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  1. Default Another California Road Trip!

    Hi! My family is planning a road trip for spring 2010, most likely end of Feb/beginning of March, and being a planner, I'm already doing research to make it the best trip possible! Our group includes me and my husband, both in our 30s, and our two kids who will be 4.5 and 18 months, so all activities and locations are meant to be family/kid friendly.

    We're from the SF Bay Area, so we're not going to do any touring in this area but are starting just south of San Francisco. The plan currently is:

    Day 1: Drive down the 5 to Anaheim, chill in the hotel pool and hit the sack early!
    Day 2: Disneyland
    Day 3: Disneyland
    Day 4: LA - Griffith Park, La Brea Tar Pits
    Day 5: Disney California Adventure
    Day 6: Long Beach, depart on a 4 day cruise
    Day 7: Catalina Island
    Day 8: Ensenada, Mexico
    Day 9: at sea
    Day 10: arrive at port at 8:30 am. Breakfast and beach until traffic dies down; Mission Santa Barbara, Solvang, Ostrich Land in Buellton, stay overnight in Morro Bay or Cambria
    Day 11: drive up the 1, visit Nit Wit house, Big Sur Lighthouse, 19 mile drive in Carmel, and back home

    Days are rearrangeable except that 6-10 are set in that order. Suggestions are welcome for additions or changes! We can add another day to this trip.

    We were considering adding San Diego for the zoo and wildlife center, but I'm not sure if it's worth all the extra driving. For one extra day, is the drive worthwhile? Or would you rearrange days or do something else?

    We're doing Yosemite camping and Santa Cruz this summer and have recently visited the Monterey Aquarium/Cannery Row, so those aren't included in this visit.

  2. #2
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    Default

    What I'd personally do may not fall in with your expectations, but I'd spend day 2 and 3 at the two Disney parks, then 4 and 5 in San Diego seeing the Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo, and Sea World. Griffith Park and the tar pits don't terribly excite me.

  3. #3
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    Default Break It Up?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I agree with glc that the Griffith Observatory and the LaBrea Tar Pits would be wasted on the children. In fact, I'd limit my time in L.A. to two days and spend the 'other' two days in Balboa Park in San Diego. Besides the Zoo, there are daily puppet shows, a great model train museum, dinosaurs and giant insects, etc. You could do a day at one of the Disney Parks, head down to San Diego for a day or two and then do another Disney park on the day before the boat sails.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-24-2009 at 10:44 AM.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the welcome!

    If Griffith Park isn't especially kid friendly, we can easily move those out to put in San Diego. I know that the zoo, Sea World, and wild animal park would be a hit. I don't want to switch hotels more than I have to, so it would probably work to do the three Disney days in a row, then two San Diego, then the boat. The boat doesn't leave until 5:30 pm, so we might even be able to get to the observatory during the day; our little guy is big on space and I think he'd like the planetarium.

  5. #5
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    The LA Zoo is in Griffith Park, but it's nothing compared to the San Diego Zoo.

    I don't think you need 3 days to do the 2 Disney attractions - one day in each should be plenty. San Diego is an easy 1.5 hour drive from Anaheim off peak times, you could almost hole up in Anaheim for the whole time. That's a good idea - check out of the hotel, head to the observatory, and then on down to Long Beach. Allow plenty of time to get to LB, none of the freeways are very good in the midafternoon - but then again you should be used to that being from the bay area.

  6. #6
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    Default Balboa Park

    Quote Originally Posted by koima

    Our little guy is big on space.
    As I say, there are a ton of museums in Balboa Park, San Diego, including this one.

    AZBuck

  7. Default

    Excellent advice! I think we'll plan for two days in San Diego and skip LA altogether this trip.

    Revised itinerary:

    Day 1: Drive down the 5 to Anaheim, chill in the hotel pool and hit the sack early! We're planning on leaving very early in the morning (4 or so) and driving down the 5 to avoid traffic, putting us in LA by noon. We could have time for the Museum of Natural History and Tar Pits here, depending on how well rested everyone is. (DH wants to see them!)
    Day 2: Disneyland
    Day 3: Disneyland
    Day 4: Disney CA, drive down to San Diego in the evening (We're planning three days in Disney so we can be leisurely about our pace at the parks, take afternoon naps, and still see everything we want to see.)
    Day 5: San Diego Zoo
    Day 6: San Diego in the morning - Balboa Park, Air and Space Museum, leave by 2 pm; Long Beach by 5:30, depart on a 4 day cruise (Is this cutting it too close?)
    Day 7: Catalina Island
    Day 8: Ensenada, Mexico
    Day 9: at sea
    Day 10: arrive at port at 8:30 am. Breakfast and beach until traffic dies down; Mission Santa Barbara, Solvang for dinner, stay overnight in Morro Bay
    Day 11: drive up the 1, Big Sur Lighthouse and redwoods, back home (Cutting out Carmel - DH reminds me that it's an easy day trip from home and we don't need to add it to the end of a long trip. He wanted to have more time for visiting Big Sur.)

  8. #8
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    Default

    Yes, only 2.5 hours is cutting it too close at that time of day. It's about 110 miles from SD to LB. If traffic is bad, take the 73 toll road to cut off the mess around the 5/405 junction.

  9. Default

    We're having a few more changes!

    I found a cruise with the same itinerary leaving from San Diego, so I can avoid the dash to Long Beach! With that change, I'll be adjusting the daily schedule a little. We can get in two San Diego days (zoo and Balboa Park museums) without an overnight in San Diego now, since the cruise doesn't leave until 5:30 in the afternoon and arrives back in port at 8:00 am.

    Day 1: Drive down to Anaheim on I5; visit La Brea Tarpits
    Day 2: Disneyland
    Day 3: Disneyland
    Day 4: Disney California Adventure
    Day 5: Balboa Park in San Diego; Depart for cruise out of San Diego
    Day 6: Catalina Island
    Day 7: Ensenada, Mexico
    Day 8: at sea
    Day 9: Arrive in San Diego; San Diego Zoo; drive up to Long Beach in the evening and stay the night
    Day 10: Santa Barbara; Solvang; San Luis Obispo; stay in Morro Bay or Cambria
    Day 11: Big Sur Redwoods, lighthouse; arrive home

  10. #10
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    Default

    You are skipping Sea World and the Wild Animal Park?

    You can easily make it from SD to Morro Bay in 1 day.

    Far be it for me to try to set your priorities, but compared to the rest of your itinerary, 3 days is one day too much in the Disney complex.

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