About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Disney Parks & Activities, Theme Parks
Universal Studios Hollywood is one part theme park, one part film studio. It's also one of the oldest such lots still in use. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the movie studios and film-making process with a guided tour, and play on the many rides and water-themed attractions. When it's time to eat, head out to the Universal CityWalk Hollywood, where the iconic Hard Rock Cafe and myriad other eateries await.
The Happiest Place on Earth is a playground for young and old alike, resplendent with shops, entertainment, shows, characters, and rides. From friendly staff and delicious food to nostalgic movie recreations and exciting rides, Disneyland really goes the full mile towards making everyone's visit magic and memorable.
Knott's Berry Farm may be America's first theme park, but it has the diversity of four or five different amusement parks melded into one. Thrill rides, old school locomotives, easy-going children's attractions, a splash park, and a full boardwalk make Knott's a great place for families - catering to everyone's interests (and center of gravity) at a fraction of the price of other locations.
Marina Beach is perfect for families, especially those with little swimmers - the beach is artificial and protected by a harbor basin, meaning there are no waves and the water is quite mild. There's space for BBQs and picnics, as well as a children's park to make for a pleasant day.
Go back in time for a joust and a show, where you can eat with your hands (just like you've always wanted!) and catch roses from handsome and brave knights as they protect their King. Assigned one of six knights upon entry, you and your family sit down to dinner and a live show of horsemanship and sword-fighting. Cheer your knight on to victory, while slamming back some 'Dragon Soup!' And don't forget to explore the castle itself - visit the dungeons and even get knighted (for a little extra charge).
With hands-on exhibits and spaces for children as young as toddlers, the Kidspace Children's Museum provides kids with an opportunity to have endless fun examining bugs, sharpening motor skills, climbing webs like a spider, or spending time in the Imagination Workshop. The space is completely designed to combine education with a good time, and it encourages children to explore science and nature.
With numerous petting pools and more than 500 different species of under-water life, the Aquarium of the Pacific will impress any aquatic lover. Its biggest tank holds 350,000 gallons of water, and its massive exhibits paint a portrait of the Pacific Ocean both far and wide. It even has an outdoor area, Explorer's Cove, where you can find the Shark Lagoon and Lorikeet Forest aviary.
Opened in 1908 (though originally in a different location, LA's historic 'Frenchtown'), Philippe's is renowned for having invented the French-Dipped Sandwich. The eatery is simply furnished with family-style tables, and it serves old-style filling food that keeps locals coming back and visitors filling in the gaps.
Catalina Island makes a great day trip from LA - complete with gourmet dining on the beach, lovely waterscapes where you can hang out in the sun and sand (or swim with the dolphins), luxury shopping, and even skyline adventures (zip lining or sky diving - take your pick!). So whether you want a day out hiking or a day poolside relaxing, Catalina has it all covered.
Built on 133 acres, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens play host to over 800 species of plants and numerous exotic animals and amphibians. Its Gorilla reserve and Elephant habitat are especially eye-catching, and the zoo puts on a number of shows and activities for children daily. The staff genuinely cares about the animals in their care, and the zoo is a constant work in progress as it improves facilities and helps endangered species, like the condor and mountain tapir.