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Introduction

Santa Ana is a city located in Southern California.

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Sights and Activities

  • Old Town Hall, 217 N Main St. Art Deco structure. Is now open as a museum for the city, registration may be required.

4th Street in Santa Ana. This street is popular with locals. It has many small businesses and a small theater. The street is located about one block from the Old Courthouse, a still operating legal centre and museum.

  • The Heritage Museum of Orange County, 3101 W Harvard St. A cultural and natural history center, highlighting historic homes and exhibits.
  • The Bowers Museum, 2002 N Main St. A cultural art museum, known for its own exhibits and for its visiting exhibits.
  • Discovery Science Center, 2500 N Main St. A peculiar bit of architecture which hosts an ever-changing series of hands-on displays for children.
  • Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park, 1801 E Chestnut Ave. 20 acres of urban jungle. By its founder's wish, it must be the home to at least 50 monkeys at all times.
  • Floral Park. A beautiful neighborhood with expensive houses.

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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

John Wayne Airport (SNA IATA) is the closest airport to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm in Anaheim and one of five commercial airports in the greater Los Angeles area. It's located 13.5 mi (21.5km or 18 minutes in light traffic) southeast of Disneyland and 18.5 mi (29.6km) from Knott's Berry Farm. The airport is located southeast of the junction between SR-55 & I-405 (Exit #8 from I-405 or Exit #6/6B from SR-55) and 6.5 mi (10.4 km) from I-5 (Exit #103) along SR-55. Non stop air service is available from all regions of the United States including intrastate flights from all major airports in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento in northern California; from Mexico and from Canada.

Taxis from the airport to Disneyland are estimated at $49 one-way; $26 to the historic district in downtown Santa Ana or $23 to the Tustin Metrolink Station (nearest Metrolink Station). There are numerous shuttle and private bus companies that offer regularly scheduled transportation to the Disneyland Resorts or anywhere on request, some of which may offer a group discount. Orange County Transport Authority (OCTA) only go west towards Huntington Beach through Fountain Valley on Rt #76 and southeast towards San Juan Capistrano on Rt #212 on limited schedules. Check schedules before using this option. The i Irvine Shuttle Rt 'A'/ 400A connects the airport to the Tustin Metrolink (nearest Metrolink Station) along Von Karmen Ave for connections to additional OCTA buses and Metrolink trains. Unless you plan to spend your entire stay in a single location (Disneyland/Disney Resorts, OC Convention Center, etc) it is recommended to rent a car, rather than to rely on public transportation to get around in Orange County and the greater Los Angeles area.

The next nearest airports are Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA) (49 mi/78 km) and Long Beach (LGB IATA)(20mi/32km), both of which are off of the I-405 corridor from Santa Ana. The other is in Ontario (ONT IATA) which is 50 mi/80 km northeast towards the Inland Empire. If you are transiting through the area, between the airports, it is recommended to pay the extra money for a taxi, Uber or Lyft, rather than try to use public transportation and risk missing your flight. Shared ride vans may make multiple stops along the way to pick up and drop off people, which can take longer, too.

By Train

  • The Pacific Surfliner between San Luis Obispo and San Diego stops en route in Santa Ana.
  • Metrolink. Regional rail service to Anaheim is available on the Orange County Line, which runs from Los Angeles to Oceanside and on the Inland Empire-Orange County Line, which runs from San Bernardino to Oceanside. Both lines run the same route with the same stops between Oceanside and Orange. If using public transit to reach the Santa Ana John Wayne Airport get off at the Tustin Station where you transfer to the i Irvine Shuttle Rt 'A'/ 400A bus. Not here, as there are no direct bus connections from the Santa Ana Station to the airport. To reach LAX get off at Los Angeles Union Station and transfer to the LAX FlyAway bus.

