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  1. Default Southern California

    Hi, we are a British family planning a first time rv holiday in Southern California next year. Will arrive with wife and 2 kids (12 and 15) at LAX in mid July. I have hired an rv for three weeks and plan to spend time in San Diego, LA, San Francisco and Yosemite. Grateful if anyone can recommend places to stay and things that we should visit. Also how long we should spend in each area.
    Would also like to take in some traditional sports fixtures, Baseball, basketball or football. Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Ray

  2. Default

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forum, UK Ray

    Hmm.. I have to confess I'm not that familiar with RV camping locations. I'm a car camper, but mostly outside of the urban areas.

    If you're into sports some interesting things you might try would be

    Traditional Sports -- You're between basketball and football seasons, so you may not have many options for this. But July is in the middle of the baseball season -- you'll have the option of seeing either the San Diego Padres, the Anaheim Angels, the LA Dodgers, the Oakland A's or the SF Giants play. All very good professional teams in large stadiums.

    Other sports which you might have fun doing would be

    - Surfing. There are a number of surf schools in Southern california. This is something your kids might really enjoy. Some schools offer a specific 1 full day package which includes pretty much everything including wetsuit rental, board rental, and a private or semi-private instructor.

    - Snorkling. Snorkling can be surprizingly good in Southern California (and I confess I don't know how good it can be in Northern California). Good spots along your route include La Jolla, Laguna beach, Crystal Cove, or Corona Del Mar. Catalina Island off the LA coast is very good for this as well.

    - Mountain Biking. A number of places will rent and lead day or half-day mountain biking tours.

    - Kayaking. Either along the coast or on the offshore islands. This can be part of a multi-day trip, or just a day or half day. For example, you can do a day of kayaking at Santa Cruz island (off shore from the Santa Barbara/ Ventura area, to go into the huge sea caves there and look at the sea life), returning that evening to Ventura area.

    - Mountain Hiking. Depending upon your schedule and preference, I've found folks from the UK may really enjoy getting up into the mountains for a day hike and picnic. There are a number of mountains you'll be passing near, with heights up to 14,000' -- but day hikes are a good choice with peaks up over 10,000' and just following well established trails up and back. Some options on this might include
    - Mt Wilson area (North of Pasadena in LA, around 5200', and very very easy -- there's a world class observatory there, a picnic area, some interesting trails, and an amazing view,_
    - Mt Baldy (Mt San Antonio, north of Pomona area near LA and as much or little hiking as you like. You'll take a chair lift up to around 8500' elevation, and then can either walk or hike from the lodge for a picnic, or head up the trail to Mt Baldy at over 10,000' elevation. Amazing views...)
    - Mt San Jacinto (near Palm Springs, and home of the Palm Springs Tram. Take a gondola car from near Palm Springs at the desert up to around 9000' elevation in a very sheer climb up the side of the mountain, and then you can walk or hike from the lodge for a picnic or head up the trail twoards the peak of Mt San Jacinto at almost 11,000' for a longish day hike.)

    Other than sports there are an amazing number of places to visit in the area you've laid out. The region you defined is about 300 miles wide by 500 miles long, and that's just part of California and a tiny bit of Nevada. What else are you interested in?
    - Wine regions ranging from Napa valley just north of SF, to Temecular near San Diego.
    - World Class Amusement and Them Parks including Disneyland, Knotts, Magic Mountain, Sea World, LegoLand (probably too young for your kids), 6 Flags, etc.
    - Hollywood
    - Las Vegas
    - History, including numerous museums and locations such as spanish missions, the La Brea Tar Pits, etc
    - Natural beauty (the coast, the mountains, the deserts, Yosemite, etc.)
    - Cultural (from Operas to Symphonies)
    - Art (Laguna Beach, different artists communities, museums like the Getty, etc.)
    - Pop Culture (Route 66, Hollwywood, Surf City, LA music Scene, the Haight in SF, etc.)
    - Agriculture (the whole Central Valley and Coachella Valley)
    - The desert from Anza Borrego and the Salton Sea to fossil hunting in the Mojave, Death valley and the Mojave Natural Preserve to see some of the deep desert)
    - Technology (Science Musuems, Aerospace at Edwards and elsewhere, Silicon valley, etc.)
    - etc etc

    What are you sort of thinking you might be interested in?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by UK Ray View Post
    I have hired an rv for three weeks and plan to spend time in San Diego, LA, San Francisco and Yosemite. Grateful if anyone can recommend places to stay and things that we should visit.
    Ray, there are a couple of articles about renting RVs you should look at. The first one is an overview and the second by Mark Helmlinger is one you should print out and take with you when you pick up your rental RV.

    There are literally hundreds of RV parks and places that can accomodate RVs in southern California. I have stayed at many of them. Here is an another overview of the range of RV campgrounds you can expect to find.

    As Larrison has indicated, just about every form of recreational opportunity awaits you in southern California and until we know more about your expectations, we can't offer too many helpful ideas.

    Happy Planning!


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