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When one thinks of Anaheim, Disneyland is often the first thing that comes to mind. There are, however, many more reasons why people are finding Anaheim the “happiest place on earth” and are choosing to relocate here.
There has been a large increase in the desire for many resident Californians to migrate out of larger cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego in favor of smaller and safer cities like Anaheim.
California’s larger cities like L.A. are starting to become plagued by unbearable traffic, overcrowding, and homelessness which has only been exacerbated by the current pandemic.
So let’s look at some of the many reasons why Anaheim is an enticing choice for Californians or other Americans looking to escape life in the big city!
There’s always something to do in Anaheim thanks to an exciting lineup of events held throughout the year in the city’s many state of the art venues.
The city hosts two major league sports teams, baseball and hockey, which play out of Angels Stadium and the Honda Center respectively. Both also regularly host popular events as well.
The Honda Center for example has hosted MMA and Pro Wrestling as well as concerts featuring stars like Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, Selena Gomez, and Katy Perry. It will also play host to indoor volleyball during the 2028 Summer Olympics which is being held in L.A.
Anaheim is also home to one of the largest convention centers on the West Coast. The Anaheim Convention Center hosts a wide range of events for all kinds of interests including reptile shows, garden shows, VidCon, Anime Expo, WonderCon, and the D23 Expo which is the world’s largest Disney fan event.
You can catch the latest movie releases at AMC Anaheim GardenWalk which offers RealD 3D and the comfort of heated recliners. Meanwhile, you have the Segerstrom Center for the Arts which host events like Broadway shows and ballet recitals.
Anaheim’s diverse range of music venues also caters to a wide range of music styles, one of the most famous venues being the House of Blues at Anaheim GardenWalk. House of Blues offers up four distinct spaces including a lively restaurant and bar, multi-story music hall, and VIP members-only club, all of which provide endless live music and parties.
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Get out and enjoy Anaheim’s year-round beautiful weather by taking advantage of the many outdoor recreation opportunities the city provides.
Yorba Regional Park is one of the best places to get some fresh air, offering up 140 acres that are filled with trails that lead along and over lakes and streams. The linear park features a fitness course, playgrounds, and hundreds of barbecues and picnic tables.
It links up with the multi-use Santa Ana River Trail which runs roughly 30 miles along the river it’s named after all the way to Huntington Beach. It continues to be expanded and when completed will be the longest multi-use trail in Southern California.
Children love the 58-acre Oak Canyon Nature Center which consists of three adjoining canyons that can be experienced by way of over four miles of hiking trails. The center regularly hosts nature-based workshops and programs for kids and adults. It’s also a favorite spot for wildlife photographers due to the many animals that can be spotted here.
The par-71, 18-hole Anaheim Hills Golf Course provides a stunningly beautiful, albeit challenging, day of golf where you’ll navigate plenty of doglegs and tree-lined fairways.
If you’re more into yoga, check out the outdoor events held by Anaheim's Yoga Mat which take place in locations like Grijalva Park and Stadium Promenade in nearby Orange, California.
There’s no need to head into Beverly Hills or L.A. for shopping since there’s plenty of great retailers in and around Anaheim.
Many great shopping centers are just a short distance from Disneyland like The Anaheim GardenWalk shopping center which offers loads of restaurants and entertainment in addition to its shopping.
You can snag plenty of bargains at the Outlets of Orange where you’ll find discounted items from retailers like Adidas, Nike, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th. There is also a day spa and the AMC Orange 30 movie theatre with IMAX.
Other great places to shop include the Center Street Promenade where you can find artisan goods and the Old Towne Orange Historic District where you can shop antique stores to give your home a historic-looking makeover.
All up, Orange County is home to nearly 1,000 retailers, so there are plenty of stores to keep you occupied.
Anaheim boasts an impressive array of dining options ranging from economic small food vendors to fine dining restaurants. You’ll find familiar dishes as well as exotic flavors from all around the world.
One of the best places to grab a bite or drink is the Anaheim Packing District. Here, you’ll find two levels of foodie heaven offering a diverse range of cuisine. There are waffle dogs, fish and chips, homemade ice cream, pressed juice, and places selling Indian, Syrian, and Japanese dishes.
The Packing District was once an orange marmalade factory and citrus packing house that have been converted into today’s foodie paradise featuring a large central atrium, communal dining, and outdoor picnic gardens.
Anaheim offers up craft breweries and the revived pre-Prohibition brewery Anaheim Brewery which features a beer garden and tasting room. Lovers of wine will want to check out the Calivino Wine Pub where a wide range of international wines can be had by the glass.
Notable bakeries to try include La Brea Bakery and Café as well as the Japanese-style bakery Okayama Kobo Bakery & Café which uses 100% Hokkaido flour to deliver you croissants, scones, butter rolls, and unique Japanese specialties like Oyaki Takana and Oyaki Mentai.
Enjoy breakfast at the Original Pancake House, great coffee at The Cove on Harbor, incredible Italian cuisine at Baci di Firenze Trattoria, juicy steaks at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon, and delicious pizza at The Pizza Press.
Anaheim of course also offers an abundance of family fun. Living in Anaheim allows you to visit Disneyland whenever you wish, but there are plenty of other great places to bring your kids as well.
A smaller more budget-friendly option is Adventure City which offers roller coasters and rides, a petting zoo, and children's theater.
The Flight Deck 1 Air Combat Center offer kids 11 and up the chance to experience an authentic military flight simulation, while the Pirate's Dinner Adventure offers a pirate-themed live-action musical dinner theatre production.
Your kids can also learn skills like math, science, problem solving, teamwork, and socializing at the Pretend City Children’s Museum with its many guided interactive exhibits and activities. Anaheim is also home to a Sky Zone Trampoline Park.
Anaheim offers something for anyone whether you’re single, married, or are thinking of raising a family. Tourists flock to the city every year to enjoy its many attractions, but living in the city will allow you to take advantage of all it has to offer year-round including Anaheim’s many hidden gems.