Other Things to Do in the Area When You Visit Disneyland


Staff member
Dec 15, 1998
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Transportation Info, Radio Stations, Map

Thread with some good stuff


The closest beaches to the Disneyland Resort would be Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. Newport Beach offers bike rentals, and you can take the ferry for about $1 to Balboa Island, and you can also rent boogie boards for body surfing for a nominal fee. There are a lot of restaurants in this area. You can ride a bike to the end of the peninsula and see the channel where the USS Minnow left for its fateful 3-hour tour. Huntington Beach is also very popular, and has fire pits for a nice bonfire by the ocean. Some people prefer Huntington Beach to Newport Beach.

Here's some info on Newport Beach

Both beaches are about 20 miles from the Disneyland Resort, and access is fairly easy. On the weekends, and especially holidays (4th & Labor Day) parking lots fill early, so keep that in mind.

If you would like to try the western beaches, they are farther away, but also are nice to visit. A popular dinner destination is Tony's Fishmarket at Redondo Beach Pier - time your dinner for sunset for a beautiful setting.

Redondo Beach Info
Hermosa Beach Hermosa Beach webcam
Hermosa Beach Info & another webcam

Pictures of Torrance Beach/Palos Verdes on 12-26-05

Dockweiler Beach is right by the LAX airport, and has fire pits also. This is very close to where hand gliding got its start.

Santa Monica Beach is popular, and its pier has a big ferris wheel that has been featured many times in movies and on television. Close by is the 3rd Street Promenade with shopping, and Pacific Palisades Park, where It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World was filmed. This beach and pier are not too far from LAX airport, and Hollywood itself.

Tidepools are located at the Palos Verdes Peninsula. There is a little museum there - Cabrillo Beach Museum - that would be nice to visit.

Palos Verdes Peninsula is a beautiful area in Los Angeles - homes are gorgeous and a lot of people with $$$ live here. Marineland (before there was a Sea World) used to be here, and there are a couple of lighthouses, tidepools, whale watching viewpoints, parks, the Korean Friendship bell are located here, as well as Wayfarers Chapel, a beautiful little non-denominational chapel above the cliffs of Portuguese Bend.

Day Trips ~ Featuring Long Beach

Best Beaches in the Area

Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California - Info on beaches, etc.

The best beaches in Orange County/Los Angeles

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At Exposition Park in Los Angeles, near USC, you will find the Natural Museum of History, Science Museum, IMAX Theater, LA Coliseum (home of the 1932 & 1984 Olympics), etc.

Near Rodeo Drive in the Wilshire District, you'll find the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum - I highly recommend visiting this area and museum

Children's Museum in Los Angeles

LA Cultural Museum of ART
Right now, at the Los Angeles Cultural Museum of Art, you can see The King Tut Exhibit, until November 15 Adult tickets are $30, and Children, 6-17, are $15.

Ghetty Center sits high above Los Angeles, overlooking the city

Museum of Tolerance

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Hollywood & its Story

Hollywood Webcam

You could do the following in one day, as these are basically in the same area:
Visit the La Brea Tarpits, where you can see the tarpits where mammoths and other animals of the time perished. There is a museum there with the fossils they've pulled out. This is the location where the movie Volcano was filmed, where the volcano actually erupted. Very close are Rodeo Drive, and Farmers Market

You can also go up the hill to the Griffith Park Observatory , and finish out your day in Hollywood, visiting the Graumann's Chinese Theater and reading the stars on Hollywood Blvd.

Post on Olvera Street, Etc.

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Mission San Juan Capistrano and the surrounding area for a nice visit.

Catalina Island for a day or overnight.

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About an hour & a half east of Disneyland lie the San Bernardino Mountains and the resorts of Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear. Lake Arrowhead is surrounded by private homes, but Big Bear Lake offers a nice retreat for a couple of days. Big Bear Lake

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  • Trippen

    Earning My Ears
    Nov 27, 2005
    A lot of web sites still have Movie Land Wax Museum in Buena Park on their list's of things to do but the place closed down last month and is going to be replaced by a Pizza place. Also I noticed a reader posted Anaheim Market place as a place to visit and would advice against this unless you are fluent in spanish as this place caters to the local hispanic population and is not geared to tourists.


