Incorporated in 1953, Buena Park is a Spanish settlement that is now one of the biggest tourist destinations in Orange County. Home to Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park was first known as a dairy center. It was here where both Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads built depots and the Lily Creamery began in 1889.
Originally a part of Rancho Los Coyotes, Buena Park claimed their notoriety through wineries and the Lily Creamery. It wasn’t until 1920 when Walter and Cordelia Knott bought 20 acres near Highway 39 that Buena Park began to evolve into something far different than the Spanish settlement and dairy town it was in its early days. The Knotts were a hardworking farming family that quickly became known for their roadside stand that sold rhubarb, asparagus and berries, and Buena Park’s legacy was carved out as an Orange County destination.
Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant
8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
No visit to Buena Park is complete without a stop at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Whether it is a dinner after a long day in the Ghost Town or a slow day taking in the city, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant takes you back to a simpler time when Knotts Berry Farm was just that, a laid back roadside stand.
Cordelia Knott opened this shop after her family’s success with the stand and the signature new berry that they developed, which is a cross between a raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry, the boysenberry. Mrs. Knott looked to highlight and inevitably profit off the boysenberry and so Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant was born in 1934.
The Tea Room is the original dining room from 1934 where visitors have enjoyed fried chicken dinners for over 80 years. This restaurant is what the entire modern amusement park was built around and where generations can enjoy an eclectic atmosphere from yesteryear. Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner is a must see!
8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
Knott’s Soak City is the newest addition to the Knott’s Berry Farm family and one of the most popular attractions in Buena Park when those Orange County summers can be brutal and you just need to cool off.
First opened in 2000, Knott’s Soak City runs every summer for locals and tourists to enjoy. The park is the largest water park in Orange County with 23 waterslides and a 750,000-gallon wave pool. You can work up your appetite in the water, then indulge in standard carnival food like hot dogs and burgers, pizza or the quintessential fair food, funnel cake.
Soak City is sure to be a crowd pleaser for the whole family on those hot summer days. The park offers season passes for locals and day passes for those just visiting.
Clark Regional Park
8800 Rosecrans Ave., Buena Park
For a more laid back outing in Buena Park, be sure to check out Clark Regional Park. This park is open from 7am to 6pm during the Winter and Fall and from 7am to 9pm during the Spring and Summer, parking comes at a small fee per vehicle.
Hidden at the foot of the Coyote Hills sits the Ralph B. Clark Regional Park which sprawls 104 acres and boasts rolling hills, grassy areas, and even a softball complex.
Various activities are available here including hiking and biking trails, team sports on the softball fields and baseball diamonds, a three acre fishing lake, four tennis courts, and an amphitheater. Also found here are two beach volleyball courts and the Interpretive Center where the whole family can enjoy prehistoric exhibits through programs or guided tours. Clark Regional Park is a great place for the whole family to enjoy a day out in the great outdoors.
Medieval Times Dinner Tournament
7662 Beach Blvd, Buena Park
Buena Park has built an entire town from their humble beginnings as a dairy town turned vacation destination. So, if Medieval Times Dinner Tournament didn’t call Buena Park home, we would be in trouble. Through a four course meal, which consists of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potato, and dessert, dinner guests are greeted by a jousting event for the ages.
Performing on horseback, knights compete for the princess’ hand while the audience enjoys a meal and cheers on their knight. The tournament begins with a light show which introduces the six knights and their colors, all of the supporting actors from the squires to the wenches are featured during the show as well. The knights compete in games including flag passing, catching rings, and javelin. The winning knight is distinguished as the Champion and Defender of the Realm and chooses a lady from the audience for a flare of participation.
Built in 1986, the Buena Park Medieval Times Dinner Tournament is one of ten locations in the United States and Canada. Each Medieval Times Dinner Tournament is built in 11th century replica castles and the Buena Park location was the second in the chain.
Henry Boisseranc Park
Built on top of 20 acres of open grassy terrain, Boisseranc Park is the perfect local park to get out and see nature tucked into Buena Park. This park features four lit tennis courts, full amenities including restrooms, picnic areas, and a community building. The park also features a playground for the little ones, a swimming pool that is open during the summer, and four handball courts.
This park is named after Henry Boisseranc who sold land to Walt Disney and in return the city named this park in his honor.
Community Services put on various events here throughout the year which include adult softball, family friendly seasonal events, youth soccer and P-Nut baseball as well as summer concerts for the whole family to enjoy.
Whatever you choose to do, Buena Park has a rich history in Orange County and a bright future as a world class destination for tourists and locals to enjoy various attractions and activities.
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Rebecca has an undeniable love of writing and recently graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. She enjoys watching hockey, scuba diving, swimming, and working out.