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More than 40 million people visit this Southern California metropolis every year—which means it can be tough to find a bargain.  More...
If you stick with snack bars and coffee shops while touring Anaheim , you're doing your tummy a grave injustice.  More...
When it comes to family-friendly attractions, Anaheim is almost without equal.  More...
When most people first visit Anaheim , they're only looking to make one major purchase: personalized Mickey Mouse ears.   More...
Orange County nightlife used to be an oxymoron. However, in the past few years, quite a few establishments have sprung up,  More...

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Guide To Anaheim
When it comes to family-friendly attractions, Anaheim is almost without equal.There are the obvious ones, like Disneyland and the beaches, but there are also seasonal or localized attractions that offer just as much fun. You don't even have to spend that much money to have a good time, believe it or not. A barbecue at the beach can be just as much fun as a trip to an amusement park and lunch at a pricey themed restaurant.

You'll never be able to see all of Anaheim during one visit, so here are a few of our top picks. If you make it to even half of them, you'll have enough memories to fill a couple scrapbooks.

Clichéd as it is by now, that old slogan the “ Happiest Place on Earth” still has some validity. Just look at the grin on your children's faces the first time they see the fairy-tale spires of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, or enter through the park's majestic front gates, or get a hug from Minnie Mouse for the very first time. Chances are, no matter how old you are, you'll crack a smile yourself when you buckle the seatbelt before plunging into Space Mountain or splash backward down a waterfall in Pirates of the Caribbean or zoom through Indiana Jones' Temple of the Forbidden Eye. As far as the live shows, fireworks displays and parades go, Disney is still the best. And it's still the main reason that Anaheim 's on the map. All Anaheim hotels, from the Sheraton to the Holiday Inn At the Park to the Villager Lodge, either are within walking distance of the entrance or offer free shuttle service to and from the park.

Disney California Adventure
Admittedly, this new park never achieved the kind of success that its sister resort did—or that its creators had hoped for—but it's still a neat park with amazing visuals and unique attractions. The newest one is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a thrill ride housed in a very realistic replica of an old-fashioned luxury hotel. Other must-sees include the Hollywood Pictures Backlot and, especially if you've got little ones, A Bug's Land. Grizzly River Run and California Screamin' are better for big kids. When it comes to dining, California Adventure has more to offer than Disney, going beyond the traditional fast food offerings with fine dining at the Vineyard Room and decent seafood at Avalon Cove. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel is actually within the park gates, while Paradise Pier affords views of the boardwalk and the waterfront.

Downtown Disney
These days, you can still get a bit of the Disney magic without even investing in a ticket. How? Just pay a visit to Downtown Disney, the 300,000-square-foot shop-tainment destination between the Disneyland Hotel and the park itself. Take in a live music show at Ralph Brennan's. Check out the famous Gospel Brunch at House of Blues. Treat the kids to an afternoon at the Build-A-Bear Workshop. See the latest Disney pictures at the multi-plex theater. Buy souvenirs for everyone on your list, and when you finish, enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the various dining establishments. The restaurant scene here is excellent, by the way, and getting better all the time. See ‘Dining' for more information.

Knott's Berry Farm
Though it's struggled fruitlessly to lose its ‘also-ran' status practically ever since it opened, this park has a lot of loyal fans, both local and tourist. Sure, certain attractions are a bit scuffed around the edges, and maybe the sidewalks aren't clean enough to eat off of. But coasters like the Silver Bullet, Xcelerator and the RipTide keep the thrill seekers coming back, while Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant does the trick for everyone else—just like it always has. Halloween, Christmas and Easter celebrations here are over-the-top and lots of fun. Most Anaheim hotels can help you arrange transportation to Buena Park , where Knott's is located, but if you want to be closer, just book a room at the Radisson Knott's Berry Farm.

When the weather gets unbearably hot, tourists and locals alike forsake the suburbs for the beaches. You'll have to drive at least a half hour to get to a good one, but it's well worth the trip. Huntington Beach is a surfer hangout complete with volleyball courts, a pedestrians-only pier and a boardwalk. Two other beaches border it: Huntington State Beach and Bolsa Chica. To the south, there's Newport Beach and Laguna's Thousand Steps Beach . There are beautiful beaches along the Balboa Peninsula as well.

A trip to one of the tiny islands off the coast can be one of the best ways to spend a summer day. Not only is the boat ride over an adventure for people who haven't experienced it before, but the islands themselves offer plenty of shopping, sightseeing and dining, all with authentic California flavor. Catalina Island has two towns: Avalon, a tourist-friendly place where people use golf carts to get around, and Two Harbours , a much smaller settlement that's popular with day sailors and divers. Then there's Balboa Island , just a short ferry ride away from Balboa Pier. Rollerblade or cycle around the island on the boardwalk built specifically for that purpose, or browse the art galleries and cute shops on Marine avenue .

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