What to do and see in Santa Clarita, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 11, 2017 Leonarda Pillsbury

Santa Clarita, officially the City of Santa Clarita, is the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County, California, and the 24th largest in the state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas, contributing to the large population increase. It is located about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or boomburb. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live.
Restaurants in Santa Clarita

1. Six Flags Magic Mountain

26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1095 +1 661-255-4100
Excellent
60%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 4 reviews

Six Flags Magic Mountain

With 260 acres and over 100 different attractions, this theme park has something for everyone.

Reviewed By bruce p - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Loved all the coaster options. Liked the SuperHero area and the portion themed for kids. Clean throughout. Friendly staff all around. Only downsize was there were NO dessert options, we wanted something sweet n fun....only options were funnel cake really. How bout some of those new extreme ice cream shakes or ice cream cookie sandwichs with all the dazzle. Decent food otherwise. No long waits, but it was early spring. Great time though, keep up the great rides.

2. William S. Hart Museum & Ranch

24151 Newhall Ave, Newhall, CA 91321-2908 +1 661-254-4584
Excellent
58%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 86 reviews

William S. Hart Museum & Ranch

This museum is housed in the former home and ranch of silent film cowboy star and director William S. Hart.

Reviewed By Rich A - Los Angeles, California

Been wanting to visit William Hart's place forever & finally made it! We went on an "open house" weekend when you can tour his home/museum on you own (not in a group), but with docents in each of the main rooms to point things out and answer questions. We made the mistake of parking below and walking up the hill, but it's a steep dirt path and you might find yourself winded by time you arrive. There is limited parking behind the house and you need a permit if not handicapped. The house is beautiful and sits on top of a hill with expansive views of the Santa Clarita Valley. Mr. Hart made a ton of cowboy movies but was also a stage actor first on Broadway, one the first actors to play Ben-hur. Home is a two-story ranch with a giant dinning room and a curved staircase to the second floor. Memorabilia abounds about Hart's years in Hollywood, Broadway and about his family & dogs (Great Danes)...Lots of photos. Well worth the time & donation to see...and don't miss the buffalo just to the west of the house.

3. Castaic Lake

31540 Ridge Route Rd, Castaic, CA 91384-3358 +1 661-257-4050
Excellent
22%
Good
61%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 22 reviews

Castaic Lake

Reviewed By SanMo - Malibu, California

I came here to learn about water not do the recreation stuff.

Lake is sometimes closed to public.
Built to generate power and move water in the California aqueduct system.

Incredible visitors center to teach about water, moving water, dam building and power plants. Frightening how reliant we are on the aqueduct.

Recreation and SoCal water survival is what Caustic and Pyramid lakes are all about.

4. Lombardi Ranch

29527 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Saugus, CA 91390-1134 +1 661-296-8697
Excellent
60%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Lombardi Ranch

Reviewed By Megan E - Los Angeles, California

Lombardi Ranch is a Santa Clarita tradition. Every SCV per-schooler, for years, has picked a mini-pumpkin to call their own. A quick check of the their website reveals that Lombardi Ranch has been holding their Halloween Pumpkin Festival since 1989. However, they have been selling pumpkins since 1968. This is truly a family farm. And a community landmark.
A few features are a pedestrian corn maze, a tractor pulling train cars that winds it's way through a road in the maze, a petting zoo, an educational garden, photo boards to stick your head through and take a silly photo, a hay bale pyramid that every kid HAS to climb to the top of and of course, lots and lots of pumpkins, set out in rows so that you can pick and choose the perfect one to make a Jack-O-Lantern out of. There are so many more things that could be mentioned, for kids to do at Lombardi's but this review would be too long.
There is a snack bar as well, selling hot chocolate, hot dogs, candy, chips and more. Also, on the week-ends, there is a booth that local groups can sign-up to sell baked goods at.
There is also a scarecrow making contest. All entries are displayed through-out the corn field. This year, they held the first ever baking contest.
So if you need a pumpkin or two, or you just want to enjoy the fall at a family ranch, check out Lombardi's. It's great!

5. Placerita Canyon Nature Center

19152 Placerita Canyon Rd, Newhall, CA 91321-3213 +1 661-259-7721
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 43 reviews

Placerita Canyon Nature Center

Reviewed By CrankingChick - Tucson, Arizona

To beat the heat we visited early on a Saturday morning before the Nature Center building was open (9am-5pm). Quite a few people were there enjoying the hiking trails, although 2-3 of them were closed. The website advertised a wheelchair-accessible trail to the Oak of the Golden Dream, but the trail was under construction following recent flooding and not usable. It would have been helpful if the website stated this. My husband was able to walk over on the road and take photos to show me. We plan to go back and try again if we are in the area to see the completed restoration. It's a pretty area along a stream with many large shady trees. The Walker Cabin is right by the road and parking lots, so easy to see. We saw a hummingbird, bluebirds, and a large millipede. There's a nice picnic area on the far side of the stream across a small bridge. People who use wheelchairs may want to park right next to the Nature Center to visit that, and then move the car and park as close as possible to the bridge, because deep sand in the parking area makes for difficult travel. Check before you visit, because there was a wildfire in the area this week (6/26/17) and the park was temporarily closed. Admission is free. Restrooms available.

6. Gibbon Conservation Center

19100 Esguerra Road, off Bouquet Canyon near Lombardi Ranch, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 +1 661-296-2737
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 51 reviews

Gibbon Conservation Center

The Gibbon Conservation Center is home to more than 40 highly endangered gibbon apes (small apes). This peaceful location is where gibbons live in family groups, raise their infants and socialize as they would in the wild. A guided tour is given at 10:00 a.m. on weekends, when they are open to the public between 9:30 a.m. and noon. Wonderful photo opportunities and a chance to watch gibbons swing from branch to branch and hear them sing their melodic songs. There is a gift shop on site. Private and school tours are available on weekdays.

