Santa Ana, California

Santa Ana is a small city situated in Orange County in Southern California's Greater Los Angeles region. Santa Ana is California's 13th most populous city and the nation's 4th most densely populated city after New York City, San Francisco, and Boston. The city also serves as the Orange Coast's chief economic and cultural hub. Nestled on the banks of the Santa Ana River, Santa Ana is an outstanding vacation destination offering something for everyone.

Geography And Climate Of Santa Ana

Aerial view of the urban core of downtown Santa Ana, California
Aerial view of the urban core of downtown Santa Ana, California. 

Santa Ana is placed on flat, low-lying plains with minimal fluctuation in land elevation. The massively channelized Santa Ana River, which flows through the city's western portion, has become largely seasonal after the construction of the Prado and Seven Oaks dams. Despite the dams, the Santa Ana River has caused multiple devastating floods in the twentieth century and remains a concern. Santa Ana covers a total area of 70.89 sq. km, of which 70.81 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.08 sq. km is covered by water. 

According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Santa Ana experiences a hot semi-arid climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters with minimal rainfall. The warmest months in Santa Ana are June, July, and May, whereas the coldest months are December and January. According to the tourist score, the perfect season to visit Santa Ana for warm-weather activities is from late May to early October.

History Of Santa Ana

The Old Orange County Courthouse
The Old Orange County Courthouse dedicated in 1901, is a granite and sandstone Romanesque Revival building located in the Santa Ana Historical Downtown District. 

Santa Ana gets its name from the first Spanish expedition to the area. In 1769, Don Gaspar de Portolá, the Spanish expedition team commander, discovered a lovely valley and river in Southern California, which he named Santa Ana. The region was formed as "Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana" under a Spanish land grant for cattle grazing and cultivation. When William H. Spurgeon purchased 70 acres in 1869 and planned out a townsite, he followed tradition and named the new town Santa Ana. Santa Ana was incorporated as a city in 1886 and is currently the political and economic hub of Orange County as well as a significant city in California.

The Population And Economy Of Santa Ana

The main building and front entrance to the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center
The main building and front entrance to the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. Editorial credit: The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

As per the latest US Census, Santa Ana has a population of 310,227 inhabitants. Santa Ana's population is now falling at a -0.46 % yearly pace, and it has declined by -0.92 % since the 2010 census, which reported a population of 324,528. Santa Ana has a median household income of $83,475. The poverty rate is 13.43%, and more than 21% of the population lives below the federal poverty level. Over 161,000 inhabitants are employed as civilians. Several prominent businesses have their corporate and regional offices in the city. Nevertheless, the County of Orange is the largest employer, employing nearly 16,856 people. Other significant companies in the city include Ingram Micro, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Tenet Healthcare, and the United States Postal Service.

Attractions In Santa Ana

The Bowers Museum

The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California
The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Editorial credit: Sandra Foyt / Shutterstock.com

The Bowers Museum is named in honor of Charles Bowers, who donated the site on which the museum stands. The original building, which opened in 1936, is a stunning Mission Revival-style construction. After two extensions, the museum is now ten times larger than the original design. The museum's principal goal is to let tourists know about and respect various cultures. The Bowers Museum attracts tourists with its collection of approximately 10,000 artifacts from Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific.

The Discovery Cube

Aerial view of traffic on the 5 freeway passing by the Discovery Tube in downtown Santa Ana, California
Aerial view of traffic on the 5 freeway passing by the Discovery Tube in downtown Santa Ana, California. Editorial credit: Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

The Discovery Cube is a family-friendly interactive science museum including over 100 hands-on displays. It was once known as the Discovery Science Center, but it is now recognized as the Discovery Cube due to its ten-story solar cube, which has become a well-known landmark. The museum exhibitions inspire youngsters to learn by piquing their interests. Air and Space, Dynamic Earth, Eco-Challenge, Quake Zone, Rocket Lab, and the Science of Hockey are among the areas of the Discovery Cube that are grouped by theme.

Lyon Air Museum

American Airlines aircraft at Lyon Air Museum, Santa Ana, California
HDR photograph of American Airlines Douglas DC-3 US mail Air Express aircraft at Lyon Air Museum, Santa Ana, California. Editorial credit: Denis Blofield / Shutterstock.com

Major General William Lyon established the Lyon Air Museum, which is situated on the western side of John Wayne Airport. The museum has several real World War II military planes, vehicles, and motorbikes that will spark visitors' interest. There are also some unique antique autos and related war relics in the museum. A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, and a Douglas C-47 Skytrain are among the various aircraft that are on display at the museum.

Santa Ana Zoo

Crean Family Farms Barn at the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park, Santa Ana, California
Crean Family Farms Barn at the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park, Santa Ana, California. Editorial credit: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

The Santa Ana Zoo, situated in a 20 acre-area close to Prentice Park, focuses on the flora and animals of Central and South America. The place of zoo was donated to the city of Santa Ana by Joseph Prentice, and the zoo debuted in 1952. The Amazon's Edge, the Colors of the Amazon Aviary, and the Crean Family Farm are among the amazing attractions and rides at the zoo.

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art building in downtown Santa Ana, California
The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art building in downtown Santa Ana, California. Editorial credit: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

The center was founded in 1980 and is located in a 6,300-square-foot facility in the old Downtown Santa Ana Artist Village. Its unique and entertaining galleries, studios, cafés, and stores draw a large number of art-loving tourists. The center showcases works by regional Orange County artists and has hosted over 800 special guests throughout its 35-year history.

Orange County Heritage Museum

H. Clay Kellogg House at the Heritage Museum of Orange County, Santa Ana, California
H. Clay Kellogg House at the Heritage Museum of Orange County, Santa Ana, California. Editorial credit: Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

The Orange County Heritage Museum is a historical attraction set on 12 acres of lovely citrus trees and floral gardens. A square in the middle features numerous structures from the 1890s, such as the famous Kellogg House. Hiram Clay Kellogg planned and built the Kellogg House in 1898, using a Queen Anne influence in the architecture. Kellogg was captivated by ships, and the house's interior has various intriguing aspects that show his nautical interest.

The finest things come in little packages, as the saying goes, and this beautiful city is no exception. Anyone visiting Santa Ana will enjoy the different activities and attractions that this Orange County city has to offer.

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