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List of 6 Places To Visit and Things To Do In Downtown Santa Ana

List of 6 Places To Visit and Things To Do In Downtown Santa Ana (2024)

Located right beside Los Angeles and Anaheim, the city of Santa Ana has always been one favorite destination amongst Sol Cal travelers. Be it for museums, exhibitions, history, or several other activities, Santa Ana has always been in the limelight, and thus, the city welcomes millions of tourists every year. Of all that is spread around the city, its historic downtown alone grabs a massive share for explorable and commercial activities.

Downtown Santa Ana holds Historical, cultural, and institutional importance all over Orange County. In recent years, Downtown Santa Ana has developed as the religious, culinary, and entertainment center for the Orange County booming locals’ business, big & small shops, and events that go here all throughout the year. Of all that this thriving community is known for, here is a List of Places to visit and Things to do in Downtown Santa Ana (DTSA). Have a look:

List of 6 Places To Visit and Things To Do In Downtown Santa Ana

1. 4th Street Market

One of the most popular places in Downtown Santa Ana is the 4th Street Market that is also a hub of entertainment, hospitality, and retail in Orange County. The 4th Street Market is home to several up-class restaurants, bars, cafes, food trucks, mini-malls, theatres, and everything that will entertain and engage you. It has creative chefs, food artisans, fifteen thoughtfully curated restaurants, and seating for hundreds of people. If you are interested in trying authentic South Californian cuisine, the 4th street market is definitely one great place to spend your evening at. The outdoor beer garden with cutting-edge graffiti and the Mexican-European cuisine here is a must-try.

2. Old Orange County Courthouse

The Old Orange County Courthouse is one of the top-rated tourist places in Santa Ana that you will definitely want to visit. It is Orange County’s first Courthouse that plays a significant role in the history and formation of Santa Ana and its nearby cities. This century-old landmark has now turned into a famous museum and one of the favorite places amongst filmmakers and the television world. Its dramatic Romanesque Revival style architecture adds a unique essence in its exterior view giving it a pretty unique look to watch. It is said that the building looks old from the day it came into existence. Also, its proximity to most of Santa Ana’s tourist attractions makes it one prime location for both locals and travelers.

Best Place To Visit In Downtown Santa Ana-Old Orange County Courthouse

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3. Artist Village

The Artist Village is a walkable downtown village in Santa Ana and is known for housing multiple museums, art galleries, unique shops/ boutiques, and restaurants. The streets here are pretty bohemian in nature, reminiscing more of the late 60s style and vibe. From comforting home-cooked food to unique culinary creations, the restaurants and eating spaces here offers quite a variety at a reasonable price; thus, the place is relatively more affordable than the 4th street market. Some significant areas you can check out here include farmer’s Market on Thursday afternoons, Yerba Mex Botanica, Frida Cinema, and Birch Park (home to some oldest trees in Santa Ana). However, if you want to explore the village in its full glory, then a visit here is recommended only during the Art Walk that is on the first Saturday of every month.

4. Episcopal Church of the Messiah

The Episcopal Church of the Messiah is known to be the oldest remaining Santa Ana downtown church and Orange County’s oldest surviving public building in continuous use. The church building dates back to the 1800s and today is known for its masterful architectural features and a variety of particular liturgical elements. Some noteworthy amongst them is a 1903 Moeller Organ (oldest in Orange County), stone baptismal font, iconographic carved decorative wood panels symbolizing Jesus’s word; I am the Alpha and the Omega, and the chapel’s red glass sanctuary lamp, which is imported here right from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It is also known that the first female doctor of Orange County, Dr. Howe-Waffle plays an essential role in the financing and development of the church. Nearby you can also explore here a museum dedicated to Medicinal science and history. 

5. West End Theatre

The West End Theatre is a century-old theatre in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana. It is a prominent part of the history of Santa Ana and is known to have more than 10 names changed from the time of its existence. It has also served as an adult film theatre and foreign art film theatre back in the days; however, today is transformed into a commercial building. It is one of the most expensive and prominent theatres of its time and is known to be built at the cost of $12,000. Of all you can find here includes the trendy Barrel Room wine bar and a few up-classes dining places where you can try some lip-smacking cuisines. Not much said about, but the locals of Santa Ana and several visitors also claim that the West End theatre is a haunted building, and people often hear or see unusual activities here around.

6. The Santora Building

Santora Building is an iconic art center and a historic building that today is home to several restaurants, shops, and art galleries. The building dates back to the early years of the 1900s and is a marvel of the famous architecture Frank Lansdowne. It is one of the magnificent examples of Spanish baroque architecture as well holds great importance in forming present-day Orange County and Santa Ana. There are a few local as well as famous restaurant chains inside Santora, and you would often find it rushed with locals during the evening hours. Also, if you are an art lover, you will find some stunning artwork of both local and renowned SoCal artists here at the art galleries in Santora.

Apart from various permanent buildings, Downtown Santa Ana also boosts in several weekly, quarterly, and annual events throughout the year, drawing significant crowd from all across Orange county. Some prominent events include Noche de Altares on the 1st Saturday of November, Fiesta Patrias in September, Viva la Vida, Patchwork Craft Fair, Boca de Oro Arts & Literature Festival, the Blading Cup (during November), and the Golden Years Vintage Market.

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