Anaheim is the heart of family fun in Southern California, and the Anaheim Convention Center (ACC) is right in the center of it all. Because of the concentration of InterContinental Hotels Group hotels in the convention center area, fitting every preference from budget to luxury, the ACC district is a great place to base your stay.
Many Americans first heard of Anaheim when Walt Disney announced he was building a park for the whole family to enjoy. On July 17, 1955, his announcement became a reality when Disneyland opened. In 2001, Disney California Adventure opened next to the original park, adding another reason to visit Anaheim.
Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer/Disney
The newly opened Holiday Inn Express & Suites Anaheim Resort Area and Candlewood Suites Anaheim – Resort Area are within walking distance of the Disney complex and very close to ACC and Downtown Disney.
In nearby Buena Park, you’ll find Knott’s Berry Farm. The berry farm opened in the 1920s. Walter Knott and his family added restaurants during the early years to draw in business and continued their success by adding attractions and rides. The popularity of the farm grew. In the 1990s, after Walter and his wife Cordelia died, the park was sold to Cedar Fair. Under its guidance, several thrill rides have been added.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is only 30 minutes from ACC in Long Beach and adds a whole new dimension to a California vacation. The fun and educational experience for families offers 11,000 animal exhibits with numerous opportunities for up-close encounters. The aquarium also offers a harbor, as well as whale- and dolphin-watching cruises.
Another excellent attraction in Long Beach is the RMS Queen Mary. Tours are offered daily of the ocean liner that was in service from 1936 to 1967. During World War II, she was converted into a troopship to ferry the Allied troops. After the war, she primarily sailed transatlantic voyages until commercial airlines became popular in the late 1960s. In 1967, she was retired and has been docked in Long Beach since.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, is only 30 minutes from ACC. In addition to the museum room and adobe buildings and ruins, there is a beautiful garden. This is the also the site of the “Swallows of Capistrano.” Every year on March 19, St. Joseph’s Day, the little birds arrive and begin rebuilding their mud nests. After spending the summer protected by the mission, the swallows leave again on the Day of San Juan, October 23.
Dinnertime can also be exciting and fun if it’s at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, North America’s number one dinner attraction. Inside the Grand Ceremonial Arena, the Middle Ages come to life as guests eat their meals Renaissance-style without silverware, and athletic knights show their prowess with sword fights, jousting, and falconry.
And don’t forget a day at the beach! Orange County offers 42 miles of coastline. There are six beach cities along this stretch, each offering a different experience from shelling and surf lessons to boardwalks and amusements.
So go ahead, make your plans and book a hotel room near the ACC, the heart of your next vacation adventure!
Photo courtesy DisneylandTags: Anaheim, Aquarium of the Pacific, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Mission San Juan Capistrano