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7+ Fun Things to Do in Buena Park CA

Looking for the best things to do in Buena Park? Don’t miss these spots if you’re a first-timer!

Although Buena Park is best known for Knott’s Berry Farm, it has also become the hub for all things Korean. We’ve been seeing so much Korean content in our feeds lately that we had to get our fix in Buena Park.

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Last Updated: May 2, 2024

About Buena Park

There are many tourist attractions in Buena Park, including theme parks, knights, and pirate-themed dinners. But did you know Buena Park is also the place for all things Korean? 

In fall 2023, the city designated the stretch of Beach Boulevard between Orangethorpe and Rosecrans avenues as Orange County’s second Koreatown. This area has over 1,000 small businesses owned by Korean Americans and multiple shopping centers with restaurants, shops, and grocery stores. Seeing Zion Market, Hannam Chain, and H Mart all nearby had me jealous!

It’s also a great home base for other SoCal adventures. It’s only 5 miles from Disneyland, 15 miles from beaches, and 20 miles from Los Angeles.

See More: 39 of the Best Food at Disneyland You Need to Try

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The Best Things to Do in Buena Park

1. Ride the Coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park

8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620, map

Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park is a local favorite, and we have a few OC friends who have season passes.

If you love coasters, then you must ride GhostRider, the West Coast’s tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster. Also, get on HangTime, California’s first dive coaster. During our visit on a Tuesday, there were no lines except for GhostRider.

See Buena Park’s seasonal events below; Knott’s Berry Farm hosts many of them, including the Boysenberry Festival, Knott’s Scary Farm, and Knott’s Merry Farm.

Seasonal Events: The Boysenberry Festival starts in March. Ghost Town Alive! and Knott’s Summer Nights are in the summer. Knott’s Spooky Farm and Knott’s Scary Farm are in the fall, and Knott’s Merry Farm is during the holiday season.

Local Tip: If you live nearby, buy the meal plan with your season pass. Sometimes, our OC friends go only to eat. Jacob would be all over it if we lived in SoCal since the man loves a good deal. Let’s say a meal there is around $18-20. You only need to eat nine meals to make the meal plan worth it (you get two meals daily with your pass).

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2. The Source OC

6940 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621, map

The Source is the perfect destination for those who love K-pop, K-beauty, Korean food, or Korean culture in general. Here are some of our favorite spots:

  • EKO Karaoke Lounge – Karaoke, drinks, and Korean food. No soju, though.
  • In-Sit Coffee – drank a cortado, but none of their specialty drinks. It looks like a nice spot to study or work from.
  • KPOP Center – you can learn how to dance and sing K-pop songs here.
  • K-Pop Music Town – Tons of K-Pop merch and music.
  • Misoolkwan OC (💰💰, Korean Pub) – Big selection of beers and sojus. The pork belly dish with kimchi hit the spot!
  • Myungrang Hot Dog – their crunchy, chewy exterior made these the best we’ve tried. It’s popular with sugar, but next time I would order without.
  • Old Ferry Donut – Korean donuts originally from Seoul. Our faves were the Coconut and Earl Grey. They’re not too sweet (the best Asian compliment).
  • Photogram OC – Cute photo studio where they hand you a trigger, and you have a DIY photoshoot.
  • Sweet Box – Cute character macarons, and we tried Tanghulu for the first time here.

3. Go on a Hike at Ralph B. Clark Regional Park

8800 Rosecrans Ave, Buena Park, CA 90621, map

At first, Ralph B Clark Regional Park may seem like a typical urban park, but there’s more to the park if you venture further. You can hike along pretty trails, especially when the flowers bloom. While there, we saw a local gathering and many families and couples out for walks. The park is 104 acres, including open grass areas, rolling hills, sheer sandstone cliffs, a softball complex, and even an Interpretive Center (open Wednesday to Saturday from 10-2).

Local Tip: There is a $3 per vehicle parking fee from Monday to Friday and a higher fee of $5 on weekends. However, you can walk in for free if you’re using rideshare like us.

