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Also near Carlsbad is California Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium. Several ticket options are available for Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium, including multi-day passes and passes that combine both attractions.
Carrying on up I-5, your next stop should be San Juan Capistrano. The 230-year old historic chapel, landmark and museum is perfect for history buffs. Ticket prices, including a free audio tour, are: $9 for adults; $8 for seniors 60+, and $6 for children 4-11 years. Children three and under are free.
If you are hoping to catch some sun, a stop at the Laguna Beach resort area along the I-5 and at the southern end of Orange County is a must.
Next read: Best Beaches in San Diego
Los Angeles offers countless opportunities for adventure and diversion. Stopping in the City of Angels for a few days is a must. L.A. is home to Disneyland, the Disney California Adventure Park, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Hollywood.
West of the city, the Topanga Canyon Loop offers a scenic drive through a famous part of L.A. Historically a weekend getaway for Hollywood's rich and famous, this area of Los Angeles became an enclave for artists and musicians in the mid-20th Century. From L.A. take I-10 West to Santa Monica and connect with the Pacific Coast Hwy. Then head north on CA-27! Follow the road up through the mountains. There are quirky shops, restaurants and saloons. Enjoy the views of the San Fernando Valley from the Topanga overlook.
After your fill of Los Angeles, head north on the Pacific Coastal Highway (US 101)! The state beaches of Malibu and Ventura provide the perfect place to catch some surf and rays before heading onto Santa Barbara.
If you are interested in wildlife, a stop at the Carpinteria Harbour Seal Rookery offers a chance to see over 100 adult seals.
Once you reach Santa Barbara, you are rewarded with a beautiful city situated on the Pacific coast and with the Ynez Mountains providing a picturesque backdrop. It is a popular tourist destination and offers countless opportunities for surf, sand and adventure.