California attractions: Los Angeles, San Diego

Southern California is the home of the original Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, the SeaWorld and other amusement parks. Here is a brief information about each of them. You can find detailed description with many full-screen photos in our multimedia travel guide to Southern California.

Major amusement parks

Park / Rating / Description Photo Details
Disney’s California Adventure
Smaller park with white water rafting and other rides taking visitor to real and imaginary places in California: Hollywood backlot, a winery etc.
Open daily
M-F: 10am-8pm
Longer hours on weekends, holidays + summer
$41, ages 3-9 $30
Silly and expensive? Perhaps. Fun? The 50+ rides and shows will keep you entertained until total exhaustion. Space Mountain or Indiana Jones Adventure will entertain the older audiences.
Open daily
M-F: 10am-8pm
Longer hours on weekends, holidays +summer
$43, ages 3-9 $33
Knott’s Berry Farm
Split personality: a western-style amusement park with several darn good roller coasters, Camp Snoopy and a water mini-park.
Open daily ex.12/25
M-F: 10am-6pm
Longer in summer,
wkends, holidays
$38, ages 3-11 $28
Rather quaint park built out of oversized LEGO blocks will entertain young children, but seem to be overpriced for what it has to offer.
Open daily
M-F: 10am-5pm
Hours vary:
see Web site
$34, ages 3-16 $29
Six Flags Magic Mountain
A great collection of thrill rides if you dare. Enjoy!
Open daily in summer
See website for off-season!
$43, under 48inch $22
Universal Studios Hollywood
An actual movie+TV studio shows the tricks and magic of movie-making via thrilling rides and behind-the- scenes looks.. Take the tour first!
Open daily
Longer hours on
wkends, holidays
$43, ages 3-11 $33

Major animal parks

Park / Rating / Description Photo Details
Los Angeles ZOO, Griffith Park
Smaller than the more famous San Diego ZOO, but the large spaces are great for both the inhabitants and the visitors: Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains in photo.
Open daily ex.12/25
longer in summer
$8.25, ages 2-12 $3.25
San Diego Wild Animals Park, Escondido

1800 acres wildlife preserve with over 3000 animals and 3500 species of exotic plants provides a safari-like experience of animals in the wild. Between LA and SD off I15.

Open daily
9am-4pm Sep-Jun
9am-8pm in summer
$22, ages 3-11 $15
San Diego ZOO, Balboa Park
One of the world´s largest Zoos with over 800 animal species; large natural environ- ments with 6500 species of exotic plants. Endangered species conservation program.
Open daily
9am-4pm Sep-Jun
8am-9pm summer
ages 3-11: $8-14
Marine life theme amusement park on 150 acres, with shows including the famous ‘killer whales,’ aquariums, rides and other marine attractions.
Open daily
Hours vary:
see Web site
ages 3-11 $30