Straight from the sunny capital of Southern California comes, some of the most attractive tourist destinations such as Bowers Museum, classy art galleries, verdant parks, historical sites and several other architectural wonders. These beautiful attractions will keep you entertained throughout your vacation. Here are some of the most popular tourist spots in Santa Ana.
Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
Constructed in the year 1931, the building of the museum was originally built by Charles Bower, after the death of his wife. However, the museum first opened its door to the public in 1936 but was closed again in 1987 for renovation. Finally, in October 1992 the museum opened its 63,000 square foot building again to a crowd of almost 17,000 people.
Image by Bowersprintern via Wikimedia Commons
Bowers Museum is known for its various exhibitions, art classes, lectures, travel programs, music education programs and other community experiences. It is home to more than 100,000 works of arts, each representing a specific culture from around the world. The museum also has a Kidseum, which provides cultural experiences for children and their families.
Address: 2002 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92706, United States
Phone: 1 714-567-3600
Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Santa Ana Zoo
Located at Prentice Park in Santa Ana, Santa Ana Zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Spread over 20 acres, the zoo is home to several animals and plants from South and Central America. Opened in 1952, Santa Ana Zoo is also known for its wide range of primates from all over the world.
Image by Takinzinnia via Wikimedia Commons
The zoo also has several recreational and educational activities for its visitors, especially kids. Zoofari Express, a children’s train, is one of the most popular attractions of the zoo. It also features various interactive exhibits and a Conservation Carousel with a 33 animal line-up.
Address: 1801 East Chestnut Avenue, Santa Ana- 92701, CA, United States
Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Grand Central Art Center
Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center is a partnership between the city of Santa Ana and California State University. A part of the Downtown National Register District, this art gallery is dedicated to the promotion of modern art and culture via exclusive collaborations between students, artists and community.
Image via Google maps
Spread over 45,000 square feet, almost one city block long, the art gallery is home to three levels and studio spaces for students’ artworks as well as a Project Room, Grand Central Gallery, Grand Central Theater, Gypsy Den Cafe, Watermark Press, Education Gallery and several classrooms.
Address: 125 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701, United States
Phone: 1 714-567-7233
Hours: 11:00 am – 07:00 pm
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA)
Established in 1980, the OCCCA is non-profit corporation, which is dedicated to the excellence of artists and their freedom of expression in arts. It is focused on the importance of global networking, social engagement, information sharing, intellectual exchange, collaborations and critical dialogue.
Located at the heart of Artist Village in Downtown Santa Ana, the OCCCA is home to several art galleries, studios, shops and restaurants. You can even easily rent a gallery over here for an art exhibition. Do not forget to take part in one of the famous Artwalks of OCCA, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month.
Address: 117 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana, CA 92701, United States
Phone: 1 714-667-1517
Hours: 12:00 pm – 05:00 pm
Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show
One of the most popular tourist activities in Santa Ana, Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show is a must-see over here. Unlike other scripted mystery shows, this one is very different and keeps the audience on their toes throughout the show. It is always on point, hilarious and unpredictable with non-costumed actors hiding in the audience, pretending to be one of the guests. Over the course of the night, audience members will be interrogated as the Detectives uncover clues
Even though the show performs only on Saturday nights, it can even arrange private shows for big groups. Tickets include drinks, four course meal, wait-staff gratuity and Top Sleuth of the night award.
Address: 400 N. State College Blvd, Orange, CA 92868, United States
Phone: 1 866-496-0535
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm CST, Saturday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm CST for ticket reservations
Heritage Museum of Orange County
This museum is among the most fascinating cultural centers in Southern California. Historical Plaza is the centerpiece of museum covering more than 12 acres and houses several old buildings, each of which date back to the 19th century. Out of these, Kellogg House is the most famous, especially among teachers and children for school field trips. Set amidst citrus groves and floral gardens it is dedicated to promoting and preserving the Orange County through various educational programs for visitors of all ages.
Address: 3101 West Harvard Street, Santa Ana- 92704, CA, United States
Phone: 1 714-540-0404
Hours: Friday – 01:00 pm to 05:00 pm, Saturday – 11 am to 2 pm, Sunday – 11 am to 3 pm
Discovery Cube Orange County
Also known as Discovery Science Center, Discovery Cube Orange County is a popular museum known for its 100 hand-on exhibits, each of which are designed to stimulate a child’s curiosity. It is also known for its ten-story solar array cube, which consists of hundred solar panels that help in generating electricity for the museum through the power of the sun.
Image by Buchanan Hermit via Wikimedia Commons
Inside, guests will find various themed areas such as Dino Quest, Science of Hockey, Air and Space, Rocket Lab, Dynamic Earth, Eco Challenge, Showcase Gallery and Quake Zone. Each area provides interactive exhibits for the visitors like a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Shake Shack.
Address: 2500 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705, United States
Phone: 1 714-542-2823
Hours: 10:00 am – 05:00 pm
Old Orange County Courthouse
The magnificent landmark of Old Orange County Courthouse is one of the oldest courts in Southern California and has seen several historical and financial events that have helped shaped the present-day Orange County. Constructed in 1901, the entire building is made out of red sandstone and granite giving it a beautiful red-orange color.
Image by Elena Omelchenko via Panoramio.com
Spread over 30,000 square feet, the courthouse has been renovated and is home to several government offices and the Orange County History Center, which contains Orange County Archives, Old Courthouse Museum and Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Library.
Address: 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, California
Phone: (714) 973-6605 or (714) 973-6607
Hours: 08:00 am – 04:30 pm
The Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum
This museum was constructed in 1889 by Dr. Alvin and Dr. Willella Howe. It is listed under the National Register of Historic Places and has become a landmark of Santa Ana city. Presently, the house offers tours to the visitors only on first Saturdays of February, April, June, August, October and December.
Address: 120 West Civiv Center Dr., Santa Ana- 92701, CA, United States
Phone: (714) 547-9645
Hours: 12:00 pm – 04:00 pm
Map of Santa Ana Tourist Spots