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  1. Default LA to San Fransisco in 1 week

    I know there have been quite a few threads about this part of the country but I was hoping people could answer a few specific questions for me. My husband and I are going to CA in June and have 7 days to spend. We are flying into LA and are flying out of SF. Neither of us have ever been to CA and are really excited. We really want to maximize our trip and see a lot but also feel rested. We plan on renting a car. Questions?

    1. Where in LA should we stay and how may days should we spend there?
    2. What are the best areas to stop between LA and SF? We want to drive up the coast if possible.
    3. Does anyone know of any hidden gem hotels that are not too expensive?
    4. How many days in SF should we plan on and where should we stay there?
    5. I don't want to miss any great places to eat, any suggestions?

    In LA and SF I am not necessarily looking for hotel names but more of a specific area that I can search through hotwire or priceline. If someone has a specific hotel name to check out however, that would be great too.

    Thanks so much for your help!! This is our first vacation since having our child 2 years ago and we don't want to waste any time while we are there!
    Sarah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by sdemoss View Post
    This is our first vacation since having our child 2 years ago and we don't want to waste any time while we are there!
    Sarah
    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    One of the first questions we like to ask is "what are your interests"?
    I imagine the little one will be coming along with you - if so, that definitely will have an impact on the suggestions that we will offer.

    Additionally, we offer a Travel Reservations tool as well - you can find it here.

  3. Default

    Actually we are not taking our child with us. She is going to have a mini vacation with the grandparents. Anyway, our interests are really anything. We love to see sights but are not really into big cities too much. We love to eat out and enjoy wine (although I am pregnant again). We love the outdoors and doing kind of low key things. We live in Ohio and neither of us have been out west before. Does this help at all? I certainly am not very specific. Thanks for the help. Sarah

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default OK, a few specifics

    Quote Originally Posted by sdemoss View Post
    I know there have been quite a few threads about this part of the country but I was hoping people could answer a few specific questions for me.
    1. Where in LA should we stay and how may days should we spend there?
    I would suggest Glendale as a good blend of economy and access. Here is one of the best orientations of LA, I have ever read. Also in that last link -- be sure to scroll up the page for one of my favorite views on the coast!
    2. What are the best areas to stop between LA and SF? We want to drive up the coast if possible.
    "Best" is something all of the "old hands" on this Forum are usually stumped by. We really don't know what this means, but here are some ideas of places we have enjoyed:
    Larrison's guide to favorite beaches between LA and San Francisco
    3. Does anyone know of any hidden gem hotels that are not too expensive?
    Hidden gem on the coast? There are a couple of places in Cayucos that I really like and also the Big Sur Lodge is pretty special.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-02-2007 at 08:21 PM.

  5. Default A couple of suggestions?

    LA to SF in 7 Days?

    Hmm.. if I may offer a couple of suggestions?

    I'd spend 2-3 days in Southern California. If you're into outdoor things, I might suggest that you fly into Orange County Airport (SNA - also known as John Wayne) and stay somewhere in the Seal Beach/ Sunset Beach/ Huntington Beach area (This area is about 30-45 minutes from LA International airport, and 15-30 minutes from Long Beach Airport). This area puts you about 30 minutes from Disneyland, about 20-30 minutes from Knotts Berry Farm, about 20-30 minutes from Long Beach (with the Pacific Aquarium and a couple of other places). With a 2 year old, you have the option of going to the beach for the day and watching the surfers or just playing in the sand, or spending the day (or part of the day) at Knotts or Disneyland. There are a number of hotels in these areas, and if you avoid the "resort" hotels, they should be reasonably priced. You also can drive about 30-40 minutes south to the artist's community in Laguna Beach, or visit Newport/ Balboa Island. This should be a bit more laid back than the mid-city area.

    From the LA area, I'd go north in a day's drive to the San Luis Obispo area. You'll have to dodge through rush hour traffic to get out of the city, but you can stop in Santa Barbara and look around, stop in the wine country near San Ynez (where the movie "Sideways" was set), and spend the night near San Luis Obispo/ Morro Beach/ San Simeon.

    If you like wine, there are now around 160 wineries in the Paso Robles area (about 30 minutes north of San Luis Obispo), so spending a half day there wine tasting might be fun. You can cut straight over to the coast at San Simeon from Paso Robles, if you like. Hotels in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo tend to be more inexpensive than the ones on the coast, I've noted.

    From the San Simeon area, I'd tour Hearst Castle (may not be too exciting for a 2 year old, but its really a remarkable piece of architecture and I've always enjoyed going there), then continue up Coast 1 through Big Sur. There's an elephant seal colony right next to Coast 1 at Pedros Blancos (about 10 miles north of San Simeon/ Hearst Castle) which is very interestingi to visit. Then of course, the scenic drive north through Big Sur to Carmel and Monterey.

    Depending upon your tastes and time, you can stop in the Carmel/ Monterey/ Santa Cruz area and explore a bit, or continue to San Francisco. There's the famous Monterey Bay aquarium, the old Cannery Row (made famous by Steinbeck) and the wharf and old historic buildings in Monterey. Not amazing things for a 2 year old, but fun anyway. There are also several good wineries in the Monterey area. From San Simeon/ Hearst Castle to Monterey can be from 2-4 hours (depending upon your stops and what you'd like to visit), and another 2-4 of hours into SF (depending upon route and traffic of course), so its doable in a day.

    That puts you into SF somewhere around day 4-5. You can easily spend 2 days in SF exploring the city -- cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf, a Harbor Tour, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, Golden Gate Park, China town, etc.

  6. Default

    Thanks everyone for the advice. It sounds like we are going to have a wonderful time exploring. Any great restaraunts we should not miss? Sarah

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Phil's Fish Market!

    Quote Originally Posted by sdemoss View Post
    Any great restaraunts we should not miss?
    Sarah, Yeah, at Moss Landing -- you have to check out Phil's Fish Market -- unbelievable prices on VERY fresh seafood.

    Mark

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