Most television series based in California will pay homage to In-N-Out at some point. It's classic California. Californians can't resist the fresh-cut potato fries, the Grade A beef (never frozen), and the spread. The spread used to just come on the burgers but they had to start packaging the spread for easier distribution because their customers always ask for extra to smother their fries in. The menu is as simple and classic as their image, but there is "the secret menu" that any local, or even the cashier, can tell you about. If you want to pretend to be in the know, just Google it before you go.
A classic American diner with a woman's touch. Independently owned, with just two locations, the Fullerton Kimmie's boasts an outdoor heated patio. It's only open until 2PM, so you have to come by for breakfast or lunch, but no matter what time you show up, you should order from the breakfast menu because that's where the goodies are. Banana-nut pancakes, build-your-own omelets, and the coffee, of course, you have to try the coffee. The waitresses are all smiles, and their aprons all handmade.
The best and most expensive Thai in Fullerton. There are cheaper options at nearly every shopping center but what you sacrifice in cost you also sacrifice in authenticity and variety. If you are just getting your monthly Pad Thai fix, then any place will do and you'll save a few bucks, but if you're looking for the quality of a home-cooked Thai meal, then hit up Thai BBQ, and ask your server for recommendations. Be adventurous. Drink the Thai tea, with or without boba
A local landmark, Ruta's is known for their health-conscious, yet tasty— or should it be tasty, yet health-conscious?— offerings, from gigantic salads to lean deli meats to their famous cheesecake. The staff does not wear uniforms, but don't worry they'll make themselves known. Do: seat yourself (there are no hosts to seat you). Don't: order falafel, it's the one thing on the menu that everyone agrees is horrible.
Fine French cuisine underground. The restaurant is beneath the historic Villa Del Sol, a beautiful building and plaza in the heart of downtown. The wine list, as you may have guessed, is impressive and the menu is, well, French. Foie gras, escargot, and the like. A lovely experience for any day, but an excellent place to mark a special occasion.
A collection of 4,000 plants from around the world on 26 acres. Of note is the 100' tall Ombu tree and the large collection of desert plants. On the grounds is '''Heritage House''' an Eastlake-style cottage built in 1894 by one of Fullerton's pioneers. The home and grounds have been restored to portray life in turn-of-the-century Fullerton.
Dark decor and fabulous dim lighting to set the mood. It's great to go with a date or a group of friends for an intimate dinner. Go Monday for Martini night, all menu martinis $5, or go on Wine Wednesdays when all bottles are 1/2 price. Their pasta dishes are hearty and delectable. They are only open for dinner.
Fruit, eggs, honey, flowers, nuts, and fish make their way from around Southern California to Independence Park for the oldest farmers’ market in Orange County. Whereas the downtown Fullerton Market is more of a carnival, this small market is easier for actually buying produce, especially Asian vegetables.
The Italian food is good, but go for the seafood. Ask your server for a good wine pairing. Go on the weekend when there is live entertainment. The entertainment won't be as good as the food, but it adds ambience to a night on the town. Monday night is Karaoke night. Open for lunch and dinner.
Take an aerobatic thrill ride in an open-cockpit biplane, or take a scenic aerial cruise over Catalina Island or downtown Los Angeles. No flying experience necessary, but call ahead; you may need to book several weeks in advance, especially for the romantic summertime sunset flights.
Don't have a pilot's license? Never stepped foot on a plane? You can still be a fighter pilot for a day. Be transported from suburbia to aerial combat via single-engine plane, learning dogfighting tehcniques with ACUSA's skilled instructors.
The former mansion of Walter and Adella Muckenthaler, “The Muck” is part art school, part performance space, and part gallery. A variety of music festivals, art shows, and other exhibits call it home; check the website calendar for details.
Historic Downtown Fullerton is North Orange County's destination for shopping, fine dining, and nightlife. Many family and community oriented events are held frequently at the Downtown Plaza, next to the Fullerton Museum Center.
A 2½ hour, 1½ mile (2.4 km) guided tour of haunted locations in downtown Fullerton. See the website for the exact dates. Note that the tour involves climbing stairs. Not recommended for children under 13.
CSUF is a 4-year university that offers 105 degree programs, including a doctorate in education. It is the largest unit of the California State University system by enrollment.
This is a collection of classic vintage mopeds from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. If you're looking for a unique place to visit in Orange County this is it.
Part of a Southern California chain. They make the most authentic tacos north of the border. Drive-thru is open 24-hours. Enough said.
Used clothing shop has excellent selection of alternative clothing and shoes. Most in good shape and for fair prices.
This website provides information on downtown shopping, dining, and art. It also details parking and transportation.
Fullerton College is a two-year college offering 90 Associate degree programs.
Street fair, craft and farmers market.
Fullerton has undergone several transformations from its 1887 founding as a rural stop on the Santa Fe Railroad. A longtime agricultural powerhouse in fruit and nut trees and ranching, Fullerton's economy exploded in the early 1900s with the development of the petroleum industry, with many fine homes and civic buildings constructed with oil money into the 1920s. After World War II, manufacturing displaced oil drilling, dominated by companies like Hughes Aircraft and Val-Vita Foods (later Hunt-Wesson, of Hunt's Ketchup and Wesson Oil). By the 1960s, Fullerton was also a bedroom community for booming Los Angeles.
In the 21st century, Fullerton's economy has shifted again, this time to education (driven by California State University, Fullerton and Fullerton College) and healthcare (driven by St. Jude's Medical Center). Its historic downtown has been revitalized into a regional shopping and entertainment district. Fullerton has a thriving arts culture, home to several theatre companies as well as a vibrant music scene that has its roots with famous guitarmaker Leo Fender.
Fullerton has a large ethnic Korean community, drawn to its excellent schools. Unlike Westminster's Little Saigon or Garden Grove's Little Seoul, however, is no single Koreatown. Instead, you will find Korean restaurants, bakeries, churches, and shops scattered in pockets throughout the city.