Whether you’re considering a trip to one of the top-rated destinations in Southern California now or you’re planning ahead for the winter holidays, it takes planning and research to get the most out of busy travel times.
￼Road tripping in California is nearly a requirement because you’re going to need a car to get from Hollywood to the beaches and back. This provides flexibility, but when you’re traveling with family and little ones it can also increase stress.
No matter what time of year you’re making your way to this famed studio, here are a few tips to make the most of your trip:
1.Take advantage of those hop on/hop off tours. They can be cheesy and very touristy, but it’s also a great way to see all the major sites without having to worry about keeping your eyes on the road or dealing with parking.
There are a number of tours available that target different neighbourhoods, and it’s a great introduction to Southern California before you make your way to Universal Studios. Embrace your inner tourist and don’t forget to check for discount deals.
2. Choose a hotel with amenities you love close to Universal Studios. It’s tempting to think about renting a house on the beach or another part of Southern California. However, the notorious traffic is going to be in full force during peak travel seasons.
Choose a hotel that’s not only convenient to the studio but also offers complimentary shuttle services. Save on parking, reduce stress, and don’t worry about traffic jams
3. Arrive a few minutes before the studios open. No matter the season, the best time of the day to visit any top attraction is right when it opens. You’ll be surprised what it feels like when you have the studios to yourself, even on weekends.
Plus, you’ll beat the heat if you’re travelling in the summer months. Be among the first that day to check out the sights, grab breakfast on the go, and avoid lines.
4. Get an early admission pass. If you plan on getting early access, this early bird pass is well worth the upgrade. You can come in early to make the most of your time at Universal Studios.
As you tour Southern California, don’t forget to complement your Universal Studios tour with the many nearby attractions:
- Located in nearby Yorba Linda at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., the Richard Nixon Library, museum and birthplace is a hidden gem in Southern California.￼
- Suitable for all ages with exciting revolving exhibits as well as an impressive array of permanent displays and galleries, it’s a must-see during your trip to Anaheim.
- From the impeccably reimagined Oval Office during the Nixon presidency to the Watergate Exhibit and many more, discover an exciting political past that’s surprisingly still relevant today.
With dozens of exhibits, you’ll need more than one full day to immerse yourself in everything the museum has to offer. The National Archives exhibit features a new Vietnam War research portal where you can browse a rich array of resources related to the Vietnam War. Photographs, audiovisual recordings, lectures, and more are at your disposal.
Although history buffs and researchers adore the museum and library, it’s also very kid- friendly. The photo galleries, speeches (including the Silent Majority and Moon Landing), audio clips, and exhibit on Nixon’s China trip are just a few highlights children particularly love.
Admission is $16 for adults, $10 for children, and $12 for seniors. Open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Don’t miss out on this impressive library and museum that’s constantly updated with newly available archives. If we don’t learn from the past, we’re destined to repeat it.
- Contemporary with a rich array of temporary exhibits, you’ll find the Muzeo at 241 S Anaheim Blvd.
- Catering to all ages, it’s a landmark site in Anaheim thanks to its unique structure.
- Open Wednesday – Sunday, admission is always free for the Carnegie Gallery exhibitions.
- Other exhibition admission fees vary. The permanent History of Anaheim exhibit is a fantastic trip back in time to see the indigenous and agricultural roots of the city with an impressive amount of archives and relics.
Curated by the Anaheim Museum before the Muzeo opened in 2007, the permanent exhibit remains in the 1908 Carnegie Library. Explore fossils, 19th century winery tools, citrus tools, and Native American warfare items at this exhibition that continues to grow.
You’ll find memorabilia from Anaheim Stadium and Disneyland on display here, too.
The Carnegie Library is the only Andrew Carnegie public library still standing in the county. It remained the local library until 1963, then became an administrative office for the city in the 1970s until securing a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Also on site is the Anaheim Heritage Center connected to the main gallery. Here, you’ll find nearly one million items for students, researchers, and scholars. Muzeo was founded to foster community within Anaheim and encourage exploration, celebration of a diverse heritage, and arts.
- All aboard the historic El Dorado Express Railroad at 7550 E Spring St. in nearby Los Alamitos. Also known as Caboose Corners, this funky little stop is located in El Dorado Park in Long Beach.
- Open weekends through October from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is just $3. Explore a vintage train with a single ride, or spring for a picnic party package for up to 100 guests. Perfect for company gatherings, birthday parties, or any other celebration, for just $350 you can reserve a picnic site with five benches, shelter, and 25 tickets for a train ride.
The El Dorado Express Railroad is a unique piece of Southern California history and the perfect destination for a leisurely afternoon outing.
The train was originally refurbished by locals Tony and Greg Ruvolo in 1988. First created in 1946, the train had previously been sitting in storage for decades. It took eight years to restore it to working, original condition—and now visitors like you can experience an authentic mid-century train ride.
The on-site pumpkin patch opens in the autumn, so visitors can climb on board the train to be taken to a sprawling patch. There’s no better way to usher in autumn than with an old-fashioned outdoor adventure. Perfect for train lovers, history buffs, children, families, and outdoor lovers, don’t miss out on this quaint Long Beach destination.
No matter how you spend your getaway, challenge everyone to minimize phone usage and enjoy the new sights, discoveries, and more that await at Universal Studios and beyond.
Author’s Bio: Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer who has a passion for writing. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles for many different companies. In his free time, you can find him running with his dog, playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.