Santa Ana has a number of perks that provide an improved quality of life for the residents. Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm amusement parks are located northeast of Santa Ana, several miles away. Beaches are located around 20 minutes to the south, accessible by the 55 freeway. Huntington Beach and Newport Beach as well as other coastal communities offer world-class shopping, dining, boating, swimming and surfing opportunities.
Santa Ana has several distinct districts. The core of the city is the downtown area, which contains both retail and housing, as well as the Santa Ana Civic Center which is a dense campus of administrative buildings for both the city and the county of Orange.
The Civic Center is also home to the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse. Several historic homes dating from the late 1800s can be found as well, and their preservation is a key issue as development of the downtown area continues.
North of downtown is the “Midtown” district along Main St., home to entertainment destinations such as the Bowers Museum, Main Place Mall, and the Discovery Science Center.
Near the intersection of the Santa Ana Freeway and the Costa Mesa Freeway is the newly designated “Metro East” area, which the city council has envisioned as a secondary mixed-use development district.
Also on the east side of the city is the Santa Ana Zoo, notable for its collection of monkeys and species from South and Central America.
The south end of the city is the South Coast Plaza, a major shopping center, is the primary destination of this area.
- Artist Village and Civic Center
- Bowers Museum – History museum started in the 1930s with a large collection of Central American artifacts
- Heritage Museum of Orange County (formerly Centennial Heritage Museum) – home of the Kellogg House and other 1890s buildings
- CSUF Grand Central Art Center – At the heart of the Artist Village in Santa Ana
- Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
- El Centro Cultural de México
- Santiago Art District
- Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
- Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum
- Delhi Park and El Salvador Park (Artesia Pilar Neighborhood)
- Historic Floral Park
- Historic French Park
Historic and Community Centers
- Downtown Santa Ana Historic Districts.
- St. Joseph Catholic Church, established in 1887, renovated in the late 1980s.
- Pacific Electric Sub-Station No. 14
- Southern (D), Builders Exchange Building
- Discovery Science Center
- Downtown Santa Ana Historic Districts
- Galaxy Theatre
- Main Place Mall opened in 1987
- OC Pavilion performing arts center and 5-star restaurant Ambrosia
- Santa Ana Civic Center
- Santa Ana College
- Santa Ana Public Library
- Santa Ana Zoo, built in 1960
- Santa Ana City Hall
- Ronald W Reagan Federal Court House
- Riverview Golf Course
- Willowick Municipal Golf Course