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California Road Trip

NeverTrump

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24
 
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beefheart

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24

Coronado is fun, rent an electric bike from Pedego, ride it down the strand and around the bay to downtown SD, then take it on the ferry back to Coronado. You will love it, about 30 miles total. Then go to Point Loma Seafoods and eat, it is a very famous local hangout. North of San Diego has great stops, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, etc, worth the drive.

Vegas...bleah, but go visit the pinball museum, hundreds of games from the last 60 years, all are playable and in great shape.

Enjoy!
 

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Dude, trying to get around LA without a car is pretty near impossible. LA is built for driving so I suggest you rent one, at least.
 

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I’m not a West Coaster but I have done trips with similar itineraries maybe 4 or 5 times in my life. Some days may be a bit rushed but it is doable as long as you just want to get a little taste of each place. If you are planning on riding all the good rides at Universal Studios you may not have time to do the other stuff that day. Maybe if you get a “fast pass” which lets you skip to the head of the line. We did that and were there about 5 hours, but we rode just about everything. Without the fast pass you’ll have to just pick a couple favorite rides if you want to have time for the other stuff. The lines there are no joke. I definitely recommend the Hardy Potter ride. It combines a roller coaster, VR and practical effects in a way that makes it the best amusement ride I have ever been on.

But you’ll likely need a rental car to pull it off.
 

NeverTrump

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I’m not a West Coaster but I have done trips with similar itineraries maybe 4 or 5 times in my life. Some days may be a bit rushed but it is doable as long as you just want to get a little taste of each place. If you are planning on riding all the good rides at Universal Studios you may not have time to do the other stuff that day. Maybe if you get a “fast pass” which lets you skip to the head of the line. We did that and were there about 5 hours, but we rode just about everything. Without the fast pass you’ll have to just pick a couple favorite rides if you want to have time for the other stuff. The lines there are no joke. I definitely recommend the Hardy Potter ride. It combines a roller coaster, VR and practical effects in a way that makes it the best amusement ride I have ever been on.

But you’ll likely need a rental car to pull it off.

whoops didn't mean to put universal on there. I copied it from a list of stuff to do in LA, yeah that would be damn near impossible. I just went to Disney for my brother's wedding I figure they have similar stuff.

Agree with Harry Potter.
 
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NeverTrump

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Coronado is fun, rent an electric bike from Pedego, ride it down the strand and around the bay to downtown SD, then take it on the ferry back to Coronado. You will love it, about 30 miles total. Then go to Point Loma Seafoods and eat, it is a very famous local hangout. North of San Diego has great stops, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, etc, worth the drive.

Vegas...bleah, but go visit the pinball museum, hundreds of games from the last 60 years, all are playable and in great shape.

Enjoy!

Thanks! That sounds like a great idea for Coronado I saw it on someone else's itinerary and it seemed like a cool spot. There's a little pinball museum on Asbury Park Beach I take my dad to all the time. It will be fun to compare them.
 

NeverTrump

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Dude, trying to get around LA without a car is pretty near impossible. LA is built for driving so I suggest you rent one, at least.

I have an Airbnb a mile away from downtown and lyft, will that do?
 

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hope that you have fun. taking a trip out west is on my "eventually" list. as it stands, i have not been west of Chicago. however, i have been south as far as Florida and east as far as Fakenham.
 

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hope that you have fun. taking a trip out west is on my "eventually" list. as it stands, i have not been west of Chicago. however, i have been south as far as Florida and east as far as Fakenham.

My family is also doing a European tour this summer probably in August. I eventually want to go to Australia, on a Safari in Africa, and Antarctica. I hope to do them in the next five years.
 

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24

TOURIST!!!!

Just teasing. Looks like an awesome itinerary! You should take time to check out and walk around Venice Beach! I don't see Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm in the I.T. so I assume this is a trip for grownups only?

When in San Fran - check out the historic Fort Point underneath the Golden Gate. Hopefully the National Park Service will be off furlough when you visit 'cause they run the place.

P.S. Reconsider not having a car the whole time unless you're with some tourist group that provides transportation.
 
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Helix

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My family is also doing a European tour this summer probably in August. I eventually want to go to Australia, on a Safari in Africa, and Antarctica. I hope to do them in the next five years.

one of my best friends lives in Greece, so that's on the list.
 

NeverTrump

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TOURIST!!!!

Just teasing. Looks like an awesome itinerary! You should take time to check out and walk around Venice Beach! I don't see Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm in the I.T. so I assume this is a trip for grownups only?

When in San Fran - check out the historic Fort Point underneath the Golden Gate. Hopefully the National Park Service will be off furlough when you visit 'cause they run the place.

P.S. Reconsider not having a car the whole time unless you're with some tourist group that provides transportation.

Will be solo on this trip. I don't have kids anyway. I think I can make a quick stop at Venice Beach, it doesn't seem too much out of the way. May not have much time in San Fran, if I get there early enough I will probably only have time to visit the bridge.
 

calamity

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24

Only a heads up: traveling from A to B in Cali takes much longer than the Google maps would suggest.

