Los Angeles gets all the attention in the Golden State, and that's something of a shame. For instance, take Valencia, California. Located about an hour north of the City of Angels, it doesn't share the glitz of its well-known cousin, but what it lacks in publicity, it more than makes up for in quality. Money magazine listed it as one of the top 100 places to live in the United States, and given the city's charming village layout and proximity to major attractions, Valencia hotels start looking attractive indeed.
Once you've landed at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), plan on renting a car before heading up I-5. Even if you catch a ride with friends or family, you'll want to rent a car in Valencia, because the surrounding area has so much to offer. If you're traveling with kids, they'll love Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is the world's second-largest roller coaster amusement park and features thrills for every age level. When you've gotten your fill of excitement, enjoy a leisurely hike down Golden Valley Trail (located on Placerita Canyon Road about 3 1/2 miles south from where it intersects SR 14), or stretch your legs on East Canyon Trail (which is right by Newhall's Old Road on I-5's Calgrove exit). The Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita is a bit of a drive from most hotels in Valencia, but it's worth the trip to get up close and personal with some of the rarest apes in the world. Looking for a bit of urban entertainment before you head back home? Snag a cheap room at one of the many Los Angeles hotels, and tour the art gallery at the Getty Center, or attend a show in the Walt Disney concert hall.
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