Need "Day 6" advice for May

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by BlueFairy, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. BlueFairy

    BlueFairy DIS Veteran

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    DH and I arrive at SNA late Friday evening, 5/18. We have secured a rental car to pickup and keep through the weekend. We'll drive to the Anaheim Marriott and stay 1 week.

    Sat and Sunday (5/19-5/20) we'd like to visit Orange County/LA area sites. Then I'll do DLR Mon - Thurs while DH is in meetings. We'd love to spend the weekend concentrating on time with one another and staying low-key since this is a much needed weekend without the kids.

    I need Day 6 itinerary advice, especially regarding timing, driving, parking and such. Do these days sound reasonable? What would you add or skip? Which is best for Sat. vs. Sun.?

    One day - maybe tour Griffith Park/Observatory, La Brea Tar Pits, the Farmer's Market, and Santa Monica Pier. What order? Timing? How long should we plan for each stop? What considerations should we make for traffic? Are we missing a must-see in the vicinity of these? I'm not committed to most of these in particular, but it seems like a nice sampling. Where should we catch a good meal (either excellent or particularly local) on this day?

    Another day - We'd like to go to Mission San Juan Capistrano and do the tour (maybe go to Mass), then head over to Dana Pt and drive the PCH to Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove, maybe continue to Newport Beach and stay through sunset and dinner. I'd love parking and lunch/dinner restaurant suggestions.

    (Our first DLR visit followed 5 days in SD and the drive from La Jolla to Camp Pendleton before taking the 5 to Anaheim).

    Finally, is there any reason to only have the car for 1 day and then use Uber to get around the second day (say if convenience and parking difficulty or expense make using Uber a better choice). Our car will cost $135 if we drop it after hours Sunday evening at our hotel. And we have to add hotel parking, which is $50 for the 2 nights. DH is experienced with Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, DC metro driving, if that helps.

    @WebmasterMaryJo, I love your podcasts segments and would appreciate some input on the details.
     
  2. WebmasterMaryJo

    WebmasterMaryJo Techarita Staff Member Administrator

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    Glad you listened to some of the podcasts, and I hope they were helpful.

    Here's a map of different places to see in LA: Day 6 Google Map

    One day you can definitely do an LA tour. I would start with the Griffith Park Observatory. It opens at 10am and I would plan on getting there before then.
    • Griffith Park Observatory
    • Drive Sunset Blvd west
    • Visit Highland/Hollywood
    • Visit La Brea Tar Pits
    • Farmers Market and the Grove
    • Santa Monica Pier
    You might time it to watch the sun set at Santa Monica Pier, or go there, then go to Farmers Market to have a bite to eat in one of the many booths, or at a restaurant or cafe at The Grove. You might have lunch at the Highland/Hollywood Complex. There are several places to eat there.
     
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  4. BlueFairy

    BlueFairy DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. The map is so very helpful. I assume that this is best done with our car.

    Can you give me an idea of what to expect to pay for parking on a weekend if we make these stops?

    If we take time for some walking in Griffith Park, and keep Hollywood/Highland to a drive-by, do SM Pier first, then will we get to The Farmers Market late in the day for dinner? Or will it be more like a late lunch?

    Based on that, can you suggest a location for the other meal?

    I will look for your Top 5 Day 6 segment. I don’t think I made it to #1 before getting interrupted.
     
  5. mrsw94

    mrsw94 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to comment on San Juan Capistrano. We stopped on a whim on our way home from.San Diego a couple of weeks ago (we have a 4th grader studdying the California Missions). It was Beautiful!! Get the speaker tour(it comes with admission) and allow a good 2 hours or so It is much larger than I realized. Lots of great history.
     
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  6. hodad

    hodad DIS Veteran

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    I'd add 2 hours of driving time to whatever plans you make. Then you can relax and enjoy LA. Parking isn't that much more expensive than any other American city, and street parking, if you can find it, is very affordable.

    I'd hit up LACMA if you're going to the tar pits and like world-class art. Or the Pederson Automotive Museum if you like cars and Jay Leno.

    Eater put out this list of the 38 Essential LA Restaurants This Spring a week ago; you might find something intriguing on it, if you don't have the connections to get a reservation at the Magic Castle. In my opinion, you should eat at N/Naka or world famous Din Tai Fung.

    The Trails cafe in Griffith Park is a nice place for a quick bite.

    I have family in SJC. When we want a nice meal we always eat at Splashes at the Surf & Sand in Laguna Beach, mostly for the ocean view. Very romantic. But if I had one meal in southern Orange County, it would be tacos and aguas frescas from El Campeon in San Juan Capistrano (walking distance from the mission, and a close second is nearby El Molino de Oro).
     
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  7. BlueFairy

    BlueFairy DIS Veteran

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    These details are so wonderful. Thank you. I will start looking at restaurants. You've given me lots to work with.
     
  8. oakleycat

    oakleycat DIS Veteran

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    With the places you want to hit, I'd start with Griffith Park/Observatory, then Hollywood/Highland & Farmers Market, then Santa Monica Pier. The Tar Pits are not that impressive unless you're into the Ice Age era history and fossils. My boys love it but not a favorite or mine. If you like to explore you could also check out some of Griffith Park other than the observatory. We love to hike through the Hollywood hills up to Mt. Lee (where the sign is) or from the carousel up to the abandoned Old Zoo. For a fantastic brunch nearby check out Home in Los Feliz. If you prefer museums the Peterson, LACMA and the Broad are all great depending on interests. The Farmers Market is really close to Hollywood so driving out to Santa Monica then back doesn't make sense.
     
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  9. oakleycat

    oakleycat DIS Veteran

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    Forgot to add, Mission SJC is beautiful, my favorite of all the missions I've been too. Great stop on the coast.
     
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  10. BlueFairy

    BlueFairy DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. We have eaten at Din Tai Fung in Seattle and it was to die for.
     
  11. BlueFairy

    BlueFairy DIS Veteran

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    @WebmasterMaryJo and others - Just have to pop back in and let you know what a great weekend we had exploring. Our travel day was exhausting and we were holding out for clearer weather, so we did the Mission first.

    On Sat. we did about 3 hours at Mission San Juan Capistrano followed by lunch at El Campeon with dessert to go. We loved everything about both. Then drove via Dana Point to the PCH. Stopped at Crystal Cove Beach in Laguna. Parked and walked the beach to the cottages and a drink at the Beachcomber. Then finished the drive with dinner in Newport Beach (not my favorite) before returning to the hotel.

    Sunday we drove to Griffith Park and got there right after 10am. Got a spot in the Observatory parking lot. Explored the grounds before hiking down the trail and back up (3 miles total). It was a great morning and the park was jam packed by the time we were done. We followed your map through Los Feliz, Hollywood, past all the landmarks and down Hollywood Blvd., then on to the Farmer's Market. Traffic was ridiculous at this point. Spent a leisurely lunch enjoying the market stalls and explored the Grove. Love that bathroom!!! On to La Brea Tarpits but we got there just as the museum was closing. Next time we'll take the kids. The park was lovely and informative. Then through Beverly Hills and down Wilshire to Santa Monica Pier. What a madhouse! it was cold, windy, overcast, and people were everywhere. I'm glad we went, but it wasn't a hit with me. Maybe if we'd had a sunset to watch. We left tired and just decided to have dinner at our hotel.

    Have to say that the tips from the Day 6 series in the podcast were invaluable! We would have made a mess of our days if not for all the great information. Thank you so much for a memorable weekend!
     
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  12. hodad

    hodad DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the report! I'm glad we could help you, and congrats on a mostly successful trip! I'm curious, where did you eat in Newport Beach?
     

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