Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational and Gala

October 2nd, 2016


Get your tickets for the 18th annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational and Collectors Gala coming your way October 8-16! Hosted by the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, this annual event draws art lovers and artists from around the globe. Laguna Beach, the beloved beachside community and home to historical artistic colonies, turns the seaside into an outdoor painting studio for a full week each October. Here, you’ll find the most prestigious plein air art festival in the world.

The globe’s best plein air artists compete in the Painting Invitational, and you get to enjoy viewings and workshops featuring the top landscape artists of the year. Participate in public paint-outs, demos and conversations. A host of activities are on hand for all ages, and it all culminates in the Collectors Gala, where awards and celebrations are the highlight of the night.

In “Plein” Sight

This year’s gala takes place October 14 and is hosted by Tivoli Too, a gorgeous venue in Laguna Canyon. Tickets are available now and may be available at the door, but it’s best to plan in advance for this popular event! You won’t want to miss this showcase, and tickets include admission to the following two-day art show.

Eighteen years ago, the festival was established by famed plein air painters including Edgar Payne and Anna Hills, who were key in establishing Laguna Beach’s first art gallery. All proceeds benefit the non-profit host, who is committed to preserving the region’s plein air heritage. Get your tickets online now!


Chinese Cuisine in Anaheim

September 16th, 2016


You might be staying along the golden coast where fresh seafood and organic greens are readily available (not to mention Disney-destination dining!), but sometimes you’re only craving some really authentic, comforting Chinese cuisine. Anaheim has you covered. The nearby China Kitchen offers all the classics, like shrimp in garlic sauce, moo goo gai pan, Hunan-style bean curd and more. It’s casual, comfortable and delicious.

China Wall is known for their BBQ pork, fried shrimp and cream cheese crab puffs for starters. Don’t miss out on their deep-fried squid with spicy salt or the fish fillet with snow peas and broccoli. A deep-fried fish fillet or steamed chicken and shrimp is on the lighter side.

Indulge Your Taste Buds

The Ten Ten Seafood Restaurant is where you’ll find a generous lunch and dinner buffet focusing on seafood but also offering a variety of dishes. Here, you’ll find all styles of Chinese fare including a few American favorites. It’s the perfect place for anyone who can’t choose from a number of top dishes or for large groups.

Try The Wok Experience for a number of wok dishes that can be customized to your liking. Choose your veggies, protein, spices and heat level. No matter which restaurant you choose, in Anaheim, Chinese is done right!

Blue Whale Migration Summer 2016 Specials

September 10th, 2016


Blue whale migration isn’t over yet! Until September 30, take advantage of the $16 whale watching cruise special every day at 10a.m., 1p.m. and 3:30p.m. Admission is usually $32 per person, so this half-priced special is a sweet deal perfect for budget-minded travelers or anyone looking for a unique experience. Hundreds of blue whales migrate through the area every spring and summer, taking over the Newport Beach area. Last year, 350 whales were spotted!

These massive travelers were once thought to be extremely rare in southern California, but they have fortunately made a comeback in the past few years. They are up to 90 feet long and are the biggest of all animals. You might also spot the finback whale, a huge beast as well, who enjoys the same fare and treats as the blue whale.

All Aboard!

There are a number of smaller whales you may encounter on the experience including minke and humpback varieties. Large pods of dolphins are also in the area, and they especially like to keep pace with the local boats. You can board at Newport and Balboa Beach to take advantage of these 2.5 hour cruises. Whether you’re after a family event or a romantic getaway, these specials are a welcome addition to any Anaheim trip.

Hurry! The migration season is over soon.

48th Annual Costa Mesa Speedway Bonanza

September 5th, 2016


On September 10, head to the Costa Mesa Speedway for the biggest Bonanza of the year! Now in its 48th year, this is the most exciting and adrenaline-packed racing event in the country. With arena-style seating in a grandstand, you get closer to the action than any other venue. Tickets for general admission are just $20, and this family-friendly event spans from 6-10 p.m. Tickets are available online and at the door.