By Car

From Interstate 5 (I-5) Santa Ana is accessed between its intersection with SR-55 at Exit 103A/B and its intersection with SR-22 at Exit 106 (from northbound lanes) or Exit 107A/B (from southbound lanes). Downtown can be accessed at "Grand Ave/Santa Ana Blvd" from Exit 104 A/B or at "First St" from Exit 103A (northbound lanes only) and at "Fourth St" from Exit 104 (southbound lanes only).
Interstate 405 (I-405) runs parallel to I-5 along the southside of town with the Santa Ana exit between SR-55 at Exit 9 and Harbor Blvd at Exit 11.
SR-55 connects SR-91 in Anaheim Hills, NE of Anaheim to Costa Mesa with exits into Santa Ana and the airport between I-405 (Exits 6-6B) and I-5 (Exits 9A/9B). From Riverside go southwest along SR-91 through Corona to get to SR-55.
SR-57 goes into Santa Ana from Pomona in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles and can be a short towards Orange County from San Gabriel Valley without going through downtown Los Angeles.

By Bus

  • InterCalifornias/Aeromexico Shuttle, ☎ +1 213 629-4885, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Bus service between Los Angeles and Tijuana or Tijuana Airport via Santa Ana and San Ysidro.
  • Greyhound & Cruceros USA, ☎ +1 714 542-2215, toll-free: +1 800 231-2222. Travels primarily on Interstate 5 (Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Oceanside, and/or San Diego). I-5/405 (San Diego, Oceanside, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Long Beach). SR-55/60 (Santa Ana, Anaheim, Riverside, San Bernardino). Some variations of the above routes may be direct from Los Angeles or Long Beach to San Diego while others make fewer stops in between. Cruceros USA continues from San Diego to Tijuana. Passengers transfer in Los Angeles and/or San Bernardino to get to additional destinations in the U.S. and in Tijuana for onward connections to Mexico.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

The buses of the Orange County Transportation Authority can get you around Santa Ana or most places in Orange County for $4 a day.

A free trolley runs through the Downtown area on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.

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Eat

  • The Gypsy Den, 125 N Broadway (located in the Artist Village), ☎ +1 714 835-8840. is very popular, especially with the youth. It serves many different types of food, including vegetarian friendly food.
  • The Artist Village. home to Pangea and several other food establishments and clubs that are very popular.
  • Pop's Cafe, 112 E 9th St (located just off of Main Street), ☎ +1 714-543-2772. is very good and has excellently prices.
  • Super Antojitos (near the Target across from the college). offers excellent Mexican food for a great price as well as kareoke.
  • Cauldron Ice Cream, 1421 W Macarthur Blvd, Suite F, ☎ +1 657 245-3442, e-mail: info@cauldronicecream.com. 12 noon–10PM daily. Ice cream made on the spot and flash frozen in liquid nitrogen. Get a generous scoop of ice cream served on a Hong Kong-style puffle cone – sort of like a puffy, eggy waffle – for about $7. They offer unusual flavors, which change monthly. Earl Grey Lavender is the most popular. Ask the staff to shape it into a rose for you (no extra charge). Can get crowded during peak times. $6–10.

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Drink

  • Original Mike's, 100 S Main, ☎ +1 714 550-7764. Original Mikes is a local favorite serving American cuisine with live entertainment almost every night. $30 and under.

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Sleep

  • Best Western Orange County Airport North, 2700 Hotel Terrace, ☎ +1 714 432-8888, toll-free: +1-800-432-0053, fax: +1 714 434-6228.
  • Candlewood Suites, 2600 S. Red Hill Ave, ☎ +1 949 250-0404.
  • Courtyard Costa Mesa South Coast Metro, 3002 South Harbor Blvd, ☎ +1 714 545-1001, toll-free: +1-800-321-2211, fax: +1 714 545-8439.
  • Budget Inn, 1108 N. Harbor Blvd, ☎ +1 714 554-1177.
  • Holiday Inn, 2726 South Grand Ave, ☎ +1 714 481-6300.
  • Motel 6, 1623 East 1st St, ☎ +1 714 558-0500, fax: +1 714 558-1574.

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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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This is version 13. Last edited at 15:48 on Jun 20, 19 by aerino. 5 articles link to this page.

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