Places to Visit in Southern California? 2Nd Trip

Updated on January 09, 2017
J.W. asks from Harrisburg, PA
9 answers

We'll have our 20 and 16 year old kids with us. We've already seen Hollywood, Disneyland, Rodeo Drive, Laguna Beach. Looking for other places. We plan on going to Catalina Island and Santa Monica/Venice Beach area. We'll be staying in two different places over the course of a week - Thousand Oaks and Ladera Ranch. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the tips! We're going in mid-June for a family event. I think we'll look into the Getty museum and Griffith Observatory and checking out San Diego.
Won't have time to get north but we've already done the PCH drive from SF to LA a couple years ago so saw Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, etc. That was an incredible trip.

Well we wound up having to cut our trip short so didn't get to Catalina, Getty museum or Griffith observatory. We spent 2 days in a beachfront hotel in Laguna which was amazing. Then we spent spent some time sightseeing and did the Warner Bros. Studio tour, the Dolby theatre tour, Amoeba Music, Santa Monica pier area, and Balboa Island.
Will save the other places for our next trip!

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

The Queen Mary in Long Beach is fun, and Universal Studios. Last year my 24 year old son and I went up to Griffith Observatory at night which was very cool, and we hiked in the hills near Mullholland Drive (lots of Hollywood types on those trails lol!)
Have fun, I love LA! I don't think I'd like living there but it's a great place to visit.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, The Getty, LACMA, Natural History Museum, California Science Center, Griffith Observatory, Legoland, San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park, Sea World. That's all I can think of right now.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If you are going near San Diego, I like Balboa Park and the Wild Animal Park.

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answers from Washington DC on

Monterey Bay. It's further up the coast but beautiful! There's an aquarium there. On the way up - there's a place called Solvang - it's beautiful too. It's about a 5 hour drive from LAX to Monterey up PCH. Well worth it.

Palm Springs is good too!! Especially if you are going during the "winter". There's Joshua Tree National Park - cool place to see!

San Diego is a beautiful area. Much to do there - San Diego Zoo. W. Animal Park. Sea World. The Naval Yard. Coronado Bay.

If you ONLY want to stay in LA? There is Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios, The J Paul Getty Museum. La Brea Tar Pits, Santa Monica Pier. There's Ruby's Diner on the Redondo Beach pier.

There is also Reagan's library and Richard Nixon's library.

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answers from Los Angeles on

The USS Midway in San Diego is an old aircraft carrier that is now a museum. It's really cool and the kid would probably like it a lot. You can do it as a day trip from Ladera Ranch.

The California Science Center near downtown LA has one of the old space shuttles, so that's a cool museum too.

The Reagan Library is in Simi Valley, just a few minutes away from Thousand Oaks.They have an old Air Force One plane.

I don't have older kids, so I'm trying to think of things they might like to see... I know those are all kind of similar, in a way.

If you've never seen any of the old missions, that can be a lot fun, too. San Juan Capistrano is close to Ladera Ranch; Ventura and San Fernando aren't that far from Thousand Oaks.

The Griffith Observatory near Hollywood and the Getty Center Museum in West LA are both really nice. There are some great hikes in the mountains near Santa Monica/West LA/Hollywood.

Not sure when you're coming, but there is a Strawberry Festival in Oxnard (near Thousand Oaks) every May. Or, the Flower Fields in Carlsbad (maybe 30 minutes south of Ladera Ranch) are open March 1 - May 14 and they are really nice. They're right next to an outlet mall. They are also right next to Legoland but, honestly, I think your kids are too old to enjoy it. I don't know many adults that like it very much at all, but the little kids all love it.

Huntington Library (gardens) and Santa Anita racetrack near Pasadena are both great places to visit, too.

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answers from Phoenix on

Plan to do some things when you go to Catalina. We have done the submarine tour and we rented golf carts to zip around. That was really fun but make sure you make reservations first to get one! We had to wait almost 2 hours to get one. Good luck.

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answers from New York on

It's about a two-hour drive to Tijuana and some other cities in Mexico just over the border. Just a thought for another possible day trip, especially in terms of any uncertainty about changes in accessibility over the next few years.

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answers from Boston on

From Ladera Ranch, you could consider San Diego. The zoo is supposed to be fantastic. Check out their tourism page for ideas? The water is warm, which can't be said for points further north. Not sure what your trip dates are though.

It would help to know what the kids enjoy. There's a strong naval presence around there, tire's the mission trail and a lot of other early CA historical locations.

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answers from Rochester on

Our family loves San Diego! There is a ton to do there. The beaches on Coronado Island are very nice.

1 mom found this helpful
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