Things to Do In Buena Park: An Epic Girls Getaway In The Land Of Yes!

Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all the “No’s” in your life? No time? Nothing new? No fun? It sounds like it’s time to grab your bestie and head to Buena Park, California, “The Land of Yes!” for a fun-filled girls’ getaway!

You may think Buena Park is just about family fun, but think again! Deb, my best friend from high school, and I just got back from Buena Park, and let me tell you, we had lots of good fun that was funny. As a famous Southern California author once said, “It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how.”

Pregame by the Pool

Pool at Courtyard by Marriott Buena Park, Ca.Pool at Courtyard by Marriott Buena Park, Ca.
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Buena Park is a compact Southern California town that’s only 10 square miles in total. We had the standard list of chain hotels to choose from that were all reasonably priced, and we went with the Courtyard by Marriott. The rooms were fairly big and clean, but we loved that the Courtyard actually had a courtyard with a clean pool and fire pits.

We felt obliged to celebrate the Courtyard’s courtyard by pregaming at the pool. I had a margarita from the Bistro, and Deb had a mocktail—which I mocked her about all night long, lol! It was so good that we post-gamed it there as well 😉.

Unleash Your Witchy Woman at The Cauldron Spirits & Bar

The Cauldron is only half a mile from the Courtyard, close enough to walk or take a cheap Uber. It’s dark yet cozy, with a wickedly fun witchy atmosphere. Vintage witch illustrations and black cat artwork adorned the walls. It felt like we were entering a haunted mansion, making us wonder what was on the menu.

I ordered the Naughty Kid Martini, vodka poured over boysenberry cotton candy, and Deb ordered a Bourbon and Brimstone, which came smoking to the table. The drinks were balanced, not too sweet or smokey, and paired well with our beet and chevre salad and filet mignon steak bites.

Beach Boulevard Club

No girls’ weekend is complete without a little BBC. Of course, I’m talking about the Beach Boulevard Club. Stepping through a faux bookshelf into the lounge immediately transported us to the roaring twenties in Chicago.

Dueling pianos played sing-along favorites as we sipped our after-dinner cocktails. It was a pretty good crowd for a S̶a̶t̶u̶r̶d̶a̶y̶ Friday so we’re glad we got reservations. We were both in the mood for a melody, and the drinks had us feeling alright. More than alright, downright sophisticated, even if our meager tips couldn’t persuade the pianists to take our requests. I guess we weren’t rolling heavy by OC standards.

Break Our Fast at The Broken Yolk Cafe

I love those mornings when you’re double-fisting a latte and a mimosa. Those mornings are even better with a mimosa flight from the Broken Yolk Cafe.

Deb and I were channeling our inner OC. I opted for the fiesta burrito, sin burrito, which was surprisingly similar to a scramble. Deb had avocado toast with a light drizzle of balsamic. Delish!

No Knocking Knott’s

You can’t come to Buena Park and not go to Knott’s Berry Farm. Spring is the Boysenberry Festival, which runs daily from mid-March through mid-April and weekends mid-April to mid-May. Knott’s is the birthplace of the Boysenberry. Technically, Rudolph Boysen developed his namesake berry in the 20s and gave it to his friend, Walter Knott, for commercial development at Knott’s Berry Farm. Still, I’ll take it and all that Boysenberry goodness!

In addition to the regular rides and revelry, I had a tasting card good for six items at any of the twelve food-tasting stations around the park. My favorites were the Boysenberry layered no-bake cheesecake cup, Boysenberry BBQ beef barbacoa on mac and cheese with green onions, and the charcuterie board with goat cheese, salami, pepperoni, Boysenberry jam, and Boysenberry mustard. Of course, I had to get a Boysenberry pineapple rum runner to wash everything down.

The Knott’s Berry Farm tastes were generous, so we had to walk the park, shop the shops, and ride some rides while our food settled. It was a berry good way to wile away an afternoon. We could have stayed longer, but we had dinner plans down at the Gaucho Grill.

Grazing the Gaucho Grill

It might seem like I’m just the type of girl who can’t say no, but I was saying no too much on this trip. I was starting a gluten-free diet and my neck was feeling too funky for roller coasters. At Gaucho Grill, I got to say yes – a lot!

Gaucho Grill is an Argentine steakhouse, so we ordered the prime picanha served gaucho style. It was 20 ounces of grilled sirloin with two sides-delicious, and primally satisfying.

Finding The Source OC

Keanu Reeves spent three movies looking for The Source in The Matrix. If he had just left Hollywood, he would have discovered that The Source OC isn’t where old programs go to die. It’s Southern California’s premium dining and entertainment district. Only it felt more K-Pop than mainframe, if you know what I mean.

For entertainment, they had karaoke, a collection of VR sports, and Asian movies on the big screen. For shopping, they had K-Pop Music Town, Naughty Cat for K-fashion, Namano Koso for nutrition, and Tomnada marketplace, with imports direct from Korea. The window shopping was a blast. Next time, we’ll have to karaoke!

