Two weeks ago Scott and I went to Anaheim to celebrate his birthday! We have talked about taking a trip to California for so long because we haven't been since 2016. Visit Anaheim partnered with us which means we had the experts making sure we experienced the city to the fullest. Below I'm going to share the details about where we stayed, where we ate and some of the fun things we did. I constantly get so many questions about Anaheim probably because of Disneyland... I think people assume Scott and I know everything about the area because we're Disney fanatics but that's definitely not the case. Haha.
However, now that I've experienced a few things for myself, I'm so happy to pass along the recommendations.
The first part of our trip we stayed at Sheraton Anaheim and they treated us like royalty! We felt so spoiled staying there because 1. It's WALKING distance to Disneyland 2. You could literally see the fireworks from our room and 3. The resort itself is so great! We were treated to a club level suite and if you've got the money to spend, I'd highly recommend this room! All the space you could possibly need and then some. Scott and I joked that we could host large business meetings with the size of the dining table we had. This property also has some really cool amenities, my favorite being Starbucks drinks made in the lobby.
Our first full day we embarked on an adventure to Universal Studios in Hollywood. I call it an adventure because public transportation was involved and honestly I'm not really a "city girl" sooo that made me nervous. I'm a full on southern suburban girl and trains have never been a part of my usual commute. With that being said, the Amtrak was not only an easy option, it was very enjoyable! The Anaheim Station where you board was so beautiful that I feel like people could get married in there. Lol. The trains themselves were large, comfortable, clean and the conductors were so friendly. Our ride was very smooth and only about 45 min from Anaheim to Los Angeles. From LA we took the metro to Hollywood and then it was an easy tram ride to Universal. Total it was about 1.5 hours and a really good option if you're staying in Anaheim but want to explore other cities. This is your opprrtunity to skip the rental car cost AND skip the chaotic LA traffic... win win!
Though Universal Studios Hollywood obviously isn't in Anaheim, I still wanted to highlight it simply because of how easy it was to get there FROM the Anaheim Station. As big Universal fans, Scott and I were very eager to check out the Hollywood park. Keeping in mind that we already knew it was going to be much smaller than our home park in Orlando, we enjoyed all the differences. Of course we did the classic tram ride that everyone kept saying we could NOT miss. It was really fun seeing all the different movie sets, especially because we are huge movie people. Funny enough, most of our time we spent walking around feeling like we were back in our Orlando parks (only MUCH nicer weather in Hollywood, haha!) Amongst all the similarities, two awesome things stood out to us.. First of all, their Mummy attraction is very different and we LOVED it! I won't spoil why or how it's different, I'll just encourage you not to miss out if you find yourself in that park. Secondly, while we have one Despicable Me attraction in Orlando, they have an entire land (complete with stores, an additional ride, splash play area for kids, cute photo spots, a cafe and boardwalk style games). I was so surprised and excited seeing this fun area! We were really drained after a long day in the park so the ease of taking the Amtrak on the way back to our hotel was so nice.
While theme parks are our comfort zone, we got to try something VERY different... a trapeze class! This was an experience for the books. Gotta give Visit Anaheim another shout out for this one because as much as I've always wanted to try it, I don't think I would've ever actually planned it for myself. Well now that I've experienced it, I would have to say DO IT to anyone who is curious about trying it...especially if you're in Anaheim. SwingIt Trapeze was just about 10 min from our resort and the staff was so cool. They made us feel really comfortable and they were so encouraging to us through out the entire lesson. It was exhausting (we were sore for days) but the thrilling/fun aspect far outweighed the difficulty. I personally LOVE heights and always enjoy a thrilling experience yet I found myself a little sweaty palmed + nervous standing on the edge about to let go and swing... I'm so proud that we did it and 100% I would do it again and encourage anyone to try it for themselves.
On to the FOOD! Because what's a vacation without splurging? I had no clue Anaheim had so many amazing eating options but boy was I pleasantly surprised. The first stop I'll mention is House of Chimney Cakes and these are just about the most Instagrammable treats everrrr. Chimney cakes are organic handcrafted European desserts and they have some really fun flavor options. I indulged in the "Birthday cake" and Scott got the "Oreo Extreme"... both were delicious and so unique.
Next up is a place that YOU GUYS actually recommended to us. We had a few free hours one day and I had been getting so many messages on Instagram about checking out the Anaheim Packing District. Ahhhhh I'm SO glad we did because it was awesome! I would describe it as the most beautiful, fanciest food court EVER! The theming is very eclectic and it was almost overwhelming how many yummy food options there were. We got ramen, sushi, beer, taro milk tea and popsicles. (All from different vendors. Haha.) I could sit in there snacking + people watching all day long. I must've said 10 times that day "I wish we had this exact thing in Orlando." Make this a CAN'T MISS on your next trip to Anaheim.
Last mention is The Fifth a rooftop restaurant and bar that we had a super nice date night at! This place is right across from Disneyland which gives it one amazing view! We went in the evening so we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset but even more memorable were the nachos... Not kidding when I say that Scott and I are nacho connoisseurs. If they're on the menu then we'll definitely order them. All of this to say, these were the some of the BEST nachos we've ever had! We also got a few other delicious things and ended the night excited to come back one day. In addition to great food, they had live music and a really wonderful staff. Around us we saw a few other couples on dates, some families with kids from varying ages and a bachelorette party... There really is something for everyone, making this a MUST DO on your dining agenda.
The second part of our stay we were hosted by Anaheim Marriott and we felt right at home! This resort is newly renovated and it's definitely our modern style. The room was so comfortable that we didn't wanna leave... Does anyone else get really attached to hotel rooms? I wish I could bring the amazing service home with me. After a few very long days, it was nice to just lounge and watch some Netflix. (This was the first resort I have EVER been to that had Netflix access in the room!)
This property is pretty close to Disneyland but it's even closer to the Anaheim Convention Center which would be perfect for D23! In addition to the updated and swanky rooms, they have awesome eating options in the lobby. You can find a pizza place, full service restaurant, bar and marketplace... what else do you need? Oh yeah ROOM SERVICE! One night we got back to to our room starving and though we wouldn't normally splurge on room service, we just couldn't resist the options. I was blown away by how good it all was... especially the creme brulee cheesecake.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Anaheim! To be completely honest with you, I always thought the only reason you'd visit Anaheim was to go to Disneyland but now my opinion has completely changed. We loved everything we did around the city and there was still so much we want to go back and do. What a fun destination to visit whether you're going to Disney or not. Thanks to all the partners who helped make our stay an extra magical one. Hope to see you all real soon!
P.S. I'll have a post up soon all about our time in Disneyland.