Just as enticing as Los Angeles itself is the surrounding area of the metropolis. In addition to the well-known amusement parks such as Disneyland in Anaheim and Universal Studios, there is a lot to discover on the outskirts of the city. Here is a small selection:
Beach is one of the most famous stretches of coast in the world and offers everything that California stands for: swimming fun, beautiful people, Hollywood stars and of course: surfing! Access to the beach is not easy everywhere. However, public beach sections are clearly marked.
Santa Catalina & Channel Islands
According to topmbadirectory, Santa Catalina Island – about 35 kilometers offshore – is the only permanently inhabited of the eight Channel Islands (the name refers to the Santa Barbara Channel, which runs north between the islands and the mainland). The waters surrounding the islands are known for their abundance of marine life. The four northern islands have been elevated to Channel Islands National Park because of their unique nature. The sea around the islands is also protected. The main town of Avalon on Santa Catalina is enchanting. Fantastic beaches, an excellent cold water diving area with the famous kelp forests and a beautiful natural landscape. Accessible by ferry from Long Beach, Dana Point or San Pedro.
Be it Disneyland, the mother of all amusement parks, Disney’s California Adventure or Knott’s Berry Farm: There is no getting around Anaheim when visiting LA for the first time. The surrounding Orange County (OC California) also attracts with 40 first-class golf courses and an impressive 75 kilometers of beaches.
Less than a two-hour drive northwest of Los Angeles is the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. In contrast to many other Californian cities, the Spanish-Mexican influence has been largely preserved and characterizes the cityscape. Santa Barbara is one of the most expensive areas to live in the USA. Many celebrities and millionaires live here on the American Riviera. The well-kept townscape is worth seeing for the visitor. Excellent restaurants and wellness temples – also near the beach – make Santa Barabra a popular destination.
Fun, Excitement & Action at Amusement and Adventure
Parks California’s amusement parks, aquariums and zoos are the ultimate playground for both children and adults. You should plan at least half a day (or even two days for the two Disney Parks) for these destinations.
Disneyland is of course the classic amusement park. From the “Finding Nemo” dive trip to up into space to the Space Mountain attraction. The park comes up with new attractions every season.
Disney’s California Adventure Park is in the immediate vicinity . Here it is rather dizzying – for example at the attraction “Woody and Buzz”. The Twillight Zone Tower of Terror is also guaranteed to get an adrenaline rush, followed by a relaxing meal at the park restaurant Wine Country Trattoria in the Golden Vine Winery. VUSA TIP: These parks are quieter during the weekdays. So-called Fastpass tickets allow you to bypass the long queues that exist at the most popular attractions.
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park
This former berry farm has long been a popular destination, especially for families with young children. However, the attractions here have now grown up and are not just for children: for example the Xcelerator roller coaster, which accelerates from zero to 132 km/h in just 2.3 seconds. Expect to get wet when navigating Bigfoot Rapids, California’s longest artistic whitewater river.
Universal Studios Hollywood , Hollywood
The Universal Studio Tour is also one of the real highlights of a visit to LA. The guided tour through real film and television sets is still brilliant – enriched with various surprises. Flat screens are installed in the visitor trams, on which one can watch film excerpts and listen to insider commentary from famous directors such as Steven Spielberg. The transformations started with the new 3D rides at the highest technical level: “Transformers: The Ride-#D”. Harry Potter fans will look forward to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Hollywood
Movie and TV series lovers shouldn’t miss the new Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood. Sit on the real “Friends” couch, marvel at Superman and Batman memorabilia, experience sound stages, visit the legendary film car vault. Probably nowhere else can you experience the making of a film production as closely as here. The stage “Stage 48: From Script to Screen” allows a deep interactive insight into the world of television and film production. The guided studio tours can be booked daily (except December 25) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reservations are required for entry.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
For thrill-seekers on roller coasters, look no further than Six Flags is known for its high-speed roller coasters. From the Viper, Tatsu, Scream X2 and the new Terminator Salvation, a wooden roller coaster that whizzes through the Terminators’ futuristic doomsday scenery, it’s all here.
LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad
The little ones will especially like this park. Here you will find child-friendly attractions and fantastic scenarios such as American cities or the African wilderness, all built from thousands of Lego bricks. Dune Raiders offers fun for the whole family. You can slide against each other on the 15m long, six-lane slide made of Lego bricks.
SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego
SeaWorld is an aquarium and an amusement park in one. You can also get information about the protection of the seas here. From the orca show to sea lion and otter performances, you can find everything here. You get a free shower on the “Journey to Atlantis” roller coaster. Tips: If you don’t like standing in line, go to the ride attractions during the shows. You should also always ask if there are any seasonal special events like fireworks planned. The park is always open longer during the summer months.
San Diego Zoo, San Diego and Wildlife Park of the San Diego Zoo, Escondido
The San Diego Zoo is one of the world’s best zoological gardens, as it attaches great importance to species-appropriate husbandry and has been working with other research institutions worldwide on the night breeding of endangered species for many years takes care. In two facilities you have the opportunity to marvel at some extremely rare animals from all over the world. You can learn interesting details about the various animals in the very natural enclosures. A tram runs through the large enclosures, where you can get very close to the animals.