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Old 09-30-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
xipetotec
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How do I get DW excited about California?!

So I posted on another board that my parents decided to take the whole family ( that is them, my brother, me, DW and 3 kids ) to California next year.

Starting in Hollywood, Universal, DL then up route 1 to ( via San Jose ) San Francisco.

DW has always stated she had no interest in visiting california. She feels it's a bunch of regular cities and beaches. Why go all that way to see this. I *DID* tickel her "weird bone" by telling her that The Winchester House is there. AND she's always wanted to go check out DisneyLand. But still... What can I tell her to get her excited about visitng California...

Are there any other weird locations, or beautiful locations or anything of *particular* interest I could tantalize her with?
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:36 PM   #2
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Well the redwoods are beautiful and majestic. How about Hearst castle? I heard they even have a night tour or is that Winchester. I just remember some friends went and had a blast!

I think the drive up the ocean is long but it is beautiful! We just stopped wherever we felt like it and had a great time.

In San Francisco there is Alcatraz, the golden gate bridge, fishermans wharf and of cours Ghiradelli chocolates. How about the Disney family museum. The aquarium is spectacular too.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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There is a place called the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Apparently it's a "gravitational anomaly." I've never been there and have no idea how interesting it is, but if she's into "weird things", maybe that will be of interest. There is also a little Dutch town called Solvang that is on the way from LA to San Francisco. I've read it's a really neat stop.

If she's interested in the Winchester House because it's said to be haunted, there's other places that are said to be haunted and have haunted history as well - The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Alcatraz.

Look online. I think that California has a lot of interesting cities and places to see. Don't just look in the bigger cities and big tourist attractions, but also the little gems. Good luck!
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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Drive up the Pacific Coast Highway on your way to Carmel, Monterey and Santa Cruz. Talk about beautiful shore lines! Take a drive on the 17 Mile Drive in Monterey (Pebble Beach Golf Course) for more amazing scenery. You can also check into going to Yosemite. It is absolutely gorgeous!

You can also check out Big Sur and Hearst's Castle.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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Yes, CA has "cities and beaches." Unless she's a Hollywood lover she may not care about the whole Los Angeles thing. But the beaches are gorgeous and the coastline is beautiful all the way up to San Francisco. If you're going at a time of year when it is cold in Quebec she will love the weather!

There may be places she'd "prefer" to go, but if someone else is willing to pay and I was doing it in part for my children, I think there are a lot of places I would be willing to go if not ecstatic. Hopefully as she does a little research she will find a few things she can get excited and you can work them into your tour.

Some people just don't like long flights, or traveling with in-laws. Better to find that out now than next year.

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Old 09-30-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post

Some people just don't like long flights, or traveling with in-laws. Better to find that out now than next year.

PHXscuba
Well I'm sure this has a lot to do with it ... But we are used to travelling with them. Namely to Disney World every two years with their DVC. But I'm sure this is a big part as it's hard to argue with "Kids want to, DisneyLand is there and the Winchester house... and it mostly paid for! " ... That's enough for *me* anyway
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Are there redwoods between LA and SF ? Or are the really big ones just in Redwood National Park north of SF?
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:10 PM   #8
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If she likes weirdness, stay a night at Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. It's a little pricey, but if you're into strange, it's great. The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood is said to be haunted by movie stars. That could be an interesting place to stay too.

To be honest, the Winchester Mystery House is not that great. It's in the middle of a busy section of San Jose, which takes away from the atmosphere IMHO. I'd hate for your wife to come all this way with the Winchester House as the main attraction. She might be really disappointed.

I guess I can relate to your wife not thinking Calif. is that big a deal. I feel the same way about Cape Cod. My brother goes there every year and loves it. I visited him there once and that was more than enough. I just didn't get it.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #9
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Not crazy about going to California, are you crazy?

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego







Sea World, San Diego






Pacific Coast Highway, HWY 1









Golden Gate Bridge



Cable Cars



Yosemite National Park (My #1 Must See in California)






Yosemite Falls






Mariposa Grove, Giant Seqouias






Disneyland



And Yes there are beaches....thank goodness!









So many wonderful things. Such an amazing place. Once you go you will be back.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by xipetotec View Post
Are there redwoods between LA and SF ? Or are the really big ones just in Redwood National Park north of SF?
Yes near close to SF. They are in the area around Monterrey and Santa Cruz.

This also may be where you would want to get off of highway 1 and go inland to a freeway to get to or from SF.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:28 AM   #11
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Here's my take, as a resident of the central coast.

Hearst Castle - This one you gotta do! It's amazing, breathtaking. But make sure you make reservations for a tour before you go. The tours get filled up, especially in summer. I recommend that you plan to spend overnight at a motel in San Simeon or Cambria the night before. That way you can do a morning tour, and have the rest of the day for the breathtaking drive up Highway 1.

Drive up the Big Sur coast on Highway 1. Another gotta do. It's simply the most breathtaking drive in the world, at least that I've found. And I've done some travelling. If your budget can handle it, plan for lunch or dinner at Nepenthe's. Very expensive, but you'll remember the view forever.

The most convenient place to see redwoods on your route will be at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, in the town of Big Sur on Highway 1. Very near your lunch/dinner stop at Nepenthe's. The redwoods here are slightly smaller than those in Humboldt county, way up in northern California. But close enough. (Alternatively, some people here may direct you to Muir Woods, just north of SF. Also nice, but Pfeiffer is a lot bigger and a lot less crowded).

Monterey Bay Aquarium
. One of the world's best. Incredible displays for adults, and lots of kids' activities. Disclaimer -- I'm employed at the sister organization, MBARI, so I may be biased. Still, almost everyone considers this a must-do.

Here's my take on the some of the other suggestions. Winchester Mystery House is enough of an oddity that I recommend it, as a lark. It's kinda fun, despite being in an urban setting, as a PP said. But I'd give a definite "pass" on the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot. It's a 1950s-style roadside tourist trap. Unless, again, you're there because it's kitschy - that can be fun in its own way.

HTH,
Bob

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Old 10-01-2010, 11:13 AM   #13
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OK, I so need to get back to Yosemite! I went a lot as a kid with my Sierra-loving father, but haven't been back in almost 20 years. Thanks for the gorgeous photos!

California IMO is one of the most diverse places in the United States and you will get to see a couple big chunks of it. Any vacation is a compromise on what you see. If you're there for a couple weeks everyone should get to see a few things they are excited about and experience a few new things (which they may just end up loving) that someone else is excited about.

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Old 10-01-2010, 11:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
OK, I so need to get back to Yosemite! I went a lot as a kid with my Sierra-loving father, but haven't been back in almost 20 years. Thanks for the gorgeous photos!

California IMO is one of the most diverse places in the United States and you will get to see a couple big chunks of it. Any vacation is a compromise on what you see. If you're there for a couple weeks everyone should get to see a few things they are excited about and experience a few new things (which they may just end up loving) that someone else is excited about.

PHXscuba
Agreed, especially with all the great suggestions posted so far.

To be perfectly honset, I suspect there is another reason she is not talking about for not being interested. But that's another matter entirely...
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:03 AM   #15
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Are there redwoods between LA and SF ? Or are the really big ones just in Redwood National Park north of SF?
You'll drive through coastal redwoods on hwy 1 in Big Sur. The big ones are in the Sierras, tho'.
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