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  1. Default BC to Anaheim with leg to Las Vegas (with a 4 yr old)

    Hello, my wife and I are planning on taking a trip from BC to Anaheim (Disney) and plan on doing it in a leisurely fashion as the 4 yr old requires this. This website was my first stop in planning this adventure and I look forward to anyone's comments as we have never done this trip before. We have 3-4 weeks to complete our adventure. We also hope to leave End of April/early May. Day one of trip starts at the US border...

    What we like/are looking for:

    1-kid friendly areas/full hookup places to stay
    2-love beaches and driving along the ocean
    3-love seafood (did I mention we love seafood :) )
    4- want to check out the dunes in Oregon and Cannon beach and of course Disneyland - Las Vegas (not for gambling- well maybe a bit :) ) if time allows us
    5-not big wine lovers
    6-my wife loves her "outlet malls" lol
    7-Fav RV books we shouldn't be without on our journey (do you recommend AAA?)

    What our "concerns" are:

    1-L.A traffic etc. and best times to deal with bad traffic areas
    2-making sure we pace ourselves (its a vacation, nothing to hectic)
    3-where to find honest reviews of places to stay along the way

    I hope I have given enough info for people to give an honest opinion. Please ask away if I have missed anything important.

    thanks in advance for your answers,
    Okanagan BC
    Last edited by Okanagan_family; 03-18-2008 at 01:00 AM. Reason: day one inserted

  2. Default Random comments..

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forums!

    You've got plenty of time to do this trip... and I think some of the biggest questions you have to answer are if you want to do this as loop to the east or west on the way down, or up.

    Basically, you can do the trip from Vancouver BC to Disneyland in 2 long days of driving. I've driven the Orange County, California to Canadian border many times, usually in 2 long days (have friends & family in Bellingham WA area).

    In late April, there will still be snow in the passes in the Sierras and Cascades, so its most probably that places like the Tioga Pass over the Sierra Nevadas heading east from Yosemite will be closed, and its possible that some roads in places like Crater Lake and Lassen National Parks may not all be open (some were still closed last year in mid June, and we've had a larger, deeper snowfall this year).

    For a more leisurely trip, something that you might consider would be..
    - Canadian border to Portland area. (pass through Seattle mid morning to noon, to avoid rush hour traffic..., then Portland mid afternoon before 3). You have the option of visiting Mt St Helens on the way.

    From Portland area, you can turn east and follow up the Columbia River area and then south through Bend, if you desire, or continue south to near Eugene, and then up to Crater Lake. If its like last year, only half the rim road will be open due to snow, but the park is open pretty much 365 days a year (given a day after a storm to plow out the road).

    From there, I'd head south -- you have the option of heading further south to come in at Tahoe, or heading south west to come in at Mt Shasta area and enter the central valley of California.

    From Mt Shasta its a long day to Anaheim, or you can make a side trip to Yosemite National Park, along the eastern side of the Central Valley. If you're coming down via Lake Tahoe, you can pass over the Sierras on the major year-round pass there (Donner Summit), or you can continue down the eastern side of the mountains past Mammoth Lakes.

    Depending upon your taste, you can visit Death Valley (in April or May before it gets tooo hot) and then to Las Vegas. From Death Valley to Las Vegas is typically 2-4 hours, depending upon your route and additional sightseeing in Death Valley.

    In Las Vegas one option you might consider is staying in a hotel with a big pool area, just to let your 4 year old play in the water all day. They'll probably remember that a long time. There are also several major outlet malls in the area.

    Las Vegas to Disneyland is about 5 hours drive via the superhighway. There are some places to stop and visit along the way -- you could swing south through Joshua Tree National Park to Palms Springs (and the major outlet malls near Cabazon, west of Palm Springs), or down via Victorville (which has some outlet store near by).

    Once you make Disneyland, you'll probably be staying near the park in the Anaheim area. That'll probably be your primary activity -- but you might check around, since if your wife is into shopping the OC is home of several major sports wear/ active wear brands and there are sometimes some major outlet sales out of their warehouses with amazing deals (Quicksilver, Hurley, OP, O'Neil, Katin, Hobie, RipCurl, Gotcha, Tyr, and a bunch more..)

