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 of Disneyland Resort.
Explore Downtown Anaheim. With buzzing new shops and restaurants, face-lifts for historic buildings and a lively new park, the city centre has had an inviting boost. Anaheim Packing District, a former centre 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 multi-storey 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-run restaurants and innovative local vendors.
Watch sports or play them. Anaheim is the home turf of three professional 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 going to miss a game? Take a 75-minute tour of the stadium; this includes a trip down to the playing field, a visit to the dug-out, 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 skating times are offered throughout the year. Another team calls the Honda Center home: the new LA Kiss, the Arena Football League team owned by members of Kiss (yes, the band) holds indoor games here after the ice hockey season has ended.
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 the 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 concert-goers. Check the calendar for family-friendly shows, such as Alvin & The Chipmunks Live on Stage. Want to follow some up-and-comers? Check out Observatory OC, which plays host to new names in indie, hip-hop, rock and pop. There are shows on almost every night, so you’ll probably find something to pique your interest.
Dig deeper into the Disney story. The Anaheim Tour Company’s Walt Tour departs from Anaheim and devotes a full day to about a dozen landmarks, mostly 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 shopfront originally called 'Disney Brothers Studio' and the Walt Disney Studios headquarters in Burbank. You’ll even eat lunch at Walt’s favourite restaurant, the Scottish-themed Tam O’Shanter on Los Feliz Boulevard that dates to 1922. This intimate tour, limited to just seven participants (aged 12 and up), certainly appeals to Disney superfans and history buffs, but it also features timeless LA sights—including the Hollywood Walk of Fame (where Walt has more than one star) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall—through a unique lens.