SB to Monterrey might take all day, for example.
 

NeverTrump

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Only a heads up: traveling from A to B in Cali takes much longer than the Google maps would suggest.

SB to Monterrey might take all day, for example.

Hm. Interesting Google said 5 hours. That's OK. I am winging it those days until I get to Big Sur. The most important thing I want to do in those 24 hours is 17 mile drive and pepperdine. (lots of movies and TV shows filmed there). Maybe I'll shack up cute college co-ed on the way :) I'm still young enough to blend in with the college crowd.

Basically I gotta get from San Diego to San Fran by day 7.
 

beefheart

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Thanks! That sounds like a great idea for Coronado I saw it on someone else's itinerary and it seemed like a cool spot. There's a little pinball museum on Asbury Park Beach I take my dad to all the time. It will be fun to compare them.

I go to San Diego and Coronado several times a year, fun place. If you ever get back to the area, there is a great beach town in Mexico that is about 4 hours south of Phoenix, Puerto Penasco, very chill place.

Also, in LA, the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Cemetery....the most celebrities packed into a tiny hidden park. Sure, they are dead, but everyone is there.
 

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I have an Airbnb a mile away from downtown and lyft, will that do?

Personally, I would rent a car if you can afford it. Here's why:

PoS's Guide to LA

Firstly a caveat: I havent been to LA for about a decade so some of my stuff might be outdated, but I am an Angelino born and bred in the South Bay.

Downtown: I know they had it refurbished and all, but during my time there we avoided it like the plague (unless we went to a Dodger game) because it was crime ridden, filthy and gang infested. That might have changed.

Think of LA as like NYC, but flattened out like a pancake. It is huge and really composed of different cities. Each place of interest is far flung, so you will need a car. Lyft is like Uber so it's like a blind date, and you'll have to wait. With a car you can just hop back in and go.

Things to do:

Based on your itinerary, you seem to be very interested in the Hollywood stuff- I gotta tell you its overrated. The Walk of Fame is just a street, and the sign is a sign. Beverly Hills are a bunch of walled houses- good luck trying to get inside if you dont know anybody.

Main Theme Parks- these things are far from each other and expect to spend at least half a day if not the whole day in one.

Disneyland- in Anaheim. Smaller than Disney World but has the basics.
Universal Studios- if you like Hollywood then it might be worthwhile. The tram tour is like 2-3 hours I think, plus there's shows too.
6 Flags Magic Mountain- if you like rollercoasters, this is it.

Beaches: Seal Beach is in OC (Orange County) so its pretty far. Santa Monica Pier is to the west, above Marina Del Rey, so you will have to go cross the city to go form one to the other.

If you want beaches-

OC Beaches
Seal Beach - is primarily a family beach, lots of kids.
Huntington Beach- close to Seal beach, where the hardcore surfers are
Bolsa Chico- in between the two. If you want quiet.

I would suggest instead: South Bay beaches (Im biased because Im from there). Theyre all close together so it will be easier as far as sightseeing goes.

Redondo Beach and Pier- has got restaurants and stores. Good walking.
Torrance Beach- I grew up in this beach. Right next to Redondo. Del Amo Mall is close by too (one of the biggest malls in the country)

Places to eat:

Tommyburgers- there's a few branches in Downtown. They serve burgers with chili on them so its great. If you want to experience LA you have to eat one. Pink's hotdogs too.

There's plenty of good Japanese and Mexican places too. LA is a food mecca, so you'll find plenty of good stuff.
 

Hawkeye10

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24

You will be in each place just long enough to say that you have been there, not long enough to get the lay of any lands.
 

VanceMack

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I strongly encourage you to take walking tours through Santa Cruz, Compton, Oakland, Stockton, and Emeryville. Night tours. Change your world.
 

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Personally, I would rent a car if you can afford it. Here's why:

PoS's Guide to LA

Firstly a caveat: I havent been to LA for about a decade so some of my stuff might be outdated, but I am an Angelino born and bred in the South Bay.

Downtown: I know they had it refurbished and all, but during my time there we avoided it like the plague (unless we went to a Dodger game) because it was crime ridden, filthy and gang infested. That might have changed.

Think of LA as like NYC, but flattened out like a pancake. It is huge and really composed of different cities. Each place of interest is far flung, so you will need a car. Lyft is like Uber so it's like a blind date, and you'll have to wait. With a car you can just hop back in and go.

Things to do:

Based on your itinerary, you seem to be very interested in the Hollywood stuff- I gotta tell you its overrated. The Walk of Fame is just a street, and the sign is a sign. Beverly Hills are a bunch of walled houses- good luck trying to get inside if you dont know anybody.

Main Theme Parks- these things are far from each other and expect to spend at least half a day if not the whole day in one.

