There is plenty to discover beyond the borders of the happiest place on Earth—including an eclectic mix of shopping spots, sports teams, tours, and music venues. Here are four great options, all within a quick drive from Disneyland Resort.
Explore Downtown Anaheim.
With buzzing new shops and eateries, face-lifts for historic buildings, and a lively new park, the city’s central core has gotten an inviting boost. Anaheim Packing District, a former center of the region’s once booming citrus industry, has been reborn as an of-the-moment social hub. Hang out in the oh-so-cool Anaheim Packing House, a multistory food lover’s paradise with artisanal foods, craft cocktail bars, and live music. Nearby is the historic Center Street Promenade, a local gem where you can find handmade crafts, chef-driven eateries, and innovative local vendors.
Watch sports—or play them.
Anaheim is home turf for three pro sports teams. Orange County baseball fans watch their boys of summer, the Los Angeles Angels, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Want a closer look or can’t catch a game? Take a 75-minute public tour of the stadium; it includes a trip down to the playing field, a visit to the dugout, a walk through the visitor’s clubhouse, and exclusive peeks inside the luxurious Gene Autry and Dugout Suites, the broadcast booth, and the press conference room. The Stanley Cup–winning Anaheim Ducks whack the puck in the soaring Honda Center, but your little ducks can take to the ice at the city’s Anaheim Rink; public skate times are offered throughout the year. Another team calls Honda Center home: The new LA Kiss, the Arena Football League team owned by members of Kiss (yes, the band) has indoor games here after hockey season wraps.
Tune in to live music.
Whether you want to rock out to big names like the Foo Fighters and Katy Perry or prefer smaller clubs with an indie music vibe, Anaheim has venues to suit your mood and style. The splashiest acts tend to perform at Honda Center, which doubles as a 19,000-seat performance space. Next door is the City National Grove of Anaheim, offering a more intimate experience for as little as 50 or up to 5,000 concertgoers. Check the calendar for family-friendly shows, like Alvin & The Chipmunks Live on Stage. Want to follow almost famous acts? Check out Observatory OC, playing host to new names in indie, hip-hop, rock, and pop. Shows run almost every night, so you’ll likely find something to pique your interest.
Dig deeper into the Disney story.
The Anaheim Tour Company’s Walt Tour departs from Anaheim but devotes a full day to about a dozen landmarks, most in Los Angeles County, that played a part in the life and career (and even the final resting place) of Walter Elias Disney. Stops include his various studios, from his Uncle Robert’s Barn in Garden Grove to the Los Feliz storefront originally called “Disney Brothers Studio” and the Walt Disney Studios headquarters in Burbank. You’ll even eat lunch at Walt’s favorite restaurant, the Scottish-themed Tam O’Shanter on Los Feliz Boulevard that dates to 1922. This intimate tour, limited to just seven participants (ages 12 and up), certainly appeals to Disney superfans and history buffs, but it also features timeless L.A. sights—like the Hollywood Walk of Fame (where Walt has more than one star) and Walt Disney Concert Hall—through a unique lens.