There is one thing about Anaheim, California that stands above the rest. Disneyland. But let’s face it – the magic kingdom isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. We recently visited Anaheim and were pleasantly surprised at the things do that don’t include admissions and lines into the happiest place on earth. If you want to find things to do in Anaheim other than Disneyland, keep reading!
Anaheim is a large city within Los Angeles’s greater metro area. There are other airports in the area, but their overall nature may cause increased travel headaches (LAX) or are much further away. For ease of access and a better overall experience, we recommend flying into John Wayne Airport (airport code SNA), located in nearby Orange County. From there, Anaheim is a short 11-mile Uber ride.
Where To Stay
There are many hotels in the area, offering a variety of experiences. We stayed at the Anaheim Marriott Convention Center and recommend this property. Just be warned – between the large capacity and onsite conferences and being adjacent to the convention center, this hotel can be super busy! It is also nearby other major hotels, so the surrounding area is also very busy. This area is within walking distance to Disneyland.
Truthfully, whenever you research this area the first thing that comes up is Disneyland. Many other popular activities are actually in other cities within the metro LA area. We spent 4 days in Anaheim and never went to Disneyland. We found lots of fun stuff to do right in the Anaheim itself. If you find yourself in the area and aren’t entirely sure what to do, here are 5 things to do in Anaheim other than Disneyland
Visit Anaheim CtrCity
This is a very cute and trendy area of Anaheim located only a few miles from Disneyland. Here you will find great shops and restaurants along palm tree lined streets. We recommend outdoor seating at Craft. There are fun plazas for an after-dinner stroll, and you can also enjoy the various art installations and beautiful buildings along the way.
Anaheim Packing House
The Anaheim Packing House is located in the Packing House District, just around the corner from the main CtrCity area. Once upon a time, this space served as an orange processing area. This building (which has an amazing design by the way) may appear small on the outside, but the inside is jam packed with spots to eat, drink, or grab a dessert. Each stall in this food hall is different and uniquely decorated, giving the area a kitschy vibe. It is adjacent to the Farmers Park – another great place to spend some time checking out the vendors and enjoy the outdoors.
Catch a Baseball Game
Anaheim is home to the Anaheim Angels Baseball team. Going to a local sporting event like this is always a great way to enjoy a destination and spend some time with the locals. Angel Stadium is a great spot to catch a game because it is not as big as some other major sports stadiums in the area. This makes it easier to navigate the grounds and surrounding area. There are also fewer lines and crowds to deal with. Check out their website to schedule a stadium tour!
Check Out A Brewery
There are multiple breweries in and around Anaheim’s core area. Stopping in to sample the local beer and hang out for a bit is a great way to support local business and get a feel for the area. We liked Karl Strauss Brewery, which is directly across from Angel Stadium.
Chill At The Pool
Many of the hotels around Disneyland are large resort properties. As such, they often offer many nice amenities for guests. Because Anaheim tends to be hot, we recommend taking some time to chill at the pool. The pool at the Anaheim Marriott was a great place to cool off and relax. You can also get bar and food service here, making pool time even more enjoyable!
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Anaheim other than Disneyland. Whatever the reason for your visit, but sure to add the items in this list to your travel itinerary! We hope you have a great time in sunny Southern California!
OThe buildings are gorgeous. . .just as the inside of the buildings likely are. What interesting places to see and visit in Anaheim. Makes me want to go there again, and see things I missed all those many years ago. Thank you for this great post.
So many fun things to do! The Pack House especially sounds really interesting, I’d love to visit one day!
These recommendations sound so nice. Visiting a brewery must be a lot of fun and relaxing at a pool is always a good idea. 😉 Thanks for sharing!
What a great post! It’s always easy to forget to branch out when visiting a destination with a major attraction. You had me at brewery 😉
Great post! I’ll have to admit, for the dozens of times I’ve been to Anaheim to visit Disneyland, I’ve never been out exploring around the city much. I’ll save this post for the next time I’m at Disneyland!
I know very little about this area, but it is fab to see there is so much to do in Anaheim apart from Disney! The Packing house is a cool bit of history…I wonder where they pack the oranges now? I guess it will all be done by machines.
Thankfully our days of Disney are over (the joy of empty nest!), so this is spot on. We’d love the Packing House and the craft brewery.
It’s good stuff!
I’ve been to LA a few times but somehow left Anaheim thinking that Disneyland is not for me and that there is nothing but Disneyland. Thanks to your article, I changed my mind, and the next time I visit LA, I will also visit Anaheim. I would like to see the Packing House and visit Karl Strauss Brewery.
We loved finding non-Disney things in the area!
Anaheim sounds like a great place to visit even if you don’t go to Disney, but you could also combine visiting Disney and some of these cool places 😊 The Packing House sounds amazing, love it when there are loads of different food stalls to chose from 😋
Missed the Packing House but we went to the beach!
That’s a trip out of Anaheim itself to get to the beach. Glad you made it to the coast.