Our 2012 Road Rally highlighted all the fun Buena Park, California—the home of Knott’s Berry Farm—has to offer, but there are plenty of other reasons why this community makes a great Orange County vacation hub. Here are just a few of them.
- Fantastic Visitor Resources
Downstairs in the historic 19th century Stage Stop Hotel on Beach Boulevard is a California Welcome Center, one of 20 in the entire state and the only one in Orange County. It’s a one-stop open-daily spot to get advice and pick up free maps, brochures, guides—all the information you could possibly need on California—and even some snacks and souvenirs, too. Don’t fret if you’re only looking for a little Buena Park info. The town’s visitors bureau is on-site, too.
- Great Transport and Tours
No need to battle traffic yourself. Buena Park has an hourly shuttle—part of the Anaheim Resort Transit system—that stops at major attractions in town and in neighboring Anaheim, just 10 minutes away. A hop-on-hop-off day pass costs $4 for adults, $1 for kids. If you’d rather have a guided look at area sights, check out the many excursions offered by the City of Buena Park Cultural/Fine Arts Division. These include star-gazing trips to the Griffith Observatory; outings to Solvang, a Danish community in the wine country of Santa Barbara; and seasonal excursions like that to the Tournament of Roses Parade.
One of Buena Park’s corporate citizens, the Nutrilite Health Institute Center for Optimal Health attracts medical professionals, elite athletes, and others, who come to learn about Nutrilite products, health, and nutrition. You can do the same on one of the informative and entertaining twice-daily tours (reservations are a must).
- Interesting Local History
The Buena Park Historical Society maintains and oversees a historical district that’s the location of two very different restored homes from the late 1880s. The Whitaker-Jaynes Estate was originally owned by the Whitaker family, farmers and grocers from the Midwest who bought a large plot of land in the area for cattle ranching and went on to help establish the town. The myriad rooms have elegant period décor and furnishings that highlight both Victorian craftsmanship and lifestyle. The tidy, three-room Bacon House, with its rustic mismatched furnishings, handmade quilts, and wide-plank floors, shows how Victorians of more modest means lived.
Walter Knott, who founded Knott’s Berry Farm along with his wife, Cordelia, loved American history so much that he funded the construction of Knott’s Independence Hall. It’s a true replica of the original in Philadelphia—but without the timed tickets and long waits in line! Admission is free.
- Family-Friendly Accommodations
The obvious family hotel choice in town is Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, adjacent to the theme park. Parents love it for the money-saving family packages and perks. Kids love it for the Snoopy-themed rooms and visits from Snoopy—at night, to tuck them in, or during the day in the hotel restaurant. Several other Buena Park properties also have family-friendly offerings, like the Kids Eat Free program at the Holiday Inn.
- Last But Not Least…Lots of Fun
Knott’s Berry Farm holds a special place in the hearts of many Los Angeles and Orange County residents. Perhaps it’s because the theme park was founded by locals who really did start out cultivating and selling berries. Or perhaps it’s because it predates Disney and consistently makes the list of America’s classic amusement parks. One thing is for sure: everyone loves it because it’s fun. And so is the adjacent water park, Soak City. Buena Park also has two family-friendly dinner show extravaganzas: Medieval Times and Pirates Dinner Adventure.
For more suggestions on fun things to see and do, tips on planning a trip, and other helpful tools and information, including that on area tours, contact Visit Buena Park.