This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of the APWA Reporter.
 

Anaheim: a car-free good time!

Natalie Meeks
Director of Public Works
City of Anaheim, California

 
There is no better place on Earth to work and play than Anaheim, California! APWA members, guests and sponsors are in for a treat when they visit Anaheim this August for the International Public Works Congress & Exposition.
 
Scheduled right before the long Labor Day weekend, this four-day convention is the largest gathering of public works professionals in the world. Attendees will enjoy extensive educational programming, professional workshops, an enormous exposition floor and ample networking events. But that’s just part of what Anaheim holds for APWA.
 
Known as the downtown of Orange County, Anaheim offers world-class tourism attractions, including the Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball, Honda Center, the Anaheim Ducks, concerts, museums, restaurants that range from family-friendly to four-star, and much, much more. Why not combine work with pleasure and bring the family to enjoy all that Southern California has to offer? Come early and stay late!
 
Southern California is known throughout the world for its beaches, its sunny weather, its celebrities and its love affair with the automobile. But part of Anaheim’s appeal is the ability for visitors to travel to and throughout the town without the need of a car. Whether on foot or taking advantage of the multiple public transit options, visitors can easily move car-free around Anaheim.
 

Getting Here

From the airport. Anaheim is 15 miles away from both John Wayne Airport and Long Beach Airport. Anaheim is also accessible from nearby Los Angeles International Airport and Ontario Airport—both about 30 miles away. Many Anaheim hotels have an airport shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off for your flight—check with your hotel directly and you will likely be able to avoid renting a car. Disneyland Resort also operates shuttles to and from John Wayne Airport and Los Angeles International airport. Shuttle and executive car services are another airport transportation option that will eliminate the need to rent a car -which you won’t need in Anaheim (http://anaheimoc.org/plan-your-trip/maps).
 
From the train. Visitors can travel to Anaheim by train on either Metrolink or Amtrak. The Metrolink train runs from San Clemente to Los Angeles Union Station (LAUS) in Los Angeles. The Amtrak train runs from San Diego to Santa Barbara with stops at Anaheim as well as LAUS. Both train systems have smartphone-friendly mobile sites and there is also an Amtrak app available for free through iTunes (http://www.metro.net/around/maps).
 
By bus. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) provides bus service for Anaheim with local and county-wide routes. To make it easy to explore Orange County by bus and train, OCTA offers the OCLINK pass. Available on the OCTA website, the pass allows for unlimited travel on all buses and Metrolink trains throughout Orange County for $7 a day or $10 for a weekend (www.octa.net).
 

Getting Around in Town

The Anaheim Resort district was created in 1994, dedicating the area near and around the Disneyland Resort to tourism-friendly uses such as hotels, restaurants and convention facilities. Home to one of the world’s busiest convention centers, the Anaheim Resort offers visitors an array of entertainment options.
 
For many visitors, walking is the fastest, easiest way to navigate their way around the Anaheim Resort area. Many hotels are situated within walking distance of the Anaheim Convention Center and other Resort area destinations.
 
For those hotels that are not within walking distance, they are likely serviced by the not-for-profit Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) system. The ART is a convenient way to get around Anaheim, providing local transit service from area hotels to Disneyland, the Convention Center and other resort-area and neighboring destinations such as Knott’s Berry Farm and the Discovery Science Center. ART’s fleet, which transports more than three million guests each year, includes clean air vehicles such as electric, clean-burning propane and natural gas buses. ART tickets are available for purchase at local hotels, public sales locations, kiosks around the city and online.
 
ART will create a special service schedule for attendees of the APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition. That schedule will be available early summer 2012.
 

What to Explore

Time, not choice, will be the challenge for your visit to Anaheim and Orange County. In addition to the stimulating and educational offerings of the APWA Congress, Anaheim’s many entertainment, sports, food and shopping options will be calling your name. Here are just a few of the ways you can entertain yourself and your entire family while visiting Anaheim:

  • Anaheim GardenWalk
  • Angel Stadium of Anaheim
  • Disneyland Resort
  • Downtown Disney
  • Honda Center
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • The Outlets at Orange
  • Muzeo
  • Westfield MainPlace Mall

Anaheim looks forward to hosting the APWA Congress in August. For any questions about arriving or getting around Anaheim without a car, visitors can visit Aconnext.com or also contact the Anaheim Transportation Network at 1-888-364-ARTS, artinfo@atnetwork.org or visit www.rideart.org.
 
Natalie Meeks can be reached at 714-765-4530 or nmeeks@anaheim.net.