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In the photo slide show above, you'll quickly see how interesting and varied are Southern California's attractions. From the pictures of theme parks...to the photos of beaches, zoos and natural areas...to the pics of Hollywood attractions...you'll see that California truly offers "something for everyone!"

Planning a Southern California vacation?

Photo: Roller Coasters at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA
Are you looking for ideas for your next family outing or road trip? By planning family vacation getaways at Los Angeles theme parks, you can please everyone in your group!

Pick a theme park (or 2!), add a few other crowd-pleasing Southern California activities and, VOILA!! You have a complete family vacation that everyone can enjoy.

The Southern California region has something for every age group---toddlers, elementary school kids, middle school "tweens," high school teenagers...and on to the adults and senior citizens in your family.

Got toddlers? Visiting Southern California attractions will provide your toddlers with a plethora of kiddie rides, hands-on children's museum exhibits, sandy beaches for constructing castles and wading in the surf, and animal exhibits to fascinate them.

* Got "tweens?" Visiting Southern California attractions will give you a chance to zip with them on roller coasters; or go boogie boarding with them in gentle, foaming surf; or to watch them practice their skate boarding or in-line skating at one of the area's numerous skate parks; or cool off with them on a white-water rafting ride at one of several Southern California water parks.

* Got teens? Southern "Cali" attractions (the new, "cooler" name for California!) will give them a chance to "scream their heads off" while riding white-knuckle-steep coasters; to "see and be seen" as they stroll along the most "happening" piers in the nation; to catch a wave at one of the many surfing beaches; or to see a flick and grab a snack with friends at one of the area's super-stylin' entertainment complexes throughout the area.

* Got time to yourself? (Dream on!???) Taking family vacation getaways at Los Angeles theme parks and the surrounding metro areas will let you shop at discount outlets, major malls or upscale shops; take a romantic stroll along a beachside pathway; take a scenic coastline or mountain drive; or explore Hollywood movie-making attractions.

Could you ever ask for a more variety-filled family vacation spot? Southern California truly offers "something for everyone!"

Southern California offers you a long list of family attractions!

Photo: Laguna Beach in Orange County, CATaking family vacation getaways at Los Angeles theme parks puts you at the door step of many other major attractions you can use as building blocks to construct your perfect trip! You'll find---

  • Beaches, beaches, beaches!

  • Water Parks

  • Major zoos and animal attractions!

  • Children's Museums!

  • Large, attraction-filled city parks!

  • Family entertainment complexes!

  • Sports opportunities--both spectator and participant sports!

  • Pet-friendly activities, including dog beaches, parks and even restaurants!

    7 major Southern California theme parks!

    The list of SoCal theme parks includes fun for all ages and interests

    A Southern California family vacation offers you 7 exciting Los Angeles theme parks for the fun trip of a lifetime. Plus, you'll also find other major attractions in Southern California to round out your family vacation getaway with action, relaxation, education, natural wonders!

    What are Southern California's 7 major theme parks? Here's the list!

    LA County Theme Parks

    Two of Southern California's major theme parks are in Los Angeles County. These 2 popular amusement parks are Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood.

    1.) Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park! Six Flags Magic Mountain is the undisputed white-knuckle capital of the entire western USA! If you're looking for the theme park with the greatest amount of roller coasters and scream-your-lungs-out fun, this is the place you MUST plan to visit. And yet at the same time, the huge Magic Mountain park has a wide variety of family-friendly rides you can enjoy with your tweens, plus a large section just for little kids, called Bugs Bunny Land! No matter what your age, you'll find exciting attractions to fit your interests. Magic Mountain's fun comes at budget-pleasing prices, too! There are many ways to save money on your Six Flags visit, as you'll discover on our Magic Mountain discount tickets & coupons page! Or, if you're looking for a hotel near the theme park, you'll want to check out our Hotels near Magic Mountain and our Magic Mountain Budget Hotels pages.

    2.) Universal Studios Hollywood theme park! Do movies fascinate you? Would you like to see for yourself how films are made? If so, absolutely DON'T miss visiting Universal Studios California! You'll take a behind-the-scenes tram tour which takes you driving through real movie sets...some of which you'll recognize if you're an avid movie-goer! You'll see displays of movie memorabilia, attend demonstrations about special effects and stunts. You'll go on rides themed to some of your favorite blockbusters. It's tons of fun...AND you'll go away knowing a whole lot more about the movie-making process than when you entered! (Be sure to check our Universal Studios discount tickets & coupons page before heading to the park. You'll find some great ways to save money on Universal Hollywood tickets!)

