What to do in Disneyland
With all due respect to the rest of our website, this is easily our favorite page.
It gives us a chance to highlight the difference between just staying in Anaheim and actually experiencing Anaheim - the places, the people, the things to do that only folks who love the area can really tell you about. Folks like us.
Everyone loves Disneyland®Resort, but if you're looking for the perfect "anti-chain" restaurant or a funky surf shop, the kind of places that can only be found in Anaheim, we know them all. The attractions, beaches and unique family-fun things to do. Cultural hubs, from museums and theater to the opera, art galleries and architectural wonders. We'll tell you all about them, and then help get you there so you can experience them for yourself.
Below you'll find a glimpse of what to do in Disneyland®, Orange County and beyond, courtesy of the staff of the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim. It's certainly not everything there is to see and do, but it's a great start.
And if you find someplace new, let us know and we'll add it to the list.
First, a little background…
Known for its fantastic theme parks, terrific sports teams and busy convention center, Anaheim is a fabulous, pleasure-packed destination. The city is less than an hour from Los Angeles and Hollywood, where you can also explore exciting, fun-filled points-of-interest including Universal Studios, Griffith Park, Los Angeles Zoo, Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, Six Flags, Rose Bowl and Rodeo Drive.
A half hour's drive south of Anaheim is Newport Beach, known for its irresistible shopping and wonderful coastline vistas. To the southeast is the world-famous community of San Juan Capistrano, where thousands of migrating swallows converge on the two hundred year old Spanish mission in early March every year. Fewer than 90 miles south of Anaheim is the seaside resort community of La Jolla, celebrated for its upscale shopping and attractions like the La Jolla Playhouse and Torrey Pines Golf Course, home to many top-notch PGA tournaments.
Disneyland® & Disney's California Adventure® Park
These are, of course, Anaheim's Big Two, and you can practically see Mickey's ears from the Red Lion. No matter how old you are, when you return to Walt Disney's original park, beloved Disneyland® Characters greet you like old friends. Enjoy heart-pounding rides, classic attractions, magical entertainment and wonderful dining as you make family memories to be cherished for years to come.
We just love the beaches in the OC - visit in January and you'll never want to leave. Huntington Beach is known as "Surf City USA." The US Open of Surfing is held here each summer and, fittingly, the International Surfing Museum calls the town home. Newport Beach is a shopper's paradise - if you want to live like a "Real Housewife of OC" for a day, be sure to head to Fashion Island. Visit Seal Beach, which has the second longest wooden pier in the State of California, while Laguna Beach is well-known for its art festivals. To hop aboard an amazing whale watching cruise, Dana Point is the place to go for charter cruises.
Hollywood & Los Angeles
Tinseltown is only 45 minutes from the Red Lion Hotel Anaheim. Hike up to the Hollywood sign to snap a close-up photograph, then visit the home of the Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater. While you're there, stroll down the block to Grauman's Chinese Theater, where you can view hand and footprints of iconic silver-screen legends dating back to the early days of cinema.
Flightdeck Simulation Center
Channel your inner Maverick and satisfy your need for speed. Flightdeck is a flight simulation center with nine fighter jet simulators and a Boeing 737-700 flight simulator. Experience the thrill of aerial maneuvers at 600 knots and air-to-air combat in an authentic military flight simulator or feel what it's like to take the controls of a commercial airliner in the 737 flight simulator.
Historic Queen Mary
Since her final voyage in 1967, the RMS Queen Mary has been permanently moored in Long Beach Harbor. The transatlantic luxury liner's 1936 elegance and charm are matched by her many modern amenities and services. Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the Queen Mary offers unparalleled coastal views and cool ocean breezes. The ship measures more than 80,000 square feet, with 17 remarkable art deco salons, each uniquely decorated. There are three ocean-view restaurants serving continental cuisine, seafood specialties and American favorites.
Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace
Located just 15 minutes from the Anaheim Convention Center, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum is perfect for people who are looking for a historic evening at an extraordinary location. With a stunning replica of the historic White House East Room, this is Southern California's most exciting venue. Guests can enjoy Orange County's largest public rose garden, a handsome reflecting pool, a high-capacity Birdseye Maple-lined theater and docent-led tours of the museum galleries and President Nixon's boyhood home.
Newport Beach Hornblower Cruises & Events
Hornblower offers the largest fleet of luxury dining yachts in Orange County. Enjoy award-winning service and gourmet cuisine as you cruise the picturesque California coastline. You can schedule themed events such as 70s & 80s Nights, Casino Nights, Sushi Tastings, Hawaiian/Tropical Luaus, Hollywood Parties and Wine-Tasting Cruises.
