Home / Travel Guides - Santa Ana

Let's Explore

Santa Ana

Overview

More About
Santa Ana, CA

About Santa AnaOne fine day in 1869, William H. Spurgeon bought 70 acres of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, abbreviated the name and plotted out a townsite. You could hardly blame him—land was eight bucks an acre, or so the story goes. He had to practically give the lots away until he persuaded the Los Angeles-Santiago Stagecoach line to stop there. The arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad triggered a real estate boom in 1887; two years later, Orange County split off from L.A. and named Santa Ana the county seat—just about the time the boom went bust. Today the city is the ninth largest in the state.

Santa Ana promises a field day for architecture and history buffs. Downtown’s 36-block historic district boasts more than 100 renovated buildings in a baker’s dozen of architectural styles. Among the most distinctive structures are the 1889 Dr. Howe-Waffle House, 120 E. Civic Center Dr., Victorian-style home of the county’s first woman doctor; the 1913 Spurgeon Building with its ornate clock tower, 206 W. 4th St., erected by the city’s founder and first postmaster; and the 1935 Moderne-style Old City Hall, 217 N. Main St., its entry guarded by a pair of bearded Assyrian warriors.

The Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society offers guided walking tours the first Saturday of every even month by advance reservation only. Tours last 2 to 3 hours. Phone (714) 547-9645.

The Heritage Museum of Orange County, 3101 W. Harvard St., is an 11-acre cultural and natural history center featuring the 1898 Kellogg House. The historic home contains several hands-on activities for visitors, and is surrounded by citrus groves, gardens and several other 1890s structures. Guided tours of the home are available. A working blacksmith shop, a nature area and the 1899 Maag House also are on site; phone (714) 540-0404.

Visitor Centers Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce 1631 W. Sunflower Ave. Suite C-35 Santa Ana, CA 92704. Phone:(714)541-5353

ShoppingArtists Village, centered on Broadway between 1st and 3rd streets, is a group of galleries and studios exhibiting paintings, sculpture and multimedia by local artisans. The Village is anchored by the Moorish-style Santora Arts Building and the nearby Grand Central Arts Center. The district’s Art Walk, held the first Saturday of each month from 7-10 p.m., is a popular event with free live entertainment.

Downtown Santa Ana is a colorful shopping destination, centered on 3rd and 4th streets between Broadway and Main Street, catering to the Hispanic community. Wedding and formal wear boutiques, specialty stores, gift shops and food vendors characterize the retail district. You’ll find department stores and brand name shops at Westfield MainPlace, 2800 N. Main St.

NightlifeGypsy Den Café, 125 N. Broadway Ave., offers an entertainment menu of folk, pop, rock and swing, with weekly open mic nights on Mondays and monthly poetry readings; phone (714) 835-8840.

Things to Do Bowers Museum

Discovery Cube Orange County

Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park

Read More

Santa Ana, CA

AAA Inspected & Approved TOP Hotels

In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.

Members save up to 15% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Hampton Inn & Suites Orange County Airport

2720 Hotel Terrace Dr. Santa Ana, CA 92705

AAA Inspector Rating
Book Now
AAA Members

Members save 5% to 15% and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards® points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Best Western Plus Orange County Airport North

2700 Hotel Terrace Dr. Santa Ana, CA 92705

AAA Inspector Rating
Book Now
AAA Members

Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Courtyard by Marriott Costa Mesa South Coast Metro

3002 S Harbor Blvd. Santa Ana, CA 92704

AAA Inspector Rating
Book Now
AAA Members

Members save up to 15% and earn Honors points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

DoubleTree Club by Hilton Hotel Orange County Airport

7 Hutton Centre Dr. Santa Ana, CA 92707

AAA Inspector Rating
Book Now
AAA Members

call or visit a AAA Travel Agent Today!

Find a AAA Office

As a AAA member, you'll save even more. Your AAA Travel Agent will check to see if AAA Vacations is combinable with other AAA member benefits, plus cruise and tour past passenger discounts and benefits.

Not a Member?

Join Now