'The heart of Orange County': Santa Ana locals share their love for the evolving community

KABC logo
Friday, June 18, 2021
Santa Ana: Locals call it the 'heart of OC'
EMBED <>More Videos

Art and culture thrive in the city of Santa Ana. It's home to street murals downtown, it's own zoo and a historic museum. Santa Ana locals say their community is so much more than what many might perceive about the Orange County city.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Described as 'a city of hardworking people, a city of dreams,' Santa Ana residents share what makes their hometown special.

The city of Santa Ana is the most populous and largest city in Orange County. Rich in diversity, a growing community and an evolving business district downtown.

Santa Ana is home to the Bowers Museum, the Santa Ana Zoo and the Discovery Cube Orange County. Locals enjoy the historic staples, but also embrace new businesses, mom and pop shops and the city's thriving art community.

"For me is the sun of Orange County. It's something about the city," said Vanessa Castillo, a Santa Ana resident who was raised in the city. "It's a feeling of home, a city of dreams."

"I like to call it the diamond in the rough city. It's definitely an art-driven community," said Oscar Reyes. "It just has such a unique feel."

A local favorite is Pop's Cafe, a cozy neighborhood retro diner. While Cafe Cultura, a contemporary Mexican restaurant, is another popular place in Santa Ana's revitalized downtown. There's also community favorite, Libros Mobile, a small public library in an alleyway.

"There's also the Bowers Museum. That museum that has been around for many years, I think that we're very proud of because it's history that we have in our city," said Castillo.

"When you think of Santa Ana: community, love and culture," said Reyes.

"I love everything that this city represents. Santa Ana is the heart of Orange County," said Castillo.

Watch the video to see more places recommended by Santa Ana residents!