AOL Travel

Anaheim Neighborhoods

Though the once-beautiful orange and walnut groves are long gone, Anaheim has gone on to become a thriving tourist and business center, known around the world as the original home of Mickey Mouse. Some tourists will venture outside the Disney Resorts District to explore nearby beaches or try Knott’s Berry Farm, but few actually make it much farther than the vicinity around the Happiest Place on Earth. Still, optimistic city officials are working to redevelop Anaheim’s more industrial areas into attractive urban centers, a prime example of which is the Platinum Triangle.

Downtown Anaheim

The historic and administrative center of the city, Downtown Anaheim is home to such government entities as City Hall, Anaheim Police Headquarters and Anaheim’s Main Library. Interestingly, this historic section of town doesn’t have much of a city skyline, as Walt Disney didn’t want park visitors to be reminded of the real world when glancing out from his Magic Kingdom, so he persuaded city officials to pass an anti-skyline ordinance ensuring that high-rises couldn’t be built within the eye line of the park. Downtown is home to the Muzeo, which now resides in the former Carnegie Library, one of the few historic structures that still exist in the Downtown district. Named after Charles Pearson, the city’s mayor when Disneyland first opened, Pearson Park is a lovely spot to enjoy the outdoors in Downtown Anaheim.

Anaheim Adjacent

Anaheim visitors often find it’s worth stepping outside Anaheim city limits to visit several popular tourist attractions. Just northwest of Anaheim, Buena Park is home to Knott’s Berry Farm, for visitors who want to fit another theme park jaunt into their stay. Buena Park is also home to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, both featuring over-the-top family-friendly dinner shows. Since vacations usually include a shopping spree—not to mention the occasional rainy day when you’ll need an indoor activity—Anaheim visitors can also travel 15-20 minutes south to Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza for a full day of shopping at this massive, but high-end, indoor mall.  

Platinum Triangle

Freeway access is no problem in this evolving neighborhood, as it sits where the 57, 22 and 5 Freeways meet. Currently in the midst of a major redevelopment, the Platinum Triangle is being repositioned as an urban center with high-end condos and lofts, commercial office towers and retail space. The transition has been slow, and the area still retains a bit of a concrete jungle vibe. It is home to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Honda Center and The Grove of Anaheim.

Disney Resorts District

The epicenter of Anaheim, this touristy area is the heart of the Disneyland Resort (which includes the two parks, three hotels and Downtown Disney District) as well as the Anaheim Convention Center and the majority of Anaheim’s best hotels, motels and restaurants. Careful thought has been put into this area’s infrastructure, and while it is pretty much always crowded, traffic flow, parking and public transportation run like a well-oiled machine, making it pretty easy to find your way to the Happiest Place on Earth (or a far-less-fun business convention).