Santa Ana California
Bikers riding past colorful murals in downtown Santa Ana
The beautiful Chitarrini Fountain welcoming visitors to this artsy city
Mariachi band playing live music outside the Yost Theater
Stunning sunrise welcoming another beautiful day in Southern California
Sipping craft beers at Cerveza Cito Brewery
The historic carousel at the Santa Ana Zoo
Artists working on a new mural in downtown Santa Ana
Craft cocktails and appetizers with a rooftop view at Native Son OC
A celebratory evening at Dancing in the Streets, a popular local event
The Bowers Museum, home to more than 100,000 art pieces
Explore Santa Ana, an exciting city at the center of Southern California fun
Funky Art and Museum Treasures
From local galleries and studios to museums and alleyways, art is everywhere in Santa Ana. It pours into the open air with colorful murals covering buildings citywide. Every month during the Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk, more than 20 galleries open their doors to rotating art shows, performances and live music. You can’t miss the Bowers Museum’s permanent collection of over 100,000 diverse artworks, plus traveling exhibits from top art institutions including the British Museum, the Vatican and the Shanghai Museum.
Other worthwhile cultural attractions in Santa Ana include the Santa Ana Zoo, home to an extensive primate population; the Lyon Air Museum, housing a large collection of military vehicles and rare automobiles at John Wayne Airport; and the Heritage Museum of Orange County, which provides educational experiences with a Southern California focus. If you’re interested in design, admire the beautiful Spanish scrollwork on the Santora Building or the stately Romanesque arches of the Old Orange County Courthouse during a historic architecture walking tour with Preserve Orange County. The Discovery Cube Science Museum provides classic children’s museum entertainment in over 100 hands-on science exhibits. Test your strength and agility on a truly unique experience: The American Ninja Warrior Adventure Park includes an enormous inflatable obstacle course, as well as more challenging hurdles made famous on the popular show.
Historic Neighborhoods Full of Sightseeing and Entertainment
Visitors can spend days discovering the magic of the Downtown Santa Ana Historic District, a 9.9-hectare area where art deco buildings and public art pieces inspire, while craft drinks and tasty dishes awaken your senses. The Frida Cinema acts as Orange County’s year-round film festival, screening quality films including independent, student, avant-garde, animated and cult classics. Across the road, the 4th Street Market is an innovative food hall with a rotating lineup of pioneering food creators. A block away, the Yost Theatre is a vaudeville theater turned intimate live music venue with shows weekly. Exploring this beautiful area will be made even easier when a planned 6.75-kilometer-long streetcar route opens in 2024.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the French Park neighborhood adjacent to downtown consists of 20 square blocks lined with stately homes from the 1880s. Here, the Blinking Owl Distillery stirs up delicious cocktails, which are best enjoyed after a behind-the-scenes tour of Orange County’s first craft distillery. Just north of downtown, stroll the Floral Park neighborhood, dotted with more than 600 stylish homes built in the early 1900s, colorful gardens and orange trees. A shopper’s dream, MainPlace Mall at the northern tip of the neighborhood features 200-plus stores, from large brands to boutiques. On the south side of town, The Observatory is a premier music venue with big names and local talent taking the stage nightly.
The land that became the Santa Ana Zoo was donated on the stipulation that there will always be at least 50 monkeys at the zoo due to the landowner’s fascinations with the primates.
The Old Orange County Courthouse, the oldest court building in Southern California, now houses the Orange County History Center, which includes the Old Courthouse Museum, Orange County Archives and the Library of the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society.
Santa Ana's Rickenbacker International Corporation produced the first modern electric guitar. The Beatles and The Byrds played Rickenbacker Guitars during their heydays.
Experience Santa Ana