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Old 05-10-2010, 11:55 PM   #1
shawnh199
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central Texas
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Anyone made the trip from Austin, TX to San Diego/Anaheim

We are looking at driving from Austin, Texas to San Diego (if we decide to do the zoo) or Anaheim (if no zoo.) What is the drive time and what is the drive like? Anything I should look out for? Must see places or must eat restaurants along the way? We are planning to go June 2011. We are possibly looking to go to San Diego for a couple of days, do the zoo, then travel to Anaheim for 4 nights at Disneyland. From there we want to go to Vegas for a couple of nights and possibly drive back with a quick look at the Grand Canyon before heading back to Texas.

Any help would be appreciated (nice, but inexpesive hotels, routes, etc.)
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
DaisyT
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Hello- I haven't driven from Austin to DL YET, but will be doing it this July. Our plan is to drive to Albuquerque, NM, spend one night there, then drive the next day to DL (won't go into parks until next day). We will be at DL for days then drive to Vegas and spend 1 night there (we have 2 children). We will then drive to GC crossing Hoover Dam. I haven't figured out yet where we will spend the night along the way back to Austin. Also, I haven't booked any hotels yet except for DL. I can let you know what we come up with!
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #3
kittycatalina65
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We're in the planning stages of doing exactly that (June 2011). We made the drive in 2004 when I was pregnant, this time we'll be showing a 6 year old the west!
We had family in El Paso at the time, so we stayed there a day each way. It's a logical choice, but there is something about crossing the state line that first day to feel progress has been made! We're thinking Deming NM that first night. On the west side of EP, right off the highway is Leo's if you want some great Mexican (NOT Tex-Mex!) food for dinner.
In 2004 we went down to Bisbee and stayed the night in the Shady Dell before going on to San Diego. We'll most likely just drive straight there this time, spend a few days there, and head up to LA area.
We headed straight back last time, LA to Palm Springs to Phoenix, EP again and home. On the way back this time we're thinking of checking out the Grand Canyon, Petrified forest and Carlsbad Caverns. A lot depends on your schedule and travelers. I have a little cave nut, I think Carlsbad blows Inner Space Caverns away! In Holbrook AZ, near the petrified forest is a Wigwam motel that looks JUST like the Cozy Cone in Cars, only with teepees instead of road cones. Looks like a fun place to stay, if not a little cozy.
Is anyone planning to go to Legoland? I hear mixed reviews and I'm thinking maybe just the zoo (which I've been to before), and maybe Sea World (never been to SD or SA seaworld). The southern Cali Citypass has admission to all, seems like a better value.
If you've never made the drive before, please make sure you have plenty of water and the car is ready for emergencies. It's amazing how desolate it is in stretches. We had a flat tire a few miles out of Tucson, if it had been a little further down the road we would have been out of luck, no cell reception, nada.
I'll be checking back during the planning to see what kind of ideas y'all come up with!
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
shawnh199
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Thanks for your response KittyCatalina65!

The desolate road areas has us thinking of buying one of those hitch attachments that you can put a "box" on to keep a can of gas and a pack of water bottles from Sams in.

I was thinking Deming as well, but my husband swears he wants to drive for 15 hours on the first night or atleast to Tucson. I personally think that's way too much. We drive to Disney World when we go there and we usually make it to Pensacola or a little farther down the way before we stop. I don't know how it compares to driving to the West.

No Legoland for us. We're thinking the zoo, but that place looks intimidatingly huge. I'm used to the zoo in San Antonio. San Diego looks gigantic. I just wonder how the girls will handle all that walking (they will be 4 and 8 when we go), especially with the walking they will be doing for 3-4 days after that at DL and DCA.

Now we are considering mid-July just because I've been looking at the AP holders and SouthernCal AP holders being blocked out for the entire month of July. If we go in June, it will definitely be the last week in June. We were looking at the 2nd week in June, but I seen a lot of things going on like Grad nights.

Keep in touch with your ideas.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:42 PM   #5
kittycatalina65
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San Diego is a much bigger zoo than SA (duh) but after 5 hours I felt we had hit the high notes. Stop off and see the pandas early, before the line gets too bad.
I'm thinking we'll pass on legoland, and just check out the lego store at DD. So far the Southern Cali Citypass seems like the way we'll go with three day park hoppers, SD zoo, Seaworld and Universal.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnh199 View Post
Thanks for your response KittyCatalina65!

The desolate road areas has us thinking of buying one of those hitch attachments that you can put a "box" on to keep a can of gas and a pack of water bottles from Sams in.

I was thinking Deming as well, but my husband swears he wants to drive for 15 hours on the first night or atleast to Tucson. I personally think that's way too much. We drive to Disney World when we go there and we usually make it to Pensacola or a little farther down the way before we stop. I don't know how it compares to driving to the West.

No Legoland for us. We're thinking the zoo, but that place looks intimidatingly huge. I'm used to the zoo in San Antonio. San Diego looks gigantic. I just wonder how the girls will handle all that walking (they will be 4 and 8 when we go), especially with the walking they will be doing for 3-4 days after that at DL and DCA.

Now we are considering mid-July just because I've been looking at the AP holders and SouthernCal AP holders being blocked out for the entire month of July. If we go in June, it will definitely be the last week in June. We were looking at the 2nd week in June, but I seen a lot of things going on like Grad nights.

Keep in touch with your ideas.
The zoo is very manageable- true, it is larger than most but they have a wonderful tram system that takes you around on a guided tour that sees many highlights--it is a modest add-on to the base ticket, and a great way to take a break from walking and see the zoo a different way. Just wanted to give you the advice so you dont pass up the opportunity to see a beautiful place just because it is so big ; )
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:36 PM   #7
loydandmel
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We are thinking about Fort Worth,TX to Lego Land in June. My son is Lego crazy so that is the main reason we are going. I am the planning person in our house so I have my work cut out. We are doing Disney World in Nov. So we are not interested in Disneyland. I like the idea of the zoo. What are some other good places to visit?
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