    Driving in LA can be challenging due to the scale of the city (it's like 2 hours from end to end) and like every other big city the twice daily ebb and flow of traffic to and from the business centers at rush hour. If you're looking for things to do in SoCal in the local area of Disneyland without much hassle from traffic, you might consider
    - South Coast Plaza (a shopping mecca not too far from Disneyland, with some very high end stores)
    - Fashion Island in Newport Beach (same...)
    - Laguna Beach (artists community on the coast south east of Anaheim, but within about 45 minutes)
    - Huntington Beach (aka "Surf City") (the major section of beaches runs from Seal Beach to Laguna Beach in the south in Orange County)
    - Crystal Cove State Beach (between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach -- one of my favorite beaches -- but more narrow strip of beach along the coastal bluggs rather than long flat sandy beaches)
    - Long Beach aquarium
    - Knotts Berry farm (another major family oriented Amusement Park within 20 minutes or so from Disneyland)
    These are all in the south-east side of the LA area, near Disneyland and don't involve needing to drive through the heart of the urban area where multiple freeways tangle to get to anywhere

    From LA, your best option would to be drive out mid morning (after rush hour) and head north on Coast 1 via Santa Barbara. Then up the scenic coast highway past Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Monterey/ Carmel and to SF. From SF (and it's traffic issues too..), over the Golden Gate and up through the Redwoods in north-eastern California and then along the Oregon and Washington Coasts. Time on this would typically be...

    1 day out of LA to somewhere between Solvang to San Luis Obispo area.
    1 day through Hearst Castle (stop for the tour!), and Big sur to Monterey.
    1 day in SF (or more.. depending upon your schedule)
    1 day to near Eureka or past.
    1 day in the Redwoods -- stay somewhere betwen Crescent City and Gold Beach Oregon.
    1 Day up along Oregon coast to near Astoria perhaps
    1 day along the Washington Coast/ Olympic Pennsula, staying somewhere in Olympic National Park area.
    1 day home via the ferry from Fort Townsend to Whidby Island and by road to Vancouver.

    And as a final note.. there are several different regional seafood cuisines you ought to try.

    In the Anaheim area, check around and try some of the Mexican Seafood that's available. Not only Baja style Fish Tacos, but there is an entire Mexican Seafood cusine, drawing from both the Caribbean and Pacific shores of Mexico. In the LA area, you should try some of the local sea food -- swordfish being one of the big local fish which is sometimes hard to find fresh elsewhere. In particularly, there are some local "fusion" dishes which combine spices with local fishes and Asian, American and Latin styles of preparation that might be quite good. In the central coast, there's Abalone and othe more rock fish -- there are a couple of commercial Abalone ranches now, so you can sometimes find Abalone on the menu for less than outrageous prices. SF of course is known for its Cioppino and seafood from Fisheman's Wharf. Those are probably the most differen ranges of seafood from the usual very good Pacific Northwest seafood available where you live.

  3. Default

    Many thanks for your info. Any more tips/past experiences would be great as well. :) making a lot of notes...

    Does anyone have any MUST SEE spots along the way that shouldn't be missed?

    thanks again everyone for their time,


  4. Default Skim through this.. its a start

    Here's a Trip report I put together last summer driving from OC to Bellingham (and beyond to Jasper and then back) . If you're a foodie, you might stop in Corning, for Olive Oils, nuts and fruit and rices in the Central Valley.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Here's a few ideas:

    I've driven this route several times. Here's a few posts with some of my recommendatinos, and the ideas of other contributers as well, that should have a lot of helpful information.

    San Francisco to Vancouver BC

    San Diego to Seattle
    Beaches along California's Coast
    California & Oregon Coasts - make sure you click on the links with posts by Peter Thody

    You might also want to check out Mt. St. Helens. I can't emphasize a visit there enough. It's just a fantastic place.

    When you get some ideas together, come on back and let us help you tweak things, give you some further tips, etc. to help you plan a fantastic vacation with your family. Happy planning!

  6. Default

    Thanks everyone, lots of great ideas (and homework).

    1 other thing. I don't know if this is the right place to ask this but since I already have a thread going I thought I would ask here.

    We have a place to hook up a bbq to our RV but it requires a "quick connect" connection. Does anyone know if you can get an adapter to hook up to a "normal" bbq to connect to this? I am having a very hard time finding a bbq with this connection. What do you use and how do you use it? Any help greatly appreciated...

    thanks again, gary-

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default RV service places?

    I can't help you with that but it seems a place that repairs RVs should be able to help. Or do you have a Camping World nearby?

  8. Default

    No Camping World close by. I will have to google it to see if there is one in Seattle. Our options are limited here and because of that the prices are pretty expensive for what you get (very small bbq for close to $400). I would buy one as soon as we crossed the border if it would save us money and get us better quality.

    thanks for the tip, gary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Camping World in Fife

    There is a big Camping World in Fife. Fife is just north of Tacoma. It's right off the interstate there. It's hard to miss. I don't know if there's one closer to Vancouver somewhere or not.

  10. Default

    Thanks for all the info so far!

    I am up to Santa Barbara area with our itinerary and wanted to know if anyone has stayed at Carpinteria State Park? Did you like it? Probably no hookups as its a state park? I read even in the spring the park fills up on a Thursday and there are several spots right at the ocean. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks again, gary.

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