Where else to visit?

PittDisney

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
My family and I are planning to visit DL next June. Myself, my husband, and our two daughters who will be 10 and 8. I was thinking 3 days in the parks with MaxPass, very likely staying in one of the on-site hotels using our DVC points that we have banked (not the best exchanage rate, but we have some points to use).

None of us have been to California before, so we want to do other things (looking to go for about 9 days probably). We are overwhelmed with figuring what else to do/where to go. We are fine with driving to say, San Diego, or wherever, for a few days. Would like to find something where the girls and I can do something and my husband can golf one day. Obviously there are a ton of other amusement parts (Universal, Knott’s, etc.), but we don’t want to make the cross-country trip (we’re in PA) and only see amusement parks. Would love some ideas of places we could go for a few days on the trip, etc. We’re just overwhelmed because there is so much!
 

BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
the first thing to start with is that you will need to do a split stay. LA and the So Cal area is far too spread out for you to use Anaheim as a base.

Stay in Anaheim for Disneyland and then choose your sightseeing / touristy location.

For your sightseeing / touristy location do you want
  1. The Hollywood Experience
  2. The National Park Experience
  3. The San Diego Experience
  4. A mix of beach and city
Once you choose which of the 4 options you are most interested in, we can then help you with suggested locations, activities and places to stay
 

stardusty21

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
We like to do a beach day, play in the water, rent bikes to ride along the promenade, have lunch, etc. My favorites are Redondo/Hermosa. Redondo Beach has a great pier with shops and restaurants. You can get a bike here and ride it all the way to Venice Beach if you like.
 
  • BrandonH

    Disney Fan+
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2019
    If you have that much time, consider San Francisco. There is so much great stuff to see and do in that city for people of all ages.
     

    PittDisney

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2018
    the first thing to start with is that you will need to do a split stay. LA and the So Cal area is far too spread out for you to use Anaheim as a base.

    Stay in Anaheim for Disneyland and then choose your sightseeing / touristy location.

    For your sightseeing / touristy location do you want
    1. The Hollywood Experience
    2. The National Park Experience
    3. The San Diego Experience
    4. A mix of beach and city
    Once you choose which of the 4 options you are most interested in, we can then help you with suggested locations, activities and places to stay
    Thank you! HMy kids (and myself, let’s be honest) are not very outdoorsy so probably not super interested in the National Parks. A beach day would be fun, and they’d probably enjoy Hollywood . I don’t know much about San Diego except that it is beautiful!
     

    BrandonH

    Disney Fan+
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2019
    If you find yourself in or near San Diego, the girls are at pretty good ages for Legoland. Their Lego Movie area will just have opened up a couple months before your trip. I've been there a few times, and it is a very laid-back theme park. The attractions are fun but not too intense.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    Thank you! HMy kids (and myself, let’s be honest) are not very outdoorsy so probably not super interested in the National Parks. A beach day would be fun, and they’d probably enjoy Hollywood . I don’t know much about San Diego except that it is beautiful!
    Then I would suggest you stay in Hollywood for your touristy sightseeing location. This way you can do things like
    1. Museums
    2. Santa Monica beach and pier
    3. Griffith Observatory
    4. Universal Studios
    5. Warner Bros Studio Tour
    6. And a how lot of other things, depending on your interests
    Im assuming you will rent a car, as it is about 60 to 90 minutes drive depending on time of day and traffic between Anaheim and Hollywood. You will also need a car to get around and do all the various activities.

    Right now, the what to do is not important. You need to figure out
    1. How many days in Anaheim
    2. How many days touristy / sightseeing. Allow for arrival in California day, transfer between locations day and departure day
    3. Where to stay in Anaheim
    4. Where to stay for touristy / sightseeing
    Once you have that figured out, you can begin to build your plans for each of the days
     
  • disneycat321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    I'll be honest - I'm not an LA fan, so this post is biased. I was a So Cal local for many years, even lived in Pasadena for a couple of those years, but LA is not my thing.

    San Diego, IMO, is worth looking into. The zoo and wild animal park there are incredible and really hard to beat, especially if your daughters are into animals. There's also Balboa Park, which has tons of museums. There are beaches, and Seaport Village is nice to visit.

    It really depends on what your family is interested in, ultimately, and where you can find things that you'd like to do together.

    If you're set on doing Hollywood, do a studio tour for sure. Don't just drive to Hollywood and expect it to be a pleasant experience. That area is....probably not what most people expect it to be. I wouldn't feel safe walking around there with an 8 and 10 year old. Our relatives from St Louis came out and we took them there at their request, and they were underwhelmed. We never even got out of the car and just drove through it because they took one look and said, no thanks.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    If you're set on doing Hollywood, do a studio tour for sure. Don't just drive to Hollywood and expect it to be a pleasant experience. That area is....probably not what most people expect it to be. I wouldn't feel safe walking around there with an 8 and 10 year old. Our relatives from St Louis came out and we took them there at their request, and they were underwhelmed. We never even got out of the car and just drove through it because they took one look and said, no thanks.
    When I tell people I go to LA and then go into all this most people are shocked. Hollywood Boulevard , is very seedy and yes Im the same, I try to not be there after 4pm. I only go there for a specific reason, Hollywood and Highland Mall, and Hark Rock Cafe.

    The Hollwood AREA however, has alot to offer, museums, the studio tours, etc.
     

    aliceindisneyland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2008
    I feel great taking my kids to Hollywood; we have been multiple times without issue.
    BUT I wonder if the homeless invasion has made it to the Hollywood tourist area; someone who has visited recently can let you know---we have not been since last summer. Go in the daytime, ignore the fake Disney characters and the drug addicts in the alleys, and don't go past Capitol Records and you will have a blast.
     

    midnight star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2017
    I went to Hollywood last weekend for an event and I never felt unsafe. I just think it’s dirty lol. There are a lot of homeless, but that’s all of LA.

