Image source: AnaheimOC.org
The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., is the classic family vacation draw, whether you're looking for a place to take kids or grandkids, or rediscover your own inner kid. While children may not be able to get enough of the mouse ears, there comes a time when adults may be looking for a little break, or at least a rest from the thrill rides.
Anaheim, the home of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, has plenty to offer outside the park, so when you are ready to take a break and go beyond the gates of the Magic Kingdom, get rejuvenated and try these three spots when you venture out.
Center Street is a revitalized area of downtown with fun and funky stores that emphasize the offbeat. Grab coffee and a sandwich - meat, veggie or vegan - at the Gypsy Den, or eat at Healthy Junk, where, as the name implies, you can get healthy things like kale chips or junky things like chili cheese fries.
If dad needs to calm his nerves, send him off to BarBeer for a haircut and a beer - it's also a licensed beer bar - in an old-style barber shop where he can listen to Johnny Cash while getting a shave. Meanwhile, mom can do a session at The Yoga Mat or shop for artisanal home items at Home Eco:Nomics.
Center Street is also home to The Rinks Anaheim ICE, the training facility for the NHLs Anaheim Ducks. When the Ducks aren't using the rinks, they're available for daily public skating.
Before Walt Disney built his park in this Orange County town, Anaheim was a place where local farmers sent their oranges to be packed and shipped. The Packing District consists of three areas that recall this history. The Packing House, which dates back to 1919, is home to a number of shops, restaurants and bars. The Chippy features fish and chips, crepe coop has just what you'd guess it does, and Dark180 Chocolate features the works of a chocolate alchemist.
Right next to the Packing House is Farmers Park, an outdoor venue that regularly hosts a farmers market as well as concerts and festivals.
Next to Farmers Park is the Packard Building, which was built in 1925 as a showroom for Packard automobiles. Today it's home to Anaheim Brewery, where the favorite is local brew Anaheim 1888, and Umami Burger, which has a special burger available only at the Anaheim location called a Welsh Rarebit.
When discussing Anaheim Garden Walk it's important to put the emphasis on the word walk, since you just stroll from the Disney parks across Harbor Boulevard to get to this 460,000 square-foot outdoor mall, where you can do everything from shopping to eating to bowling to watching a movie or even drinking exotic cocktails at Heat Ultra Lounge.
The list of restaurants includes several popular national chains such as Cheesecake Factory, and some that are only available regionally, such as FiRE + iCE Grill + Bar. Shopping options include well-known brands like O'Neill and Skechers.
The Disneyland experience can be an exhilarating way for you to bond with your family - until you all need a break. When that happens, Anaheim offers multiple options for everyone to relax and get ready for another round of rides.
What is your favorite place to visit outside of Disney?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin are hosts of The Travel Brigade Show - a weekly travel and destination podcast. Kathleen Curry is experienced in both the travel industry and broadcasting. She has worn the hats of travel writer, photographer, travel agent and hospitality evaluator. Her advice of, “No excuses, just travel!” reaches out to listeners who pick up on her enthusiasm for travel and benefit from her savvy advice. Her travel guilty pleasures are eating at a street-cart vendor so she can splurge later to order room service, finding deals to rack up sky miles so she can book her next flight and hoping her social security comes through some day because she has spent her future retirement savings trekking the globe.
Geoff Griffin is a reformed attorney turned travel junkie with over two decades of experience as a journalist and editor specializing in sports, outdoor recreation and travel. His current philosophy is that there are two stages in life - You’re either on a trip, or you’re planning your next trip. His travel guilty pleasure is trying recreation adventures that require the use of an expert guide to keep him from harming himself or hopping on a plane knowing nothing about his destination other than the airport code and wandering about a new town while relying on the locals to point him to the best places.
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