Updated: Sep 16, 2019
Buena Park California, once an agricultural area full of orange groves, dairy farms and berry fields have become a huge entertainment hub in Southern California. It is home to Knotts Berry Farm Theme Park, Knott’s Soak City Water Park, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, Teatro Martini, Big Air Trampoline Park, and so much more.
While on a recent trip to Buena Park, we got to explore a few of the places that make this city so special and we wanted to share some of our experiences with you. While in town we got to stay at the Courtyard By Marriott on Beach Blvd just north of Knotts Berry Farm. It was a modern, newly renovated hotel which seemed to be a perfect fit for business travelers, and those looking for a family vacationing spot right in the heart of Buena Parks Entertainment Hub. Across the street we had Both Medieval Times and the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, as well as Yelp’s 2016 #1 Restaurant in the Country, Porto’s Bakery and Café.
We had a standard King Room at the Marriott with a garden and pool view for our stay. While we did not spend too much time in our room, we felt that it met all of our needs included in our stay. The receptionist that received us the first day was very pleasant and helpful to us in finding out where things were and she was a huge fan of Disney, so of course, we got along!
Our weekend getaway got started off when we walked across the street to Porto’s Bakery for a quick snack. There were several options for eating, a bakery, a deli, and even a coffee bar for all of your cup of brew needs! They had limited Gluten Free options for Stefanie, but I was able to enjoy some cheese rolls, and a sugar roll. We both had a drink from the coffee bar as we escaped the heat. The décor at Porto’s was truly second to none, and we enjoyed the atmosphere very much while we were there. We have known that because of its popularity, Porto’s can get quite busy, so we felt that we went at a good time between major meals.
We headed off toward the Cauldron Spirits and Bar, which I must admit was not our typical vibe. It was witch themed, with a Halloween décor. It was so unique from anything we have experienced before. Right away, they were very accommodating to every need that we had, and they even let us tour their secret door leading to their private party room which people can rent out. The staff at the Cauldron were one of the nicest of our entire visit. They were attentive, and accommodating to Stefanie’s dietary restrictions, with the Head Chef himself coming out several times to make sure that everything we got to eat was up to our satisfaction. We were able to enjoy their meatballs, bacon sauce, and couple of glasses of wine as we took in the experience. If you love a good bar with a unique atmosphere, they are a wonderful hidden gem of Buena Park. Look out for them as they are right across the street from Knott’s East Entrance.
The next day we had a huge chunk of time dedicated to visiting Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park, and enjoying the Boysenberry Festival that they have going on from March 29 - April 28 2019. We were given tasting cards to go around and taste several of the specialty items that were offered at the festival. We got to try many different items, with our personal favorites being the Boysenberry Ice Cream and Tortilla Chips, and the Boysenberry Chicken Wings. They were delightful! We had an absolute blast exploring the theme park, it was a hot day so we made sure to find rides that had lines in the shade (which the park has in plenty) and we tried to pop in a few stores that were airconditioned to beat the heat as well. They had a ton of Boysenberry merchandise throughout the park, and it was fun to poke in and out of their Ghost town festival area during our trip. Some of our favorite rides that we got to go on while we were there were: Supreme Scream, HangTime, Silver Bullet, and Coast Rider. PRO TIP: On the weekends, the ride lines can get a bit long, so look into buying a Fast Lane ticket as a part of your theme park ticket to save you the wait time!
For Dinner on the second evening, we got to enjoy the wonderful Rock & Brews restaurant. Now, we are not beer drinkers by any means, but they have one of the largest collections of draft beers with over 100 to choose from. This restaurant is the brainchild of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanly of Kiss, it was a rock & roll themed restaurant, with great music and a fun atmosphere. Stefanie was able to enjoy a Burger with a Gluten Free bun, while I had the Full-Rack baby back ribs. Both were amazing, and we really enjoyed ourselves at dinner. The staff were very accommodating, and made sure that we had everything we needed. I would definitely say that the benefit of this place was the fun atmosphere, and overall vibe of the place, it was truly a gem.
On our final day of our weekend getaway to Buena Park, we were able to visit The Source OC, it is an outdoor shopping mall which has many shops, restaurants to visit, it is relatively new and was fun to walk around and explore. We got to have tea and macaroons at the lovely Basilur Tea. Their tea and coffee is world renowned, they also have AMAZING pastries to choose from, not to mention the styling and décor of the place was world-class. We highly recommend visiting this little shop as they boast great customer service, a chill atmosphere, and a beautiful place to sit, relax, and enjoy a nice hot cup of whatever you like most! They had wonderful options for food including their soufflé pancakes, which are decadently fluffy pancakes topped with fresh fruit, hand-whipped cream and sweet maple syrup. We did not take part in such greatness, but we saw that almost all of the other people there (as it was pretty busy) were enjoying the delicious looking pancakes.
We ended our trip with a visit to the Olympic Golf Zone at the Source where we got to do virtual golfing for the first time. It was such a fun experience for me (Caleb) to be able to teach Stefanie some of the basics of golf, while getting to virtually golf one of the most iconic courses in the world at Pebble Beach. The technology there was amazing as they have ball tracking and swing analyzing technology so that you can see how you are playing and adapt to the different challenges that the course had to offer. We loved our experience there, and would love to go back at some point to try another course out. They also had batting cages where you could experience some of the great ball parks in America.
Watch funny tidbits from our trip here:
One experience that we did not get to enjoy but would like to in the future was at CGV Cinemas where they have 4DX theaters where you get to fully experience all the different aspects of a film including excellent sound, weather, and even smells from the movie!
All in all, we had an enjoyable trip to Buena Park, the location that we stayed in had absolutely everything that we needed. One of our favorite things was that we did not need a car AT ALL to experience everything that we wanted to on our trip. The Marriott was very well centrally located so that we could walk to all locations easily. I think the furthest we had to walk was a half mile, which for us is not far at all. We hope that this gives you a great idea of what to expect and we would love to know if you end up going what you enjoyed the most! Happy Travels!
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*Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with Buena Park, CA. Opinions here are our own.