|photography courtesy of AOCVCB|
With the largest convention center on the West Coast, Anaheim played host to more than 1 million business travelers last year. You too can wheel, deal, and bask in the Golden State glow.
Where to Stay:
Wallet-friendly flophouses and Disneyland digs rule this So-Cal hotelscape. So why limit yourself to Anaheim proper and the confines of practicality when all of ostentatious Orange County is at your disposal? For those who want to see the California coastline, reserve an ocean-view room at The Balboa Bay Club & Resort in nearby Newport Beach. Formerly a members-only club, this resort is located on 15 breathtaking acres of beach and boasts first-class accommodations in all of the 132 rooms. The only problem? You might forget you have business to attend to (1221 Coast Hwy., 888-445-7153, www.balboabayclub.com). What was previously the Four Seasons is now The Island Hotel, also in Newport Beach. But just because it no longer bears the Four Seasons name doesn’t mean you can’t expect the same high-quality service and comfort. Lounge beside the gorgeous pool and outdoor fireplace to unwind after a long day, then head upstairs and enjoy the view of Catalina, Balboa, and Lido islands from your private, furnished patio (690 Newport Center Dr., 866-554-4620, www.islandhotel.com).
|ELEGANT ESCAPES: Savor the Filetto di Romeo and Juliette at the Anaheim White House.
photography courtesy of Anaheim White House
Where to Eat:
Though it’s technically within Disneyland’s borders in the Grand Californian Hotel, the dining experience you’ll have at Napa Rose will undoubtedly feel anything but childish. From the moment you enter until the last mouthwatering bite, you’ll be blown away by the upscale ambiance and 600-plus vintage wine list, whose selections all pay tribute to California’s Napa Valley (1600 S. Disneyland Dr., 714-300-7170, www.disneyland.com). Situated on the waterfront, The Cannery offers straight-from-the-sea traditional favorites alongside a full Japanese menu. Originally opened in 1921 as a cannery and converted to a restaurant in 1973, this lively, two-story hangout is dominated by vibrant, nautical décor and thirtysomething professionals looking for a bite—and a meal (3010 Lafayette Rd., 949-566-0060, www.cannery newport.com). If the occasion calls for black-tie, look no further than the Anaheim White House. Though a top hat and tails might not be necessary, this local legend is at the tip-top of upscale dining. Chef Bruno Serato serves his cuisine in a historic 1909 home, the rooms of which have been named for former Presidents. We prefer the President Nixon sunroom overlooking the perfectly manicured garden (887 S. Anaheim Blvd., 714-772-1381, www.anaheimwhitehouse.com). While The Cannery and Anaheim White House both serve scrumptious lunches in addition to their fine dinner menus, head to the nearest In-N-Out Burger for a quick, casual bite between meetings. If you’ve never had one of their world-famous burgers, you don’t know what you’ve been missing (Multiple locations, 800-786-1000, www.in-n-out.com).
|Enjoy chic shopping at Fashion Island.
photography by Alan Shaffer
What to do:
If the sea breeze and sandy shore haven’t relaxed you enough, perhaps a trip to the spa is in order. Make yourself comfortable at Mandara Spa, a Bali-inspired Zen oasis in the Grand Californian Hotel. Both men and women can enjoy massages, facials, manicures, and a number of other soothing treatments (1600 S. Disneyland Dr., 714-300-7350, www.mandaraspa.com). Then, get some retail therapy courtesy of Fashion Island, Orange County’s chicest shopping experience. With more than 200 specialty stores, you’re sure to find the right stylish souvenir (Pacific Coast Hwy. & Newport Center Dr., 949-721-2000, www.shopfashionisland.com). And just because the convention has packed up and left town doesn’t mean you have to vacate so quickly. Give yourself a day to explore the island of Catalina, located about 30 miles off the coast of Newport Beach. Once there, you can bike or boat, hike or horseback ride, shop or snorkel (310-510-1520, www.catalina.com). The best way to get across is by ferry, and the Catalina Passenger Service departs Newport Beach daily at 9:00 AM and returns from the island at 5:45 PM (Departs from the Balboa Pavilion, 400 Main St., 949-673-5245, www.catalinainfo.com).