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Universal Studios Hollywood
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70 Universal City Plaza
Univeral City, CA
United States


Contact:
(818) 226-3901
UniversalStudiosHollywood 
.com

Universal Studios is a great combination of rides, entertainment and shopping.  Better than Florida, this is the actual studio featuring movie/TV sets that appeared in Psycho, War of the Worlds, Desperate Housewives and more. 

They just unveiled their newest ride "The Simpson's".  My personal favorite is Jurassic Park. 

Did I mention shopping?  Universal City Walk is loaded with great stores.  And if you get hungry, there's lots of restaurants like Gladstone's, Johnny Rocket's, etc. 
For entertainment, there's BB Kings Jazz Nightclub & Bar as well as a multiplex showing all of the latest movies.
Disneyland
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1313 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA
United States


Contact:
(714) 781-4636
disneyland.disney.go.com/
Nothing much needs to be said about the original where it all started... DISNEYLAND!!!  I can't begin to tell you how crowded it can get, especially during June, July and August.  

Just warning you in advance, this year will be extra crowded due to the summer opening of STAR WARS!!!  But if you don't expect to ever come back here, then now is the time for you to get your tickets in go!   
Catalina Express
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95 Berth
San Pedro, CA
United States


Contact:
(800) 464-4228
www.CatalinaExpress.com
For those of us who danced in the family troupe, Catalina Island holds a very special place in our hearts.  Every summer for 5 years, we would go over to Catalina to dance in their opening summer festival.  We have such great memories of that island.

If you are interested in seeing all the changes that have taken place since we were there, you can catch the Catalina Express Boat over for the day.  The boats depart from four different locations... San Pedro Terminal, Downtown Catalina Landing in Long Beach, Queen Mary Terminal in Long Beach and Dana Point Terminal in Dana Point.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Viper!
Viper!

26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA
United States


Contact:
(661) 255-4100
sixflags.com
If you love screaming at the top of your lungs and feeling the wind whipping through your hair at 60mph, then Six Flags is for you. 

These coasters are WICKED!!!  And definitely not for the weak.

Should you bring the little kiddies?  Only if they're 14 years+ is my advice.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
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26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA
United States


Contact:
(661) 255-4100
sixflags.com
Think of Hurricane Harbor as Soak City (see below) on steroids.  So if you like water parks that are a bit edgy, this is the place for you.
Knott
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8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA
United States


Contact:
(714) 220-5200
www.knotts.com
Knott's is a fun alternative to Disneyland.  Not as expensive, Knott's offers lots of family fun.  Snoppy is their mascot (vs. Mickey) and they have lots of kiddie rides and shows.  But the big difference between the two parks is the roller coasters.  Knott's offers more coasters and for that reason... the teens+ prefer it over Disneyland. 

Oh... and did I mention Knott's famous Fried Chicken dinners and delicious berry pies? 
Soak City at Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA
United States


Contact:
(714) 220-5200
knotts.com
When the temperature soars... Soak City is the place to be. 

What a great way to keep cool!

* Float through a 132-foot long tube in total darkness
* Plunge into a towering six-story funnel
* Splash back and forth on over 5,500 gallons of swirling whitewater
* High-speed body slides from a seven-story Old Man Falls Tower
* Catch the big one at Tidal Wave Bay, a 750,000-gallon wave pool
* Sunset River, a lazy river inner tube ride
* Dick's Beach House, a three-story water funhouse
* Gremmie Lagoon, a children's splash pool area with kid-sized slides

Made in the Shade

* Wide selection of tasty food choices
* Semi-private and VIP Cabanas available
*Waiter/waitress service
* Lounge chairs, tables and inner tubes
Legoland California
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One Legoland Drive
Carlsbad, CA
United States


Contact:
(760) 918-5346
legoland.com
Legoland has developed into a great little theme park.  Everything has the "Lego" look making it whimsical from start to finish. 

Although they have tried hard to appeal to the older kids, it's still best suited for the 12 and under set.
San Diego Zoo
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15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA
United States


Contact:
(760) 747-8702
www.wildanimalpark.org
This is a world class animal reserve owned and operated by the San Diego Zoo.  It doesn't get better than this.  Wild animals roam free in this beautiful African setting giving you some idea of what it's like to see them in the wild.  Simply beautiful!

They offer a "Roar & Snore" package.  It's an opportunity for you to camp out for one night near Kilima Point, overlooking the East Africa enclosure and the new Lion Camp.  For "Roar & Snore" reservations, call (619) 718-3000.
San Diego Zoo
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2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park
San Diego, CA
United States


Contact:
(619) 231-1515
www.sandiegozoo.org
Easily the best zoo in the world.  No one does it better.  If you're heading to San Diego... this zoo is a "must see".