Orange County is most commonly known for its beautiful beaches, resort lifestyles and historic theme parks. One piece of information that tends to slip under the radar is that OC is a sports mecca. Whether you are here for leisure or business, sports entertainment centers cater to all visitors, young and old. Some of the finest venues in the nation are right here in OC:
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2000 E. Gene Autry Way
Home of the 2002 World Series Champions, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Angel Stadium of Anaheim has played host to the MLB All Star Game three different years: 1967, 1989 and 2010. Located down the street from Disneyland Park, the 140-acre stadium offers 107,000 square feet of playing field and more than 45,000 seats."
In 2012, Bleacher Report ranked Angel Stadium number one overall among MLB venues for its affordability, attractions and fan-friendly environment. With two full-service restaurants (Knothole Club & Diamond Club), fans have a choice between casual or upscale dining experiences. Chances are you'll leave the stadium with a great big smile. Be sure to lookout for 'The Big A,' as it has been a landmark for nearly 50 years!
2695 E Katella Ave
Photo credit: Honda Center
Take a short drive down Katella Avenue from Angel Stadium and you'll find the beautiful, recently enhanced Honda Center (formerly Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim). This top venue is home to the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions, Anaheim Ducks. Built in 1993, the 650,000-square-foot arena has also played host to the NCAA Big West Basketball Tournament along with the NCAA West Regional rounds during 'March Madness.'"
Surrounded by palm trees, the Honda Center truly encompasses what the Orange County sports scene is all about. The newly-constructed 15,000-square-foot Grand Terrace, located on the south side of the arena, provides entertainment opportunities and dining options that include a 250-seat restaurant by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. This gives fans the chance to relax and enjoy a beautiful sunset in typical Southern California fashion right before game time. "
Concerned about parking? The brand-new Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is set to open in late 2014 and will be located between the Honda Center and Angel Stadium. The transportation center will bring you to and from Angels and Ducks games at your convenience, as it will envelop all of the major transportation services in the area.
Anaheim Convention Center
800 W Katella Ave
This iconic venue is quite a site to see! Located right in the heart of the Anaheim Resort District ' and just steps away from the 'Happiest Place on Earth' ' the Anaheim Convention Center is the largest on the West Coast at approximately 1.6 million square feet. As you walk up to the Grand Plaza you cannot help but notice the plethora of palm trees, giving off that true Orange County vibe. "
The center has played host to many top sporting events and meetings, including the 1984 Summer Olympic wrestling matches, the US Gymnastics Olympic trials, the Taekwondo World Championships, the United Spirit Association National Championships, the 2010 MLB All-Star Fan Fest and the Division II Tip-Off Classic Basketball Tournament."
With friendly staff members and upscale amenities, your experience at the convention center will not soon be forgotten. After an outing here you'll be sure to head straight to the calendar to see what sporting event is next on the agenda.
Huntington State Beach
21601 Pacific Coast Hwy
Photo credit: Visit Huntington Beach
Nothing puts the Southern California sports scene into perspective quite like Huntington State Beach. This venue is the host of the largest surfing event in the world, the US Open of Surfing. Each year, in late July/early August, crowds of nearly half a million people flock to 'Surf City, U.S.A.' to witness some of the world's best surfers and soak up the California sun."
Huntington State Beach has a long-standing surf tradition, as is also home to the International Surfing Museum. Next time you plan your summer vacation, make it a point to stop by this historic coastal part of OC. Make sure to pack your sunblock, too!
American Sports Centers
1500 Anaheim Blvd
Ever wonder where the US National Men's and Women's Volleyball teams train? Well, this is the place! American Sports Centers is a top-notch facility attracting the best in basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer throughout the West Coast. Featuring 34 volleyball courts, 25 basketball courts, nine futsal courts and 244,000 square feet of space, ASC is the largest indoor sports complex in the world."
After you get over the initial shock from its sheer size, go ahead and take a walk through the facility. You just might run into some of the world's best volleyball players. Many of those training are in the process of preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Go Team U.S.A.!
Orange County Badminton Club
1432 N Main St # A
Team USA must really love Orange County because the National Badminton Team trains right here at the OC Badminton Club. The sport couldn't be any bigger here! This site, with a seating capacity of 3,000, plays host to some of the best competitions and tournaments on Earth. This year it was the host of the USBDF Winter Junior International Championships."
Players travel from all over the world to play here, as it is serves as the melting pot for the world's best competition. Come see for yourself the next time you're in OC, and feel free to rent a racquet and shuttlecock and hit up one of the 12 world-class courts. You might run into some of the best players in the world here, so have a pen and paper ready to score some autographs!