Disneyland Resort is a magical destination for visitors of all ages, but sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the park. Luckily, Disneyland is smack dab in the middle of Orange County which has a ton of unique things to do nearby. Here are the most popular day trips from Disneyland Resort.
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Day Trips from Disneyland Resort
Beach day trips from Disneyland Resort
Southern California is home to some of the easiest-to-visit beaches! Here are the three most popular beaches near Disneyland.
- Huntington Beach: Known as “Surf City USA,” Huntington Beach is located about 30 minutes south of Disneyland and is an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and of course, surfing. The beach also has a bike trail and a large pier that offers dining and shopping options.
- Newport Beach: Newport Beach is located about 40 minutes south of Disneyland and offers a picturesque setting with a long stretch of sandy beach, a large marina, and several high-end shops and restaurants. Visitors can also take a scenic boat tour or rent a kayak or paddle board.
- Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach is located about an hour south of Disneyland and is known for its charming downtown area and beautiful beaches. The beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. Visitors can also take in the area’s art galleries and restaurants.
To get to these beaches, the easiest way is by car or ride-sharing. However, visitors can also take the ART bus or train to the nearest station and then take a taxi or rideshare service to the beach.
City Excursions from Disneyland Resort
Los Angeles and San Diego are both within easy driving distance of Disneyland and offer various cultural and dining experiences. Here are some ideas on what to do!
Los Angeles Day Trips
- Hollywood Walk of Fame: Pop culture fans should visit the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can see the stars of your favorite celebrities and take a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard.
- Griffith Observatory: Take a short drive to the Griffith Observatory and enjoy the beautiful views of Los Angeles from the hilltop. The Observatory itself offers exhibits, live shows, and tours. Griffith Park where you can visit the Griffith Park zoo and the famous Hollywood sign.
- The Getty Center: Visit the Getty Center, one of the world’s most renowned art museums, which offers a vast collection of European paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and manuscripts.
**Note: traffic and parking can be difficult in Los Angeles and some of these places may have long wait times, plan accordingly and prioritize what you really want to do.
San Diego Day Trips
- Balboa Park: Balboa Park, is one of the oldest and largest urban cultural parks in the United States. The park has several museums, gardens, and the famous San Diego Zoo.
- USS Midway Museum: Take a tour of the USS Midway Museum, an aircraft carrier museum that offers a glimpse into naval aviation history. You will see the flight deck, the engine room, the crew’s sleeping quarters, and more. Get discount tickets here!
- Old Town San Diego: Visit Old Town San Diego, the birthplace of California, where you can learn about the history of the area and see historic buildings from the 1800s. You can also sample traditional Mexican food and shop for souvenirs.
- Coronado Island: Coronado Island is a picturesque island located just across the bay from downtown San Diego, California. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, including the famous Coronado Beach, which is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the United States. Visitors can also take a stroll down Orange Avenue, the main street of Coronado, which is lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. One of the most iconic places on Coronado Island is the Hotel Del Coronado, a historic hotel that has hosted many celebrities and presidents. The hotel is open to visitors, and its Victorian architecture is a must-see.
- SeaWorld San Diego: If you’re interested in marine life, visit SeaWorld San Diego, where you can see sea lions, dolphins, and other marine animals perform. Get discount tickets here!
- San Diego Bay: San Diego Bay and Marina is where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset views and the downtown skyline. Stroll the bike path or have a cocktail at one of the many restaurants with a gorgeous view!
- Legoland: Legoland California is a theme park located in Carlsbad, California, about 32 miles north of San Diego. The park features over 60 rides, shows, and attractions, all based on the popular building toy, Lego. Legoland California also has a water park, Legoland Water Park. The park is a great option for families with kids, but also can be enjoyed by people of all ages who love Lego bricks. Get discount tickets to Legoland here!
Nearby Theme Parks
- Knott’s Berry Farm: Knott’s Berry Farm is an amusement park in Buena Park, California, about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. The park features over 165 rides, shows, and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and live entertainment. Knott’s Berry Farm is also home to several themed areas, including Ghost Town, and Camp Snoopy. Get discount tickets to Knott’s here!
- Universal Studios Hollywood: Visit the theme park Universal Studios Hollywood, where you can tour the movie studio and enjoy the thrilling rides and attractions. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the new Nintendo Land has increased Universal’s desirability as a day trip from Disneyland! Get discount tickets to Universal here!
If you are up for a drive, visit the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont. It is about 30 minutes from Anaheim, but it’ll be worth the trip as you stroll through the 86 acres, which its website states is “the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants.” Take in the beauty of not just the plants, trees, and flowers, but also the amazing view of the San Gabriel Mountain Range.
Spas and Relaxation
If rest is what you you need after a long day at Disneyland, unwind and relax after a long day at one of Anaheim’s area day spas. Visit the Lux Aveda Salon & Spa in Fullerton. Salon services include haircuts, nail care, makeup, color treatments, and waxing. Spa services include facials, body treatments, and different types of massages.
If you are closer to Santa Ana, visit one of the many spas within the city limits, including the Montanya Spa. As the heavy wooden door swings open, you will enter a world of peace and serenity. The spa offers a variety of services, including facials, massages, body treatments, hair removal, hands and feet treatments, microdermabrasion, steam rooms, and foot reflexology.
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
Medieval Times is an 11th-century-themed dinner theater with nine locations throughout North America, including one in Buena Park. The show’s storyline features romance and a medieval joust between six knights complete with horses, weapons, and a trick-performing falcon. The meal consisted of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, oven-roasted chicken, spare rib, herb-basted potato, a pastry, coffee, and two rounds of beverages. A vegetarian meal is also available. In true 11th-century fashion, patrons must eat with their hands. There is also a full bar for adults.
Pirates Adventure Dinner Show
Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park, California. It is a dinner theater show that takes place aboard a pirate ship and features a live cast of actors, swashbuckling sword fights, singing and acrobatics, and special effects. The audience is part of the show, with some members selected to play different roles throughout the performance. The show is set in the Caribbean and follows a group of pirates as they search for treasure and fight against their enemies. The show provides a fun and interactive experience for audiences of all ages, and is a popular attraction in Buena Park.
Whether you’re looking for a day at the beach, a city adventure, or a nature excursion, there are plenty of options for day trips from Disneyland that will provide a change of pace and the opportunity to see more of Southern California.
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