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LA Life: Vasquez Rocks and Exotic Animals in Agua Dulce


Raise your hand if you've heard of Agua Dulce.

(Crickets? Yeah me too)

But in this little town that's 30 minutes north of Burbank sits one of my favorite places in the world - Animal Tracks. Animal Tracks is an exotic animal rescue that provides a sanctuary for exotic animals that dumb people bought on the black market (and then decided they couldn't keep because they're wild animals) and is also a sanctuary for former film and TV animals. Like the dog from Marley and Me is there along with the porcupines from one of the Night at the Museum movies.

If you haven't been there and you love animals, you will love this place. If you do the Ranch Tour, you'll get a 2 hour "tour" of their animals, which consists of lots of hands-on play with their animals, ranging from monkeys to kangaroos to snakes and porcupines (by the way, if you've ever seen them eat, they are the cutest things in the world). At a mere $35 per person, it's well worth the price of admission and the money goes directly back to helping take care of the animals.

In order to visit, you'll need to buy tickets in advance on their website. After you purchase the tickets, they will send you the address of the ranch. Bring closed toe shoes and water to drink; because it's in the Valley, it tends to get very hot during the summer. Also make sure your camera is fully charged, as you'll want to take pictures all day long with these guys.

After your two hour visit with the animals, right around the corner from the ranch is Vasquez Rocks, a natural park with these gorgeous rock formations. You can climb on the largest ones and it's pretty fun (and slippery) to get to the top. Little kids climb it all the time, so if you're in decent shape and have sure footing, it's a fun place to climb.

If Vasquez Rocks looks familiar, it's probably because it's been featured in a ton of movies and TV shows. Check out the Wikipedia links here.

After all of that outdoor time, I'm always exhausted. There's a Mexican food restaurant nearby Vasquez Rocks and Animal Tracks and I sometimes stop by for margaritas, but more often than not, I'm ready to go home to nap. It's a good 45 minutes - 1 hour drive back to West LA, so pace yourself accordingly.

Have you been? Share your experience in the comments.