Family Vacations to Los Angeles

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Los Angeles – Family Vacation Guide

Families will find everything and more in Los Angeles, California, the heart of the entertainment industry in the United States. Best of all, many of them are free.

Why Go

  • In addition to the Hollywood sign and its iconic Walk of Fame, there’s quintessential Southern California beaches and surf culture, over 100 different museums, professional sports teams and plenty of outdoor adventures.

  • Los Angeles, California has near perfect weather – sunny, warm, with little humidity or rain.

  • The area averages nearly 300 sunny days per year and temperatures are typically in the mid-70s, making this a perfect getaway for fun in the sun.

What to Do

Los Angeles has a mix of attractions and landmarks ranging from historical to mid-century modern to other-worldly.

Universal Studios Hollywood

The largest tourist magnet in Los Angeles is this movie-based theme park with world-famous Studio Tour. Universal Studios Hollywood is also the western home of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that delights visitors with Hogsmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle. However, the signature attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is the hour-plus long guided tram behind-the-scenes ride through a working movie and television studio culminating in a gripping grand finale “Fast & Furious – Supercharged” experience.

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Los Angeles is home to the idyllic slice of California coastline stretching from Malibu to Long Beach. Santa Monica Beach is close to the Los Angeles Airport and features a classic amusement pier with rides and games kids will love. Other beaches in the area include Venice’s quirky Muscle Beach, Malibu Beach with the Getty Villa at its easterly end and Long Beach, where you can explore the 1930s Queen Mary ocean liner.

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Museums & Culture

Some of the finest museums, gardens and cultural sites in the country reside in Los Angeles. Older kids will love discovering Huntington Library and its world-renowned art gallery, botanical garden and historical book collection. The Getty Center boasts one of the world’s largest art collections. Wannabe space explorers can get up close to the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. Other notable sites include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Petersen Automotive Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House.

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Enjoy all the sunshine California has to offer with an outdoor activity. Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country with a 53-mile network of hiking trails. Families can trek to Griffith Observatory or up into the hills for spectacular views of the city of Los Angeles and famous Hollywood Sign. Griffith Observatory is a popular art deco facility with a planetarium and public telescopes that opened in 1935. Runyon Canyon is a smaller park near the Hollywood Hills and one of the most popular hiking trails in the city. Sunset Ranch Hollywood is mere minutes from Hollywood Boulevard and offers horseback rides with views of the Hollywood Sign.

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Where to Stay

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) serves as the gateway to the country’s second largest city.
  • There is no shortage of hotel space in the area with plenty of family-friendly accommodations near the top tourist sites such as Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood & Highland and the Santa Monica Beach.

Getting Around

Angelenos love their cars, so much so that driving times on the major freeways are notoriously lengthy. However, the interstates are still the best way to get around and many families will rent a car upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport. There is also a metro rail and bus service available as public transportation options.

Dave Parfitt is a reformed academic with a PhD in neuroscience, who began writing about his family travel adventures after surviving a trip to Walt Disney World with his two budding princesses, now ages 19 and 16. As owner and editor of Adventures By Daddy, Dave offers family travel advice and escapist fun from Dad’s point of view.

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