35 Fun Things to Do in Santa Clarita, CA

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A lake with greenery and greenery-covered mountains surrounding it
Angeles National Forest is one of many places to visit in the Santa Clarita area

Santa Clarita is located about 35 minutes North of Los Angeles and is well worth visiting! This Californian town has something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to families. Fun things to do in Santa Clarita, CA, include spending the day at Six Flags, meeting rescue animals at the Gentle Barn, and dining at Old Town Newhall.

There are also many other cities around Santa Clarita that make a great day or weekend trip destination, including San Diego, Long Beach, and of course, Los Angeles. Keep reading to discover all the fun attractions in and around Santa Clarita!

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35 Fun Things to Do in Santa Clarita, California

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Santa Clarita, CA Things to Do

One of the fun things to do in Santa Clarita, CA, is walking the Santa Clarita Trails
Walking the Santa Clarita Trails is one of the fun things to do in Santa Clarita, CA

Wander along the Santa Clarita Trails

Those who love hiking won't want to miss the Santa Clarita Trails. The trails consist of over 80 miles of pathways and are ideal for hiking, jogging, and biking. There are six trailheads throughout the city where you can access the trails. As you walk, you can take in the beautiful natural surroundings.

🏨 Accommodations close to the Iron Horse Trailhead

Hang out at Old Town Newhall

Going to Old Town Newhall is one of the best things to do in Santa Clarita, CA, no matter what you enjoy doing! The entertainment district has bars and restaurants, arts attractions, fitness centers, shops, salons and spas, and much more.

Just a few things to do here include dining at independent eateries serving a variety of cuisines, shopping at locally owned boutiques, and taking a hot yoga class.

🏨 Accommodation in close proximity to Old Town Newhall

Interact with animals at the Gibbon Conservation Center

Going to the Gibbon Conservation Center is one of the cool things to do in Santa Clarita, CA, if you like animals. The center is home to around 40 endangered gibbons and aims to help with their conservation while teaching the public about this species of ape.

Visitors to the attraction can take tours, see exhibits on the habitat and conservation of gibbons, and of course, see the gibbons that live there.

Enjoy Santa Clarita Central Park

Santa Clarita Central Park is a vast municipal park that has many attractions. The park features trails and a dog park, plus baseball diamonds, basketball courts, a children's play area, and picnic benches. You'll also discover a quaint community garden as you explore the park.

Follow trails at Quigley Canyon Open Space

Another of the fun Santa Clarita activities for outdoor enthusiasts is hiking at Quigley Canyon Open Space. Covering 160 acres, the canyon has over four miles of trails that offer stunning views. The most popular trail to follow is the 1.3-mile Quigley Canyon loop trail.

It takes about 40 minutes to complete and is appropriate for almost all activity levels. As you follow the trail, you'll see wildflowers and poppies and can enjoy the sweeping vistas over the canyon.

Meet rescue animals at the Gentle Barn

The Gentle Barn is an animal rescue sanctuary home to rescue animals from all different backgrounds. When visiting, you can interact with various animals, including pigs, cows, goats, and turkeys, many of whom were rescued from the meat and dairy industry.

During your visit, you can support the sanctuary some more by buying vegan baked goods or Gentle Barn merchandise and sponsoring one of the animals. If you're an animal lover, spending time at the Gentle Barn is definitely one of the best things to do in Santa Clarita, California!

Create artworks at Painting with a Twist

Arts and crafts lovers will want to plan a visit to Painting with a Twist! You can join a class that allows you to paint a fantastic one-of-a-kind artwork and improve your artistic skills. The studio also holds special events, and drinks, including alcoholic beverages, are available for purchase to enjoy as you paint.

🏨 Stay near Painting with a Twist

Learn about westerns at Melody Ranch Museum

Melody Ranch Museum, also known as Melody Movie Ranch, is a studio lot that has been used in many Western movies. The studio opened in 1915 and has been the set for 20th-century movies as well as some newer releases. As you explore, you can learn more about film production and see locations used in iconic movies.

View artworks on the Santa Clarita Public Art Tour

Going on an art tour is one of the many cool things to do in Santa Clarita, California. The Santa Clarita Public Art Tour is a free self-guided tour that takes you to various art pieces spread throughout the city. Things to see include murals, sculptures, and sidewalk poetry.

Go horseback riding at Santa Clarita Valley Equestrian Center

Whether you're a new or experienced rider or somewhere in between, Santa Clarita Valley Equestrian Center has an option for you. At the center, you can take lessons and learn the basics or practice jumps and other techniques. You can also go on trail rides through the surrounding countryside.

Sip wine at Pulchella Winery

One of the more laid-back Santa Clarita things to do is having a few glasses of wine at Pulchella Winery's tasting room. At the bar, you can sip on locally produced wines in a modern space. Snacks are often on offer, like charcuterie boards, and you can purchase a bottle of your favorite Pulchella Winery blend to take home.

Play golf at Sand Canyon Country Club

Previously known as Robinson Ranch Golf Club, Sand Canyon Country Club is one of the best places in the state to play a round of golf. In fact, it's been named one of the best golf clubs in Southern California!

