On the doorstep of Disneyland in northern Orange County, Garden Grove is a lively city-suburb on the outskirts of Los Angeles. It’s renowned for the iconic glass architecture of the Crystal Cathedral, as well as being home to the garage where Walt Disney made his first animation innovations.
Things to do in Garden Grove
Admire the reflective glass church of the Crystal Cathedral, which was designed by postmodern American architect Philip Johnson and is topped by a soaring glass Prayer Spire. In addition to being one of the largest glass buildings in the world, it is home to an immense pipe organ crafted by Fratelli Ruffatti.
Want to see the garage that served as Walt Disney’s early studio? Head to the Stanley Ranch Museum & Historical Village, which is clustered with heritage buildings from across Garden Grove. Witness the city’s first fire engine at the replica Fire Station, admire the vintage cameras at Schnitger House and see where Walt Disney worked on his animation machine to produce early cartoons.
If you’re travelling with kids, let them run loose at the Atlantis Play Center within the green oasis of Garden Grove Park. It boasts a sea serpent slide and creative concrete animals to play on, as well as swings, climbing equipment and shady picnic areas.
Experience a theatrical play or live music performance at the intimate GEM Theater, which has been in operation since the 1920s. One More Productions stages full-scale musicals, staged readings and original works here throughout the year, with a mission to make the arts accessible to the entire community.
Getting around Garden Grove
Garden Grove is located around 45 minutes’ drive from the Los Angeles International Airport and is just 15 minutes from Disneyland. It’s connected to surrounding cities by a network of buses, which also travel throughout Garden Grove.