    I’m in San Diego now and just left the zoo and I recommend it! It was so fun!
     
  • disneycat321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    When I tell people I go to LA and then go into all this most people are shocked. Hollywood Boulevard , is very seedy and yes Im the same, I try to not be there after 4pm. I only go there for a specific reason, Hollywood and Highland Mall, and Hark Rock Cafe.

    The Hollwood AREA however, has alot to offer, museums, the studio tours, etc.
    Probably should have been more specific about what I meant - yes, Hollywood Boulevard specifically, which, in my experience, is where a lot of tourists immediately go when in the area. I do agree that there’s a lot to offer in the Hollywood area for sure. I do think anyone visiting there from out of the area needs to definitely study up on what driving there is really like. People can be in for a shock, especially if they’re not from an urban area.
     

    ab21au

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2019
    We are going from Australia in Oct/Nov and after 5 days in DL we are going to Santa Barbara and then up Hearst Castle, Monterey (for the aquarium), Yosemite NP and then back to Santa Monica before flying home.

    Some other things we will be doing (to give you some ideas)
    1. As mentioned Hearst Castle and aquarium
    2. Big Sur
    3. Carmel
    4. Griffith Observatory
    5. Universal Studios
    6. Boardwalk and pier etc
    ... and whatever else comes along.
     

    cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    I think you and your daughters would enjoy Carlsbad (in San Diego county). There are several hotels that in front of and behind Legoland and a very large golf course behind them. You'll be close to the beach, Legoland, golfing and there's a music museum right there, too. Go for a little drive and you'll get to visit the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, tons of other beaches, lots of other stuff to do depending on your interests. You could be busy for the entire 3 night stay if you decide to stay that long.

    If you stay at Grand Pacific Palisades in Carlsbad, it has a nice family pool area and there are outdoor firepit sunset views on the property. HGVC Marbrisa also has a large pool area. Legoland has its own hotel, but your kids might be too old for it unless they are really into legos. The Sheraton behind Legoland has just had a big remodel.
     

    Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    If I were you I would limit the driving. Phoenix, San Francisco, Monterrey, Sequoia, Yosemite - all amazing places, all 6 hours plus drive from Anaheim (!).
    Some reasonable drive times;
    San Diego (2 hours)
    Santa Barbara (2 hours)
    Palm Springs (1.5 hours) - can be VERY hot!
    Since your Husband likes to golf, I would suggest this;
    Terranea
    It's under an hour from Anaheim. Yes, it's Trump's golf course but hear me out; there was a large landslide as they were building the resort so the course was shortened and, consequentially, the green fees are pretty reasonable.
    Now here's the good part;
    You can drop your husband off at the course, or stay in Terranea, then you and the kids could go hiking or go to the beach in Palos Verdes. It's gorgeous and the weather is really nice even on the hottest days. That's a pretty cheap day away from the parks.
     

    SandyinMonterey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2013
    My family and I are planning to visit DL next June. Myself, my husband, and our two daughters who will be 10 and 8. I was thinking 3 days in the parks with MaxPass, very likely staying in one of the on-site hotels using our DVC points that we have banked (not the best exchanage rate, but we have some points to use).

    None of us have been to California before, so we want to do other things (looking to go for about 9 days probably). We are overwhelmed with figuring what else to do/where to go. We are fine with driving to say, San Diego, or wherever, for a few days. Would like to find something where the girls and I can do something and my husband can golf one day. Obviously there are a ton of other amusement parts (Universal, Knott’s, etc.), but we don’t want to make the cross-country trip (we’re in PA) and only see amusement parks. Would love some ideas of places we could go for a few days on the trip, etc. We’re just overwhelmed because there is so much!
    I recommend the Monterey Peninsula area. I lived there for 16 years. It’s truly beautiful. Monterey has Cannery Row & the aquarium, Carmel has wineries, Carmel by the Sea: gorgeous beaches & a very cute town with the best restaurants, Carmel Highlands: state parks...gorgeous!! Pebble Beach: 17 Mile Drive & The Lodge at Pebble Beach and then there’s beautiful Big Sur.
     

    oakleycat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2017
    Based on what you're looking for (and having been to all the places recommended above with kids your kids' ages) I'd recommend San Diego. Plenty of beautiful beaches, the zoo, Sea World, Legoland, Balboa Park museums & gardens, great restaurants, and a great selection of golf courses from cheap to PGA tour/millionaire level.

    We've done LA/Hollywood with the kids many times and there are plenty of fun things to do there - museums, concerts, festivals, art installations, food tours, amazing restaurants, etc. - that aren't just your standard Hollywood Boulevard visit. It can be a really fun trip with kids. But like everyone has said, the Boulevard is seedy, there are tons of homeless living on the street, and now that pot is legal and the penalties for the harder drugs are so much lighter, it's possible you will see people doing/selling serious drugs right out in the open. They try to keep them out of the tourist areas but it's everywhere. That said, it's pretty safe, especially in the daytime, and I wouldn't hesitate to visit if it's something you're interested in.
     

    wingednike

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2010
    Poor LA gets no love. I get why, but still 😅. To balance things out, I recommend:
    • The California Science Center (it is a museum) and The Natural History Museum
    • The La Brea Tarpits
    • LACMA (LA County Museum of Art)
    • The Huntington Library in Pasadena
    • I believe there are golf places in Long Beach. You could park your husband there and check out Belmont Shore and Naples.
     

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