Whether you’re searching for apartments for rent in Santa Ana or browsing for homes in the city, there are countless ways to enjoy the city’s rich history and culture, as well as its stunning architecture and beautiful landscapes. If you’re new in town and looking for unique things to do in Santa Ana, here are 10 suggestions to help you get acquainted with your new home. 

santa ana apartments by the water

1. Discover the Bowers Museum

If you’re new to living in Santa Ana, a visit to the Bowers Museum is an absolute must. This world-class museum showcases an incredible collection of art and artifacts from around the world, including pieces from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Visitors can explore exhibits on topics ranging from ancient civilizations to contemporary art, and learn about the cultural traditions and beliefs of various peoples throughout history. The museum also offers special events and programs, such as lectures, concerts, and films, that provide a deeper understanding of the artwork and cultures on display. For an enriching and enlightening experience, head to the Bowers Museum and immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of global art and culture.

2. Explore the Old Orange County Courthouse Museum

The Old Courthouse Museum is another great place to visit for locals who are curious about local history. This historic courthouse played host to many landmark trials. The restored courtroom provides an authentic look into the legal system of the past, and the exhibits showcase the rich history of the Orange County justice system. The museum also features temporary exhibits on various topics related to the legal system and hosts events such as movie screenings and concerts. 

3. Shop at the 4th Street Market

For foodies searching for things to do in Santa Ana, look no further than the 4th Street Market. This unique culinary hub offers an array of delicious food options, from gourmet sandwiches to artisanal ice cream. The market is home to numerous food vendors, each with their own unique cuisine, so you’ll be sure to find something to suit your taste buds. In addition to the fantastic food, the market has a lively and energetic atmosphere, making it a great spot to meet friends or enjoy a quick lunch break.

4. Explore the Heritage Museum of Orange County

For a glimpse into the rich history of the Santa Ana area, the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana is an intriguing destination for new residents. The museum showcases the lives and stories of the people who shaped the area, including Native Americans, European settlers, and the families who established the citrus industry in Southern California. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits and historic buildings, including a Victorian house, a blacksmith shop, and an old-fashioned schoolhouse. The museum also hosts a range of cultural festivals and historical reenactments, making it an engaging and entertaining experience for all ages.

red bird at the santa ana zoo

5. Stroll through the Santa Ana Zoo

The Santa Ana Zoo is a fun and informative destination for Santa Ana locals. With over 350 animals, including monkeys, birds, and reptiles, the zoo provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. The zoo’s focus on conservation and education, combined with its unique animal exhibits, make it a great place to learn about the animal kingdom and the importance of preserving wildlife. Additionally, the zoo offers train rides, a carousel, and a petting zoo, making it a fantastic spot for families with young children. The Santa Ana Zoo also hosts special events throughout the year, such as holiday celebrations and themed days, adding to the overall fun and excitement.

6. Hike through the Santiago Oaks Regional Park

If you’re a new resident of Santa Ana and looking for things to do outdoors, head to the Santiago Oaks Regional Park. This picturesque park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, with miles of trails winding through scenic woodlands and hillsides. The park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, and a nature center where visitors can learn about the local wildlife. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful stroll in nature or a challenging hike, Santiago Oaks Regional Park has something for everyone.

7. Visit the Discovery Cube

The Discovery Cube is a must-visit destination for new residents of Santa Ana. This interactive museum offers a range of exhibits and activities that encourage visitors to explore the wonders of science and technology. From a virtual earthquake simulator to a hands-on exhibit on the science of hockey, the Discovery Cube provides engaging and educational experiences for all ages. The museum also hosts special events and programs, such as summer camps and after-school clubs, that provide opportunities for deeper learning and exploration.

8. Take a tour of the Artists Village

The Artists Village is a must-visit area for art lovers and culture seekers. This vibrant and creative community is home to a variety of galleries, studios, and performance spaces, showcasing the work of local artists and performers. A range of events and festivals are hosted throughout the year, including the First Saturday Art Walk, which features live music, food vendors, and open studios. Whether you’re looking to discover new artists or simply soak up the artistic energy of the community, the Artist Village offers a unique and engaging experience that is not to be missed.

red theater seats

9. Attend a show at the Yost Theater

If you’re looking for a night out, the Yost Theater is the place to be. This historic theater has been a cornerstone of the city’s entertainment scene for over 100 years, and continues to host a wide range of events, from live music to comedy shows to dance parties. The Yost Theater has a unique charm and character that sets it apart from other venues, with ornate decor and a lively atmosphere that make for a memorable night out. With a diverse lineup of performers and events, the Yost Theater offers something for everyone.

10. Visit the Santa Ana Farmers Market

The Santa Ana Farmers Market is the perfect destination for locals who want fresh local produce. The market offers a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other farm-fresh products, all grown and harvested by local farmers and producers. In addition to the delicious produce, the market also features a variety of artisanal goods, such as handmade soaps and candles, that make great gifts or souvenirs. With a lively and bustling atmosphere, the Santa Ana Farmers Market is a great spot to meet friends, sample delicious food, and support the local community. Come and experience the vibrant energy of the Santa Ana Farmers Market.

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