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Introduction

Buena Park is a city in Orange County in Southern California. European settlement of the area dates to the Spanish "ranchos", huge land grants in the late 1700s. A rail connection to Los Angeles was established in 1875. Buena Park was established as a community in 1877 (in conjunction with the railway development) and formally incorporated as a city in 1953. While there has historically been some industrial activity in the area (such as a Nabisco factory which closed in 2006), Buena Park is the closest city in Orange County to Los Angeles and operates largely in that city's shadow; various attractions (which formerly included a wax museum, a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum and a deer park) have come and gone over the years, but the city is best known for an amusement park on what used to be Walter and Cordelia Knott's farm.

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Sights and Activities

Knotts Berry Farm

Knott's bills itself as America's oldest theme park. In 1920, this was a working farm selling berries; its restaurant served its first chicken dinners in 1934. Once the restaurant started drawing a crowd, Walter Knott began constructing a replica Ghost Town in 1940; the park's first ride attraction (the Ghost Town & Calico Railroad) opened in 1952. Knott's Berry Farm remained family-owned until late 1997; the park is now owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and the food brand was acquired by The J. M. Smucker Company. The park made many claims to have had the first, largest or only version of various amusements: the Calico Mine Ride (1960) as the world's first themed amusement park attraction, Timber Mountain Log Ride (1969) as the first log flume with thematic elements, Corkscrew (1975) as the first modern roller coaster to successfully turn riders upside-down, Xcelerator (2002) as the world's first hydraulically-launched roller coaster. The Ghost Town & Calico Railroad (1952) claimed the only remaining narrow-gauge steam engines still in operation at one point; many other heritage railways have since restored historic engines to service. Supreme Scream (1998) was briefly the tallest turbo drop–type amusement ride in the world (312-feet tall), Perilous Plunge (2000) was once the world's tallest and steepest water chute ride (at 121‘ tall and 77.8°; permanently closed in 2012).

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Plane

Fullerton Municipal Airport only accepts private airplanes and is 3 miles (4.8 km) from Buena Park. Long Beach Airport is about 15 miles (24 km) from Buena Park. JetBlue Airways serves it nonstop from 14 destinations. It is also served by Alaska Airlines, American, and Delta. Orange County/John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, is about 16 miles (25 km)/24 minutes from Buena Park. It is served by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin America. Los Angeles International Airport is served by a wide array of foreign carriers as well as most US airlines.

By Train

  • Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner runs from Paso Robles to San Diego; the closest station is Fullerton.
  • Buena Park (Metrolink), 8400 Lakeknoll Dr.. Metrolink's Orange County Line runs from Los Angeles to Oceanside, with stops in Buena Park and Fullerton

By Car

I-5 (Santa Ana Freeway) or CA-91 (Riverside Freeway) takes you directly to Buena Park. Take the Knott Ave, Beach Blvd, or any of the other Buena Park exits. Anaheim is just south of Buena Park, with Fullerton to the east, so both of those cities can serve as an entry as well.

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Getting Around

By Car

Buena Park is small enough for driving, but most attractions are on Beach Boulevard.

By Public Transport

Many Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) lines come together in Buena Park. Route 29 (Beach Blvd.) runs north-south, from the Brea Mall to downtown Huntington Beach and the Pacific Coast Highway, straight through downtown BP. Route 38 (La Palma Ave.) runs east-west, from Lakewood to the Anaheim Shopping Center, serving the Buena Park Promenade. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority Route 460 connects BP with downtown Los Angeles, Norwalk, Fullerton, and Disneyland. All three routes serve Knott's Berry Farm.
The Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel and other hotels in Buena Park provide a shuttle to Disneyland.

By Bike

The main tourism corridor in Buena Park is located along Beach Boulevard. Most of the main attractions, including Knott's Berry Farm, are located here and are within walking distance of each other

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Eat

  • Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, 8039 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 220-5055. 11AM–9PM daily, 8AM–10PM Sa, 8AM–9PM Su, hours vary seasonally to match park closing time. Traditional American fare, the specialties are fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. A popular place to eat which usually has long lines (so plan to arrive early), this 1934 restaurant is one of the oldest parts of what is now the Knott's Berry Farm theme park. Lines at Cordelia Knott's restaurant lasted for hours, so Walter Knott built a ghost town (and later an amusement park) to entertain the crowds. Under $30 (Sunday brunch $36).
  • Fuddruckers, 7802 Orangethorpe Ave (Beach Boulevard just north of the 91), ☎ +1 714 739-8801. Great idea choosing and putting your own contents into your burger
  • In-N-Out Burger, 7926 Valley View St (north of La Palma Ave.), toll-free: +1-800-786-1000. Classic California. Looks like fast-food but you do have to wait for your freshly made burger and fries.
  • Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, 8650 Beach Blvd.
  • Pink's Hot Dogs, 8039 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 220-5084.
  • Porto's Bakery, 7640 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 367-2030. Regional chain of five Cuban-style cafés.

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Sleep

  • Motel 6 Buena Park-Knotts/Disneyland, 7051 Valley View St, ☎ +1 714 522-1200, fax: +1 714 562-8978.
  • Buena Park Howard Johnson's, 7039 Orangethorpe Ave, ☎ +1 714 521-9220, fax: +1 714 521-6706. $55-139.
  • Courtyard Anaheim Buena Park, 7621 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 670-6600, fax: +1 714 670-0360.
  • Holiday Inn, 7000 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 522-7000. Reasonable sized rooms, outdoor swimming pool.
  • Buena Park Hotel & Suites, 7555 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 522-7360, toll-free: +1-888-522-5885, fax: +1 714 523-2883.
  • Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel, 7675 Crescent Ave, ☎ +1 714 995-1111, toll-free: +1-866-752-2444, e-mail: reservations@knotts.com. Knott's Berry Farm's on-site hotel offers package deals with special entrance to the park, complimentary shuttle to Disneyland, and special themed Snoopy rooms complete with tuck-in service provided by Snoopy himself. Great for kids.
  • Portola Inn & Suites Hotel - Buena Park/Disney-Anaheim Area, 7921 Orangethorp Ave, ☎ +1 714 739-5885, fax: +1 714 228-9663, e-mail: info@portolainnbp.com. Offers free wifi, comfortable accommodations, complimentary breakfast.
  • Radisson Suites Hotel Buena Park, 7762 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 739-5600. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Stylish, all-suite hotel that provides an array of amenities, including complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast in the on-site Flora Restaurant, meeting space, Manager's Receptions Monday-Thursday and complimentary scheduled shuttle service to Disneyland Resort and Knott's Berry Farm (reservations required). $89-179.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Buena Park Travel Helpers

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This is version 4. Last edited at 13:06 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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