Santa Clarita, a beautiful Southern California city that showcases the best of Southern California, is home to many wonderful things. It is located approximately 30 miles north from Los Angeles and nestled among the foothills surrounding Angeles National Forest. The city has beautiful weather all year thanks to its elevated location near the ocean.
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Santa Clarita is best known for its Six Flags Magic Mountain. Santa Clarita’s “Thrill Capital” is located near Santa Clarita. It attracts adrenaline-seekers with its many gravity-defying rollercoasters. While this renowned theme park is worth a visit for a short time, Santa Clarita’s cultural attractions are more worthwhile.
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Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain, also known by the ” Thrill Capital of the World“, is located right at Santa Clarita’s backdoor. Old Town Newhall is seven miles from this number one attraction. The Santa Clarita Trolley transports visitors to the park every summer from Old Town Newhall.
Magic Mountain is known for its extensive collection of thrill rides. The park’s signature rides induce g force screams and an inverted state of euphoria. They are called Twisted Colossus and CraZanity. There are different height requirements for each roller coaster. For the most thrilling thrill rides, you must be between 48 and 54 inches tall.
Six Flags Magic Mountain has many gravity-defying attractions. The park offers many family-friendly rides, including the Canyon Blaster or the Grand American Carousel. The park also hosts live events such as meet-and-greets with comic book characters.
Consider spending another day at the nearby Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles between June and September. The massive water park features over a dozen rides that range from rapid waterslides to children’s playgrounds.
The park opens at 10:30 am and closes at different times throughout the year.
Official site: https://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain
Old Town Newhall
Old Town Newhall, Santa Clarita’s historic heart, dates back to the 1800s when gold was discovered in nearby Placerita Canyon. The historic streets have been rehabilitated over the past two decades to include charming shops and restaurants.
Old Town Newhall is pedestrian-friendly. Main Street runs south from the magnificent Old Town Newhall Library. These restaurants offer SoCal cuisine and are well-respected in the LA food scene. Head to Egg Plantation at Walnut Street for one of the finest breakfasts in the area.
Old Town Newhall also hosts community events and opportunities to meet. Every Saturday, the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market is held in the library’s parking lot. You can also find the MAIN multipurpose arts center in Old Town. It offers everything you need, including workshops and performances.
Official site: https://oldtownnewhall.com/
Visit the William S. Hart Museum, William S. Hart Regional Park
William S. Hart was a silent film star who built his Spanish colonial revival-style home atop Newhall’s hills in 1927. The ranch of 265 acres was left to the county by Hart upon his death. Today, the impressive mansion is surrounded by a popular regional parks.
The museum features much of William S. Hart’s personal art collection as well as lavish decor. These aesthetics are heavily influenced by Native American and Western motifs. Guided sightseeing tours are usually available throughout the year.
It is worth a visit to the ranch, even if you don’t want to tour the mansion. The property’s bison herd is visible from the grounds, which are well-kept. Near the park entrance, you will find working stables that house a variety of animals.
The ranch’s rest, now William S. Hart Regional Park is a beautiful open space with picnic tables and trails. This parkland is great for taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, or even to enjoy a picnic outside. The park entrance can be found at the southern end Old Town Newhall.
Official site: https://hartmuseum.org/
Window Shop at Westfield Valencia Town Center
The Westfield Valencia Town Center, a two-story indoor shopping mall, is located on the opposite side of Interstate 5 from Six Flags Magic Mountain. This is a lovely shopping area that boasts over 150 restaurants and stores. Many local shops and restaurants line the walkways, as well as large department stores such JCPenney or Macy’s.
Westfield Valencia is known for its pedestrian walkways. Enjoy people-watching, landscaped surroundings, and a turtle-filled artificial pond. The outdoor plaza is lively at night when it lights up.
The Canyon is also located in Westfield Valencia, one of the most well-known live music venues in the city. This indoor stage hosts a variety of shows, from comedians to nationally touring musicians. The Canyon offers both a dinner and show menu.
Official site: https://www.westfield.com/valencia
Placerita Canyon Nature Center
Placerita Canyon can be found on the San Gabriel Mountains’ western slopes, just east from the city. It is the original California gold discovery site. Now known as the “Oak of the Golden Dream.” Although this 1842 discovery was six years before John Sutter’s gold discovery, it didn’t create the same rush.
This culturally rich area is now protected by a state park in Placerita Canyon. Placerita is a popular destination for tourists who want to learn more about the history of the area, including the discovery of gold and the fascinating canyon environment. The parking area is home to several walking trails. There are also guided walks and programs for families at the nature center.
The hiking routes range from easy, wide trails to more difficult routes to the Santa Clarita Divide. Many of the shorter trails can be accessed by wheelchairs and strollers. Placerita Canyon also has a large picnic area near a rambling stream that children love to explore.
Desert Adventure to Vasquez Rocks Natural Area
Vasquez Rocks, a 932-acre LA County Park that includes several high-desert rocks formations, is located on the outskirts of Los Angeles. You can hike or admire the beautiful landscape from this place, which is located less than 20 miles away from downtown on the Antelope valley Freeway.
Vasquez Rocks’ impressive, skyward formations are the result of a long geologic past that dates back many millions of years. The site has been featured in numerous movies and television shows. Most notably, the jutting rock has appeared in many Star Trek productions. Vasquez Rocks Natural Area | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane
It is fun to beam your way through this natural area. Hiking in the desert is the most popular activity. There are many trails that can be used to navigate the area, including the country-spanning Pacific Crest Trail.
Vasquez Rocks visitors need to be aware of the desert conditions. The summer temperatures can reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why rattlesnakes call this area home. If you visit in the summer, plan for an early morning excursion and be alert for warming wildlife.
Tesoro Adobe Historic Park
In the 1920s and 1930s, Harry Carrey Sr., a prolific western actor, built Tesoro Adobe. The Spanish-style home was located at the ranch’s center on 2,000 acres. It hosted many Hollywood stars and also served as an outdoor movie studio.
This little piece of Old Hollywood was donated to the county today and is now a historical park. Tesoro Adobe is the house that sits in the park’s middle. It is now surrounded with several tourist attractions. You can also visit the house museum and enjoy outdoor film screenings.
Visit the Gibbon Conservation Center to see the Apes
It is located north of the city and can be reached by a short drive. The Gibbon Conservation Center is a non-profit organization that promotes the safety and health of gibbons. They are a small, endangered apes from the lush forests of Southeast Asia. Through conservation efforts and education, the facility’s primary goal is to ensure gibbons’ longevity in the natural world.
The Gibbon Conservation Center offers guided tours that allow visitors to see some of the resident apes. The guided tours last one hour and include narration by a staff member or volunteer. The resident apes are not allowed to interact with tour members.
Reservations are required for guided tours and visits to the museum. For the most current operating hours, please check before you visit.
Official site: https://www.gibboncenter.org/
Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studio offers Backstage Hollywood Experience
Melody Ranch Studio, a Hollywood backlot of 22 acres located in Santa Clarita near the Master’s University. The set is fully functional and has been producing movies since its opening in 1915. Some recent films shot at Melody Ranch include Deadwood (HBO drama), and Django Unchained (Oscar-winning film by Quentin Tarantino).
Melody Ranch is not open to the public. To tour the Melody Ranch Museum, guests can make an appointment. The museum houses thousands of props that are used in movies. This gives you a fascinating look at the film-making process. A tour of the grounds is usually included in museum visits.
Official site: http://melodyranchstudio.com/