The southern Sharon area, where Ra’anana is located, has been going through major development recently. The new Road 531 is already partially open, new train lines that are about to open, and easy access to roads 2, 4, and 6 have pushed the growth of the area. There is so much more to do and see in the area that one no longer has to commute to Tel Aviv; you can find plenty of action in the area: parks, malls, restaurants, bars and even a winery located within a 15-minute drive!
Most people visiting Ra’anana are businessmen coming to the city’s high-tech companies or are guests of the large international community in the city. But slowly and safely, with the opening of the new Prima Millennium Hotel, the city is turning into a destination in itself with much to do and see in and around town, and vibrant nightlife.
In our visit, we stayed at the Prima Millennium at the northern Ra’anana junction and visited the parks (both Ra’anana and Kfar Saba have groomed parks), the malls (Renanim and Oshiland), jumped at the SkyJump trampoline park, enjoyed good dining and entertainment (Pazzo Pizza, Shenkin Bar, Burgers Bar), and even tasted some wines at the nearby Alexander Winery.
Lodging: Prima Millennium
Prima Millennium attracts mostly business people who come to the nearby industrial area, but it is much more than a regular business hotel with modern rooms. The hotel guests can use the in situ Holmes Place luxury gym, which includes an indoor heated lap pool, huge Jacuzzi and saunas. We took advantage of the facilities and enjoyed them very much.
In addition, the executive lounge on the 12th floor is a treat, with a spacious terrace providing a fantastic panoramic view of the area! On a clear day you can see the Mediterranean! We sat there at sunset and enjoyed a glass of wine! They serve refreshments and light meals there around the clock. Breakfast is very good as well.Prima Millennium Hotel
2 Hatidhar St. Ra’anana
Recreation: Parks, Sky Jump
There are three very nice parks in the area that are all worth a visit: Ra’anana, Kfar Saba, and Herzliya. If you go to the one in Ra’anana, you can enjoy a big lake, a large playground, the park’s mini train and even a gondolier for some romantic adventure.
One of the best attractions for all the ages is the SkyJump Trampoline. Located near Renanim Mall, it is a paradise for children and teens and is fun for adults. SkyJump spans over 1,500 square meters with more than 50 jumping surfaces, including trampolines, sponge pools, beams, cage ball and basketball, a kiddie area. There is also a 7D virtual reality theater, parents seating area and a birthday room.
Sky Jump 2
Hayetsira St., Ra’anana
www.skyjump.co.il, (09) 788-7170
Oshiland Leisure Mall
While there are many malls around (Renanim in Ra’anana, the Green mall near Ra’anana North junction, G Mall and Arim Mall in Kfar Saba, etc.), Oshiland in Kfar Saba is the best choice for pastime. It is a leisure center.
Oshiland has a state of the art movie theatre, indoors skate park, a free shaded outdoors playground “Oshipark”, a kid’s cyber park “Mogobe”, and even a recording studio. Culinary-wise there is the Oshifood food market with food stands and restaurants that is designed like a retro food court that is cool to hang out at. There are always many workshops, lectures and kids activities there for free or for a nominal fee.
The trademark of the mall is the big slide from the upper floor to the lower floor – why take the stairs back to the (free!) underground parking lot when you can do it much faster?! That, assuming you don’t carry all the shopping bags, because there are some nice boutiques here as well.Oshiland
4 Atir Yeda st. Kfar Saba
If you want to taste some wines, Alexander Winery is less than 20 km. away, north on road 4 and it is well worth the drive. It is one of the best wineries in Israel in my opinion and some of their wines were rated higher than 90 points by Robert Parker.
The Winery is situated in a rural setting at the village of Beit Yitzhak and is very elegant. At the winery we met Yoram Shalom, the winemaker. He told us that his father was an amateur winemaker and they, the children, were asked to help him with the manual wine pressing.
When he got older he visited the vineyards of Dalton. All the scents brought back memories and he decided to start making wines. He established the winery in 1996. His first season was a failure, but the next year was a success and now he makes around 50,000 bottles of fine wines every year. After tasting the wines, I can testify that they are some of the best wines in Israel, and I highly recommend visiting the winery and/or ordering wines online. Also, the wines are beautifully decorated since his mother’s family were jewelry makers and this inspired the design of the wine bottles.
The winery is open for visitors every Friday or by reservation. The winery tour includes wine tasting, and there is also an option to add cheeses and make it a brunch on the lovely terrace! There is an online wine shop, and they also offer event services.Alexander Winery
15 Derech Hefer St., Beit Yitzhak
(09) 882-2956, 054-435-0180
Dining and Entertainment
Surprisingly, there are some fine dining and entertainment options in Ra’anana, and some are also open on weekends! In the industrial area near the Renanim Mall (in front of SkyJump) there is the Pazzo Pizza, Bang Burger and Shenkin Bar; further along on Ahuza St., near the park, you’ll find the kosher Burgers Bar.
Pazzo Pizza serves excellent pizza and much more! The center of the restaurant is a traditional Italian oven with open fire, where they make Italian style pizza and Focaccia. Everything we tried here was excellent – tomato salad, sweet potato chips, pizzas, the warm banana loti dessert and the cocktail! I highly recommend the Truffle Bianca pizza – to die for! And they also have a good selection of beers, wines, beers, and cocktails and other alcoholic beverages.
Pazzo Pizza is currently only open in the evenings, and they have some really good deals: on Sundays they have a bottomless pizza and drinks from NIS 79 to 89, and Monday through Thursday they offer a 50% discount on all pizza and drinks from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.Pazzo Pizza
5 Hayetsira St., Ra’anana
Burgers Bar (kosher)
If you are looking for a quick kosher meal on the way to Ra’anana Park you’ll find the kosher Burgers Bar. They specialize in burgers and the menu is limited to different types of burgers, toppings and sides, all made fresh in front of the diners. It is popular among families, and when we were there for lunch, the place was full of children and teens who came after school. Burgers Bar also provides deliveries.Burgers Bar
184 Ahuza St., Ra’anana
Shenkin Bar and Kitchen
If you fancy chilling out at a bar, Shenkin Bar is for you. No need to go to Tel Aviv; this place is awesome! The décor inside is Mediterranean and there are a lot of places to sit outside at long tables that reminded me of a beer garden. The atmosphere is young and cheerful with good music. We loved sitting here and enjoyed the ambiance; after a few drinks when our heads started to slightly spin we did not want to leave!
In addition to the large variety of drinks (beers, wine, cocktails, etc.) there is a fair menu with starters, salads, sandwiches, burgers and some cool desserts. We had the “Mini Baby” – it’s like a donut with a center of an Oreo, fried and served with ice cream and chocolate sauce.
We were there on a Tuesday, rather early (they open at 6 p.m. on weekdays) and the place was already packed with people. They have a Happy Hour every day from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m in which everything on the menu (except desserts) is half off!
Shenkin Bar and Kitchen
5 Hayetsira St., Raanana
The writer was a guest of the places mentioned in the article.