A holiday in Anaheim can get rather pricey, as tickets to Disneyland and surrounding amusement parks, kid-centric attractions, and games aren’t exactly easy on the wallet. The good news is that the city has plenty of lush parks that are great for picnics, strolls, and bike rides.

    You can learn interesting facts about Anaheim by checking out a free exhibition or checking out interesting murals and art installations by reputable artists. A short drive outside central Anaheim takes you to coastal cities and nature reserves, all of which offer outdoor activities that are mostly free to enjoy all year round. Check out our list of free things to do in Anaheim.


    Huntington Beach

    Watch the sunset at Huntington Beach Pier

    The coastal city of Huntington Beach is close to Anaheim, making it a good choice if you want to enjoy a day at the beach. It’s often packed with surfers looking to hit the waves on sunny days, but you also get to enjoy snorkelling and swimming, as well as sunbathing on the clean sands. Huntington City Beach’s centrepiece is its 563-metre-long pier, which offers expansive views of the ocean. Huntington Beach is located about 21 miles south of central Anaheim, about 30 minutes away by car.

    Location: Huntington Beach, CA 92648, USA


    Anaheim GardenWalk

    See murals and art installations by over 30 local artists

    Anaheim GardenWalk is an outdoor entertainment hub within the Anaheim Resort District, where you can find a variety of dining and nightlife spots, as well as games arcades and a concert venue. Art lovers can take part in the free Art on the Walk programme, which features windows displays, art installations, and murals by more than 30 local artists. Live art demonstrations and seasonal exhibits are also held at Anaheim GardenWalk.

    Location: 400 West Disney Way, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA

    Phone: +1 714-635-7410


    photo by Tracie Hall (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Fullerton Arboretum

    Check out over 4,000 unique plant species at this botanical garden

    The 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum is one of Orange County’s largest botanical gardens. Located on Associated Road, it dates back to 1976 and functions as a natural resource for ecological and horticultural education. It’s divided into 4 main exhibits, with a total of 4,000 unique and rare plant species in the collection. A historical landmark here is the late 19th-century Heritage House, an Eastlake-style cottage which displays the medical practice and life of Dr George C. Clark, Fullerton's pioneer physician.

    Location: 1900 Associated Rd, Fullerton, CA 92831, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +1 657-278-3407


    photo by Tientran3999 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Yorba Regional Park

    Cycle on the Santa Ana River Trail

    Yorba Regional Park is a 140-acre landscape that runs along Santa Ana River. There are over 300 picnic tables throughout the park, as well as 4 lakes, playgrounds, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and a fitness course. Paved trails connect Yorba Regional Park to the Santa Ana River Trail, which you can cycle for 20 miles to reach the Pacific Ocean. You may need to pay a few dollars to rent a bicycle from the onsite rental shop, but entrance to Yorba Regional Park is free all year round. 

    Location: 7600 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807, USA

    Phone: +1 714-973-6615


    photo by kgroovy (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Oak Canyon Nature Center

    Join the hour-long tour of the nature reserve

    Oak Canyon Nature Center is a 234,700 sq m nature reserve with 3 canyons and about 4 miles of trails that are suitable for hiking and jogging. The park is home to a variety of plants, including western poison oak, California buckwheat, and California live oak. Families can enjoy many activities, especially in summertime. The Discover Nature Family Program is an hour-long weekend hike through Oak Canyon Nature Center. It costs $5 per family, and includes a live animal demonstration by the park’s naturalist.

    Location: 6700 E Walnut Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807, USA

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +1 714 998 8380


    photo by David Lofink (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Anaheim Packing District

    Enjoy live music every weekend at Anaheim Packing House

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    The Anaheim Packing District consists of a farmer’s park and 3 buildings housing a variety of restaurants, cafés, breweries, and wine bars. Here, you can find the Anaheim Packing House, which was once a 2-storey citrus packing warehouse dating back to 1925. Today, it’s a gourmet food hall with 20 eclectic food options, ranging from Indian and Vietnamese to French and Italian. Every weekend, you get to enjoy live bands performing on the Mezzanine Stage at 1pm and 7pm.

    Location: 440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 714 533 7225


    photo by Sam Howzit (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Carnegie Gallery at Muzeo

    Check out ancient Native American artefacts at the Carnegie Library

    • Budget
    • History

    Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center features seasonal exhibitions that cost at least $3.50 per entry, but you get to enjoy free admission to the Carnegie Gallery. The historical Carnegie Library hosts the permanent “Anaheim: A Walk through Local History” exhibition, showcases various archaeological findings from Anaheim and Orange County, including 19th-century citrus-farming tools, fossils, and ancient Native American jewellery. You also get to see personal items that once belonged to Anaheim’s founders, as well as Disneyland memorabilia.

    Location: 241 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805, USA

    Open: Wednesday — Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 714-956-8936


    photo by Cbl62 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Pearson Park

    Watch free summer concerts at the amphitheatre

    Pearson Park features 19 acres of green space in North Harbour Boulevard. This family-friendly park is a popular spot for picnics and outdoor activities, such as jogging and cycling. Here, you’ll also find a swimming pool, tennis court, and softball fields. Children get to enjoy climbing facilities and swings at the playground, which is located behind an open-air concert hall. The Pearson Park Amphitheatre hosts a series of concerts during the summer, which are free to attend.

    Location: 400 North Harbour Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92805, USA


    photo by Ken Lund (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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