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Old 10-04-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
xipetotec
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Of Beaches, Traffic and Hollywood

Just how bad is traffic in LA?

We are planning mostly a Hollywood / DisneyLand time in LA, then heading up Hwy1 towards SF ( with a couple of stops along the way ).

My mother would like to check out a beach, and I was thinking if we could get a BEACH RESORT while in LA ( maybe in Santa Monica? or Long Beach? ) we could drive to Universal Studios and/or Warner Brothers for those tours on those days... but what kind of traffic would I be facing in doing this?

( DisneyLand is a non-issue as we're spending two days on our DVC at the Grand Caifornian Villas ).

The other alternative is spending a half-day in Santa Monica before hopping onto Hwy 1 and using the afternoon to start our trek north?


P.S. What are temperatures like in CA in LateFeb/EarlyMarch? What is the difference between LA and SF in that regard?

P.P.S. a lot of posts recently, but I am on a serious information gathering phase for our trip. and I've never been to CA... well not since I was 3 anyway...
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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I'm not from SoCal, so I'll leave it to others to tell you about the abysmal traffic

But I wanted to chime in to say I think you're on the right track. On our most recent trip, after 4 days at DL, we spent another 1/2 day at DL, drove up to Santa Monica to spend a couple hours at the beach and have dinner with our niece, and then drove as far as Santa Barbara.

If you plan to do Hearst Castle and Highway 1, here's what I'd do. Either get an early start before rush hour (very early), or start out from Anaheim after 10AM or so. Go to Santa Monica and do your 1/2 day. Then head north on Highway 1. Santa Barbara is 2 hours north, Cambria (near Hearst Castle) is 4 hours north. Plan your day to allow for that travel time. The next day, take your (reserved in advance) tour of Hearst Castle. Hopefully you're done before noon. Take your time on the breathtakingly scenic trip north on Highway 1. Stop for dinner at Nepenthe's. Then, depending on your inclination, either a) stay in Big Sur, and spend the next morning seeing the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur, or b) drive up to Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove and stay the night there. From Big Sur (the town) to Monterey/Carmel is about an hour.

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Old 10-04-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
xipetotec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandBob View Post
I'm not from SoCal, so I'll leave it to others to tell you about the abysmal traffic

But I wanted to chime in to say I think you're on the right track. On our most recent trip, after 4 days at DL, we spent another 1/2 day at DL, drove up to Santa Monica to spend a couple hours at the beach and have dinner with our niece, and then drove as far as Santa Barbara.

If you plan to do Hearst Castle and Highway 1, here's what I'd do. Either get an early start before rush hour (very early), or start out from Anaheim after 10AM or so. Go to Santa Monica and do your 1/2 day. Then head north on Highway 1. Santa Barbara is 2 hours north, Cambria (near Hearst Castle) is 4 hours north. Plan your day to allow for that travel time. The next day, take your (reserved in advance) tour of Hearst Castle. Hopefully you're done before noon. Take your time on the breathtakingly scenic trip north on Highway 1. Stop for dinner at Nepenthe's. Then, depending on your inclination, either a) stay in Big Sur, and spend the next morning seeing the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur, or b) drive up to Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove and stay the night there. From Big Sur (the town) to Monterey/Carmel is about an hour.

HTH,
Bob
Good plan, except we plan on doing the drive in two days

I think it'll be more like leaving LA/Anaheim in the morning. *maybe* making a stop at the Beach in Santa Monica then off on Highway 1 for most of the day with occasional stops along the way. I think we will likely stop for the night quite far up, like maybe in Monterey or even Santa Cruz. The next day we plan to go inland, check out the Winchester House, then up into San Francisco for the remaining two days.

This is why I'm not 100% sure about a morning beach stop. We're gonna have to have a family meeting on this one... The other thing is my kid is TOTALLY movie-bitten. And i had thought I could take him to the Warner Bros VIP tour while we were there... but they don't have tours on the weekend ( OH NO!!! ). I think he'll actually be happy to visit US: Hollywood, even if it's a theme park. But I think he would get a real kick out of a working studio. But come Wednesday, we just don't have the time We're already packing it tight as it is...

Right now we arrive Friday night.
Saturday/Sunday - LA/Hollywood
Monday/Tuesday - DL
Wednesday/Thursday - Travel North Rte1 through San Jose and into SF
Friday/Saturday - San Francisco
Saturday NIGHT (overnight) - Flight back East.

i gather we'll be pretty exhausted...
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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Given that though, if I stayed in Santa Monica on SATURDAY/SUNDAY, would traffic still be bad between there and Hollywood and Universal? is it ALWAYS crazy or just during weektime rush hour? Cause after that we'll be hunkered down on DL property, then out of LA for good...
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xipetotec View Post
Given that though, if I stayed in Santa Monica on SATURDAY/SUNDAY, would traffic still be bad between there and Hollywood and Universal? is it ALWAYS crazy or just during weektime rush hour? Cause after that we'll be hunkered down on DL property, then out of LA for good...
It is always busy but it should move quickly on the weekend.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:25 AM   #6
lexlaw69
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I would check out the original "surf city" which is Huntington Beach and only 15 minutes from Disneyland.
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