It’s official–the 2017 DECA International Career Development Conference is in Anaheim, CA. And even though everyone sees Anaheim and hears “Disneyland,” we wanted to put together a list of totally-awesome, not-Disney things to try.
If you’re looking for something a little different–a little adventurous, a little artsy–then read on!
Things To See/Do
1. It’s “plane” to see why we’d recommend Flightdeck
If you’ve ever wanted to fly a plane without the risks of, well, being several thousand feet in the air, Flightdeck is the place for you! It’s a totally realistic flight simulator, where you’ll have the opportunity to try flying a fighter jet OR a commercial airliner. It’s great alone, but it’s especially great in a group. Fly through the doors and see what all the fuss is about!
2. Have a fashionable experience at MUZEO
One of Anaheim’s smaller prides-and-joys, MUZEO has a few rotating exhibitions in their small museum space all year round. During DECA 2017, their featured exhibition is all about the fashion from Downton Abbey–it showcases clothes from that period and walks visitors through a bright slice of fashion history. Plus, they have themed afternoon teas!
3. Dive into the music scene at Chain Reaction
Raise your hand if you tend to think of music venues as 21+ places only. Not Chain Reaction! Their website is literally allages.com, and they have fun, laid-back shows with local artists a few different times a week. Come enjoy the atmosphere and soak up some after-dark fun that’s not the Disney firework show.
4. See what’s around the river bend at Yorba Regional Park
After being cooped up at a conference center, are you DECA kids/advisors dying to escape into nature? Have a picnic? Play volleyball? Lay in the shade? Yorba Regional Park has it all. Stroll along the Santa Ana River for over a mile, and breathe in the sunshine.
5. Ice Skate at the official training facility of the NHL Ducks
Come take a break from the hot Santa Ana sun and pretend you’re a Mighty Duck. Whether you want to skate solo or take a group lesson, this facility has it all! It’s a great place to while away an afternoon after a morning packed with DECA events.
6. Take a hike at Oak Canyon Nature Center
Get pumped for a long day of DECA activities with a jog or a hike around one of Oak Canyon’s many scenic trails. It’s free, gorgeous, and also has a small museum on site with natural history exhibits about the local flora and fauna.
7. Explore the weirdness of Brookhurst Community Park
Every so often, an architect gets to do something a little different with a municipally-funded playground–and that’s what happened here. Seemingly inspired by the Spanish architect Gaudi, This playground is filled with organic, undulating concrete that invites visitors–especially curious DECA students–to explore every nook and cranny.
8. Place some peanuts or Cracker Jack at the Jack Norworth Memorial Marker
Everyone’s heard “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” right? Jack Norworth wrote that classic song in 1908 and is now buried at the Melrose Abbey Cemetery in Anaheim. Take a minute or two to pay respects to the source of that ridiculously catchy song, and maybe buy him the snacks he musically requests.
9. Don’t get scurvy on your Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
If the phrases “World’s Most Interactive Dinner Theater Show,” “aerial artistry,” and “swashbuckling swordplay” make your ears perk up even a little bit, make your way over to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure for the pinnacle of dinner and a show. It takes place on a giant ship (an 18th-century Spanish galleon, to be exact) in the middle of a 250,000-gallon lagoon. Um, yes? Please?
Things To Eat
10. Tickle your taste buds at Taco Maria
An Anaheim fixture that’s usually far away from touristy listicles, Taco Maria has incredible and sophisticated dishes and flavor combinations. Try the Mole de Pollo–it’s got Jidori chicken, ancho-almond mole, queso fresco, and pickled onion.
11. Fill up at The Packing District
DECA kids know what they want, and they know that it’s possible to politely disagree on, say, the perfect lunch. That’s where The Packing District comes in. Basically a gourmet food court, this mall offers a ton of different food options–and live music, too!
12. B-B-Queue up for a sandwich at Blake’s Place
Friendly service? Check. High-quality food? Check. Incredible barbecue sandwiches? Triple check. They’ve got high-tech barbecue pits that let ‘em slow roast a whole variety of meats–and if that doesn’t convince you, they’ve been in business for 21 years now. Try the sandwich sampler and get three different items on the menu–the best of all possible worlds.
13. Satisfy your tongue with Umami Burger
This incredibly crave-able burger chain started out in LA and has now spread across the country to critical acclaim. Grab a fancy-schmancy burger and some truffle fries at one of the original locations, and enjoy your mouth being too full (for a few minutes) to plan, network, or debate.
14. Play with your food at Tana Ethiopian Restaurant
What’s more fun than eating with your hands? Basically nothing. Hit up this classic Orange County restaurant while you share a truly communal meal with your DECA teammates. Pass the injera, please!
15. Noodle around at Peppino’s Italian Family Restaurant
In business since 1984, this sweet Italian restaurant is warm, cozy, and welcoming as ever. Choose from, literally, pages of pasta dishes, and celebrate the successful weekend with your DECA friends.
What are you excited to try? Let us know in the comments!