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Sunny sights

See Anaheim through the eyes of Key Clubbers

Skip the travel books and get an insider’s look at Anaheim—the 2014 Key Club International convention host city—from these 15 California Key Clubbers. 

Southern California is known for its beaches, and they’re definitely the place to go for surf, sand and fun. Seal Beach, Newport Beach and—my favorite—Huntington Beach (pictured above) are all only about 20 minutes away from Anaheim. Walk along Huntington Beach’s boardwalk, stroll down the pier, build sandcastles, play in the water or watch a beautiful sunset to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. There are also some great restaurants, including BJ’s, which is known for its “pizookies,” gourmet cookies topped with ice cream. Every year, Huntington Beach has a July 4th parade and fireworks that are the perfect end to the holiday. 

Jenny Chung
Oxford Academy Key Club

Hiking in Anaheim Hills
If you like gazing at city lights and taking hikes, check out the Weir Canyon Trail across the street from Canyon Rim Park. From the top of a hill along the trail you can see a good stretch of Anaheim, a bit of Yorba Linda and—off in the distance—fireworks at the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland! 

James Lin
Canyon High School Key Club


Getting your game on 
Although it’s still connected to Disneyland, Downtown Disney (pictured at left) is more like a mall. The upstairs arcade area is full of video games, and in the downstairs eating area you’ll find Rainforest Café, Earl of Sandwich, House of Blues and lots of other places to go. Don’t forget to check out the ESPN Zone within Downtown Disney—it’s like a Chuck E. Cheese for teenagers! 

                                                      VanAnh Nguyen
                                                      Fountain Valley High School Key Club 

Disney nightlife 
Downtown Disney is so vibrant and lively at night. Listen to bands and performers of everything from cultural music to jazz. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet caramel corn or the yummy caramel and candy apples (my favorite!) from Marceline’s Confectionery. Build your own stuffed animal at the Build-a-Bear Workshop to commemorate your adventure. End the night by grabbing some Jamba Juice smoothies with your Key Club friends. 

Natalie Mann
Sunny Hills Key Club 

The Outlets at Orange 
Who said Anaheim is all about Disneyland? The Outlets at Orange, an outdoor mall, is a cheaper alternative where you can shop, eat and relax. The Outlets are just a few minutes away from Anaheim (and right across from my house). At the mall you’ll find Tastea, Wetzel’s Pretzels, Jamba Juice, Dolce Vita (a frozen yogurt place), T.G.I. Friday's, Krispy Kreme, an AMC theater and more. I personally like to window shop at Forever 21 and Papaya, then eat at the Corner Bakery Café and order taro milk tea at Tastea. Maybe I’ll see you there! (I really do live just across the street.) 

Michelle Dinh
Orange County School of the Arts Key Club 

Great places for grub 
Of the many great places to visit in Anaheim, Garden Walk (pictured at right) is one of my personal favorites. If you love food, this is a great place to go! You’ll find California Pizza Kitchen, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Cheesecake Factory and Johnny Rockets. I love going to the Garden Walk at night because all of the lights make great scenery for taking pictures. 

Caroline Trinh
Fountain Valley High School Key Club 

UltraLuxe Cinemas 
Want to just relax and catch a movie with your friends? Go to Ultraluxe Cinemas at the Garden Walk! Some movies can be watched in a D-Box chair, which moves and vibrates along with what’s happening in the movie. There aren’t that many places where you can watch movies like that! 

Philip Corachea
Oxford Academy Key Club 


Angel Stadium 
My favorite place in Anaheim is Angel Stadium (pictured at left). You can’t miss “the Big A,” home of the Los Angeles Angels. It’s a great place to visit, even if you aren’t a big baseball fan. Take pictures with the Big A and the giant baseball caps, grab a hot dog, visit the Angels Team Store for souvenirs and catch one of the games happening during the week of the convention. Don’t forget to bring your baseball glove—just in case you get the                                                       chance to catch a fly ball! 

                                                      Jennifer Dao
                                                      Marina High School Key Club 

Anaheim Ice 
You can enjoy ice and cool temps—even in sunny California—at Anaheim Ice, a hidden gem in Anaheim. It’s a perfect hangout spot because there are so many things to do. One ice rink has “public skate” times when anyone can come and skate. In a separate rink, fans can cheer on their favorite school-based hockey team. The sport is exhilarating to watch, and it’s a great feeling to be there “in the moment.” 

Emily Gong
Edison High School Key Club FUEL YOURSELF 
Umami Burger 
If you’re hungry after ice skating at Anaheim Ice, you can walk about 10 minutes to Umami Burger. The gourmet burgers might look small, but they’re actually really filling. I recommend the truffle fries and the “Manly Burger.” You won’t regret it! 

Jenny Chung
Oxford Academy Key Club 

Joe’s Italian Ice 
Let’s say you’re pretty hungry from meeting new people and learning about Key Clubs from all over the world. Why not refresh yourself with a little Italian ice or frozen custard? Head down to Harbor Boulevard to Joe’s Italian Ice (pictured above, center), a little shack decorated with red and green stripes. Joe’s has been serving Orange County locals delicious ices and creamy custards for decades. The shop switches flavors every day, so try a new flavor each time you go! A crowd favorite is Orange Cream Twist. It tastes just like a Creamsicle bar! 

Ivy Do
Santiago High School Key Club 

For anyone new to the Anaheim area, I recommend Bruxie (pictured above, right) in downtown Brea. It’s famous for its Belgian waffle sandwiches. Newcomers get the buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, but my personal favorite, the Bruxie Burger, is definitely worth a try. Other popular dishes include Irish nachos, lemon meringue “pie,” Belgian sundaes, root beer floats and more! The quality of the food is worth both your money and time. 

Van Bui
Western High School Key Club 

Looking for something unforgettable? Try the Claws Restaurant! This pirate-themed restaurant serves the most amazing seafood and Cajun-style cuisine. As soon as you sit down, the waiter gives you a bib, and you know right then and there that the food will get messy. Crawfish and shrimp are marinated with a sauce of your choice. There are no spoons or forks for your shrimp or crawfish. It’s more fun to use your hands! You can also decorate the plastic tablecloths by writing your name or drawing all sorts of designs with ketchup. It makes eating Cajun fries all the more fun! 

Serena Mann
Sunny Hills High School Key Club 

Earl of Sandwich 
If you think you know what a good sandwich tastes like, think again. There’s only one word that can describe the food served at Earl of Sandwich: magical. For only US$6.99, indulge in a delicious and healthy gourmet sandwich with flavors such as chipotle chicken avocado, Caribbean jerk chicken and Hawaiian barbecue. Not in the mood for a hot sandwich? The wraps, salads and baked goods are just as divine. The shop’s open from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. most nights, which makes it the perfect place to grab breakfast or enjoy a late-night snack after a long day of activities at the convention. 

Melissa Su
Whitney High School Key Club 

In-N-Out Burger 
Meet In-N-Out Burger (pictured above, left): If McDonald’s ubiquitous golden arches represent American drive-thru fare, then In-N-Out Burger’s iconic golden zigzag certainly ranks as another wonder of the fast-food world. Take, for instance, the classic “Double-Double” double-meat, double-cheese burger and famous “Animal Style” fries topped with molten cheese and grilled onions. Bolster your street cred by ordering from the secret menu, which also includes Animal Style cheeseburgers and the mythical “3x3” burger—a burger made with three 100-percent pure beef patties. 

Kevin Chu
Beckman High School Key Club

All photos courtesy of Visit Huntington Beach and Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau