Our historic downtown is the heartbeat of Santa Ana, home to a mosaic of 20th-century buildings, art galleries and studios, diverse restaurants, and vibrant events. Named the county seat in 1889 and nicknamed the “Downtown of Orange County,” you’ll undoubtedly feel the pulse of Santa Ana downtown.
Must-See Attractions in Santa Ana
Seamlessly blending history with art, our downtown attractions weave the past with present-day Santa Ana.
Some must-see spots include the Santora Building, a 1929 Spanish Colonial Revival building that now houses art studios and galleries. A hub for events and concerts, The Yost has been an iconic landmark since 1912. Built in 1913 and named after the founder of Santa Ana, William Spurgeon, the city’s first skyscraper, The W.H. Spurgeon Building, and its clock tower, are a sight to see.
The Old Orange County Courthouse is where some of Orange County’s most pivotal proceedings and activities that shaped the county’s early history took place. The 1901 landmark now houses the OC History Center and hosts tours, field trips, and weddings.
Explore these architectural gems, and more, on the Downtown Santa Ana Historic Architecture Tour.
Santa Ana Restaurants & Bars
Savor authentic local eats at Mexican staples, like El Mercado, which puts a modern twist to traditional fare. They serve everything from blue corn tortilla enchiladas and street tacos to craft cocktails and beer in a trendy setting. Pair a Mexican beer with a homemade dish at El Indio Botanas y Cerveza, a casual downtown eatery.
For Vietnamese fare, head to 828 Pho, serving classic noodle soups, spring roll appetizers, and more in a low-key dining room.
Coffee is its own culture in Santa Ana with roasters like Coffee Muse, which sparks creativity through their espresso and tea creations. Café Cultura blends coffee and Mexican cultures to create specialty lattes, like its horchata-inspired drink, and breakfast items, including its churro waffle dish.
Find a collection of local restaurants under one roof at 4th Street Market with over a dozen rotating food and beverage vendors, including mainstay Recess Bar and Alta Baja Market. McFadden Public Market also houses two themed bars and a changing lineup of food vendors.
Downtown Santa Ana Events
There’s always something going on in our historic downtown.
Visit on the first Saturday of the month and join our people – artists and creatives – during the popular Artwalk. The monthly event brings Santaneros and visitors downtown for a shared experience of art, music, heritage, and food. Dozens of local art vendors set up shop throughout the streets, and our 20-plus art galleries and studios are open to the public for the event.
If you love dancing, save the last dance for us during our Dancing in the Streets event held three times each month, on the first, second, and fourth Saturdays.
Our food halls, from 4th Street to McFadden, host events, from open mic to trivia nights throughout the year.