See More: 15 Best Day Hikes in the US to Put On Your Bucket List

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4. The Cauldron Spirits and Brews

8028 Beach Blvd ste b, Buena Park, CA 90620, map

After an early dinner, we searched for a dessert or cocktail spot and stumbled upon the Cauldron. I love a themed restaurant. The dark and cozy atmosphere has hidden gems, with black cats, ghosts that peek through mirrors, and more. It serves French food and inventive cocktails and is a fun hangout spot. They were crowded even on a Tuesday night.

5. Pickleball at Carl Brenner Park

7401-7413 Ridgeway Dr, Buena Park, CA 90620, map

Whenever we travel, I have accepted that we must carve out time for Jacob to play pickleball. Pickleball tourism is getting big now! We saw that Carl Brenner Park has courts, so we headed there. When we arrived, we quickly learned that you have to bring your own net to these courts. Fortunately, a local group was already playing, so Jacob joined in on some games.

Typically, locals play in the mornings. If you stay for multiple days, exchange your info to be invited to future games.

Local Tip: Edwin, the friendly local who invited me to play, shared that La Mirada is the closest park with courts and nets for open play.

See More: 15 Best Pickleball Paddles for 3.5 Players and Up

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6. Grab Snacks at the fanciest Portos Bakery

7640 Beach Blvd, 90620, map

We’ve been fans of Porto’s since we lived in LA, and this is by far the fanciest Porto’s we’ve seen. Our go-to order is Potato Balls and Cheese Rolls, which we brought on the plane with us. There are multiple lines to manage the crowds and plenty of seating. If you’re still craving Porto’s after you’re home, they also ship their most popular pastries nationwide. During the pandemic, we definitely ordered it a few times.

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7. Load up on Korean Food

7152 Orangethorpe Ave, 90621, map

After living in SoCal, it’s hard for me to eat Korean food anywhere else in the US. Anytime we’re in the area, we always load up on Korean food.

We already mentioned the Source OC, which has many Korean restaurants all in one place, but there are other restaurants worth checking out, too!

  • Hanyang Restaurant – Even though Seolleongtang is in their restaurant name, I liked the Galbitang much more. I originally wanted either their cold noodle dishes, but they weren’t serving them until warmer temperatures (we visited in late April).
  • Baekjeong is the most popular KBBQ spot in the area. I don’t eat KBBQ when traveling because I don’t want my entire suitcase to smell like meat, but if you don’t mind, this is the place to go.
  • KyungBokKung – if you want to go to a fancy, standalone KBBQ spot. The meat quality and ambiance are better than the average KBBQ restaurant, but it’s also pricier.
  • Smoking Tiger Coffee and Bread serves inventive coffee drinks with Korean flavors and yummy baked goods.

For more food recommendations, check out our full list of where to eat in Buena Park.

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Map of the Best Things to Do in Buena Park

More Things to Do in Buena Park + Nearby

What to Eat in Buena Park

  • 30 Acres Kitchen (💰💰, Burgers, Pizza, Sandwiches) is inside Knott’s Hotel. They serve burgers, salads, sandwiches, and Boysenberry drinks.
  • The Cauldron (💰💰, French, Cocktail Bars) – witch-themed bar serves French food and fun cocktails. We stopped by for drinks and desserts and loved the vibe.
  • EKO Karaoke Lounge (💰💰, Karaoke, Bars) has private karaoke rooms and a full menu of Korean food.
  • Han Yang (💰💰, Korean, Soup) – Both their Galbitang and Seolleongtang were good.
  • In-Sit Coffee (💰, Coffee & Tea) – The space is cute and great for hanging out.
  • Old Ferry Donut (💰💰, Donuts) – We liked the Coconut and Earl Grey best.
  • Porto’s Bakery & Cafe (💰, Bakeries, Cafes) – Our go-to order is the Potato Balls and Cheese Rolls.
  • Misoolkwan OC (💰💰, Korean Pub) – The pork belly with kimchi hit the spot!
  • Myungrang Hot Dog (💰, Korean Hot Dogs) – A popular Korean hot dog chain. We’re not huge fans of Korean hot dogs, but this was the best one we’ve had. 
  • Pelicana Chicken (💰💰, Chicken Wings) – It’s a chain, and we used to go when we lived within walking distance in NYC. The hot sauce got me hooked!
  • Rock & Brews (💰💰, New American) is a popular food and beer joint with a similar vibe to Hard Rock Cafe.
  • Smoking Tiger Coffee & Bread (💰, Coffee & Teas, Bakeries) – Korean pastries with better coffee.
  • Sweet Box (💰💰, Macarons & Tanghulu) – Cute character macarons.
  • Yuchun (💰💰, Korean) – We like Yuchun in Koreatown, LA. We haven’t been to this location yet, and the reviews aren’t as good as the original location, but if you’re craving Korean cold noodles, this is still your best bet. I read some of the bad reviews, many from people unfamiliar with this dish. It’s not for everyone.

