Anaheim, CA has just found itself in the headlines this week, thanks to being the host city for the annual Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center beginning on May 26th.

The fan convention first started in 1999, when George Lucas hosted the first-ever celebration in Denver, CO, in honor of the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This was the first prequel film in the so-called “Skywalker Saga,” and the first new Star Wars film since 1983.

Since then, the convention has been held in cities all over the world — everywhere from Chiba, Japan to Chicago, IL has hosted hundreds of thousands of the world’s biggest fans of that special Galaxy Far, Far Away.

This is the first time that Celebration has been held since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second time the convention has been held in the Convention Center.

Whether you’re one of the Star Wars fan-nerds descending on Anaheim to take advantage of Celebration, or you’re just in town for a visit, we’ve come up with this list of five essential things to do when you’re in the popular Orange County city. And yes, there’s a lot more to do than just stop by Disneyland!

Here’s our list of five things to do in Anaheim when you’re not at Star Wars Celebration.

Enjoy a Refreshing Libation at The Bruery


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Bruery® (@thebruery)

A longtime favorite of the Anaheim locals, The Bruery is known as the “King of Beers” in Orange County, and they make their own everything from beers to tequilas. They’ve been doing this since 2008, so this isn’t your everyday fly-by-night IPA. Definitely worth checking out for the beer connoisseurs in your family!

Stop by Adventure City

Disneyland might be the best-known theme park in Anaheim, but there’s something to be said for Adventure City as well. With hours of thrill-packed rides and rollercoasters, Adventure City will surely keep you busy for hours!

Take a Day Trip to Catalina Island

Anaheim Catalina Island
Elias Shankaji/Unsplash

Looking to get out of Anaheim for a day? Book a cheap ferry ticket and hop on over to Catalina Island for a day trip. This gorgeous island is located just one hour off the coast of Southern California, and there’s no shortage of things to do once you land there. You can take a glass-bottom boat tour to see wrecked ships, go scuba diving, or even tee up for a round of golf!

Eat a Little Something Different

All that walking — and playing! — around Anaheim will make you hungry. If you’re looking to eat something a little different than usual (really, you can only eat but so much Mexican food in a week!), stop by the Anaheim Packing District. Despite its name, the District actually has a swap-meet type feel, with a wide variety of food available from good old-fashioned Americana to Indian fusion cuisine. Best of all, it’s only a few miles away from Disneyland, so you don’t have to spend premium prices to snack in the park!

Stay in Retro Elegance

Anaheim Star Wars Celebration
The Anaheim Hotel

After a full day of traveling all over Anaheim, you’re definitely going to want to rest your throbbing feet and get a good night’s sleep. For a unique hotel experience at an affordable rate, consider The Anaheim Hotel.

With exclusive discounts available to Disneyland Magic Key holders, The Anaheim Hotel is an unfussy hotel with a distinctive mid-century modern flair, airy spaces, and an outdoor pool and hot tub. Prices start at $160/night for Magic Key holders, and booking on their website will guarantee you the best rate.