From the desert to the sea, and the mountains to the valleys, the diversity of the Greater Los Angeles area is just one more reason to visit. For day trips, the surrounding four counties — Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura — offer added opportunities for adventure.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, two hours east of Los Angeles, promises thrilling views from atop Mt. San Jacinto, as well as a ride on one of the nation’s only rotating aerial tram cars. In Big Bear, an alpine enclave in the nearby San Bernardino Mountains, visitors can water ski on the lake in summer and snow ski on the slopes in winter.
If you’re in the mood for wine tasting, head north to the Santa Ynez Valley to tour and explore at dozens of award-winning wineries, some of which were featured in the hit film Sideways.
Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim are 45 minutes south of Downtown LA. In nearby Buena Park, delegates can let their hair down, and perhaps a gauntlet, at the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, where costumed horsemen prance and party. Knott’s Berry Farm, also in Buena Park, did indeed start out as a farm — but today it’s filled with roller coasters, live entertainment and fairground-style food. And the kids’ll love Camp Snoopy, which is filled with Peanuts-themed attractions and characters.
Continue south for a day of big splashy fun at SeaWorld San Diego to see Shamu and his undersea buddies perform live, marvel at manatees and take a ride up the 265-foot Skytower for panoramic views of Southern California’s surf and turf.
An excellent way to beat the heat in Southern California is to head to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles, a water park with dozens of thrilling slides, relaxing pools and fun wave simulators. Roller coaster aficionados and adrenaline junkies should make a beeline to Six Flags Magic Mountain, where the most high-tech and pulse-pounding thrill rides can be found.
The Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana hosts NASCAR events and features luxury boxes and suites for VIPs. Host to NASCAR races like the Auto Club 500 and the Sony HD 500, this raceway opened in 1997 and can accommodate more than 90,000 fans. It’s only 40 miles east of Los Angeles, making it a great addition to any itinerary.
At the Pechanga Resort & Casino, you’ll find more than 500 guest rooms, several dining options, world-class entertainment and, of course, plenty of slot machines and poker tables. Other great accommodations with gaming action just steps from your room include Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, located in Cabazon, and Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts at Commerce Casino in Commerce.