In northwestern Orange County, Buena Park, California, is a suburban city located adjacent to Anaheim and about 12 miles northwest of Santa Ana. Estimates from the 2000 census put its population around 80,000, and it is comprised of an area of almost 11 square miles. It is surrounded by Fullerton to the east, Cerritos and La Palma to the west, La Mirada to the north, and Anaheim and Cypress the south. Median household income for residents here is just over $50,000.
The area originally was settled by Spanish explorers who founded the large ranchos provided by land grants made to them by the king of Spain. The area that is now Buena Park was part of the rancho owned by Manuel Nieto. It was later subdivided into five separate ranchos in 1834, and one makes up parts of the current site of the city. In 1885 a man named James Whitaker purchased some of this land and then founded Buena Park in 1887. The city incorporated in 1953, when it was still largely based on an agricultural economy, particularly dairy, wine and citrus.
Seven school districts serve Buena Park, with students attending some schools in nearby towns depending on their residency. The Buena Park School District most of the northern part of the city, and feeds into the Fullerton Joint Union High School District. Centralia, Cypress, Magnolia and Savanna school districts make up the southern city's districts, and feed into Anaheim Union High School District. There are six elementary schools, one junior high and one high school within the city limits.
Buena Vista's most popular attraction is Knott's Berry Farm, a theme park. It is located within the city's E-Zone district, which also includes sites like Knott's Soak City, Pirate's Dinner Adventure Show, a Medieval Times dinner show and a Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum. The city maintains 10 parks and the Walter D. Ehlers Community Recreation Center. The Buena Park Library District has more than 125,000 materials. Historic buildings in the city include the Whitaker-Jaynes House, now the history museum, the Bacon House, the Stage Stop Hotel and the Tice House.