SouthFlorida.com
Make every weekend epic with our free Weekender newsletter. Sign up today!

Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor. To search the state by region, use the filter below.

Tell us what's on your California bucket list. Email travel@latimes.com and put California Bucket List in the subject line.

Family-friendlyL.A. County

Zoom like a wizard through Universal Studios Hollywood

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2016 at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2016 at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Why: If the kids want rides and the adults want glimpses backstage, this is the only game in town. It's a theme park and studio tour in one place.

What: Universal Studios, which started offering tram tours in 1964, is now a tourist juggernaut that's nearly on Disneyland's scale, with millions of annual visitors and locations around the world. In 2016, L.A.'s Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a combination of rides, shops and other attractions that includes Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade (though the Universal "Potter" park in Florida is bigger). Other attractions draw from "The Walking Dead," "Fast & Furious," "Despicable Me," "The Simpsons" and "King Kong 360 3D." The studio tour sites include the house from "Psycho" and the shark from "Jaws." Also, CityWalk with three blocks of restaurants, shops and theaters, is next door.

Now, if it's back lot insights and soundstage stories you want, you might want to consider three other studio tour alternatives: Warner Brothers, Paramount and Sony.

Where: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 10 miles northwest of downtown L.A.

How much: One-day admission starts at $99-$116 (it's pricier in summer). In the off season, there are discounts for Californians. Parking costs $10-$40 per car.

Info: Universal Studios Hollywood

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
80°