Breakfast at Basilur Tea

Basilur Tea offers souffle pancakes all day, which looked yummy but not for my gluten-free tummy. Instead, I had eggs Benedict sin Benedict. Even though this theory isn’t amongst the dish’s origin story, I like to believe Benedict is an homage to Benedict Arnold via the English muffins, and I refuse to let facts stand in the way of a good story.

Deb stuck with her avocado toast, which was becoming a pattern, so I guilted her into going to Old Ferry Donuts for second breakfast. Old Ferry Donuts was in Seoul in 2016 as South Korea’s first premium donut brand. In fact, The Source OC has America’s first Old Ferry storefront. Geographically speaking, Southern California is the perfect place for a New York-inspired donut from Korea. I figured one bite of donut couldn’t be too bad, and Deb was more than willing to share.

Il Fiora Italian With a View

We spent the rest of our morning traveling up to Il Fiora on the third floor. Of course, there was window shopping and a photo booth or two. We weren’t hurrying to bridge the gap between second breakfast and lunch. The third floor was as much an indoor arboretum as it was a shopping mall, with many plantings taking advantage of the open air and sunshine.

Despite its Korean origins, Il Fiora served all the traditional Italian favorites. What I really loved was the outside patio overlooking the Main Plaza. Deb and I joked about what a great lookout it would be if we were still cruising for boys in the mall. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, but it would also be a great vantage point for the mall’s event lineup. They seem to have something happening every weekend!

Hiking Ralph B. Clark Regional Park

We wanted to do something other than shopping and eating, so we went for a hike in Ralph B. Clark Regional Park. We had three trails to choose from: the Perimeter Trail, West Coyote Hills Trail, and Castlewood Trail. We decided to hike the 2.2-mile out-and-back West Coyote Hills Trail. The Perimeter Trail was only 1.4 miles, and the Castlewood Trail looked like it could keep going to Laguna Lake if you wanted. Besides, West Coyote Hill was the highest-ranked and most-reviewed trail on AllTrails.

We started with a gradual climb through some flash homes on the hillside. It was early May, and the cacti were in full bloom. Numerous side trails led into the neighborhoods, so we found it useful to follow our map online. The trail never reaches the summit of the hill and starts to drop into another neighborhood past the water tower. Knowing what I know now, I would have hiked to the water tower and back (~1.5 mi) and then the Perimeter Loop Trail (1.4 mi).

Returning to The Source

We burned enough calories to make room for dinner, which was back at The Source OC mall. We selected dPot, because they serve authentic Korean-style hot pot, also known as Shabu Shabu. To keep the variety up, we ordered items for the hot pot and grill.

Our server prepared pots of Thai broth and spicy Tonkotsu broth to boil at our table while we picked up our vegetables and seafood for the pots at the buffet. We added our meats and veggies to cook in the broths while our server cooked spicy bulgogi on our tabletop grill. Everything was fresh and flavorful, spicy and savory, but most of all super fun.

Exploring Koreatown

The City of Buena Park officially designated the northern portion of the City as “Koreatown” in 2023. Council Member Joyce Ahn proudly states, “‘Koreatown’ is more than a name; it’s a recognition of a community that has significantly shaped the cultural and economic landscape of Buena Park.” Certainly, Beach Boulevard from Rosecrans Avenue to Orangethorpe Avenue has the K-pop’n hopping.

Our morning started at Smoking Tiger Coffee & Bread, an homage to the good old days in Korean Folklore when tigers used to smoke. We continued to H Mart, which was so bright I felt like I was shopping in an anime series, one with insanely fresh and colorful produce! I legit would love to have one of these in Huntsville!

Our next stop was Koreatown Pizza, which was so creative. They had mocha bun crusts and hashbrown crusts, along with a wide range of toppings. I can totally see how scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage go with a hashbrown crust, but I don’t understand why their meathead pizza goes with a mocha bun crust. Maybe it’s the sweet and savory pairing. We played it safe and got the bulgogi pizza on a traditional crust and some bulgogi fried rice for my new gluten-free sensibilities.

We couldn’t leave Buena Park without one last stop at the super fun and hipster Krak Boba for their signature King Brulee Boba tea.

Bye Bye Buena Park

Buena Park California signBuena Park California sign
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

We left Buena Park knowing that we could have spent a whole week here and not tried all the Boysenberry treats at Knott’s Berry Farm or bulgogi dishes in Koreatown. Here’s a link to the best page on our friends at Visit Buena Park’s website, the Deals Page! Not only can you get up to 35% off Knott’s Berry Farm, there’s even discounts on cruises and hotels!

When I come back I plan to hit up Rock and Brew for a rocking good burger and maybe Medieval Times to see if the Red Knight always wins. Knott’s Scary Farms looks fun for Halloween, which is scary enough not to be recommended for children under 13. There’s definitely more fun we can get into on a return trip to the “Land of Yes!

Disclosure: A big thank you to Visit Buena Park for hosting us and setting up a fantastic itinerary! For more Buena Park travel inspiration, check out their InstagramFacebook, TikTok, and YouTube accounts.

As always, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we only recommend brands and destinations that we 100% stand behind.

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Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman aka Coleman Concierge. In a nutshell, we are a Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity-driven transformational and experiential travel.




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