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Gold Medal Drive: Universal City to Long Beach

Gold Medal Drive: Universal City to Long Beach
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Visit beaches, movie studios, and even the space shuttle on an eclectic L.A. journey that ranges from amusement parks to tony Beverly Hills.

Trip length: 4-5 days
Total distance: 168mi/270km

UNIVERSAL CITY. Explore new sets co-created by Steven Spielberg on tram tours at Universal Studios Hollywood. Experience Transformers: The Ride-3D, using flight simulation technology. INFO Universal Studios ; 800/864-8377

HOLLYWOOD (5mi/8km; 12min). Follow sidewalk stars honoring entertainment legends along Hollywood Walk of Fame . Visit Madame Tussauds Hollywood to pose with faux celebs. INFO Discover Los Angeles

BEVERLY HILLS (5mi/8km; 12min). Visit The Paley Center for Media to let the kids watch vintage Sesame Street while you catch up on your favorite shows. Search for movie stars while strolling ultra-luxe Rodeo Drive . INFO Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau ; 800/345-2210

SANTA MONICA (7mi/11km; 15min). Take a spin on Santa Monica Pier’s historic Looff Carousel, then relax on the beach. Enjoy street musicians and shops at Third Street Promenade . INFO Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau ; 310/393-7593

MALIBU (22mi/35km; 33min). Take a family surf lesson at Zuma Beach. Debate who had the gnarliest moves over seafood at The Sunset Restaurant . INFO Malibu Chamber of Commerce ; 310/456-9025

VALENCIA (52mi/84km; 1hr2min). At Six Flags Magic Mountain, scream on mega-thrill rides like Full Throttle—the world’s tallest and fastest looping roller coaster. INFO Six Flags Magic Mountain ; 661/255-4100

BURBANK (24mi/38km; 27min). Visit costume and prop departments, sound stages, and backlot streets on the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour . Dig into burgers and prime rib at The Smokehouse . INFO Discover Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (12mi/19km; 17min). At Exposition Park, ogle enormous T. rex skeletons at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and see the space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. INFO Exposition Park ; 213/744-7458

MANHATTAN BEACH (22mi/35km; 30min). Watch top-level beach volleyball at this favorite spot for pro athletes, where Olympian Kerri Walsh-Jennings trained for her three gold-medal victories. INFO Discover Los Angeles

LONG BEACH (18mi/29km; 26min). Take a Twilight Historical Tour aboard the Queen Mary  luxury liner. See sea creatures at fascinating Aquarium of the Pacific . INFO Visit Long Beach ; 800/452-7829

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