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About Santa Ana, CA
As part of the greater Los Angeles area, Santa Ana is near the beach, sunny and filled with great restaurants and things to do. Spanish explorers in the mid-1700s named the area after Saint Anne, and it was incorporated as a city as early as 1886. Today, it's one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S., with more than 335,000 residents.
The Community of Santa Ana
The heart of Santa Ana is the downtown district, and several other distinct sections make up the city. Midtown is north of the downtown area and is home to attractions like the Discovery Cube OC, a popular science center. Metro East sits near where the Santa Ana Freeway and Costa Mesa Freeway connect and is primarily commercial buildings. The South Coast Metro section spills into nearby Costa Mesa and contains most of the shopping and many businesses. Residential areas are plentiful with more than 64 active neighborhood associations.
What to Do in Santa Ana
The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park is a smaller zoo with a train that runs through for a different perspective of the animals. Known for its exotic birds and primate exhibits (zoo founder Joseph Prentice insisted that there be at least 50 monkeys at all times), the zoo also has a play area and a Ferris Wheel that kids will enjoy.
Dive deeper into the histories of indigenous peoples around the world at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, which has an excellent permanent collection of clothing and accessories from many cultures as well as rotating exhibits that feature fashion and couture from around the globe. A self-guided audio tour can help you make the most of your time in the museum.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Santa Ana
Lyon Air Museum on the grounds of John Wayne Airport houses a collection of World War II aircraft and other vehicles. See inside the cockpit of a B-52 or watch a film that explains the different military planes used in combat. Former pilots volunteer to answer questions and are a great resource.
Dining in Santa Ana
If you're seeking a memorable meal, look no further than Antonello Restaurant, with romantic ambiance and a menu of Italian food and wines. At the same location for more than 40 years, Antonello's also offers private dining rooms and live music with its truffle menu and extensive wine list.
The Orange County Mining Company combines a historic atmosphere and the best views in the area with great steakhouse meals. Whether you're getting a perfectly done steak, going through the well-stocked soup and salad bar or visiting for brunch, you'll have a fun time.