Santa Clarita Guide, What To Do in Santa Clarita
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Visit Valencia, CA
& the Santa Clarita Valley--
Home to Six Flags Magic Mountain!

Valencia & Santa Clarita Valley's Official Guide

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What is there to do in Santa Clarita...

besides ride the roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain?

Here's some ideas! Sip on some fabulous wine, play a crazy game of laser tag, hike the trails, go dancing--and if you're lucky enough to visit at Christmas, tour the over-the-top Christmas lights in several of our neighborhoods.

The excitement of Six Flags Magic Mountain meets intriguing old west adventures, great shopping, exceptional regional cuisine, extreme sports and tranquil spas -- and within an hour from most of Southern California's top attractions!

You couldn't have selected a better location for your getaway to Six Flags Magic Mountain! You are staying in one of the safest, most desirable cities in the nation.* By day, you can either explore all that our valley has to offer or take a quick jaunt to the ocean, ski resorts (seasonal), Hollywood, or Southern California theme parks. Then in the evening, return 'home' and stroll around our beautiful Town Center, or find one of the many great activities going on. This is truly your 'home away from home.'

Below you'll find some of the highlights to get you started on your vacation.

*Check out the accolades and see for yourself where we get our facts.

What To Do in the Santa Clarita Valley
We have one of the world's greatest rollercoaster parks, Six Flags Magic Mountain, as well as the water park Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. You'll find a mecca of shopping and restaurants here, as well as the hub of Santa Clarita, Valencia Town Center. The gateway to the wine country, you'll discover wine bars in town and wineries on the outskirts. And if it is golf that gets your blood pumping, you'll find championship courses, smaller courses and putt putt right here.

Santa Clarita's rich western heritage can still be enjoyed today: horseback riding, campfire programs, and an historic ghost town are all right here. Sprinkle in California's first gold discovery, an original stagecoach route, the longest running oil well in the world, and
Route 6 (a 3,000+ mile highway that stretches from coast to coast).

Plan your visit around one of our major events, which include golf tournaments, Amgen, and one of the best cowboy festivals nationwide--as named by True West Magazine!

Hollywood's Backlot
You may not realize it, but you are staying right in Hollywood's Backlot. We've got all kinds of places to send you right here in Santa Clarita where some of the hottest television shows, and your favorite movies, have been filmed. And we even share some of the movie trailers with you!


Once you have finished exploring Hollywood's Backlot right here in Santa Clarita, head on down to Hollywood Boulevard. Only about 40 minutes away, we've highlighted some of the best things to see in Hollywood, the tours we recommend, where to get the best view of the Hollywood sign, how to see a celebrity receive his star, and even some of the best Hollywood spots to see a movie. It's all mapped for easy door-to-door directions, or you can hop on the public transportation and whiz past the stubborn locals 'parked' on the highways. The metro will drop you off right in the center of it all at Hollywood & Highland.

Kid Friendly Fun
If you're traveling with children, check out our ideas for local attractions and events they will be sure to love!

Southern California Theme Parks
Once you've visited Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor right here in Valencia, you may want to head to Universal Studios (40 minutes), Disneyland or California Adventure (both about an hour away). This page lists all of the theme parks, the estimated drive time from Santa Clarita, and you can create your own driving directions, too.

Whether you want the excitement of Venice Beach, the amusement park at Santa Monica Pier, or the family atmosphere and tour of Channel Islands in Ventura, it's all within an hour. (The locals will tell you the less stressful drive is definitely via Hwy. 126 to Ventura or Santa Barbara.) Speaking of Santa Barbara, if you only have one day to drive to the ocean, consider heading there. It's another 30 minutes and well worth the drive.

The Beaches page will map our picks and provide you with information on the weather and 'health' of the water. (Check this out, as incidents do happen to cause some beaches to be toxic.)

We have a winery right here in Santa Clarita, and a few within an hour's drive. We've mapped those for you, as well as the other famous wine countries in California. (The "Sideways Tour" is about 2.5 hours from Santa Clarita, but it is an easy drive that can be done in a day.)

Ski Resorts
In winter, you can get to snow within 20 minutes and to a ski resort in about an hour. (Of course, it helps if you don't try to get there when everyone else is heading there, Friday afternoons or Saturday morning.) You'll find all the details and maps here.

Coastal Redwoods
Coastal redwoods (tall, but not nearly as gigantic as the Sequoias) can be found as nearby as Santa Barbara's Botanical Gardens--about 1.5 hours from Santa Clarita.