    Universal's City Walk Entertainment District: After an afternoon at the park, you can wind down in the restaurants of the Universal Studios CityWalk entertainment district. Then, you'll surely want to browse through its unique shops, listen to the street entertainment that's playing, and admire (er, gape!) at the CityWalk's outlandish architecture!

    Orange County Theme Parks

    Picture of Disneyland's Matterhorn Mountain seen through beautiful pink springtime blossoms3.) Disneyland Park in Anaheim, the truly magical theme park...and that's not just an advertising gimmick you'll hear on TV! Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California is second only to its younger sister-park, Walt Disney World in Florida, in the number of guests it entertains each year. You'll find rides and shows that family members of all ages will enjoy, scattered amongst various themed "lands." In fact, this is the very park that pioneered the concept of themed areas back in 1955. Yet the park remains as fresh and beautiful as the day it opened. The world truly owes Walt Disney a debt of gratitude. It's more than the concept of theme parks that he developed; it's the notion that FAMILIES deserve high-quality places to play together, enjoy one another's company, and build memories which will last a lifetime.

    In the Disneyland Resort section of our site, you'll not only view photos of the rides and attractions, but also you'll be able to explore other topics, as well...like discovering the Disneyland Discount Tickets and Disneyland hours of operation and other general info. You may also enjoy reading about Disneyland touring plans, to help you spend your day at this busy park efficiently; Disneyland dining options including the very popular Disney Character Dining; and other general Disneyland Resort information such as pictures & details of the Downtown Disney dining & entertainment hot spot, and info about the closest hotels to Disneyland!

    4.) Disney's California Adventure theme park---the still-new Anaheim theme park adjacent to it's sister, Disneyland Park! If you haven't yet been to the newest of the Southern California theme parks, you'll surely want to discover the rides and attractions at this interesting park which opened in 2001. Its themed area center around various aspects of "The Golden State" of California. This new theme park's rides, Broadway-style musicals, parades, festivals and dazzling World of Color water & light show are quickly becoming the stuff of memories.

    5.) Knott's Berry Farm theme park, the park beloved by locals for delivering high-quality roller coasters, family rides and entertainment at affordable prices. (Don't forget to check out our Knott's Discount Tickets & Coupons page to help you save even MORE money when you visit!)

    Yes, there WAS a berry farm here! This popular Southern California theme park actually DID begin as a berry farm...back when Orange County was a vast expanse of farms, orchards and ranch lands. In fact, even to this day, boysenberries remain a special treat at the park. Eating boysenberry pie for dessert is a "must-do" event when you're dining at the popular Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant! And to drink along with your meal, there's even boysenberry punch on the menu.

    San Diego County Theme Parks

    Picture of Shamu the Whale executing a U-shaped jump during the Believe Show at Sea World in San Diego6.) SeaWorld San Diego adventure park, the absolute favorite theme park of Shamu lovers, that adorable orca whale whose grace and beauty has charmed millions of visitors. On our site, you'll see plenty of photos of Shamu the Killer Whale, and you'll discover information about the new Shamu show, "One Ocean!" as well. But, Shamu isn't the ONLY reason to visit SeaWorld San Diego---not by far! You'll also enjoy dolphins, sea lions, seals, polar bears, penguins...and just about any other creature imaginable who lives in or around the ocean. Plus, you'll enjoy rides, shows, and a host of attractions that will keep you busy from opening time until close. All of this world-class fun can be enjoyed at reasonable prices...as you'll discover on our Sea World Discounts page.

    7.) Legoland California family theme park! For families with kids under the age of 12, paying a visit to Legoland California will simply make your children's jaws drop. (And yours, too!) While every theme park has a section filled with kiddie rides, Legoland is an ENTIRE theme park full of attractions for kids & their families! You'll wander from area to area within the park, each one full of rides based on different thematic elements. And for adults? The park's section called Miniland features astounding replicas of several US cities and regions...done in millions of Lego bricks! Visiting the new Legoland Water Park and Sea Life Aquarium will turn your theme park visit into a multi-faceted vacation; be sure to allow 2-3 days to take in all the attractions. And DON'T forget to use one of the money-saving discounts or coupons that you'll find on our Legoland Discount Tickets page when you go! Do you still need a place to stay while visiting Legoland California? If you're on a budget, you'll really want to discover the info on our Budget Hotels Near Legoland page. And, if you've got a large family, you can discover suites, condos & other non-traditional rooms on our Discount Suites and Condos Near Legoland page.

    Add some Hollywood fun to your trip list!

