Santa Ana Travel Guide

  • Santa Ana. California
    Santa Ana. California
    by marinarena
  • Things to Do
    by marinarena
  • Santa Ana, California
    Santa Ana, California
    by marinarena

Santa Ana Highlights

  • Pro
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Lovely city, loads of history! 

  • Con
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Lots of gang activity here, so sightsee during the day! 

  • In a nutshell
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Still a lovely city rich in history and culture to see! 

Santa Ana Things to Do

  • Old Orange County Courthouse & Museum

    Thankfully, Orange County has kept its old courthouse, now a museum and visitor centre. This is in downtown Anaheim. Completed in 1901, it is the only surviving true Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse in California.

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  • Do the Art Walk

    Santa Ana's version of the popular "art walk" outing, featured in various art colony cities in California, is sleepy and low-brow. This makes for a very intimate and unpretentious art scene. Galleries open their doors and participants are encouraged to buy, explore, and get interactive with exhibits. There is an assortment of activities, many are...

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  • Bowers Musuem

    Charles and Ada Bowers founded in 1936 The Bowers Museum. It is one of the largest museums in Orange County. It was closed temporarily in 1986-92 for self study. In 2007 it added the 30,000+ square-foot Dorothy and Donald Kennedy. Bowers goal is to educate through its exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, children's art education...

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  • See Cult and "Little" Films in South...

    Regency South Coast Village 3 (formally Edwards) is small, ordinary looking theater from the exterior glance. I would not even mention it except for the fact that it often shows exclusive movies and is in a very ideal spot in the O.C. Located across from South Coast Plaza, Edwards is ideal for any movie buff who likes the small, independent flicks-...

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  • Discover the Scientific Taco Bell?

    Thanks to the obsession of Americanized burritos and tacos, a scientific center especially geared towards kids was built in 1999. The Taco Bell Discovery Science Center (nowadays the Taco bell seems to be dropped in advertisements) is a very family-oriented hotspot of Oraneg County, well visible from the 5 freeway. One would be hard pressed to miss...

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  • Old Orange County Courthouse 1901

    Orange County Courthouse is a Californian and National Landmark that dates back to 1901. It is of granite and beautiful sandstone construction with 30,000 sq-ft building. It is not where the main seat of local government, but there are still some offices still being used. Now it serves as residence for the Old Courthouse Museum, Orange County...

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  • Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House 1899

    Built in 1889, this home is on the National Register of Historic Place and California Historic Point of Interest and as well as City of Santa Ana Historic Register. It is a Medial Museum and Carriage Barn.Built by Alvin and Willella Howe who were both physicians. It was originally located on Bush and Seventh Streets. It was moved in 1975 to it's...

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  • Discover Science Center

    This wonderful center has more than 100 hands-on exhibits, live science exhibits you can participate in and so much more. There are two floors, plus a courtyard that has the Dino Quest with lots more to see and do. My youngest was absolutely enthralled with the Dino quest and wanted to see everything. He was smiling from ear to ear. A great...

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  • Discovery Science Center

    This is considered a museum but it's more than that. It's especially a great place for kids. The interactive exhibits explain the science phenomenon of why certain things do what they do. Considering what it costs to visit many of the venues, amusements and festivals, this is actually pretty reasonable. About what it costs to go to a movie here in...

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  • Discovery Science Center

    Discovery Science Center is Orange County’s leading destination for hands-on science fun. Guests can explore more than 100 hands-on exhibits in themed areas:Discovery Stadium, Techno Arts, Air & Space, Perception, Dynamic Earth, Quake Zone, KidStation, Digital Lab and Dino Quest. Visit the Science Center in Summer 2008 for Animal Grossology, Bob...

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  • Experience Blue Collar Art in Santa...

    in the Santora Arts Building ! It is the landmark in the downtown Artist Village. Also, several galleries are found in the heart of the city. Even if you are not much into art, you will be impressed by the colorful creations done here. Besides visual arts, there are poetry readings, theater performances and more for entertainment. Check out free...

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  • Visit Little Historic Bowers!

    This is a tiny museum judging by its size but it is neverthless wonderful and worth a look. Bowers is arguably the premiere museum of Orange county. It is located near the heart of artistic downtown Santa Ana where the Artist Village thrives. Inside Bowers, there is a special focus on Californian, Native American, ancient Asian and African art and...

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Santa Ana Hotels

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Santa Ana Restaurants

  • Get Your Gooey On! Yay Gourmet Grilled...

    Oh so sinfully yummy! Grilled Cheese Spot is that guilty pleasure place with everything on the menu needing to be ordered individually- so locals make this one on the regular! This is the place to have, devour an American classic- the grilled cheese sandwich.Very awesome thing here? Have it your way- create your own $6.95+ sandwich if you are picky...

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  • Sample Salvadorean Style in Santa Ana!

    El Izalco is to be reviewed officially by me soon--but it's similar to the former restaurant, as mentioned below! :-)(714) 973-0554OLD Review: Tired of the same old Mexican? Try El Curtido, a popular restaurant just outside the city buildings in Santa Ana on 5th and Broadway. This is a great medium-sized family restaurant that offer authentic...

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  • The real Spanish flavor

    We were heading up to Orange County Airport for an afternoon flight and wanted to get something good to eat. So searched online and read the ratings for Olé Spanish Delishop...sounded good and since it was near the airport, we headed there for lunch to go. The owners welcomed us to their store, the food was delicious and was not expensive at all....

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  • Get your Geisha!

    CLOSED! (Read my review, anyway :-)If modern, sexy chic Japanese is what your craving, this is the place to go. The Dolce Group run establishment has added a hot sophistication to the Santa Ana eaterie scene. Geisha House is separated into two-levels, featuring a main dining area, sushi bar and sake lounge on the first level and a more cozy,...

