Welcome to fun in the sun! Fantasyland fits right in in Southern California. But Disnyland isn't the only theme park available for you to enjoy (again and again) - there are also Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios. To be more exact, and to get you pointed in the right direction, Disneyland is in Anaheim, Knott's Berry Farm is in Buena Park, and Universal Studios is in Universal City. But Hollywood is still in Hollywood, unless it's on locatoin elsewhere. Many studios open their doors to guests, so check for your favorite group, or one located near your lodgings.
Getting to Los Angeles, there are a number of airports available. Many travelers prefer Orange County for its smaller, more easily maneuvered atmosphere. Burbank is also very convenient and isn't as large as LAX. Once you've landed, you need a car. (I think it's a law.) The freeways in metropolitan southern California are numerous, large, and confusing for those who don't know exactly where they're going. Also, do yourself and the locals a favor and try to avoid the rush hours. It helps to have someone act as navigator, but at least sit down and carefully plan your route before you head out. For a different sort of vacation, AmTrak still operates a train, the Starlight, down the California coast which takes you to a number of downtown areas.
There is so much packed into this area. Some folks come just for Disneyland - which is always fun - but at least be aware of all the rest the Los Angeles area has to offer. There is a museum honoring each of numerous cultures and human endeavors, and there are libraries and gardens and zoos tucked here and there. Many colleges and universities are in the area and the family can check them out for future college students. Science, especially marine science, looms large on the southern California coast. History pops up in odd places in a city that, the more carefully you look, the less plastic it becomes. Cultures come together here and people try out their dreams under the sun. And while the sun does seem to be shining most of the time, right along the coast it is usually mild all year long.
The movies have introduced us all to so many exotic names and places. When you visit, take Sunset Boulevard all the way to Topanga Canyon, visit the Farmers Market right across from La Brea Tar Pits, see if you can find that view from Mulholland Drive you keep seeing in the movies. And there are always the tours of stars' homes and Rodeo Drive for star watching.
Over in Buena Park, not far from Disneyland, you will find the Movieland Wax Museum, Wild Bill's Wild West Dinner Extravaganza complete with lariat stunts, live music and cancan dancing, and 11th-century entertainment at Medieval Times.
By the way, when you do go to Disneyland, especially for the first time, the best introduction is to take the monorail for an aerial tour of the park. As with so many other details, the Disney crowd was ahead of its time with the monorail. Things that seemed impossible or extremely unlikely 40 years ago when the park opened are now part of our daily lives and had to be withdrawn from exhibits. What had once been innovative or the pipe dreams of cartoon artists are now commonplace!
LOS ANGELES CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
685 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90017
6541 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, California 90028
1313 Harbor Boulevard
LOS ANGELES CITY RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT
200 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
CALIFORNIA STATE PARK SYSTEM
Department of Parks & Recreation
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, California 94296
CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF TOURISM
Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 9278
Van Nuys, California 91409
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