See More: 49 Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles – LA Food Bucket List

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Special Events in Buena Park

  • Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration (Jan-Feb)
  • Spring Eggstravaganza (Mar)
  • Knott’s Boysenberry Festival (Mar-Apr)
  • Summer Knights at Knott’s (June-Sept)
  • Knott’s Ghost Town Alive! (June-Sept)
  • Family Movies Under the Stars (July-Aug)
  • Concerts in the Park (July-Aug)
  • Buena Park Culture Fest (Sept)
  • Memorial Grove Tree Planting Ceremony (Sept)
  • Knott’s Scary Farm (Sept-Oct)
  • Knott’s Spooky Farm (Sept-Oct)
  • Silverado Days at Peak Park (Oct)
  • Pirates Take Christmas (Dec)
  • Candy Caneland & Craft Fair (Dec)
  • Buena Park Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (Dec)

See More: 15 Best Festivals in the US to Add to Your Bucket List

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Getting to Buena Park

Buena Park is easy to get to! It’s close to multiple airports and an easy drive from anywhere in SoCal. We flew into LAX to fly Delta and then used ride-share for our short trip. Our hotel was within walking distance from The Source, and they offered a free shuttle to Knott’s Berry Farm. If you plan on using Buena Park as a home base or want to explore more of SoCal, get a rental car.


  • Long Beach Airport (LGB) – 14 miles from Buena Park
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA) – 18 miles from Buena Park
  • Los Angeles Airport (LAX) – 25 miles from Buena Park
  • Ontario Airport (ONT) – 35 miles from Buena Park

By Train

  • Amtrak – Take the Pacific Surfliner to Anaheim or Fullerton stations. Both are a short 5-minute drive to Buena Park.
  • Metrolink – Hop on anywhere between Los Angeles Union Station and Oceanside Station and ride it to Buena Park station.

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton, the perfect home base for all our activities. The rooms were nice and spacious, and we could walk to The Source, where we spent most of our time. They also offered shuttles to Knott’s Berry Farm. Check the map below for other hotel options.

Essential Tips

  • For more tips and trip-planning resources, check out Visit Buena Park.
  • Dress in layers. It is chillier in the mornings and evenings, so having a light jacket is helpful. Here are our favorite travel jackets.
  • Stay hydrated. We like carrying a water bottle (our fave bottles) to refill when needed. Hydration is usually the last thing on my mind when I travel, so it’s good to have something convenient.
  • Pack a daypack (our favorite backpacks). It’s great to have free hands when you’re out. Plus, if you want to buy snacks and souvenirs, you have a place to carry everything.
  • Save money! If you plan on exploring more of SoCal, check out these passes: Los Angeles Go City or San Diego Go City. Both include Knott’s Berry Farm.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (our favorite travel shoes) whether you’re shopping, hiking, or enjoying Knott’s, you’ll be getting a lot of steps in.
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Planning Checklist

Have you been to Buena Park CA? Can you think of any more things to do in Buena Park that we need to check out next time?

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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