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Vacation in the SCV


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Are high gas prices leading you to rethink your vacation plans? Apparently, for many folks, they are.

Mantill Williams, a spokesman with AAA, states, "When we ask them how they're going to deal [with higher gas prices], they usually say they may stay with a friend or family member, they may eat out less, they may even take a shorter trip, but it's not going to be a deal-breaker in terms of preventing them from going on vacation. Fuel costs are still a very small part of the overall vacation budget," he said.

And he's right...gas is just a small part of the budget. But it is still a factor. So what's a family to do?

Why not base your vacation right from home? Now, no cheating and cleaning the garage. The trick is to act as if you are out of town. Mark off the week on your calendar and alert friends and extended family that this is a no-call zone, reserved for quality time with your loved ones. Take some time and plan your vacation, as if you were flying into Santa Clarita. The benefit is you get to sleep in your own bed, explore some great sites--and develop some new favorite spots--right near home. Why not choose local things to do for a few days, then head out for one or two wonderful nights at a nearby, exclusive resort of your dreams?

Below you'll find some fun ideas in three categories:

Cheap: Local and at such a reasonable cost, you won't even need to budget.
Splurge: A day trip (or local) with a moderate cost.
Serious Splurge: The types of vacations dreams are made of.


VISIT A THEME PARK
Cheap: Okay, so it's not exactly a theme park, but if the kids are young, they won't notice. Head to the Aquatics Center where they will love the 160' water slide and zero depth entry with play equipment. A family of four can go for about $10 for the entire day. MAP IT!

Splurge: Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor are right outside our door. Check with your employer for discounted tickets or buy online to save serious money from at-the-door prices. A family of four can spend the day for about $100 at Hurricane Harbor and $140 at Magic Mountain. MAP IT!

Serious Splurge: Buy the Southern California City Pass and you'll gain entry to Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld San Diego, and the San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Wild Animal Park. That's about $660 for a family of four.

Or choose one of your favorite parks and spend the night on, or near, property. Since it's only one night, pick the best hotel and enjoy!


HEAD TO THE BEACH
Cheap: Pick any one of numerous beaches within an hour's drive. (Check out our Beaches page.) Just pack a picnic lunch, grab the beach chairs and sun screen, and you'll enjoy a day for next to nothing!

Splurge: Head over to Oxnard's Hollywood Beach. Park at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort (self-parking is $10) and you'll have easy access to the resort's dining facilities. (Please note, pool area is reserved for hotel guests.) Channel Island's Harbor is within walking distance. Rent a quad and peddle along the beachfront together. MAP IT!

Serious Splurge: Check in at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay, Southern California's only all-suite beachfront resort. Lush tropical landscaping surround the pool area. Spend the extra couple dollars and get an oceanfront room. Nightly rate about $350. MAP IT!


EXPERIENCE HOLLYWOOD
Cheap: Santa Clarita, Fillmore, Agua Dulce...they're all Hollywood's Backlot. Take one of our self-guided tours on Hollywood's Backlot - SCV.

Splurge: Head to Hollywood and spend the day sightseeing. Take in a movie at one of the Hollywood theaters, sign up for a behind-the-scenes tours, or stop for lunch at Pinky's and eat hot dogs next to celebs. MAP IT!

Serious Splurge: Drive up to Santa Barbara for their Film Tour or Sideways Tour. Check into one of the many wonderful properties in Santa Barbara County for your complete escape. MAP IT!


LIVE THE OLD WEST
Cheap: Walk through Heritage Junction and William S. Hart park, then down the Western Walk of Fame in Newhall. Hike an old stagecoach route. All free! Get details on our Old West page.

Splurge: Go horseback riding--choose from a trail ride, sunset ride or dinner ride. Attend a rodeo, walk through an old army post, or tour a mission. Head to Calico Ghost Town in Yermo for the day. Drive over to El Capitan Ranch in Santa Barbara for a Chuck Wagon dinner following a horse-drawn wagon ride. Learn more on our Old West page.

Serious Splurge: Check into Alisal Guest Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley or El Capitan Ranch in Santa Barbara County for a luxurious western experience. Rancho Oso offers overnight camping in a traditional bunkhouse or covered wagon. Get details on our Old West page.


MOTHER/DAUGHTER GETAWAY
Cheap: Carve out some special mother/daughter time--for little or no money. Start the day with a free movie offered at Regal Theatres on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (10:00 am during the summer months), followed by lunch at her favorite spot (McDonalds, where else?). Go window shopping and stroll through Town Center. Wind up the day with a treat at Barnes & Noble while leafing through your favorite books.

Splurge: Add a spa treatment to the 'cheap' venue and a fancy lunch or high tea. Finish up with a stop at any of our wonderful shopping options and purchase a special outfit just for her.

Serious Splurge: Spend the day at the American Girl Place (located at The Grove in Los Angeles), while primping her American Girl doll, glimpsing into their "lives" at the museum, catching a flick at the theatre, and dining (with her doll, of course!) in the cafe. Check into a local hotel to enhance the experience. MAP IT!


FATHER/SON GETAWAY
Cheap: Head out to any of our wilderness areas for a hike, or schedule a Saturday morning at Placerita Nature Center where he can touch the animals and reptiles from our area. Rent a boat at Castaic Lake, taking a break for an In-N-Out burger, Animal Style. If you time it right, you can head back to Placerita Nature Center for a campfire and story telling or a Moonlit hike.

Splurge: Head to Santa Barbara where you can rent a motorcycle or ATV from Moto Loco to explore the countryside. Reserve a spot at El Capitan for a Chuck Wagon dinner or horseback riding.

Serious Splurge: Schedule a day with Santa Barbara Adventure Company and spend it cruising through sunny skies, kayaking in the ocean, or mountain biking around Santa Barbara. Check into a local hotel or spend the night roughing it at Rancho Oso in a covered wagon.

Endorsed by
County of Los Angeles SCV Chamber of Commerce California Travel and Tourism Commission
In association with
City of Santa Clarita SCV Tourism Bureau
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