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Old 09-19-2011, 07:51 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hertfordshire England
Posts: 42

Help me plan my trip please?

Hi all
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 girls age 12 & 10 at time of travel.
We are planning a trip next August to LA, San Francisco, Seattle (where we are doing an Alaskan cruise) then Las Vegas
We want to fly into LAX on Sunday 5th or Monday 6th as it's cheaper than flying the weekend. Our cruise starts Monday 13th for 7 nights. We would like to stay in Las Vegas for 3 nights before flying back to the UK from there on Thursday 23rd.
Our budget is tight so we don't want to spend loads on hotels, and DH doesn't want to share a room with the girls!
We will hire a car from LAX and want to spend a few days in Southern Califoria before driving up to San Francisco for ?2 nights then flying to Seattle for one night.
I was looking at renting a condo but can't make my mind up between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara
Which is best and more fun things to do with the girls?
San Diego is too far south for us to make it viable
Is driving all the way to SF viable in one day?
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
Earning My Ears
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Shanghai
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Most importantly, what do you want to do in Southern California? Santa Monica and Santa Barbara are about 2-3hrs away from each other with Santa Barbara being further north. If you're planning on spending your time in LA and visiting DL, then you definitely do not want to stay in Santa Barbara. If you just want to relax with the beach, Santa Barbara is gorgeous with a small Main Street/Downtown area.

I'm a born and raised Angeleno, ex-DL cast member who happens to visit Santa Barbara fairly often to visit a good friend of mine so feel free to ask me if you have any more questions
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hertfordshire England
Posts: 42

We are not planning on doing Disney as we will be going on a Disney Alaskan cruise, but I think the girls might like to see the 'Hollywood' sign and drive past some of the famous peoples houses around Hollywood
I know Santa Monica has a great pier and Muscle beach, which I think they will love. DH is not a beach lover but we WILL be spending at least 1/2 a day on a beach (you can't go to California and not to a beach).
Me and DH went to California about 20 years ago and loved driving up the coast, seeing Will Rogers beach (Baywatch) but at that time we thought Santa Monica was a bit rough and not for kids. I presume times have changed. Santa Barbara was lovely but I'm more concerned what the kids would get out of it. Ours was a driving vacation (3000 miles). We stopped at places for a look and a little taster. We don't want that sort of holiday for our girls.
If we stayed in Santa Monica, could we drive to San Francisco in one day or would we need to stop somewhere over night? It would have to be a cheap 2 bed motel which DH loathes
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:32 AM   #4
Has had no bacon
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Drive to DL, Fly to WDW
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Santa Monica has changed? Almost everywhere has good and bad spots.

Hollywood you will have to work on to stretch into a day.
Santa Monica Pier and Venice beach a half or three quarters of a day.

Drive up the coast I would really make two days, because it's lots of driving and so many opportunities to stop for pictures, it is a shame to rush.

SF would be better with 3 days.
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