Giant Sequoias
This will be an overnight trip. The closest giant sequoias are in breathtaking Sequoia National Park. We provide you with what to expect in both the warm and winter months. Be advised that snowy, mountain roads are much more treacherous than the snowy roads back east. For some reason, California doesn't usually include guard rails on the mountain roads. So, heed the advice of the locals and put on those chains when instructed to do so.

Other Great Stuff

Western Movie History
Santa Clarita really was the 'old west.' And, back in the 20's when we became more 'modernized,' we became the old west for Hollywood. You can hike through an old stagecoach route which, when it was completed, was a huge benefit to folks traveling on horseback or by stage. Later, it was used in the movies. Old Town Newhall has an extensive Walk of Western Stars, where celluloid cowboys are immortalized by bronze saddles. We even have a couple of those cowboys' homes open to the public--for free!

Your hotel probably has a pool, but there are some other great places to check out, too. The Aquatics Center is really something to experience with its 160-foot water slide, and Castaic Lake Recreation Area has a natural beach area in the lake. Don't forget we have Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, too. It's almost a challenge to stay dry here!

Explore the Outdoors
One of our neatest natural areas is Vasquez Rocks, which was also the background for the Flintstones and countless movies, commercials and television programs. Ranger-led hikes and activities take place there today.

We have many wilderness areas within a few minutes of anywhere in the SCV. But do read our information on this page about our wildlife. We also provide suggestions for urban outdoor experiences.

Check out our Links
On the left side of this web site are many topic-driven links, which should give you lots of ideas for things to do. You'll find seasonal activities, including where to see neighborhoods brightly lit for Christmas, and even where to find the bargains in Los Angeles. (Did you know that some say the Los Angeles Jewelry District is the least expensive location in all of America to purchase fine jewelry?)

And the best part is, all of these locations are mapped for your convenience!

Keeping Costs Down
Hey,we know traveling can get costly. So we have a few suggestions to help you keep your costs down.

Free Fun
This is actually one of the most popular pages for our locals. You'll find all kinds of ideas here. Not only does the city and our parks offer free things to do, but you can always drive to the beach and soak up the sun. (Pack a picnic lunch to really keep costs down.)

Cheap, Splurge and Serious Splurge
This page is handy if you work it 'backwards.' Say your small children are bugging you to take them to Hurricane Harbor, but the budget is getting low. We offer you an alternative suggestion that will yield just as much fun. Check it out!

Cheap Eats
We have great restaurants here in Santa Clarita, but that doesn't mean you have to blow the bank. Here are a few ideas on how to keep this major expense down:
  • Check our restaurants link above for specific restaurants and directions.
  • Eat Tacos! We have some incredibly great 'quick' Mexican restaurants where you can get a taco for about $2. (And we're not talking fast food, either!)
  • In n Out has its own following, almost to a 'groupie' level. Everything is made right there, even the french fries. (There's not a frozen fry in the house.) And it's a good deal.
  • A Bucket of Flame Broiled's finger-lickin' good, but this one doesn't have anything to do with the Colonel. El Pollo Loco sells tacos and other items, but if you purchase just the chicken, it's a pretty good price. Watch the window displays for their best buys, and if you order the dark meat, you'll save even more.
  • Don't forget the local grocers. That's one of our favorite tricks on the road. We pop into a deli and choose some of our favorite items.

Our Weekly Calendar
We've scoured for this info and have placed it all on one page for you. Here you'll find what's happening around town, from the free events to admission based events.

Great Local Resources
From Sasquatch to free stuff, we suggest some guides to help you find what you're looking for here in SoCal.

Tipping Guide
Traveling almost always means you'll arrive to that awkward moment when you need to reach in your pocket for a tip. But how much? And must you tip the barrista?

Driving into Los Angeles
Just as in any big city, exercise caution when driving into the City of Los Angeles--the second largest city in the nation. A simple Google search on "areas to avoid in Los Angeles" will also be very helpful.

City of Santa Clarita Tourism Bureau
Visit the Santa Clarita Tourism Bureau to request a printed guide, view a video, or find more info on the Santa Clarita Valley.

Have Fun!
Santa Clarita is so much fun, and we're glad you chose to spend your time off with us. Have a great trip, and feel free to drop us an email if you're looking for something you can't find. We'll do our best to get the answer for you in a timely manner.

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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