This speedway is where national champions practice and take home the gold. Watch the Juniors battle each other out to determine who’s the fastest and most skilled. Located within the OC Fair & Event Center, you’ll find a variety of vendors and facilities on site while being walkable to the Orange County Marketplace. Come hungry and treat yourself to all-American “fair fare,” the perfect accompaniment to a night of thrills.

Come Early!

All seats give you a bird’s eye view, but if you really want to get close to the action, come early! The speedway is convenient to Anaheim guest rooms, and those wishing to imbibe can easily get a ride share or cab to the event. Whether it’s date night or a family outing, checking out the races is a fantastic addition to any Anaheim trip.

Are you ready to get strapped in for a night of close calls and tight corners?

Visit the Orange International Street Fair

September 1st, 2016


Can’t decide between over a dozen different cuisine options, from Australian to Swiss? Traveling with the whole family, and everybody prefers a different type of music, arts, crafts or entertainment? Are you looking for a Labor Day weekend option that includes beer gardens and local artists offering up their best goods in one spot, or do you simply want to indulge in one of the area’s most established traditions? You’re in luck because the Orange International Street Fair takes places September 2-4!

Street vendor grilling herring fish on stove in outdoor market

Established in the 70s, this massive festival takes over 15 streets, and this year there are over 40 vendors ready to dish up the best cuisine, arts and entertainment from around the world. Every street boasts a different theme, so you can go around the world without going far from your Anaheim guest room.

Planning Your Trip

Alcohol sales are available until 9 p.m. every night, but it’s recommended that attendees get there early. Parking can be difficult, and it’s a great idea to take a ride share or cab (especially for anyone planning to imbibe). Little ones are welcome, and there’s a special street just for them full of activities and entertainment.

Hosted by non-profits, the community booth area is a hot spot to learn more about the charitable foundations in the area. It’ll take all three days to really explore all 15 streets! Where will you travel first?

Anaheim Packing District

August 22nd, 2016


Right in the heart of downtown Anaheim, you’ll find a charming district of historic buildings making up the Packing District. Farmers Park, the Packing House and the Packard Building are just a few of the famously restored destinations that make you feel like a local. At the Packing House, over 20 vendors and artists gather to showcase their goods, offer live music entertainment, and give you a peek into the artisanal community.

Farmers Market Shopping Mature Woman


You’ll also find some of the best Anaheim restaurants in town right here, including Rolling Boil, Kettlebar, Umami Burger, and Georgia’s Restaurant. It’s a top pick for locals who know where the best dishes are, incredible happy hours, and make you feel like a local. Head over to Farmers Park and enjoy a gorgeous two-acre park ideal for picnics, play and strolling along the boardwalk and through the olive grove.

Packing It In

In August, every Friday at 4 p.m., you’ll find the Certified Farmers Market, the perfect place to pick up organic produce, local meats and sweets, and check out even more arts and crafts. However, the Packing District is open daily at 9 a.m. for breakfast from a selection of vendors and restaurants.

Merchants on site include Cooks Chapel, Black Sheep and Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream, to name just a few. What will you find in the middle of Anaheim?

City National Grove of Anaheim

August 12th, 2016


A popular event venue, the City National Grove of Anaheim, has an exciting August lineup with music, festivals and kid-friendly events galore. With the premium seating program, you can snag the best and toughest-to-get seats year-round if Anaheim is a common destination for you. You can also get the VIP package which couples your event with dinner out via the Mercedes-Benz Package. This package also has Tier One seating, VIP parking, a complementary desserts tray and private bar access (for limited events only).


On August 26 at 8 p.m., YES: The Album Series comes to Anaheim, dubbed the “Drama + Topographic 1 & 4” tour featuring the DRAMA album from 1980 performed entirely for the first time in history. There will also be a performance of four songs from the TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS album from 1973, and a wide selection of greatest hits.

Yes, Please!

This special tour is part of a series that’s promoting forward-looking albums that still count as a blast from the past. DRAMA was performed many nights at Madison Square Garden in 1980, and now the band is bringing it back and to the west coast for just one special evening (one that definitely offers the Mercedes-Benz Package, so you can make it a very memorable night!).