    "Truly the happiest place on earth :)"
    Nov 30, 2005
    Here are a few extra tips to have fun:

    Idea #1: For those interested in a really nice place (without the high cost) to have dinner (and drinks if you drink alcohol) check out "The Quiet Woman" in Corona Del Mar off of Pacific Coast Highway. They have great food, awesome crowd, and live music (really great live music btw and be sure to say hi to the resident singer Deanie). It is not at all unusual to brush shoulders with a multimillionare yacht owner on one side of you and a typical local lifeguard on the other. It's a special very affordable little spot. If you are with that special someone and want to have a nice romantic walk afterwards, try the gardens at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel (further south on Pacific Coast Highway) on the beautiful cliffs over looking the ocean. It's a very romantic place and the walkway is open to the public for beach access. You can park right across the street at Salt Creek Beach. The park entrance is located at Pacific Coast Highway & Ritz Carlton Drive and open daily: 5:00a.m. - 12:00 midnight. All vehicle parking consists of pay and display parking $1/hour year around as of this date. So there it is, a nice dinner, wonderful music from a talented lady in a posh but very affordable environment followed by a romantic walk through the Ritz to the beach. :). Of course this the Ritz-Carlton at Laguna Niguel is really spectacular (better than most of the others in my opinion) and if you have the money to roll like that then staying and eating there is always an option. But you'll have more fun at The Quiet Woman for dinner and drinks regardless of whether or not money is a concern. Either way, have fun and don't drink and drive.

    Idea #2: Now Disneyland is by far the best amusement park in SoCal; however, if you want to try something different head over to Marineland in San Diego! It's a spectacular day believe me.

    Idea #3: If you are an art lover then DO go to the Ghetty Center.

    Idea #4: If you are bent on seeing the Griffith Observatory and staying up late at night, then check out the Los Angeles Astronomers Public Star Party schedule at their website and see if they are meeting that night at Griffith Observatory (it is where they meet for their star parties on the front lawn). A good time :).

    Idea #5: As of this date, Big Bear Mountain ski resorts are making their own snow and open!

    Anyway I could go on, but have fun :).


    Feb 20, 2002


    Feb 20, 2002
  • fairycat

    <marquee><font color=deeppink>Modern Disney Prince
    Jan 4, 2007
    I want to say YES to the Regan Libary, not only is it in a stunning location way up on the hill but with the addition of AIR FORCE ONE (the actual plane) even kids will have fun. I think the plane and the replica of the Oval Office were some of the most enjoyable parts of the musuem.

    MUSEUMS: Besides Getty and the others mentioned I wanted to add

    LACMA- Tends towards Modern Art but often has amazing specialty shows.

    MOCA- another modern art musuem that is wonderful

    Petterson Automotive Musuem- If you like cars this is the place for you!
    Includes Stars Cars and more

    The nice part is LACMA, Petterson and La Brea Tar Pits are all very close together so you can see more then one (though you would have to probably rush to see all three)

    Venice Beach- as strange as it probably was in the 60's, Venice has probably changed very little. While it does have lots of shops selling pot leaved shirts and tattoo shops, there is also a good blend of sovenier shops and ice cream shops. The boardwalk has a lot for families to see and enjoy. With street vendors of all types, artists working on the streets, the famous Muscle Beach is there you go to watch people work out and a large expanse of white sand that leads to the water. Its a great place to see California Life.

    Malibu- Its a stunning drive up PCH that offers great views and pretty beaches. You can see lots of fun little shops and things along the way and when you get in town go check out the famous Gladstones where you can eat looking out over the ocean.

    San Diego and Santa Barbara are also great beaches but are a drive up the coast.

    Day Trips-

    Catalina Island- http://www.catalina.com/main.html
    I love Catalina!!! You can grab the boat from San Pedro that takes you to the famous little island. The island sits 26 miles off shore. When you arrive in Avalon (the biggest city on the island), you have your choice of many day of longer activities.

    Walk the Main Street with your ocean view and see fun shops, eat good food and don't forget the ice cream!

    Take the tram or walk down and see the famous Casino. This was not designed as a gambling house but as a dance and show hall. The Casino still offers nightly movies and occassional events. There is also a musuem for the Casino around back. The Art Deco building has lots of stunning local made tiles and houses the famous Catalina Mermaid. If you like diving you can launch off the back end of the Casino or watch the divers go out.

