Santa Ana Tourist Information and Tourism

(Santa Ana, California - CA, USA)

Lying on the southern side of California, where it is within relatively close proximity to both Anaheim and Los Angeles, the city of Santa Ana manages to boast much in the way of tourism appeal in its own right. This is a fairly large city, with a population comfortably approaching 350,000 inhabitants and plenty of distractions for families and tourists in general.

A leisurely stroll around Santa Ana's very appealing Artist's Village is a good thing to do when you reach the city, with its plentiful art galleries, eateries and local stores. Getting around the city is easy thanks to the regular buses provided by the Orange County Transportation Authority, and there is even a free trolley bus that heads through downtown Santa Ana on some weekday afternoons.

Santa Ana was officially founded at the end of the 1860s and now belongs to the spreading Greater Los Angeles Area. Many of the top tourist attractions reside within the city center and on the banks of the Santa Ana River, such as the scenic River Trail and the Santiago Creek parkland. Tourist information, simple maps and leaflets can be found in the foyers of most hotels and tourist attractions, as well as at the Santa Ana Regional Transport Center on North Santiago Street, within the neighborhood of Historic French Park.

Santa Ana Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Although both the theme parks of Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm really are just a short drive or bus trip away, being found in Anaheim and Buena Park respectively, Santa Ana manages to offer more than enough to occupy its holiday makers and day trippers. Located on North Main Street, just off the Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate I-5) and near to the start of the Santiago Creek Bike Trail, is the city's extremely popular and family friendly Discovery Science Center. Over 500,000 visitors choose to explore the science center each year, learning about California's infamous earthquakes, paleontology, space travel and the environment.

Families should add a trip to Santa Ana Zoo to any sightseeing list of potential tourist attractions worth checking out. These extensive zoological gardens reside within Prentice Park, on the eastern side of the city, and date from the middle of the 20th century. The Brazilian rainforest exhibits and the Amazon Aviary are particular highlights, as are the friendly animals living within the onsite Crean Family Farm. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and situated in the Historic Downtown District, within the East End Promenade (previously named the Fiesta Marketplace), the Art Deco style Yost Theater is a particularly distinctive and elegant building. The theater was built here in 1913 and hosted vaudeville shows and silent movies for many years, although today it functions as a venue for live music concerts, DJs and club nights, and general arts and entertainment, as well as gourmet dining. More information about Santa Ana Tourist Attractions.

The neighborhoods that come together to make up the Historic Downtown District (also referred to as the Downtown Santa Ana Historic Districts) contain some of the city's oldest and most historically significant buildings. These include the very first courthouse and theater (Walker's Theater) to be built in Orange County, as well as the City Hall, the Civic Center Plaza, the Public Law Library and the Transit Terminal, the latter of which stands on the East Santa Ana Boulevard, just off North Santiago Street. The Santora Building is another downtown landmark of note, being completed in the 1920s and currently housing an eclectic assortment of shops, restaurants and trendy art galleries. More information about Santa Ana Landmarks and Monuments.

Santa Ana manages to boast just under ten very notable museums within its boundaries, offering information about the history of Orange County, exhibitions of regional Californian art, and a chance to see some restored wartime aircraft in their original glory. A number of historic buildings await visitors coming to the Heritage Museum of Orange County, with guided tours of the Kellogg House and Maag House being thoroughly recommended. Founded way back in the middle of the 1930s, the Bowers Museum contains an enormous collection of over 100,000 different artifacts gathered from all over the world, including a number of impressive Native American, Pre-Columbian and Californian paintings. Further art is ready to be appreciated at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the California State University Fullerton Grand Central Art Center and the SAC Arts Gallery (Santa Ana College). More information about Santa Ana Museums.

Planning a day trip from Santa Ana can certainly throw up a lot of choices. With the sunny and sandy Pacific coastline of Southern California being so close, excursions to the likes of Newport Beach and other resort towns are extremely popular. In Newport Beach, many of the tourist attractions radiate outwards from the Balboa Pier, and in Huntington Beach, a lengthy beachfront boardwalk can be expected. Long Beach is also within reach of Santa Ana, although a little further away, and comes with its exceptional Aquarium of the Pacific attraction. However, it is most likely that a trip to Los Angeles will be your first choice, although this metropolis is so enormous and packed with so much to see and do, that you may need to spend a few days here to even begin to touch the top of its tourist scene and Hollywood movie history. More information about Santa Ana Attractions Nearby.

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