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Southern California Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM

The mild weather, beautiful beaches, cultural attractions and host of recreational activities make Southern California a year-round favorite staycation destination.

Here are seven great places for families to visit in Southern California:

1. San Diego Zoo: Home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals, the San Diego Zoo offers everything from early morning breakfasts with the Pandas to Sunrise Surprise Strolls where visitors can enter the zoo before it opens and get glimpse of the "inside secrets" of early morning activities. The zoo website provides tools for families to plan their travel day around which animals they most want to see, where they would like to eat, as well as a schedule of tours and shows.

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2. Catalina Island: Just 26 miles off the coast of Southern California, the island is "a place where the gentle rhythm of the waves makes time slow down. It's a place where you can paddle through crystal clear waters in the crisp morning air, followed by Mai Tais and sun soaked massages on the beach in the afternoon." Family friendly adventures on the island include air, sea and land entertainment. From biking, golfing, parasailing, food tasting tours, a zip line tour and Island Express Helicopter transportation to concerts and seasonal events, travelers to the island can "play, explore and relax."

3. Joshua Tree National Park: The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert come together in the 800,000 acres of wilderness of Joshua Tree. The park is open year round and each season presents a different side to the desert's character as well as unique challenges to travelers. Families on saycation may want to take advantage of ranger-guided activities including walks and hikes. Other activities include horseback riding, rock climbing, stargazing and wildflower viewing.

4. Disneyland: No family vacation to Southern California would be complete without a trip to the happiest place on earth. A park hopper ticket provides access to both Disneyland and California Adventure and a few tips from Sunset Magazine include, get there early, book a hotel within walking distance, take advantage of the Fast Pass option, (this holds a spot in line) and take a mid-day breather with a relaxed lunch and even a nap at the hotel.

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5. Universal Studios: Located in Los Angeles, this theme park has rides, shows and attractions guaranteed to keep every member of the family entertained. Rides include Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 3-D, Shrek 4-D and Jurassic Park where visitors "Come face-to-face with "living" dinosaurs, a 50-foot T-Rex, and a treacherous drop straight down an 84-foot death-defying raft plunge." Other attractions include the NBC Universal Experience, which is an "interactive, behind-the-scenes exhibit featuring authentic props, wardrobe and artifacts from over 100 years of Universal film history."

6. Santa Monica Pier: This historic pier supplies year-round staycation fun. Activities include bike rentals, an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and rollercoaster, tour buses that cruise through Malibu for a glimpse of the "stars," and live music and dancing at Rusty's surf bar.

7. Monarch Butterfly Grove: For families on a staycation between November and February, the Pismo Beach butterfly grove is an interesting travel spot. As the weather cools, monarch butterflies stop at the grove during their 2,500-mile migration south. An impressive 30,000 butterflies may be on site at one time and telescopes are provided to better view the "Butterfly Trees."

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The mild weather, beautiful beaches, cultural attractions and host of recreational activities make Southern California a year-round favorite staycation destination.
Southern California Staycation, Fun, Family, Travel, Disneyland
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2015-31-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM
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