Tickets are available now, and some last minute cancellations mean you might be able to snag some at the door—or upgrade to VIP status.


Greek Delights in Anaheim

August 12th, 2016


In Anaheim, you can find some of the freshest seafood and most authentic Greek fare in all of California—from restaurants to genuine Greek delis. At the Opa Greek Market, located at 2960 West Lincoln Avenue, right in Anaheim, you can pick up seasonal and local ingredients, ready-made Greek fare from the deli, and you can easily put together the ultimate Greek picnic basket in a snap. Many non-perishables are imported from Greece, making this the number one spot to stock your mini-fridge while on vacation.


Christakis Greek Cuisine is open for lunch and dinner, featuring delectable menu items like spanakopita with sautéed spinach and fresh feta all wrapped in phyllo dough and baked to perfection, moussaka with layered eggplant and potatoes with grilled sirloin and a béchamel sauce, and lightly floured tilapia finished with a chardonnay sauce.

Going Greek

Try Le Petit Greek, a family owned restaurant, where solomos psitos with organic salmon, brushed in olive oil and lemon butter before grilling, is a star menu item. Their makaronia me kotopoulo with chunks of chicken breast in their house roma tomato sauce is addictive, and their extensive dessert and wine menu pieces the meal together flawlessly.

From Daphne’s California Greek restaurant to the Lucky Greek, there are endless options for a lavish Greek feast while on your Disney getaway.


Santa Ana Zoo

August 1st, 2016


Not far from your Anaheim hotel is the call of the wild, compliments of the Santa Ana Zoo. The focus is on preservation, conservation, recreation and education in this sprawling park where a passion for nature is a top priority. The founder of the zoo demanded “50 monkeys at all times” in 1952, and that demand has stuck—which is why there are always so many monkeys around! Smaller and more intimate than the San Diego Zoo, there are 80 species of monkeys on the grounds at all times, and new babies “arriving” daily. Check the website to see if any newborns will be making a surprise showing during your visit!


Critters for Conservation is a special, weekend-only show where you can get up close and personal with some of the friendliest animals at the park. You’ll find the shows throughout the day at the Conservation Stage, which is constructed out of 7,800 recycled milk jugs.

Life’s a Zoo

One of the most popular attractions is Amazon’s Edge, where you’ll find shaded seating and a gorgeous waterfall as you look for some of the most stunning inhabitants of the Amazon. Black-necked swans and howler monkeys are just a couple of the species to spot.

The Rainforest Adventure Maze is a fun way to get lost and explore the mysteries of the rainforest, unpeeling layer after layer and meeting a few new friends in the process. August is the perfect time to visit, so don’t be afraid to get a little wild in Anaheim.

Discover Teatro Martini

July 11th, 2016


It all began last autumn as one of the few entertainment venues just for adults. An interactive, fun experience that pushes the envelope combines fine dining with the kind of spicy adult entertainment that toes the line between a little too hot and just the right amount of kick. Part comedy, part dance, featuring acrobatics and magic along with phenomenal choreography, Teatro Martini has redefined the dinner show experience.

Beautiful showgirl backstage. She wears a blue costume with feathers.

The cabaret environment seats 200 people, and the menu is regularly changing to feature gourmet dishes with local, seasonal ingredients. There’s a separate, 18+ section where you’ll find their signature drinks paired with five-course meals for group packages which start at just under $70. Shows begin at 8pm Thursday through Sunday, and seating is very limited.

The Show Must Go On

Their tomato bisque is the perfect starter before choosing from braised sirloin, a salmon filet or roasted chicken. For dessert, their famous cheesecake featuring a graham cracker crust and drizzled with chocolate is the ideal sweetness to balance out the heat of the night.

If you’re celebrating a birthday, the Birthday Upgrade gives you a special announcement and your private party gets a free slice of cake and glass of champagne, or you can choose the Boffo Celebration package with a whole cake, bottles of bubbly and a souvenir photo.