Tied up in Knotts at Buena Park

Buena Park Travel Blog

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Within shouting distance of the carbon neutral prius driving tree hugging latte sipping liberals of Los Angeles, Buena Park offers visitors a rare snapshot of small town America in the middle of one of the largest metropolitan melting pots in the world. The main attraction in Buena Park is Knott's Berry Farm and a short drive can take you to Disneyland, Beverly Hills, Ripley’s Believe or Not and the beaches of Santa Monica. Buena Park straddles the Santa Ana (I-5) and Riverside (91) freeways and Beach Boulevard (Super Highway 39). 28 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, 10 miles from the Jon Wayne and and Long Beach Airports.

Beach Boulevard is the happening place in Buena Park, and houses the best of the local attractions, including the Knott's Berry farm, spread over 160 acres of wooden roller coasters and thrill rides ( Yes - You can still visit it even if you are coming from, or going to, Disneyland - There's a big difference ). It wasn't what I expected, and I was lost in a sea of gawking tourists of all shapes and sizes, most of them just aimlessly wandering around and trying to squeeze in that extra something into the vacation. And tell you the truth, roller coasters make me queasy. So after poking around Walter Knott's berry farm, I skipped the rides and decided to embark on an exploration of Beach Blvd and it's offerings - Namely - Food.  

First I wandered into Knott’s Berry Farm Chicken Dinner Restaurant, and the absurd first thought was that this was no place to escape from the crowd. The place was huuuge. People - Tourists, locals, families, kids, the whole of Buena Park seemed to be in line. Well. if everyone was here, the place was bound to serve some good food, which was the primary intention, so I got in line. The aroma was intoxicating and the platters of hot chicken going past me set my mouth watering. I got hold of a plate full of mashed potatoes, gravy filled chicken, buttermilk biscuits and veggies, along with some kind of pie. To make it short - The food was worth wading through the crush. I knew I was going to be back here later.

Stufed to the gills, a walk one block north from Knott's Berry Farm took me to Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, legacy of the Robert LeRoy Ripley oddball facts cartoons. The eight legged pig exhibit was really cool. The pig looked like it was about to flap it's extra legs and start flying. Now that would have been really cool - A flying eight legged pig! http://www.ripleysbp.com/

Next up on the list was Knott's Soak City ( There's no escaping from the Knott's in Buena Park ). Sadly, the waterparks were closed until the next spring, so after some more aimless wandering, I made my way to the farmer's produce market and got yakking with some locals about what their notion of late night entertainment. Which took me to the Medieval Times Dinner. I was expecting to be served dinner by Knights in armor, but their concept of a Medieval dinner was, it seems, a bit different...It's a huge pavilion, with the Knights duking it out in the center and diners stuffing themselves  at tables set in concentric circles aroud the ring. Kind of fun, but a bit synthetic - It was WWF with dinner. http://www.medievaltimes.com/

All said and done, Buena Park was nothing to write home about, but Buena Park restaurants are something special.  Now I need to a find a Buena Park California hotel, preferably one which has nothing to do with Knotts. Which could take me all night, since the Knott's seem to have their sticky fingers on just about everything on Boulevard avenue. Heck, there's even a Knott Avenue in Buena Park.

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Buena Park
photo by: sUrAbUyA