Located in sunny Southern California, Garden Grove is a vibrant city with a personality all its own. From its historic Main Street to its iconic Crystal Cathedral, the city is filled with hidden gems and local’s secret spots that will delight visitors wanting to know what living in Garden Grove is like. Whether you’re a weathered local, someone interested in exploring the Garden Grove housing market, or you’re already looking to buy a house in the area, there’s certainly no shortage of fun things to do and beautiful places to discover here. So pack your sunscreen and get ready to explore the 10 fun things to do that locals love to do in Garden Grove, CA.
1. Strawberry picking at Tanaka Farms
Strawberry picking at Tanaka Farms is a favorite among locals. Visitors can pick their own strawberries straight from the family owned field, which is a fun and unique way to experience the area’s rich agricultural history and some fresh strawberries. Locals know that the best time to visit is during the summer months, when the strawberries are in season and the weather is warm and sunny.
2. Walk and shop on Historic Main Street
This street is a local favorite for its variety of unique shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Locals know that some of the best restaurants and bars are hidden away on the side streets, so it’s worth exploring the area to find some hidden gems. There are also several annual events that take place on Main Street, including the Garden Grove Classic Car Show and the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival. Make sure to snap a photo of yourself under the famous Historical Main Street Archway.
3. Spend the day at Atlantis Play Center
Atlantis Play Center is a whimsical park great for spending the day with family and friends. The park is designed to look like a miniature city, complete with play structures that resemble buildings and vehicles. There’s also a splash pad and a mini-zoo with goats and chickens. Locals know that the park can get crowded during peak hours, so it’s best to arrive early in the day or in the evening when it’s cooler.
4. Tour Crystal Cathedral
Crystal Cathedral is an iconic landmark in Garden Grove and is a must-visit for its stunning architecture and rich history. The Cathedral, which was designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, features more than 10,000 glass panes and a unique design that looks like a giant geometric puzzle. Locals know that the Cathedral is also home to the Hazel Wright Organ, which is one of the largest musical instruments in the world. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Cathedral and enjoy the beautiful gardens that surround it.
5. Eat local foods at SteelCraft
SteelCraft Garden Grove is an outdoor food hall that includes many Garden Grove restaurants and a favorite among locals because of its variety of delicious eateries and laid-back vibe. SteelCraft is made up of repurposed shipping containers, giving it a cool and unique look. Visitors can choose from a variety of food options, including burgers, poke bowls, craft beer, and more. There are also several communal tables and plenty of outdoor seating, making it a great spot to hang out with friends and family. Locals know that the best time to visit is in the evening when the string lights are on, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
6. Watch a show at the GEM Theater
The GEM Theater is a fantastic spot to catch a show, featuring a variety of plays, musicals, and concerts throughout the year. The theater has a cozy and intimate atmosphere, with only 120 seats, making it a great place for a romantic night out or a special occasion. Locals know that the theater also has a small bar and a lounge area in the back, making it a perfect place to grab a drink before a show.
7. Watch a concert at the Festival Amphitheater
The outdoor venue, Festival Amphitheater, is a local favorite for its variety of concerts, plays, and other events throughout the year. The amphitheater has a large stage and plenty of seating, making it a great spot to catch a show under the stars. Locals know that the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is warm and there are a variety of outdoor events taking place by the stage.
8. Learn about Garden Grove’s history at the Stanley Ranch Museum
Stanley Ranch Museum is a small, hidden gem in Garden Grove, showcasing the history of the area and Orange County as a whole. The museum features exhibits on local agriculture, transportation, and more, giving visitors a unique glimpse into the area’s rich history. Locals know that the museum is run by a group of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about preserving the area’s history and are always happy to share their knowledge with visitors.
9. Meet other locals at Garden Grove Park
Garden Grove Park is a massive park great for enjoying the day outdoors with friends and family. The park features a variety of amenities, including sports fields, picnic areas, and a community center. The park is also home to several annual events, including the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival and the Garden Grove Dog Show.
10. View scenic spots in Korean Bell Garden
Korean Bell Garden is a peaceful and serene garden tucked away in a residential neighborhood. The garden features a traditional Korean pavilion and a large bell that is rung on special occasions. Visitors can stroll through the garden and enjoy the beautiful plants and flowers, as well as the tranquil pond. The garden can be a bit difficult to find, so it’s best to use GPS or get directions ahead of time.