Death Valley National Park
When the Visitor Center is called “Furnace Creek”, you just know it’s gonna be hot, especially in the summertime)! This vast desert land must be experienced to be appreciated. Take a tour of Scotty’s Castle, marvel at the polished marble of Mosaic Canyon, watch the sunset at Zabriskie Point or stand in awe at Dante’s View, more than 5,000 feet above the valley. Find Discount Hotels near Death Valley National Park.
The classic American experience can be found at the granddaddy of theme parks, Disneyland. Rides such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Splash Mountain have been favorites since the beginning, and adults and children alike continue to enjoy exploring Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Mickey’s Toontown and the other areas of the park. Shop and dine in style in Downtown Disney, in near perfect weather year-round. California Adventure Park is the place to experience an amusement park from yesteryear, Paradise Pier; its nighttime presentation, World of Color, is a fabulous mixture of water, fire, light and color. Don’t miss two of the most popular attractions: Soarin’ Over California, a simulated hang-glider flight which takes you across the cities and natural highlights of the Golden State, and a bug’s land, which offers kids an insight into the lives of creepy-crawly friends at their eye-level. Exciting live shows can be seen at Hollywood Pictures Backlot, perfect for the whole family. Find Discount Hotels near Disneyland.
Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument
High above the Pacific Ocean at San Simeon is one of California’s greatest treasures, Hearst Castle. Visitors enjoy tours of its 115-room main house plus guesthouses, pools, and acres of beautifully tended gardens. You will see European antiques and fabulous artwork along with a Greco-Roman outdoor pool and a Venetian glass and gold-lined indoor pool. Find Discount Hotels near Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument.
Henry W Coe State Park
Coe Park is a preserved ranch from the early 1900’s, and now contains over 87,000 acres of ridges and canyons, grasslands and forests. Northern California’s largest state park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna – be sure to see the 15-ft tall Manzanita! High above the Santa Clara Valley, miles of hiking and biking trails offer plenty of outdoor fun. The headwaters of Coyote Creek are also located within the park. Find Discount Hotels near Henry W. Coe State Park.
Knotts Berry Farm
Camp Snoopy invites you and your children to visit Charlie Brown, Lucy and the whole Peanuts gang at this fun-filled theme park. All kinds of thrill rides are found on the Boardwalk, and explore Ghost Town for more rides and family-oriented shows; there are plenty of tot-sized rides as well. You can’t leave without enjoying Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant – it’s been famous for years! Soak City aquatic playground is adjacent, and charges separate admission. Enjoy floating on the lazy Sunset River, gather your courage on tube slides emanating from atop the 43-ft.-high Laguna Storm Watch Tower, and hang ten at Tidal Wave Bay. Find Discount Hotels near Knotts Berry Farm.
Start your visit by exploring DUPLO Village’s Playtown, where the littlest children find eye-opening, colorful creations made from Legos. You can dig for fossils at Dino Island, get an airbrush tattoo at Pirate Shores and return to Medieval days at Castle Hill. Sandy beaches and water fun await the whole family at the new water park. Upgrade to SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium to experience the depths of the Ocean and its amazing creatures; watch the daily Octopus feedings for a unique experience. Find Discount Hotels near Legoland.
Redwood National and State Parks
Take a scenic drive through ancient forests, upland prairies and along 40 miles of wild coastline – and don’t forget about those world’s tallest trees! Get back to nature by exploring the natural ecosystem with a park ranger or go whale watching. Invigorating bicycling and backpacking will reward you with awe-inspiring views. Find Discount Hotels near Redwood National and State Parks.
The new Turtle Reef is open, and you can learn everything you always wanted to know about turtles! One Ocean is a new Shamu show, educating visitors about the world of the Earth’s seas. Clyde and Seamore, two sea lions, will have you laughing out loud! Ride to the top of SkyTower to see 100 miles in every direction on a clear day, or navigate whitewater rapids aboard a raft on Shipwreck Rapids. Dolphin, whale and penguin encounters are available, just schedule ahead of time. Find Discount Hotels near SeaWorld.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Feel truly small in Giant Forest among huge sequoias. You can’t miss the General Sherman Tree, largest on earth. A tour of Crystal Cave is a must, and outstanding rock climbing can be found along Bubbs Creek. Hiking, backpacking and horseback riding are all made even better by the exhilarating scenery and wildlife. Find Discount Hotels near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
This is not your everyday Six Flags! Just across San Pablo Bay from San Francisco, you have your thrilling, take-your-breath-away coasters and rides, like SkyScreamer, a 15-story swing ride. But you also have the opportunity to watch shows involving all kinds of animals, including elephants, walruses, whales, camels and dolphins. A unique experience is watching Odin, a beautiful white tiger, swimming underwater at the new Odin's Temple of the Tiger. Watch for popular seasonal festivals. Find Discount Hotels near Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Two hundred sixty acres of theme park heaven provides visitors with 18 roller coasters, including two brand new this year: Green Lantern, claimed as the first U.S. spinning coaster, and SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton, breaking all records at 100 mph in 7 short seconds. Little kids love the foam ball-filled Looney Tunes Lodge, and a tamer coaster, Road Runner Express, gets youngsters acquainted with the world of coasters. Hurricane Harbor is just next door; ride 2 of the tallest slides at Black Snake Summit, hang out in the wave pool or cruise down a super-long lazy river. Find Discount Hotels near Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Universal Studios Hollywood
If you have always wanted a behind-the-scenes peek into Hollywood, this is it! Take the Studio Tour, and don’t miss the new award-winning King Kong 360 3-D experience. Hurtle along at 45 mph in complete darkness on thrill ride Revenge of the Mummy, learn insider secrets on the Special Effects Stage, and the Simpsons Ride is a sure thing for laughs and thrills with your favorite characters. Shrek 4-D adds the sense of feel to a 3D experience. CityWalk Hollywood boasts a new outdoor concert center, 5 Towers. An assortment of dining and shopping is available, so you are sure to find something you like. Find Discount Hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood.
Yosemite National Park
Best known for spectacular waterfalls which reach peak flow at the end of May, Yosemite’s 1,200 square miles change with every season. Popular activities include rafting along the Merced River, hiking through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, driving its famous 39-mile Tioga Road and experiencing the tremendous view at Glacier Point. Yosemite is known as one of the world’s best climbing areas as well. Find Discount Hotels near Yosemite National Park.