Santa Ana Information and Photos
Santa Ana is the county seat for Orange County and the
home of Orange County's John Wayne Airport.
above is the Bowers Museum which features art of the Americas
and Pacific Rim, plus art festivals, film programs, a lecture
series and an acclaimed restaurant, Tangata Café. The
Santa Ana Zoo (bottom middle) includes exotic birds, monkeys, a
mountain lion and barnyard animals.
Santa Ana is
just a very unusual place where cultures amazingly co-exist.
Boundaries are difficult to comprehend so you generally fly by
the seat of your pants in trying to understand the customs and
approach. Next door neighbors such as Westminster with its
Asian community have started to acculturate to American customs
and laws. Falling into line with no-smoking policies, the Asian
Garden Mall and other shops have removed smoking from their
shops, for instance.
In Santa Ana,
there are street pushcarts selling foods and wares that by all
appearances, bring the comforts and pleasures Hispanics are
accustomed to south of the border. Many stores in downtown Santa
Ana sell the gifts and clothing geared solely toward a Hispanic
audience. Yet in the midst of this non-English speaking section
of town you'll find some lofts, renovated buildings and cool,
trendy hangouts that are throwbacks to the hippie era. And don't
forget that Santa Ana is the heart of county government.
Christened in honor of
Saint Anne, on July 26, 1769, Spanish expedition party leader, Don Gaspár
de Portolá, discovered the picturesque valley and river Rancho Santiago de Santa
Ana. But it was José Antonio Yorba and Juan Peralta who were given a Spanish
land grant. They developed the property for cattle grazing and farming.
100 years later Santa Ana became a city when William H. Spurgeon
purchased 70 acres from the Yorba family in 1869. Incorporated in
1886, it was separated from Los Angeles County and was named the
County seat just three years later.
The population is 74% Hispanic with restaurants, shops and markets
catering to an audience whose primary language is Spanish. Many
residents are bilingual, especially youngsters and long time residents
but in Santa Ana, you'll feel right at home if Spanish is your native
tongue. Holidays are celebrated in a unique way with Christmas one of
the biggest events. It includes a procession in a local stadium and
breaking of piñatas as part of holiday festivities.
Things to see and do:
Historic downtown Santa
Ana is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Dr.
Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum Open first Saturday & Sunday each month
Noon - 4 p.m., 120 Civic Center Dr., (714) 547-9645
Santa Ana is home to the
Orange County court system. There's a beautiful
old courthouse which is a historic
landmark and is used as a set for filming in hundreds of television
shows and movies.
2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706 (714) 567-3600
Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 E.
Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701 Open daily except Christmas and New
Year's Day. santaanazoo.org
treasure has been in existence for over 50 years. The zoo
includes a special children's petting area, regularly featured
exhibits that include a female Golden Lion Tamarin, female Pygmy
Marmoset, a ram named Casper, emus, ewes, Millipedes and more!