You’ve heard of Disneyland, and probably even California Adventure, but did you know that they’re both located at the heart of Anaheim, California? Anaheim is a city about forty minutes South of Los Angeles, and about an hour and a half North of San Diego. It’s home to endless hidden gems and smaller attractions that are sure to keep you easily entertained during your One Week in Anaheim.
There are plenty of high-quality hotels in the Anaheim area that will help you be as close or as far from the high traffic attractions as you want to be. From the Disneyland Hotel to the Castle Inn and Suites to the Anaheim Marriott, the area has an accommodation for everybody, and plenty of family friendly places to stay.
Anaheim is a smaller California city, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do there. With multiple major amusement parks, unique foodie experiences, and its own baseball team, Anaheim is truly the hidden entertainment capital of Southern California.
DAY ONE – See a show at the Anaheim House of Blues or take the kids to Medieval Times
On day 1 of your One Week in Anaheim, head over to the famous House of Blues. With shows every night, a full bar, and a unique menu of Southern-inspired food, this venue is one of those quintessential things to do when you spend time in Anaheim.
If you’re traveling with kids, don’t worry, there are plenty of family friendly shows available in Anaheim to keep you and your little ones entertained. Anaheim is home to the quirky Medieval Times, an immersive dinner and a show experience where you can dine on roasted chicken, tomato bisque soup, and garlic bread while watching traditional medieval tournaments, from jousting to weaponry. And if you’re vegetarian, don’t worry—Medieval Times has plenty of options for you too, upon request.
DAY TWO – Disneyland and California Adventure
Of course, you can’t visit Anaheim without a day at Disney. This is often the place that brings people to Anaheim in the first place, so it’s important to be prepared for crowds when you venture out to enjoy your day at Disneyland. There’s so much more to do and see here than just the rides and parade. Explore the new Star Wars Land and build your own lightsaber or eat your way through the park’s amazing cuisine! There’s a little something for everybody here.
Disney’s California Adventure is the lesser known Disney park. Adjacent to Disneyland, California Adventure is where you’ll find Cars Land, Pixar Pier, and the newly renovated Incredicoaster. It’s also home to tons of amazing food, shows, and that classic Disney feel you get from any Disney park. You can even purchase park hopper tickets so you can move from park to park throughout your day.
Check here for California Theme Park status during the Covid period.
See our article on discounts at California Theme Parks
DAY THREE – Hit the Beach near Anaheim
What better way to relax after a day full of amusement park fun than hitting one of California’s famous beaches? During your One Week in Anaheim visit Orange County, which is home to over 40 miles of beautiful California coastline. The most famous of these beaches is easily Huntington Beach, and all of these gorgeous spots are known for surfing, fishing, and whale watching. You can even book a whale watching tour with companies like Newport Landing Whale Watching or Davy’s Locker Whale Watching and Sportfishing for a unique experience you can only find in this part of California. The surrounding area has cute boutique shops and art galleries for you to explore once you’re ready to get out of the California sun.
DAY FOUR – Go to an Anaheim Angels Game
Anaheim has its own major league baseball team: the Anaheim Angels. California’s weather is always amazing, so you’re sure to have a great time sitting outside enjoying a ball game, even if you’re not an Angels fan. Experiencing a city’s sports team is a fantastic way to explore the city’s culture and get to know its people. And if you’re not a fan of baseball, just go for the food! From nachos served in a helmet to burgers to ice cream, there’s plenty to enjoy during your day at the ball game.
DAY FIVE – Eat your way through the Anaheim Packing House
The Anaheim Packing District is home to the Anaheim Packing House: a giant food hall with vendors ready to serve you everything from grilled cheese to crepes to Vietnamese inspired food. There’s even a secret Speakeasy called The Blind Rabbit that’s hidden behind a fake wall. The Anaheim Packing District also has other sections, like the Farmers Park and Packard Building, if you finish exploring the merchants at the Packing House—the district’s main area. It’s here that you can guarantee to get your hands on some of the most photogenic food in the area, and satisfy any craving that might come your way. In 2019, the Anaheim Packing House turned 100 years old, so not only will you be experiencing the most amazing food in the city, but you’ll be experiencing some of their most notable history.
After the Packing District, you’ll surely have more time left over in your day, so with those extra hours, it would be worth it to hop on a classic trolley car and head over the Center Street Promenade, one of the city’s main downtown areas, perfect for exploring, shopping, and learning more about what makes Anaheim, Anaheim.
DAY SIX – Get out of the city and explore Chino Hills State Park
It’s always a great idea to get out of the rush of the city and get some fresh air in the closest natural area. Chino Hills State Park is just a short drive out of the city, and includes the vast landscape of California’s Santa Ana Mountains and Peninsular Ranges, as well as tons of wildlife, from bobcats to turkey vultures. The park is also home to multiple natural habitats, including Tecate cypress trees and creeks lined with cattails. The park includes a long list of hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding trails that will take you through this park’s unique natural landscape, from deep valleys, to dense forests, to grasslands only characteristic of the western United States.
DAY SEVEN – Ride the flight simulator at the Flightdeck
Your One Week in Anaheim is almost complete! There’s no better way to end your time in Anaheim than experiencing one of the city’s most famous attractions, the Flightdeck: a realistic flight simulator, and the only place in the world you can get such an experience without a pilot’s license. You’ll go through a flight course and in-flight instruction that will help you get the most out of the thrill that comes from this simulated experience. You’ll truly get to understand what it would be like to fly a combat jet or commercial airplane, and when you’re not flying the plane, you can watch your friends and family fly on a giant screen in their lounge. The experience is as close as you’ll get to flying an actual plane, and you can even take a more advanced class after you finish your first, so you can get as much out of this unique experience as possible.
Anaheim, California is one of the most underrated cities in California. Usually, Disney takes the credit for putting Anaheim on the map, but the truth is, there are countless hidden gems and experiences that are unique to the area! Anaheim is a diverse city full of incredible entertainment, beautiful beaches, iconic amusement parks, and gorgeous natural areas, and when you have a whole week, its easy to see the city for everything it is, including and beyond the Disney magic.
If you want to visit more of Southern California, see our One Week in Southern California itinerary