Gadabout Vacations has been proudly serving Southern California for more than 50 years – and we’ve discovered more than a few treasures along the way!
From the delights of a quaint Dutch village to a dazzling taste of the Far East, an incredible number of once-in-a-lifetime experiences can be found within an easy day’s drive of most locations in the region.
Here are some of our favorites.
A massive windmill looming over the horizon is your first sign that Solvang is not your typical Southern California beach town. Located forty-five minutes northwest of Santa Barbara, the quaint Dutch-style village was founded in 1911 by Danish settlers and retains the charms of the Old World to this day. Explore the quiet village streets to find delights like a replica of Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid statue and a bust of Hans Christian Anderson – not to mention, endless culinary and craftware delights.
- Outer Space
Everyone knows you can see the stars in Hollywood. But you might spot planets, asteroids, and meteors, too at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium in Griffith Observatory. Watch the dazzling planetarium show in a comfortable theater. Or, step up to one of the free telescopes at night to explore by the real-life version.
- Huntington Library Chinese Gardens
The bustle of L.A.’s Chinatown and the delights of the Valley’s dim sum parlors are well-known to tourists and Southern California locals alike. But a truly authentic representation of the Far East can be found at the enchanting Chinese Gardens at the Huntington Library in San Marino. One of the largest Chinese-style gardens outside of China, it was built in cooperation by California gardeners and artisans from Suzhou. A towering pagoda, bamboo carvings, pine and plum trees, and other traces of Chinese culture conjure an utterly unforgettable scene.
- The Oval Office
“We are forever indebted,” President Ronald Reagan once said, “to those who have given their lives that we may be free.” Reagan’s own contributions to our country are lasting – even outside the halls of the government in D.C. Explore the life and times – and Oval Office – of the California boy turned national icon during a day tour of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, outside of L.A.
- Mission San Juan Capistrano
As the American Revolution raged across the East Coast in 1776, the Spaniards were quietly staking claim to the West Coast of North America. Built in that same fiery year, the Mission San Juan Capistrano is home to the oldest building in California still in use today – and California’s first vineyard! Wandering the picturesque ruins and fragrant gardens, you’ll be able to envision an entirely different era of American history.
Check back for the second half of our travel secrets soon!