Introduction to Westminster, California
The city of Westminster is located in Orange County, California, approximately 11 miles southwest of Anaheim and 9 miles west of Santa Ana. It was founded in 1870 by Reverend Lemuel P. Webber as a Presbyterian temperance colony, and derived its name from the Westminster Assembly of 1643, which formulated the basic principles of the Presbyterian faith. Early settlers refused to grow grapes due to the association between grapes and alcohol, but by the end of the 19th century grapes were flourishing and by the 1930s the Green Kat Tavern had become a town landmark. Westminster was incorporated as a city in 1957. The original plan was to form a municipality named Tri-City reflecting an amalgamation of three cities: Westminster, Midway City, and Barber City. When Midway City withdrew from the venture, Barber City was simply absorbed into the western portion of the newly incorporated city of Westminster.
An influx of Southeast Asian refugees relocated to the city in the 1970s and 1980s, settling largely in a section of the city now officially named Little Saigon. The ensuing development of more than 3500 Vietnamese-American businesses and restaurants in this roughly three square-mile area provided the city with a boost to both its commercial base and tourism base. In 1996, Westminster was named 'All-America City' by the National Civic League for its numerous civic accomplishments.
Things to do in and around Westminster
The Asian Garden Mall and Little Saigon Plaza are considered the heart of Little Saigon, a three square mile area containing literally hundreds of Southeast Asian restaurants, huge shopping centers and strip malls. The two-story Asian Garden Mall is an enclosed retail complex of more than 300 different stores and restaurants. Another Westminster attraction is the Blakey Historical Park and Museum, whose exhibits depict everyday life of Westminster residents in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the exhibits is the McCoy-Hare House, which was built in 1874 and served as the community's first drugstore. The fully restored and furnished 1915 Warne farmhouse is another major exhibit. More places of interest in Westminster include the Vietnam War Memorial, the Liberty Skate Park, and the Westminster Ice Palace.
Visitors to Westminster can also take advantage of the city's proximity to the Anaheim area and its major attractions:
- Disney's California Adventure
- Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park)
- Knott's Soak City (Buena Park)
- Medieval Times Dinner Show (Buena Park)
- Pirate's Dinner Adventure (Buena Park)
- Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum (Buena Park)
For fans of pro sports, Anaheim is also home to two major-league teams: the Mighty Ducks of the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.