The club has an 18-hole and 9-hole course, plus a driving range. After your game, you can visit the Sycamore Bar and Grill for drinks and a meal.

Grab a craft beer at Telco Brewery

Telco Brewery is a local microbrewery selling craft beers. Visiting the brewery's tap room is a must and will allow you to try the beers in a laid-back atmosphere. You can order signature beers, as well as seasonal options, and hard seltzer. This spot is also dog-friendly!

Buy local produce at a Farmers Market

Visiting some Farmers Markets allows you to try local produce and meet the area's best vendors. The city has three frequent markets, Canyon Country Farmers Market on Wednesday, Old Town Newhall Farmers Market on Saturday, and Santa Clarita Certified Farmers Market on Sunday.

No matter where you go, you'll find local products, including fruit and vegetables, baked goods, flowers and plants, and much more.

Indulge in sweet treats at the Kupcake Kitchen

Kupcake Kitchen is a popular local bakery serving sweet treats like cupcakes, brownies, and macarons. You can pick up a cupcake in a range of flavors, including cookies n' cream, red velvet, and pistachio.

Many of the cupcakes are also available in a vegan or gluten-free version. Kupcake Kitchen even sells pupcakes, so your dog can join in on having a treat!

Get coffee at Honu Coffee

Honu Coffee is another great independent business to check out in Santa Clarita. At the trendy coffee shop, you can order various coffee drinks, including unique signature drinks like a macadamia and coconut flavored latte. Pastries and other baked goods can also be purchased to enjoy with your coffee.

Things to Do Near Santa Clarita, California

Greenery-covered mountains with a road winding through them under a blue sky
Angeles National Forest is a great place to hike within the San Gabriel Mountains

Hike in Angeles National Forest

Angeles National Forest is just 15 minutes from Santa Clarita and is the ideal place to go hiking. The park is located within the San Gabriel Mountains and Sierra Pelona Mountains and has various hiking trails that offer stunning views of the mountainous landscape. As you hike, you'll see many plants and wildlife, like squirrels and bighorn sheep.

Explore Castaic Lake State Recreation Area

Castaic Lake State Recreation Area is another beautiful outdoor space in the Santa Clarita area. The most popular attraction at the park is a lake that's perfect for boating and kayaking. You can also find hiking and biking trails around the park, plus picnic areas and kids' playgrounds.

A sign that says "Six Flags California" with mountains behind it
Six Flags Magic Mountain is only ten minutes from Santa Clarita!

Spend a fun day at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain is a fun place to spend the day, whether you're an adult or a kid! The 262-acre theme park has 20 roller coasters and many other rides for all ages and thrill levels. In addition to rides, you can enjoy shows and events and visit multiple shops and eateries.

🏨 Places to stay close to Six Flags Magic Mountain

Experience Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles sits next to Six Flags Magic Mountain, both of which are just ten minutes from Santa Clarita. This Six Flags attraction is a water park with multiple pools, a lazy river, and numerous waterslides. There are also pools for toddlers and poolside cabanas to rent.

🏨 Places to stay close to Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles

A white stone building with a dome roof and arches surrounded by palm trees
Pasadena City Hall is one of many places to visit while in the city

Plan a trip to Pasadena

Pasadena is located only 40 minutes from Santa Clarita and is an excellent place for a day trip. This small but vibrant city has many attractions for all interests.

Things to do in Pasadena include checking out unique independent shops, dining at contemporary eateries, and visiting museums, like the Pasadena Museum of History. Also, make sure you visit the beautiful Pasadena City Hall and walk around the garden open to the public.

🏨 Places to stay close to Pasadena

See wildlife at Placerita Canyon Nature Center

Another great attraction for nature enthusiasts is Placerita Canyon Nature Center. This nature center has trails and nature-themed exhibits located within the San Gabriel Mountains.

You can follow a few different trails that will allow you to see native plants and wildlife. You can then go inside to view exhibits on some of the animals, trees, and plants you saw when walking.

A city skyline with palm trees and a lake in front of it
Los Angeles is only 35 minutes from Santa Clarita and has many attractions to visit

Go to Los Angeles

The iconic city of Los Angeles is located just 35 minutes from Santa Clarita and is well-worth driving to. Things to do in LA range from visiting famous Los Angeles landmarks to enjoying more unique activities, like seeing a movie at a rooftop theater or buying flowers at the impressive Los Angeles Flower Market.

No matter what activities you add to your Los Angeles itinerary, you'll have a great time exploring this world-renowned Californian destination!

🏨 Accommodations near Los Angeles

Shop at Westfield Valencia Town Center

Located in the neighborhood of Valencia, Westfield Valencia Town Center is the ideal place for some retail therapy. The mall has over 100 stores, including clothing, technology, and beauty shops. After shopping, you can stop for a meal or drinks at one of over 30 bars and eateries, including sit-in restaurants, cocktail bars, and take-out spots.

A pier stretching out into the ocean with a small tower structure on it
The Huntington Beach Pier is one of many landmarks to see in Orange County

Visit Orange County

Orange County is another great day trip destination. Situated two hours from Santa Clarita, the coastal town has fantastic beaches and many other attractions. Orange County activities include visiting beachside parks, checking out museums like Bowers Museum, and exploring nature attractions, such as Shipley Nature Center.