Reviewed By Rosemary W

This small facility is quite interesting. The tour is optional and free, but well worth the price of admission. There is a lot to know about gibbons in general and, more specifically, the gibbons who live here. We really enjoyed the wild and loud "singing" of the gibbons, as well as watching them in their habitats. They are fed several times a day, so you will likely get to see them using both hands and feet to eat.

Be aware that the last quarter mile of the approach to the facility is on a dirt road. It's hot and dry out here in the summer (and there is not a lot of shade), so it's smart to bring water.

7. The Gentle Barn

15825 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390-4731 +1 661-252-2440
Excellent
81%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 39 reviews

The Gentle Barn

Reviewed By Ian S - New York City, New York

More than an attraction, it made me leave wanting to be a better person. Beautifully run, done for the best reasons and a wonderful presentation by the owner and founder, it's something that deserves patronage and awareness. Easy to get to, friendly and concerned staff. This is NOT a petting zoo. Not sure little kids should be allowed as I know they want kids to understand at a young age, but the lesser monitored kids frighten the animals. Pay attention to the knowledgable staff as each animal has a story. I can't say enough about this place and what they are doing. Please support them.

8. Oak Tree Gun Club

23121 Coltrane Ave, Newhall, CA 91321-3959 +1 661-259-7441
Excellent
75%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 27 reviews

Oak Tree Gun Club

Reviewed By davidandrose1 - Lucas, Texas

Daughter and I came here with a Groupon for lessons in the pistol range on a Friday morning. While I've shot clays before, this club was larger and better organized than ranges I'd used at 5 star resorts. Whether in the pistol ranges or in the large clay area, there were numerous employees on-site.

Once we checked in, Paul took us to an outdoor area with 2 paper and 1 metal target, two tabletops and several hightop chairs. Paul did a great job taking us through the workings of the pistols we would use, and throughout the 75 minute experience stopped several times to help us improve our stance, aim and comfort with the firearms that were used as part of the package. Never tried to rush our session, and was very good with my daughter. As our session concluded, he didn't try to up-sell us on membership or future visits, though we inquired on our own. If Oak Tree was closer to my home this would be a routine stop. Great place to learn or to shoot or just to unwind.

9. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1052 +1 661-255-4100
Excellent
35%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
10%
Terrible
15%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 379 reviews

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Reviewed By Fulfordx5 - Newbury Park, California

Went for my daughters birthday. It was our first visit to this water park. Wasn't familiar with the setting but based on the other reviews and it being Summer which is always busy, we rented a Cabana. The Cabana's did seem very close together. After coming back after one ride the Cabana next to us had what looked like a hundred of bags piled up on the 3 sunbed's, over spilling onto ours. It would have been nice for the Cabana staff to have noticed this and removed it as it was right next to their hut ( to clarify the Cabana next to us was just being used for a day camp bag drop. After all the money we spent on the Cabana I didn't want to be feeling like I was on a conveyor belt at Lax. Surely there are other areas that these bags can be kept?) We received free tubes and waiter service but I'm not sure the experience of a Cabana at this particular water park is worth the money.

The park itself was ok, it just seemed dated.
The lazy river was great, my recommendation would be to get in before 12, after that its like sardines in a tin.

10. Santa Clarita Woodlands Park

24335 The Old Rd, Newhall, CA 91321 +1 310-858-7272
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Santa Clarita Woodlands Park

On the north-facing flank of the Santa Susana Mountains, the numerous canyons of Santa Clarita Woodlands Park contain globally unique combinations of tree species, perennial streams, spring wildflower displays, and abundant wildlife. Even black bears and mountain lion roam here--only a few miles away from the urbanized San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.

Reviewed By Kevin C - Santa Clarita, California

SCWP encompasses mostly the north slopes of the Santa Susana range between Balboa Blvd in Granada Hills and Pico Canyon in the Stevenson Ranch area. As such, your experience will depend greatly on which trailhead you select and which part of the preserve you experience. But the canyons and slopes of the north side of the range are woodsier and greener, and the trails can be used year round. The most heavily-used trailhead is at Ed Davis Park / Towsley Canyon. Two essentially concentric loops, at 5 miles / 1000' and 2 miles / 350', offer the trail user a good looping workout. For those who want a tamer walk, following the canyon bottom on the 5-mile loop takes one to a fascinating narrows, with trees and seasonal running water. That's about 3 miles R/T, and offers a shady midway stop in the narrows. In summer, start right at sunrise, or in the evening, ensuring to leave enough time to return to the trailhead by sunset. Onsite resident park rangers can issue a $500 citation to those caught after dark. But if you use the canyon around sunset, when the Santa Susanas cast cool shade into the valleys, you will see animals moving about. I've seen coyotes, deer, snakes, and tarantulas in Towsley Canyon during that part of the day.
The Towsley Canyon trailhead is well-used by the locals due to its location and ease of access. if you're seeking a more isolated experience, the trailhead at East / Rice Canyons, just a ways further up The Old Road, is a better option. Just as pretty, it also offers a great 8-mile R/T workout hike to Mission Point and back. MP overlooks the entire San Fernando Valley, and is also accessed off Neon Way in Granada Hills. (That southern-exposure route is shorter, sunnier, and warmer that the East Cyn route). Mission Point is a great winter hike. I think when the air is clear you can see Santa Catalina Island.
One other reviewer here made mention of roller coasters. Those are in an entirely different park....

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.