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  • Awesome food and decor!

    This is a really nice restaurant. The outside patio and the antique cars caught my hubby’s eye. He said lets eat here and I am always up for adventures. As you enter, you will enter an area that looks like a ballroom with a very unique bar. Lots’ to look at and see here, so you have to walk around and look at the antique cars in front and the wall...

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  • Good healthy slice of pizza & much more

    If you are craving something fast but healthy in Santa Ana, make your way to the cafeteria of Mother's Market. There are a few salad/entree bars with delicious organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for the health-conscious. Fill up a plate of hummus, veggie dolmas, vegan enchiladas, brown rice, a hearty vegetable soup. Most items are...

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Santa Ana Transportation

  • Go South of the Border via S.A.

    Well, you may think you're in a part of Mexico while at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center already but you can really go to Mexico from this point, to Baja California to be precise. Intercalifornias buses depart from the station regularly and arrive to the major stops of Tijuana and Mexicali. Wait time between buses is about 1-1 1/2 hours...

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  • Go Regional OC/LA via Santa Ana

    The Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center is a vital stop for many travel options- not only in the city and county but to LA and even Mexico. Besides being a major stop for Amtrak and Metrolink train routes, the center is a hub for several OCTA buses and a few independent buses that head south of the border to Mexico. There is a cafe, snack...

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  • Santa Ana Hotels

    27 Hotels in Santa Ana

    168 Reviews and Opinions

Santa Ana Shopping

  • Looking for tradition?

    This is a tradition that represent the coming of age for Hispanic Woman, her 15th birthday (XV Años) It is like a debutante ball when the girl gets to get all dresses up and the family has a huge party that begins with a mass and then a party with family and friends in attendance. It is almost like a wedding without an official groom. The reason I...

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  • South Coast Plaza

    South Coast Plaza may well be the ultimate California shopping mall experience. In all it is one of the largest shopping centers in the world. It's also the most profitable mall in the country (with nearly $1 billion in sales), and it attracts more shoppers than any other mall in America - over 20 million a year. Some tour groups from Japan plan...

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Santa Ana Local Customs

  • marinarena's Profile Photo
    painted car, Santa Ana(California) 1 more image

    by marinarena Updated Apr 9, 2006

    Santa Ana is a prominent chicano (Mexican-American) place. Chicano pride is seen all over the city- even on automobiles like this one pictured, painted with shades of brown and orangey-tan. These colors go well with Chicano pride.

    In Santa Ana and various neighobrhoods of east L.A., cars (often "lowriders") are shown off, while on a stroll or when parked. People go wild over their cars in southern California , I tell you-- so much so, it's worthy to put on my pages even though I'm not a huge car person!

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Santa Ana Warnings and Dangers

  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    by marinarena Updated Feb 4, 2014

    from this city. While incidents of crime do add up in Santa Ana, it is generally safe in the city to be, day and night. Stick to main areas of touring interest, like in the South Coast Metro, Mainplace mall area and downtown arts colony areas. Because of the large size of the city, there is more potential for crime here as any heavily urban populated area would have. Most likely, one will survive in Santa Ana just fine but it is known for some crime activity, particularly that of gangs. Incidents like those occur in the neighborhood ("barrio" areas). Also, there tends to be more car related accidents and more "erratic" driving by the motorists on some streets, like the main corridor of Bristol St. In the end, in Santa Ana, just take some extra precaution and you'll be fine!

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Santa Ana Off The Beaten Path

  • Gulf War Veterans Memorial

    This plaza left no stone unturned in making sure Orange County recognizes all its veterans and public service personnel. This one is dedicated to the veterans of the Gulf War. Another lovely addition to all the memorials located here. Across from the Orange County Courthouse.Hall of Records12 Civic Center PlazaSanta Ana, CA 92701

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  • Orange County Firemans Memorial

    This is a memorial to those firemen who lost their lives serving the citizens of orange county. It is lovely sculpture that captures the heart and shows the ultimate dedication of paying with ones life to help, protect and serve.Located across from the Orange County Courthouse.Hall of Records12 Civic Center PlazaSanta Ana, CA 92701

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  • Memorial to WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam

    This is another Memorial to our veterans of WWI, WWII, Koren, and Vietnam. It is located in the plaza next to the Hall of Records. It is a lovely addition of what is already here to memorialize those who have served and died to "protect our safety and our freedom!"Located across from the Orange County Courthouse.Hall of Records12 Civic Center...

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Santa Ana Favorites

  • marinarena's Profile Photo
    Art display at the Santora Arts Building, CA 2 more images

    by marinarena Updated May 26, 2008

    Favorite thing: The greatest achievement of Santa Ana is by far its arts community, in the heart of downtown. I look forward to coming back again and again to see and experience new acreations from artists.

    Fondest memory: Here, I have served jury duty once here. I don't miss that courtroom, that's for sure!! Others in O.C. will the same way!

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Explore Deeper into Santa Ana
A-4 Skyhawk Memorial to Veterans
Off The Beaten Path
William H. Spurgeon Building and Clock Tower 1915
Off The Beaten Path
Pacific Building 1925
Off The Beaten Path
Santora Building 1928
Off The Beaten Path
Minter House 1900
Off The Beaten Path
West End Theater 1877
Off The Beaten Path
West Coast Theatre 1910/24
Off The Beaten Path
See a Pretty Historic House: Howe-Waffle
Things to Do
Persian Perfect!
Restaurants
Bowers Museum
Things to Do
See Orange County's Historical Old Courthouse !
Things to Do
Map of Santa Ana

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