transports you into the Star Wars universe. Fly the Millenium Falcon attraction on a smuggling mission, or create your very own droid friend at the Droid Depot. Keep exploring a galaxy far, far away in Tomorrowland where you can launch into the cosmos on the Space Mountain attraction or help Buzz beat Zurg on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction.
Disney California Adventure Park offers a different vibe. First, there’s alcohol! Enjoy a themed cocktail or beer while you stroll the park and truly treat your inner child. Inspired by California throughout history, the park includes exciting attractions such as Soarin’ Around the World, Incredicoaster, Radiator Springs Racers, and Grizzly River Run. Beyond Disney California Adventure Park’s iconic Cars Land, Pixar Pier, Hollywood Land and Buena Vista Street is the unforgettable Avengers Campus which features experiences inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider Man.
Both parks have regularly scheduled parades and shows pending favorable weather.
While the parks are busy every day of the year, you might find that visiting during off season and during the week may be best for keeping wait times low. An expert tip is to purchase the Disney Genie+ Service to help you make advance reservations for attractions and save time. This also gets you an unlimited photo pass so you can download attraction photos and shots at some of the most magical areas around the parks and with your favorite characters!
You may have also noticed that the Disney Parks around the world are now notable for their food and beverage experiences. You will find surprising and cute creations around every corner when exploring the theme parks.
INDULGE | The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon
One of the best kept secrets in Orange County is The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon. The Ranch is an upscale fine dining and country music space located on the ground floor of Extron Electronics corporate headquarters in Anaheim. You wouldn’t know it just by looking at the surroundings, but inside the industrial location you find a luxurious private dining and events center on the sixth floor of the same building. The Ranch offers a rustic yet elegantly styled restaurant based on regional American cuisine and fine wines, a similarly themed saloon next door for live concerts and dancing.
The Ranch delivers a unique combination of a quality culinary experience with a seasonally driven menu emphasizing the best local ingredients grown on The Ranch farm, an intimate setting for musical performances featuring local and prime country music artists, and amazing views of Disneyland Resort®, Angel Stadium, Honda Center and the city of Anaheim for private dining and events center guests.
The Ranch restaurant features true American regional cuisine. The restaurant provides the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. They honor California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from their own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.
The signature cocktail list at The Ranch will get you in the mood to experience what they have to offer. If you’re a smoky drink lover, I recommend the Bbq Bacon Old Fashioned, California Manhattan, or The Final Smoke.
The drinks will get you started, but the food will stay with you forever. Some of the standout dishes are the Country Fried Texas Quail, Five Onion Soup, Cowboy Ribeye, and the Lobster Mac N’ Cheese. But save room for dessert so you can try their Sticky Toffee Pudding or any of their daily offerings of home made ice cream.
RELAX | Burke Williams
After a long day of making your dreams come true at the Disney Parks, you may find that you are in need of some rest and relaxation. In an area as exciting as Anaheim, it’s important to take time to unwind and recharge.
Burke Williams Day Spa at The Outlets at Orange is one of the best day spa options Anaheim has to offer. Only a few minutes from downtown, the relaxing treatments available will take you far from the bustle of the city and into your best meditative self. If you’re not a massage type person, the spa offers quiet rooms, hot tubs, cold showers, and saunas to get you feeling your very best. At Burke Williams Day Spa you can spend the day pampering yourself with a full menu of massage and beauty treatments and because it’s at a popular shopping center, it’s easy to sneak in a massage between a day spent shopping.
All of these experiences are enough to get you through a quick trip to OC or if you want to enjoy an extended stay in sunny Southern California. While you’re there, soak up the sun at any of OC’s stunning and popular beaches.
Thanks to Visit Anaheim and The Westin Anaheim Resort for this closer look at travel and leisure in Orange County. Now, go ahead and see what OC is all about!