Introduction to Buena Park, California
Situated only six miles northwest of Anaheim and 12 miles northwest of Santa Ana, Buena Park is a California city in northwestern Orange County. It was founded in 1887 by James A. Whitaker, a wholesale grocer from Chicago, who in 1885 bought 690 acres of what was once the sprawling Rancho Los Coyotes, with the intention of creating a cattle ranch. Santa Fe railroad officials persuaded him, successfully as it turned out, to use the land instead for a new town. Whitaker filed his township papers in 1887 to create the town of Buena Park, which was not incorporated as a city until 1953. An agricultural center (notably wine, citrus, and dairy produce) during the time of its founding, the city is today primarily a residential suburb.
Buena Park is noted for its quantity and variety of Asian-themed restaurants. Many food distributors in Buena Park import goods from various Asian countries and then ship them to specialty supermarkets throughout California.
Attractions in and near Buena Park
Buena Park is home to several very popular Southern California tourist attractions, located in the so-called E-Zone district. The most famous of these is Knott's Berry Farm, a name which many visitors today would consider something of a misnomer because the present-day site is actually a world-class theme park. It didn't start out that way, however. The origin of the park traces back to the 1920s, when Walter Knott and his family sold berries from a roadside stand. Knott achieved a degree of fame in the 1930's by cultivating the world's first boysenberry, combining the red raspberry together with the blackberry and loganberry. In 1934, Knott's wife Cordelia opened a small restaurant at the site and began serving fried chicken dinners, which became so popular within a few years that waiting lines were often several hours long. To entertain the waiting crowds, Walter built a Ghost Town in 1940, using actual buildings relocated from authentic old west towns such as Calico, California and Prescott, Arizona. In 1968, the Knott family fenced in the facility and began charging admission, making Knott's Berry Farm an official amusement park. In 1997, the Knott family sold its interests in the amusement park operations, and the new ownership quickly instituted a shift towards thrill rides, with the construction of a number of large roller coasters. In light of its long history, Knott's Berry Farm lays claim to being "America's First Theme Park."
In recent years, an adjacent Knott's amusement site (Knott's Soak City water park) has emerged. The two Knott's parks serve as anchors for other tourist attractions located in the same district. Among these are the Medieval Times Dinner Show, Pirate's Dinner Adventure, and a Ripley's Believe it or Not! museum. Buena Park Downtown, an array of shopping centers containing popular large stores, is located within this same district.
Disneyland (Anaheim) is only a ten-minute drive away from Buena Park. Adjacent to Disneyland is Disney's newest area venture, the Disney California Adventure Park, featuring many of the newer Disney rides, shows, and attractions.
Anaheim is also home to two major-league professional sports teams: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Major League Baseball) and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (National Hockey League).