Anaheim Travel Guide
We sent Yodeler Kimberly Genevieve to the amazing Hilton Anaheim to experience the property, have some fun and make some beautiful photos. Located just one mile from Disneyland, Hilton Anaheim is a perfect place to stay when visiting the theme park. Anaheim is rich with lesser known fun activities that often take a backseat to Disneyland. There are so many things to do in Anaheim. But don’t take our word for it, check out Kimberly’s beautiful photos and travel tips.
Name? Kimberly Genevieve
Preoccupation? I was a letter carrier in Ottawa Canada before moving to Los Angeles in 2009.
How long have you lived in Southern California? 7 years
What is the best thing about Anaheim? Hands down it has to be Disneyland! Families travel from all over the world to see what Disney is all about!
Can you sum up Anaheim? Anaheim is home to both of the Disney theme parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) as well as Downtown Disney, so it’s no surprise that families travel from all over the world to visit Anaheim specifically for Disney. If you need a little break from all the tourist attractions, there are some great spots to check out in CtrCity (the heart of Anaheim). There you’ll find The Packing House full of delicious food options like Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream, as well as Pop Bar where they serve homemade vegan/gluten-free popsicles all made with real fruits & no artificial flavorings. Just beware, for those of you looking to check this place out, they do not allow any professional photography, so if you walk in with a digital SLR, you will be stopped by the security, haha! If you’re into sports, Anaheim is also home to the Anaheim Angels baseball team and to the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, so there’s always a sports game to check out!
What is a perfect day in Anaheim? If you need a coffee fix first thing in the morning then a perfect day in Anaheim should absolutely start at Ink and Bean Coffee Saloon & Wordshop located on W Center Street Promenade in the heart of the city. They proudly serve Stumptown Coffee as well as a variety of homemade pastries from IKneadLove. They open bright and early (7:30am on weekdays and 8am on weekends) and the bright poppy yellow chairs in their outdoor seating area had me going back each morning. It is an inspiring little hangout outside of the Disney area.
Another option, if you’re like me, and sometimes enjoy waking up a bit later (because you’re on vacation) I’d highly recommend visiting the Center Street Cheese Shop. It’s the most adorable shop that offers balsamic infused mimosas and cheese platters. The staff is so incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Also, the shop is conveniently located next door to Ink and Bean coffee, so it really is the best of both worlds. For those of you looking for more foodie options, I’d recommend exploring the 23 independent food merchants at The Packing House. They serve everything from coffee & pastries to Canadian style Poutine. There truly is something for everyone!
If you’re looking for a change of scenery after breakfast/lunch then I’d recommend taking a drive to the beach. It’s only a 30-minute drive to Newport Beach, and there you can take a stroll along the pier or bike paths. The beach is generally pretty quiet during the off season which I personally love!
If you’re in Anaheim strictly for the Disney experience, I’d say this is about the time you should get to Disney and start exploring and picture taking because there really is so much to see within the theme parks. During our visit, we hopped from Disneyland to Downtown Disney and then to the California Adventure Park. At the end of a long day, I’d highly recommend just sitting back and watching the fireworks show from Disneyland. It can be seen from almost anywhere, so just grab a drink and enjoy the show!
What are the people like in Anaheim? Everyone here loves Disney! They’re so happy and friendly, and excited to chat with tourists, and a lot of the people I met work for the Disney parks and hotels. It really is a community of Disney enthusiasts, and if you don’t work for Disney then you absolutely know someone that does. Everybody seems to have a story to tell about Disney.
If Anaheim was a character who would it be? Mickey Mouse, of course!
What was your experience like visiting Hilton Anaheim? We had a truly pleasurable experience staying at the Hilton Anaheim. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the Christmas Tree Lane located in the main lobby. Guests are welcome to purchase any of the pre-decorated Christmas trees with 100% of the proceeds going directly to various charities in the community. I would highly recommend staying on a higher level if you’d like to be able to watch the fireworks at night from your balcony. If you’re planning on visiting the Disney theme parks, this hotel is located within walking distance to Disney. It is super convenient.
I would also recommend grabbing a cocktail (or two) from the Mix Lounge in the lobby. The lighting is warm and moody which makes it cozy and relaxing after a full day at Disney. In the morning, if you’d like to go straight to the theme parks as soon as they open, but you need a pick-me-up, the hotel has a full-service Starbucks which is convenient for those just wanting a coffee to go.
What was unique about Hilton Anaheim? What stood out the most was the large health club. I’ve stayed in plenty of hotels and the Hilton Anaheim has the best fitness center I’ve ever seen! The fitness center at the hotel was recently renovated and includes a natural salt water pool and spa, a spin room, full weight and cardio exercise rooms, as well as cross fitness equipment. It’s truly impressive! There’s also a variety of fitness classes available such as yoga, spin cycle, TRX, Zumba, Body Works and more. The hotel even offers monthly memberships for local residents.
If your friend was visiting Anaheim and you couldn’t take them around what would you have them do? Although Disney is and always will be the main attraction in Anaheim, I’d highly suggest exploring Center Street Promenade first. It really is the heart of the city and doesn’t feel as touristy as the rest of Anaheim. I’d recommend trying Ink and Bean Coffee and Pour Vida Latin Flavor for some of the best tacos I’ve ever enjoyed. Try the lobster taco & the pineapple skirt steak taco, you won’t regret it. Then be sure to check out the Center Street Cheese Shop. Try the balsamic infused mimosa!
If you’re in the mood to shop, I’d recommend spending a few hours at the Anaheim Gardenwalk. From there, I’d take a drive to the beach because nothing ever seems to feel as good as salty air.
After all that exploring, I’d definitely recommend going back to the Hilton Anaheim to put on some comfy shoes for a super fun afternoon/evening at Disney and the California Adventure theme park. I’d first grab a drink (Walt Disney’s favorite drink was the Black and White Scotch Whisky with a Lemon Peel served over Crushed Ice) at Carthay Circle Lounge location inside the California Adventure park and then head straight to the Cars ride because it really is the most beautifully designed attraction!
Don’t forget to stick around for the fireworks at 8:45PM or maybe just head back to the Anaheim Hilton to watch the fireworks from your room.