Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park) and Mosaic Church Hollywood
As we were staying five days in Beverly Hills, we were able to take a few extra days to choose some alternative days out. We’d already done Disneyland, sightseeing popular sights of Hollywood and Los Angeles.
We only just discovered this place before we travelled out to America, but we are so glad we did. It’s called Knott’s Berry Farm and it’s a great theme park which has kept true to its roots.
The story is that it started when the Knott family sold fruit on the side of the road for travellers over 100 years ago. Since then, it has become a berry farm with added amusement park and now a popular theme park that boasts over 30 rides and half a dozen great rollercoasters and still sells unique food and drink with the original Knott’s Berry flavour.
A great highlight was their wooden rollercoaster called Ghost Rider – it was very fast and definitely intense. But it’s become a favourite wooden rollercoaster for us both!
After a full day getting on as many rides as we could, we ended the day watching an entertaining hillbilly band and left about 6pm.
We then headed back to central Los Angeles for a Sunday church service at MOSAIC’s Hollywood campus. Pastor Erwin McManus was speaking and it was a great place! They even handed out delicious portions of key lime pie on the way out!
Time out at the Beverly Hilton, Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Smokehouse Restaurant.
Today we had a free day planned so that we didn’t over-do it! Whilst I opted for a morning lounging around at the swimming pool, Ben got more out of the Go LA card by driving to Six Flags Magic Mountain to get on more rollercoasters. Funny how we refuel differently!
Ben then drove back in the afternoon to pick me up from the hotel so we could head to Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Again, we had not planned to do this but it was included on the Go LA cards and as it was next door to Universal, we had been interested in going.
We are so glad we did! Let’s be honest, the Universal Studios Tour is more of a tram ride around some old back lots and you don’t really get to see much. Their new 3D experiences are clever but not really our thing. So in comparison, Warner Brothers studio tour is a really in-depth look at life on a working studio.
They take you around sound stages, through current TV sets and show an array of very recent props and costumes including the Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts films which are all relatively recent. You can then end the tour with green screen experiences and the famous FRIENDS central perk photo.
On the tour, they pointed out a restaurant near their studios which has Hollywood history of its own. Many famous stars and directors have eaten there as it’s so close to the studios, but George Clooney loved it so much he even named his production company after it!
Many shows have also filmed here because it’s proximity, and most importantly to me, it’s another film location from La La Land, where Seb and Mia meet at numerous times through the film’s timelines.
The food was really nice too! And it has world famous garlic bread – it’s lovely, but it’s very cheesy!
Venice Beach and Skatepark, Day Trip to San Diego
The next day we were heading even further south, almost as south as Mexico! We wanted to go to the San Diego zoo, but we also wanted to plan some iconic stops along the way: Long Beach, Queen Mary and Newport Beach.
Even before all of that, we drove to Venice beach as it’s a popular and eccentric hangout, as well as home to the famous Venice Beach skatepark. We had hoped to see it when we visited Santa Monica but by the time we rode scooters to Venice beach, it was too dark and we turned back.
So we parked up and had a quick peek around Venice Beach and the skate park. Sadly, it delayed us for a fairly long trip to San Diego so in hindsight we probably should have left a lot earlier!
Read more about our Day Trip to San Diego here.
- Days 1-4: San Francisco blog.
- Days 4-5: Beach Drive from San Francisco to Santa Monica blog.
You can also check out our videos from our California road trip, visit YouTube: Kluma