Catalina Island is just an hour's boat ride off the coast of Southern California. Catalina Express' fleet of high-speed ferries makes the trip quick, easy and fun, with up to 30 daily departures from Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point. Visit the picturesque town of Avalon or the rustic village of Two Harbors. There is a new Zip Line Eco Tour, featuring five zips that rocket you from canyon to beach at heart-pounding speeds. Additional activities include tours, golf, snorkeling, kayaking and parasailing.
A few great places in town that only locals know about (until now).
Orange Hill Restaurant (a Hilltop Vista)
There's more to the OC than beaches, harbors and seaside cliffs. Farther inland, the rolling hills and mountain views rival the coastline in their beauty. Situated on a hilltop, the Orange Hill Restaurant and patio offer views that extend for miles, all the way to Catalina Island on a clear day.
Larchmont Boulevard (Los Angeles)
If you think L.A. is all superficial glitz and glamour, visit this quaint, friendly shopping district. It's located in one of L.A.'s oldest and most historically significant neighborhoods and is bordered by some of the most well-preserved homes in the city, ranging from 1920s California bungalows to grand old estates. Larchmont maintains a small-town feel and serves as a lovely community gathering spot.
Beachcomber at Crystal Cove
Pristine Southern California sand, colorful sunsets and an eclectic coastal menu: all three converge at The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove State Park. This vintage beachfront restaurant is the perfect location for romantic dinners and a treat that out-of-town guests will be talking about for years to come.
Star Ranch (Corona, California)
Star Ranch is a historic 120-acre ranch where you can experience a taste of the Old West's quieter side. The Ranch House and Vista De Veranda Patio offer breathtaking panoramic views of the valley and city below. As the sun sets, the gazebo and surrounding trees are beautifully lit, with two outdoor fireplaces and rock waterfalls adding a splash of romance to the evening.
For Families & Kids
What more can we say? Mickey, Minnie, and magical family memories to last a lifetime. To learn more, check out our Disneyland® page.
Knott's Berry Farm
Just 10 minutes from the hotel is the much-loved and awe-inspiring - Knott's Berry Farm theme park. Think of it as Disney for the older, wilder set. Here, you can experience adrenaline pumping thrill rides and attractions. There's still plenty for tots, though, like pint-sized rides in Camp Snoopy, home of the world-famous beagle and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Once you get hungry - and you will - Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant has been serving up Cordelia Knott's fried chicken, homemade biscuits and boysenberry pies since 1934.
Knott's Soak City Waterpark
Adjacent to Knott's Berry Farm is Soak City, where you can make a splash at the coolest water park around. It's packed with 22 of the most intense water rides ever dreamed up, all inspired by the surf culture of the Southern California coast. From stomach-dropping, high-speed slides like the six-story Pacific Spin to a children's pool playground and activity area, Knott's Soak City offers the ultimate in wet n' wild thrills for the entire family.
Shop. 'Til you drop. We'll be there to catch you.
Just 15 minutes from Disneyland®, Brea Mall offers plenty of upscale shops in a relaxing atmosphere.
This outdoor mall offers over 30 name-brand stores just around the corner from the Red Lion. There's also bowling, movie theaters and a 24-Hour Fitness health club.
South Coast Plaza
This is one of the largest malls in America, with 280 boutiques, award-winning restaurants and luxury spas, as well as the adjacent Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Shuttle service from the Anaheim resort district is available.
The Block at Orange
With outlet shopping for Saks, Nieman-Marcus and Nordstrom, the Block at Orange is fast becoming Orange County's premier outlet shopping destination.
This is your chance to join Orange County at play. Find out what's going on in and around town during your visit.
During the summer, the Festival of Arts presents its most famous attraction: the Pageant of the Masters. Witness a ninety-minute production of "living pictures" - incredibly faithful recreations of classical and contemporary works of art - with live models posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. A professionally dressed outdoor amphitheater, orchestra, original score and live narration have elevated the Pageant as the best presentation of its kind.
Each year, native swallows return to this historic landmark, an authentic, romantic and original California Spanish mission. The whole family will enjoy budget-friendly activities - from audio tours to educational tour booklets, fun exhibits and historical re-enactments.
Where better to gather the best of the best than "Surf City, USA"? The US Open of Surfing has a storied reputation, drawing elite surfers from all over the world. With more than 500,000 people watching from a 14-acre stretch of sand on the south side of Huntington Pier, this event showcases the best in surfing, BMX, music, fashion and art.