Venture only slightly off the beaten path from the Disney-focused crowds by making the short drive to downtown Anaheim and the exciting shops and restaurants of the Anaheim Packing District. Among the city’s renovated historic packing houses and civic buildings is Muzeo, a complex of museum spaces hosting talked-about traveling exhibitions ranging from the costumes of “Downton Abbey” to the treasures of King Tut. One fun thing to do is time your visit for the late afternoon and enjoy an early dinner at one of the district’s many interesting eateries.
6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd.
One of the other fun things to do in Anaheim is a visit to Oak Canyon Nature Center, a 58-acre wilderness area adjacent to hilltop neighborhoods overlooking the city. A popular site for weddings, the park includes hiking trails, three canyons, a stream and stands of oak trees providing deep shade. A small museum houses exhibits describing the plants and animals your likely to see at this hidden gem.AAA / Frank Swanson
Old Towne Orange
Glassell St. & Chapman Ave.
Less than a half hour drive east of Disneyland, the Old Towne district in the neighboring city of Orange feels like a theme park celebrating small town main streets of another century. These brick storefronts and craftsman bungalows, however, are the real McCoy. Many date back to the late 1800s when growing citrus was the big industry. Today the historic business district centered around Plaza Square Park is an antique collector’s dream, with dozens of shops selling an array of vintage clothing, knickknacks and furniture. Checking out the vibrant restaurant scene is one of the other fun things to do, and nearby Chapman University gives the place a college town vibe.AAA / Frank Swanson
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve/Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center
2301 University Dr.
The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve protects an estuary and the bluffs surrounding it, which are visited by thousands of migratory birds each year. The Muth Interpretive Center blends into its surroundings—having been built into the side of a hill—and features exhibits about the bay’s sensitive environment. Exploring the trails surrounding the center is just one of the preserve’s fun things to do.Read More
AAA Travel Editor Frank Swanson
Frank Swanson is a AAA Travel Expert.
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