View Full Version : Ideas please for a Cali trip

01-07-2007, 08:11 AM
I am already planning our summer 2008 trip. We want to spend time at Disneyland (which we have never been to) but also want to see what we can in California. I was thinking of flying to San Francisco and driving south California. My kids will be 7 and 10. Please send your ideas of what to do and what to see. Thanks!:goodvibes

eryn the pooh
01-07-2007, 12:16 PM
Hi there. We drove from central BC down to DL in 04 with 6 kids from 7-13. We spent half a day down by the water over looking the bridge and alkatraz. There were all kinds of performers and those mini motor bikes everywhere, the kids really like it. In LA we went to Universal Studios, very cool. Spent 1 day at a beach and went to Pinks hotdog stand, very cool!
I am doing another driving trip in march with just my 10 yr old and were going to DL and then vegas and on to phoenix to visit relatives then back home from there. I have also been checking out things for along the way but if anyone else has any tips, i would also greatly appreciate them.
Have a great trip!

01-08-2007, 12:27 AM
If you're driving south from SF, you definately want to stop in San Simeon to see Hearst Castle. We drove down to see this a couple months back w/ my kids (10 & 8...7 at the time). There are a few tours offered. My kids enjoyed themselves, especially my oldest daughter. If you drive from Monterey/Carmel...it is some of the most beautiful coastline around. Not the funnest drive if you're in a hurry (HWY 1), but well worth it in my opinion if you've never seen it before. Monterey/Carmel is nice too...Canary Row is nice for some strolling around w/ the family.

01-08-2007, 02:29 AM
SF to DL is a very far drive and there are tons of great places to visit between the two. Just to drive that far will take several hours without any extended stops. If, you want to see some sights you might need to spend at least 3 days before you get to DL.

01-08-2007, 06:14 AM
Oh, sure. I was thinking about 5 days to get down to DL. We want to make the most of it.

01-08-2007, 01:33 PM
Ok...well here is some ideas: Tons of things in SF. Fisherman's wharf, Pier39, Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park are just a few. Stay the night here. After leaving SF, I suggest taking US 101 to Hwy 17 and stopping at Santa Cruz. They have a pretty famous boardwalk (as seen on the movie "Lost Boys") with a fairly nice beach area. There are rides and games and such, but I wouldn't stay too long here. Take the PCH...(Pacific Coast Highway..Hwy 1) and go to Monterey. This is a very scenic hwy. In Monterey you can do some shopping or go to the aquarium (another movie made here...one of the Star Trek Movies). I suggest staying the night here or in Salinas which isn't far away. We use priceline and have gotten the Marriot in Monterey for only $45. Before leaving Monterey, check out 17 mile drive, where you can see Pebble Beach and other beautiful areas with lots of wildlife. Continue down Hwy 1. You will pass Big Sur and eventualy get to San Simeon. This is where Hearst Castle is. It is quite beautiful. My DF was offered a very nice job to work there once, but he turned it down, because of the lack of housing nearby and cost. There isn't really anything nearby. There a few motels where you can stay at, but not much else. After leaving Hearst Castle you can get back on US 101 in San Luis Obispo. You can stop at Pismo (nice little resort town on the ocean) or continue south. Another nice town to visit is Solvang. This is Dutch themed town just east of the 101 on Hwy 246. Nice place to grab a bite to eat and see all of the stores. Finally I would take 101 and head into LA. I hope this helps and you have a great time.

01-08-2007, 01:39 PM
On a different route...you might consider going to Yosemite. If you want some info on that just let me know.

01-08-2007, 02:02 PM
I'm open to anything. Yosemite sounds great, too.

01-08-2007, 03:09 PM
Another route to consider (longer and less scenic, but full of things to do) would be taking I-80 east towards Sacramento. You could stop in Napa for wine tastings, or stop at Marine World (Six Flags/Sea World) theme park in Vallejo, stopping in Fairfield and taking a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory. You could continue on to Sacramento that has a nice old town to check out. If you want to take a detour, you could take Hwy 12 and go to the delta on your way to Stockton. This is a pretty scenic drive. Once you get to I-5, you can head south to Manteca, where you can take Hwy 120, which takes you into Yosemite from the North. There are three highways that go into Yosemite. 120 from the north, 140 from the west and 41 from the south. There is lots of things to do in Yosemite and I suggest getting some books if you choose this route. Yosemite is absolutely stunning. I feel everyone in this world should visit this park. Upon leaving Yosemite, I suggest taking 41. Before you exit, stop at the Mariposa Grove of trees. Heading south down 41 will take you into a nice town of Oakhurst and close to Bass Lake (a few films done here...most famous was the "Great Outdoors"). Continue to take 41 south through Fresno and all the way to the coast near San Luis Obispo. You can cut to San Simeon on Hwy 46 and get to Hearst Castle. There you can follow the other route. Hope this helps

01-08-2007, 05:06 PM
jworthy is SO right. There is so much to see in CA. When we ride Soarin' over CA we notice we've been to pretty much every place you see! What types of places interest you? I'd recommend the coastal route (after SF, try Santa Cruz or the Monterey Aquarium). Yosemite is WONDERFUL - there's not many natural areas that can compare to it, but if you pick that option, be prepared for some long drive times. If memory serves, it takes about 3 hours to drive there from the Sacramento (last time we went there it was winter and took longer, so I'm not certain). The views are spectacular, and being able to enter from the north and exit toward the south is a nice way to see it all. I'm not sure I would drive all the way to the coast from Yosemite unless you plan on staying overnight in the Yosemite area. Another option is that you could take 41 to 99 or go over to I-5 and drive down to the LA area from there. Not much to see along either freeway from Fresno down through the "grapevine" section of I-5. Once you get through the grapevine, you could take the hollywood freeway and see all the sights there.

01-08-2007, 09:01 PM
We love the coastal drive - but I would recommend going south to north for the first time. While scenic, it can be pretty scary to drive on it going south for the first time (you are driving winding cliffs for a little bit around Big Sur.)

We used to live in LA and spend holidays with family in SF. We used to drive up the coast and stop in Santa Barbara (just a beautiful town to explore), Cambria (a smaller, cute little town near San Simeon), Big Sur (at least for lunch at Nepenthe - not the greatest food but definitely awesome views) the Monterey area (when I say Monterey you can really pick from Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove all are nice) and then onto SF.

01-23-2007, 01:12 AM
Just a quick note, if you are planning to do Hearst Castle during a busy season you may want to make reservations. It can sell out at times, it's really gorgeous and deffinatley worth a look.