Disneyland- in Anaheim. Smaller than Disney World but has the basics.
Universal Studios- if you like Hollywood then it might be worthwhile. The tram tour is like 2-3 hours I think, plus there's shows too.
6 Flags Magic Mountain- if you like rollercoasters, this is it.

Beaches: Seal Beach is in OC (Orange County) so its pretty far. Santa Monica Pier is to the west, above Marina Del Rey, so you will have to go cross the city to go form one to the other.

If you want beaches-

OC Beaches
Seal Beach - is primarily a family beach, lots of kids.
Huntington Beach- close to Seal beach, where the hardcore surfers are
Bolsa Chico- in between the two. If you want quiet.

I would suggest instead: South Bay beaches (Im biased because Im from there). Theyre all close together so it will be easier as far as sightseeing goes.

Redondo Beach and Pier- has got restaurants and stores. Good walking.
Torrance Beach- I grew up in this beach. Right next to Redondo. Del Amo Mall is close by too (one of the biggest malls in the country)

Places to eat:

Tommyburgers- there's a few branches in Downtown. They serve burgers with chili on them so its great. If you want to experience LA you have to eat one. Pink's hotdogs too.

There's plenty of good Japanese and Mexican places too. LA is a food mecca, so you'll find plenty of good stuff.

Thank you for the guide. It was a very interesting take. Left me some things to think about. I heard LA being described in the same way. Didn't know the difference between downtown and the Hollywood tourist attractions areas. I'm actually going to a hollywood event which is what prompted the trip in the first place. You'll probably figure it out if you google it.
 

beefheart

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I strongly encourage you to take walking tours through Santa Cruz, Compton, Oakland, Stockton, and Emeryville. Night tours. Change your world.

Was that necessary?

smh
 

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24

Nope, you aren't taking traffic into account. Also, Santa Monica is IN L.A. Take a look at the map...see that gigantic blob stretching from the West Coast all the way East to the 605 and beyond? All of it is "Los Angeles" because L.A. is not the typical city that revolves around a downtown center.
Oh sure, we do HAVE a downtown but you wouldn't believe how many Angelenos have never really been down there except maybe once in their entire lives.
L.A. is a huge tangle of suburbs all knitted together.

The rest, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Big Sur, 17 Mile Drive, etc are all very spread out.
Imagine the scene in National Lampoon's Vacation where Clark Griswold distracts the hotel clerk while he writes a check and empties the cash drawer, then goes to look at The Grand Canyon for about five seconds.



That will be you with your itinerary. California is a big state with a lot of distances.
My recommendation is to consult Google Maps and calculate your driving times between all points and calculate a total figure so that you can estimate how much time you will really really need.

But most importantly, you WILL need A CAR to get around most parts of the LA Metro Area, or Lyft or Uber.
If I had an idea where you were staying while in LA I could help figure out if you could do Metro Rail for some of it,

But overall, it looks like you're trying to cram a lot more in than will be possible.
 

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Will be solo on this trip. I don't have kids anyway. I think I can make a quick stop at Venice Beach, it doesn't seem too much out of the way. May not have much time in San Fran, if I get there early enough I will probably only have time to visit the bridge.

Venice Beach's famous boardwalk might be regarded by some as a tourist trap but it is interesting.
This being "winter" it's a lot more laid back and chilled out than it is in the summertime, and that's possibly a good thing.
That said, so called "winter" in Southern California is spring for everyone else.
 

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I have an Airbnb a mile away from downtown and lyft, will that do?

I would recommend a rental car.
Lyft and Uber are great to get "from one place to another...ONE TIME" but I wouldn't ever plan a vacation itinerary around them.

Can you tell us what "Hollywood event" this is?
 

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I booked a flight to LAX at the end of March. I've never been out west and I want to make the most of it. I know some of you are west coasters so let me know what you think of my itinerary before finalizing it. Is it doable? I don't plan to have a car in LA until I make the trip up North to San Francisco.

Days:
  1. Fly to LA 3/14
  2. LA: Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Walk of Fame
  3. Around LA: Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Downtown LA
  4. San Diego Zoo: downtown, Coronado Island
  5. Santa Monica- Malibu- Santa Barbara: Homes tour, Pepperdine University
  6. Santa Barbara- Monterey- Big Sur: 17 Mile Drive, Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Falls
  7. Monterey- San Francisco: Transamerica Pyramid, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge (This day is iffy depending on flight)
  8. Vegas- Mirage, The Strip (Hotels), casinos
  9. NV- Death Valley/Area 51
  10. NV/AZ- Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon
  11. Fly Back Home 3/24

Don't forget the maps you will need to avoid all the piles of S**T in Leftist run California.
 

beefheart

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Don't forget the maps you will need to avoid all the piles of S**T in Leftist run California.

Would you please leave politics out of this.

This thread is about a vacation in LA, and it has been full of good reading and good advice. But, you had to come in here and try to inject politics into it.
 
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