    Beautiful Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California
    HOLLYWOOD a stop on your Southern California vacation? Within these pages, you'll be able to plan for an exciting visit to Tinseltown! Hollywood attractions you'll discover within our website include the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theater;   the glitzy Kodak Theater (now named the Dolby Theater,)   Disney's El Capitan Theater;   The Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store;   The Hollywood Bowl;   the Hollywood Sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with a special page devoted to The Doors Star;   Hollywood Boulevard Museums, including the Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and the Hollywood Wax Museum;   and other Hollywood Blvd family activities, such as the Pantages Theater and the Hollywood Christmas parade!

    Los Angeles is a base for road trips, too

    Photo of Monterey, California's Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop located along famous Cannery RowFinished touring all that Southern California has to offer? (That's quite a daunting task!) You'll find that the SoCal area makes a great base for exploring nearby regions of the southwestern USA. So, you'll find an entire section of our website devoted to taking---

    Road Trips and Weekend Getaways! If you'd like to go exploring on a mini-trip away from Los Angeles, you can head to the California Coast Road Trip Section of our site to plan your escape up California's stunningly beautiful central coast. Or, you can also use this site to help plan your excursion up Interstate 5 towards Sacramento; along Interstate 10 towards Phoenix; northeast along Interstate 15 towards the neon lights of Las Vegas or the pristine wilderness of the Southern Utah National Parks; or even plan your Route 66/Interstate 40 trip towards the Grand Canyon!

    What if you can't decide where you'd like to go on your getaway? Try heading to the Road Trip Ideas page to discover some suggestions!

    Southern California is brimming with great malls!

    Photo of Palm Desert, California's Gardens on El Paseo open-air mall in greater Palm SpringsDon't like theme parks or beaches? Not a problem! Other visitors come to Southern California specifically to take advantage of the rare and wonderful collection of specialty stores that are packed into this small region of the country.

    You'll find a large section of our website devoted to showcasing the best shopping destinations that Southern California has to offer---

  • Los Angeles County Shopping!   Learn details about Beverly Hills shopping,   the Century City Mall,   the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica;   the Westside Pavilion;   the Glendale Galleria;   The Grove;   Westfield Santa Anita;   the Universal Studios CityWalk,   and more.

    Photo of the beautiful Viejas Outlet Mall in greater San Diego, CaliforniaOrange County Shopping!   Discover terrific malls like the South Coast Plaza Mall,   The Outlets at Orange (formerly named The Block at Orange,)   Downtown Disney in Anaheim,   Fashion Island in Newport Beach,   The Irvine Spectrum Center,   the Westfield MainPlace Mall,   the Mission Viejo Mall,    the Tustin Marketplace and more.

    San Diego Shopping! In San Diego, you'll enjoy checking out the posh Fashion Valley Mall,   Horton Plaza,    the Forum at Carlsbad;   the University Town Center Mall,   the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista, CA;   and more.

    Outlet mall shopping!   Plan a shopping safari to the popular So Cal outlet malls, such as Ontario Mills Mall;   the Desert Hills Premium Outlets;   the Carlsbad Premium Outlets;   the Camarillo Premium Outlets;   The Las Americas Premium Outlets;   the Viejas Outlet Center;   the Lake Elsinore Outlets,   and more!

  • Getting into & around Southern California

    Not only are the Southern California attractions world-class fun for all age levels in your group, but when you choose a Los Angeles theme park vacation, you'll encounter terrific behind-the-scenes support for your family's travels. This includes--

    Photo of Vicki FunesBy now, you can probably tell that I'm a bit partial to Southern California! My name is Vicki; my family & I welcome to our website. Los Angeles is our home town, and we hope that we can spread my enthusiasm for this multifaceted metro area with you. Within this website, you'll find nearly 400 pages of Southern California fun; hopefully, you'll find just the right activities that will delight your family! This website is my family's hobby, and our goal is to help you get to where you'd like to go. If you're not quite sure just WHERE you'd like to visit, then our goal is to help you find out!

    Have a great time on your family vacation getaways at Los Angeles theme parks! I hope you enjoy all of the Southern California parks and the other exciting activities that you choose to visit.

    See our new Southwest USA travel website!

    Will you be vacationing in the Southwestern USA states of Arizona, Colorado, southern Nevada, New Mexico or Utah? Check out "Have Fun in the Southwest," which is Family-Vacation-Getaways.com's new sister-website. You'll be able to see photos and get family vacation ideas which will help your group enjoy both the cities and the natural areas of these 5 very interesting states!