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Old 01-21-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
ashely612
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For a one time only trip to California what would you do?

Background info....our children are 8, 10, and 12. We have 9 full days not including travel days. We are staying near DL. We already have 3 days at DL, 2 at Universal, and 1 at Knotts Berry Farm. Three days left, any suggestions?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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San Diego attractions? Lego Land? Newport and Laguna Beach? Santa Barbara? Catalina Island?
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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If this is going to be your only trip to California and you have an extra 3 days, I would definitely devote one of them (a full day, from morning until evening) to Catalina Island/Avalon. It's a beautiful place and it makes a great day trip. Renting a golf cart and buzzing around Avalon is a lot of fun. Some of the tours are interesting too.

You could take the Catalina Express out of Long Beach (which has the most departures and return times), and Long Beach is maybe 20 or 25 minutes away from Anaheim, without traffic.

At the bottom of my signature below, there is a blue link to my Catalina Island day trip report from last July. It's not a long thread - maybe 4 or 5 pages at most - and it is full of comprehensive photos taken around Avalon! Maybe the photos will give you an idea of whether or not this looks like something your family would be interested in.

Another idea might be to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach (very close to where the Catalina Express landing is).

Then there is the La Brea Tar Pits and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, (LACMA), which are right next door to each other in Los Angeles. A few minutes away from LACMA and the Tar Pits are the original Farmers Market (lots of great food) and The Grove - a very nice shopping center where celebrities are often spotted. You could make a whole day of seeing LACMA, the Tar Pits, The Grove and Farmers Market.

There is also the Disney Studio Store and Soda Fountain on Hollywood Boulevard.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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If your children are 8, 10 and 12, I would not do Legoland. They are too old for that. Have you looked at the San Diego zoo? You might also want a day to relax by the pool. With all of the walking you are going to be doing, you will need a break.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
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This is actually sounding more like a Southern California thread.

In my opinion, much of the absolute best that California has to offer hasn't been mentioned yet. That would include Yosemite, the Napa/Sonoma wine country, coast redwoods, San Francisco Bay, Big Sur, and the Monterey Peninsula. And among my favorite places in California is Lake Tahoe.

California is a big place. Is this really a question about visiting California or just Southern California?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Catalina sounds nice, but pricey. What other beach would you consider the most scenic? What about studio tours? I noticed some require you to be over 12 which would rule out my kids. Has anyone been to a taping of any show suitable for kids?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashely612 View Post
Catalina sounds nice, but pricey. What other beach would you consider the most scenic? What about studio tours? I noticed some require you to be over 12 which would rule out my kids. Has anyone been to a taping of any show suitable for kids?
Newport Beach is beautiful. Here is a great thread (only 3 pages) from pixarmom, with some wonderful photos of Newport - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2895078.

A lot of folks also love Huntington Beach for the fun aspect of it.

Hopefully someone else can answer the other questions for you - we have a lot of helpful people here!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
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Tops on my list is the San Diego Safari Park. It's a bit closer to Anaheim than the Zoo, and much better IMO. They have overnight Safaris with camping if you really want to get the full experience.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is great, and it's nearby the Queen Mary, which is also fun.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:42 AM   #9
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Six Flags Magic Mountain isn't far away, only 20 minutes from Universal Studios.
Quwwn Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has already been mentioned, and things in San Diego are also an option Sea World in San Diego is a good half day adventure though that and Legoland in SanDiego are a bit of a drive.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:16 AM   #10
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you won't need 2 days at Universal, there aren't a lot of attractions there....we did it in WAY less than one day,drove up from the DL area one morning,back before dinner.(the traffic was horrible) your kids are too old for legoland,I'd advise some of the other sites you can olny see in CA like some beaches,and Yosemite...etc.
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