    There is a great local beach, or for those who are more adventerous or good swimmers, you can rent boats to cruise around the bay or take a Kakak out for a nice paddle.

    The island also rents of golf carts to go see the city and the out skirts, horseback riding, golf, and more. You can do the glass bottom boats or the subs for a great view of the sea life.

    Besides all these day tour activities you can also do excursions to the interior of the island to see the famous Bison and other sites. You can go in by Horse, Jeep or ATV with guides or do a helicopter trip to see the whole island from above!

    Catalina offers camping or hotels all with stunning views and since the city is small most of the activities can be walked to. Since cars are restricted on the island the only transportation available to tourists are Golf Carts and the Tram. Both work great on the island.


    Earning My Ears
    Nov 27, 2007
    I love taking all my family members to Santa Monica Promenade and Huntington Beach Pier, and local restaurants where the whole family can go and enjoy good music and food.

    Here's an upcoming event to check out that's great for all ages. It's a show with a talented singer named Rose Rossi. She's going to be playing at Whiskey A Go GO (Don't worry it's family friendly.. all ages welcomed) and I went to one of her songs.. and I bet everyone will enjoy it because her music is inspiring and beautiful. Kind of like Tori Amos of the new generation. For more information: myspace.com/roserossi
  • Lasty K

    Feb 29, 2008
    If you're interested in visiting a museum and you're in the DLR area, consider Bowsers Museum (offering a showing of the Ancient Terra Cotta Warriors from now til October 12th I believe).

    It's just around a few miles down from the DLR actually.

    Bowsers Museum

    Canadian Traveler

    Every trip to Disneyland is like the first time!
    Aug 6, 2008
    Last year we took our children (10 and 16 at the time) to the Museum of Tolerance at:9786 West Pico Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90035-4720, United States
    (310) 553-8403...:):):):):thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    It was such at good experience for all of us (there were 10 of us) something you would never forget!!!:hug:


    Earning My Ears
    May 14, 2012
    Not sure if this is off topic, but if you're looking for a unique summer camp for teens in the Southern California area, I'm working with this camp that would be great. It's called Camp Spin Off and is the passion project of DJ Tina T, a big DJ who currently spins at one of the hottest clubs in Las Vegas. Camp Spin Off is the first of its kind: a sleepaway camp in the Sierras where kids can learn about music, art, and culture...and get out in the fresh air to hike around, too. ;) It was just featured in French Vogue, but is super affordable and a one-of-a-kind experience. I hope you'll check it out (and let me know what you think/if you have any questions!). campspinoff.com

    Ojai is just north of Los Angeles, close to Santa Barbara.

    Forest Home Ojai Valley
    655 Burnham Road
    Oak View, CA 93022
    Topatopa Mountains
    July 29th to August 2nd, 2012


    So Cal Girl
    Oct 2, 2010
    Wow what a great thread I just stumbled upon it just now.:thumbsup2
    There are a bunch of great things to do so close to Disneyland.
    I live close and just recently started thinking about blogging on all the things there are to do locally besides just my normal Disney travels.
    So far I have blogged on Springfield Tea House in Fullerton, Los Alamitos Race Track and recently Ruby's Diner in Orange (some Olde town Orange circle too).
    The more I think about all the places that I take for granted the more I think its great to have a thread like this on disboards to share the local knowledge.


    Strength, Determination, Merciless Forever!
    Sep 2, 2014
    Just saw this thread, so my apologies in its lateness.

    If anyone is an aviation buff, there's the March Air Field museum in Riverside. This place has planes and artifacts from every era of flying from WW1 to today. Uniforms, equipment, documents, simulators, they have them on display. Despite the searing heat (around 100 degrees when we were there) we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    GoBears 1980

    DIS Veteran
    May 30, 2013
    If you're interested in visiting a museum and you're in the DLR area, consider Bowsers Museum (offering a showing of the Ancient Terra Cotta Warriors from now til October 12th I believe).

    It's just around a few miles down from the DLR actually.

    Bowsers Museum
    Uh....... I love Shanana as much as the next guy, but I believe that is the BOWERS Museum in Santa Ana.

    Also in Santa Ana you have the Santa Ana Zoo, Discovery Science Center and Floral Park Historic District.

    Anaheim is also home of the the NHL's Anaheim Ducks and MLB's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


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