You can also find an array of free things to do in the OC if you're on a budget or can book some Orange County tours, like going on a whale and dolphin watching cruise.

🏨 Stay near Orange County

Look around Tesoro Adobe Park

Tesoro Adobe is a home built by Harry Carey, an actor in Western movies. The house was constructed in the 1920s and is now open to the public. After seeing the home, you can explore the rest of the vast grounds, which include trails, picnic tables, and even an amphitheater.

A lagoon with a bridge over it and palm trees and a path to the side
Rainbow Lagoon is one of many pretty places to visit in Long Beach

Enjoy a visit to Long Beach

Long Beach is another fun coastal destination to visit that's located just under an hour from Santa Clarita. This friendly and bustling city has many attractions. Long Beach activities include taking a helicopter tour over the city and experiencing a whale-watching cruise.

There are also many free things to do in Long Beach if you don't want to spend money on tours, like hanging out at the beach or walking around pretty parks and lagoons. In addition, instead of spending a whole day in Long Beach, you could drive down in the evening to enjoy one of many Long Beach date ideas with your partner, like watching the sunset over the ocean.

🏨 Accommodations nearby Long Beach

Dine at La Charrita Restaurant

La Charrita Restaurant is the perfect place to go for a delicious dinner. The eatery serves Mexican dishes, including tacos, enchiladas, and carne asada. They also have an extensive plant-based menu, with tacos, tostada, and chile rellenos, among many other dishes, all of which you can enjoy with veggies, beans, or plant-based meats.

You can order drinks like agua fresca or homemade juice during your meal too. The restaurant is also open for breakfast as well as dinner and lunch.

A body of water with a wooden boat dock next to buildings on the shore on clear day
Spending a weekend in San Diego is a fun and memorable thing to do

Take a trip to San Diego

Located two and a half hours from Santa Clarita, planning an overnight trip or long weekend in San Diego is a great idea!

Once you arrive, you can find numerous unique things to do in San Diego, from seeing California landmarks like Cabrillo National Monument to visiting the Fleet Science Center or dining in Little Italy. You can also book fun San Diego excursions, like a harbor cruise or hot air balloon ride over the city.

🏨 Accommodations in close proximity to San Diego

Relax at Ivy Day Spa

Ivy Day Spa is one of the best places to go near Santa Clarita if you want to relax and have a little pampering. The spa is open all day and offers various treatments, including massages, body treatments, manicures, and facials. After your treatments, you can enjoy a whirlpool, steam room, and rainfall showers.

A city skyline at night with a building with domed roofs on a hill in front of it
Los Angeles has an array of nighttime attractions, from movie theaters to nightclubs

Experience a night out in Los Angeles

Going to LA for a night out is a great idea and is easy to do from Santa Clarita as the city is just over 30 minutes away. Things to do in Los Angeles at night include seeing a movie at the TCL Chinese Theatre, watching a Lakers or Los Angeles Kings game, or checking out one of many bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Whether you're planning a fun date in Los Angeles or just want to spend the evening with friends or family, an LA night out is sure to be memorable!

🏨 Stay nearby Los Angeles

A view over a canyon with greenery-covered hills under a cloudy sky
You can enjoy fantastic views of Los Angeles from Runyon Canyon Park

Admire the views of LA from Runyon Canyon Park

Hiking at Runyon Canyon Park is one of the can't miss things to do near Santa Clarita, CA. The outdoor attraction is situated 40 minutes from Santa Clarita within the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles. There are a few trails to follow, all of which will offer stunning views over the Hollywood Hills and the rest of LA.

🏨 Places to stay close to Runyon Canyon Park

Camp at Lake Piru Recreation Area

Lake Piru Recreation Area is another great outdoor attraction near central Santa Clarita. The park sits on Lake Piru and offers many activities, including boating, hiking, and kayaking.

It's also a popular place to go camping, surrounded by nature. You can book both tent and RV spots, and the campground has wifi and laundry facilities.

A white building with green domed roofs and a white sculpture on green grass
Griffith Observatory is a California landmark located 50 minutes from Santa Clarita

Visit Griffith Observatory

Going to Griffith Observatory is another of the top things to do in Los Angeles that's easily accessible from Santa Clarita. At the observatory, you can learn about astronomy via exhibits and presentations. After exploring the attraction, you can take in the views across the city and follow some trails within Griffith Park.

A small rock mountain with grass around it under a blue sky with clouds
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area features impressive rock formations

Marvel at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center

Situated 30 minutes from Santa Clarita, Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center Is known for its amazing rock formations. The 932-acre park has trails that will take you through a desert landscape and allow you to marvel at these geological features. There's also a small nature center with exhibits on the area's ecology.

In Conclusion

No matter what you enjoy doing, you'll find an array of Santa Clarita attractions to visit. Things to do in this Californian city include going to theme parks, hiking, visiting animal sanctuaries, and planning trips to nearby cities like Los Angeles.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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