Downtown Santa Ana
This city incorporated in 1886 and became the county seat in 1889. Now, new exhibits at the Grand Central Art Center, craft fairs, and the farmers market draw crowds. Restaurants such as Playground and Mix Mix bring foodies to town, as does the 4th Street Market food hall. Additionally, the Yost Theater and Frida Cinema offer entertainment with an edge.
The Main Street Historic District is under the radar now, but not for long. With the Yorba Linda Town Center going up nearby, the city is modernizing streetlights, benches, and signs, and improving sidewalks in the area. No doubt more people soon will discover longtime businesses such as the Main Street Restaurant and the Winery at Main Street.
This quiet community’s city center—anchored at Main Street and Garden Grove Boulevard—is growing. Over the past year, newcomers E Patisserie, a chic cafe with artful pastries and a large patio, and Barcode, a pub stocked with arcade games from the 1980s and ’90s, have joined old-timers such as Azteca, a Mexican restaurant decorated with Elvis memorabilia.