Winter getaway in California: advice?

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by tchan03, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. tchan03

    tchan03 I have found my Cinderella

    Jun 5, 2005
    Hi my wife & I live in Toronto and thinking about going somewhere warm between Dec 24 and Jan 2.

    We went to Las Vegas, Hollywood Blvd, Chinese theater, Disneyland , Universal before. So this time around, we're just interested in other theme parks(I heard about Legoland but i know it's mainly targeted for kids) and outlet malls.

    What beaches are beautiful and has lots of holiday activities around the area during that week?

    I read about Rose parade but i am not sure if this event takes place where it's totally far away from the beach that you goona recommend.

    Thanks in advance ! :goodvibes

  2. Dizneyholic

    Dizneyholic DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Hi there,
    First, I must say your wedding pictures are just amazing!!!! How beautiful!!!
    I'm so jealous!! :)

    Not sure if you saw this on the Disney website but it gives you a generic idea of what beaches are in the area. I live about 20 minutes from Pasadena (where they have the Rose Parade) and it's about 30 minutes from Disneyland and approx. an hour from Newport Beach. I'm not sure what kind of holiday events they have going on but I'm sure if you visit the website of any of the listed beaches you can find some sort of community calendar.

    Anyway, hope this helps somewhat.
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  4. kimnkel

    kimnkel Mouseketeer

    Sep 8, 2006
    Well, I grew up in Southern California, and I have to say the Rose Parade is definitely a must-see, at least once. It is amazing in person. Try to get bleacher seats for the best view, although they may be already sold out. Not sure how that works. If you can't get reserved seating, get there realllly early, and dress in layers!

    One of my favorite places in the world is the Hotel del Coronado, on Coronado Island off San Diego. It is an amazing hotel right on it's own private, gorgeou beach, built at the turn of the century. It is the hotel the Grand Floridian is patterned after. San Diego is beautiful. :goodvibes You are close to the Mexican border, of course, if you are interested in that. Can't say I can recommend you going there, though.

    Another great place to see in San Diego is Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo, as well as Old Town San Diego, an outdoor artisan/shopping/dining area.

    As far as theme parks go, besides Disney there is Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park.

    Good luck!
  5. Just Giddy

    Just Giddy Earning My Ears

    Nov 4, 2006
    A quick bit of advice. It's S Cal, but it gets cold at night. No, not 10 below, :cold: but the 40's F is still chilly, especially when the wind is blowing. Maybe being from Canada you'll be OK. We always go to DL in Oct, and ususally bring warm sweat shirts, to layer, hats and gloves. Better have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
  6. allyn

    allyn Fellow Adventurer

    Jul 5, 2001
    i wouldn't recommend legoland for anyone over 12.

    but in san diego we have seaworld, zoo, and wild animal park.
  7. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2005
    I would rec. Wild Animal Park. :goodvibes From December 8 to 23 & December 26 to 30 they have the Festival of Lights which is a nice way to get in, or keep, the holiday spirit. The park is decorated with alot of lites and the park is open late (til 9 p.m.) They even have real snow! But, it is cold, sometimes very cold. Here's the link to their website:

    We've gone each year for the last few years and plan on going again this year. Last year we donated about a dozen, of my DD no longer used, stuffed animals. It was nice to know they were going to needy kids. :) Also, if you're in the SD area, you can of course visit Sea World (which again I recommend) and the Zoo. If you can only do 2, skip the zoo. WAP is better!

    Here's SW Dec. calendar link:

    Here's what SW says about their holiday celebration: "SeaWorld’s Holiday Celebration-
    Mark your calendars for a holiday season featuring sea lions, Shamu®, Santa and more. It’s all part of SeaWorld’s Holiday Celebration, featuring bright decorations, live reindeer and strolling musicians, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 and Dec. 26–31. Festivities for this fun, family event will include Breakfast With Shamu and Santa, Clyde and Seamore's Night Before Christmas and Shamu’s Holiday Night nighttime show. Decorated photo spots throughout the park will provide backdrops for unique holiday card images." :cloud9:

    And I agree with previous poster, without kids, skip Legoland.

    Have a great trip! :sunny:
  8. honeymom

    honeymom <font color=blue>I just tried to connect the dots<

    Mar 20, 2001
    If you are a roller coaster fan, then Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of the best places to go.
  9. c&m

    c&m Love the Mouse but love my DH more for taking me t

    Apr 24, 2000
    Agree with previous poster. If you don't have kids, don't go to Legoland. (Save that for when you do have kids.)

    Also being from Canada, you would probably love the shopping in the States. In San Diego, one of our faves is going to the Carlsbad Factory Stores (an outlet...check it out at, located next to Legoland. You would also love the Target stores that are all over the place. We also like Horton Plaza in downtown SD and South Coast Plaza Mall in Orange County -- both not outlets, but good shopping nevertheless.

    Like the other posters, in San Diego, we love going to the SD Zoo, Balboa Park, Coronado Beach, and visiting the Hotel Del Coronado for lunch. SD is such a beautiful city :thumbsup2're so lucky to be able to escape there this winter!!!
  10. Judy from Boise

    Judy from Boise Watch out – might take away your

    Aug 24, 1999
    let me echo the warning again....there is no guarentee of sun or warm in So Cal in the winter......any time on the beach could be in coats!
  11. M&C

    M&C SSR 06

    Mar 27, 2006
    No guarantee on weather, but I recall that last Christmas it was 70 degrees so the next day we were at the beach! The past couple of days has been cooolllldddd - 60's :sad2: but we're expecting the Santa Ana's (warm weather) in the next few days.

    There should be several nice days between Christmas and New Years. I also heard there's an ice skating rink set up at the Hotel Del overlooking the ocean. Gotta try that out. But if you can spend a few days at the Del, you should try to. I know they usually have some specials on rates for the holidays.

    Another thing to consider for things to do in San Diego is boating in Mission Bay. Even if you've never powerboated before, they'll still let you rent a boat to tool arourn Mission Bay or San Diego Bay.

    One more, since you guys are still newlyweds, there are gondola rides off of the Coronado Cays which is pretty close to the Hotel Del. I guess another reason to stay at the Del.

    There's a bunch of stuff to do in San Diego. I don't think you'll get bored at all.

    Good luck, have fun. Let me know if you want more recommendations.

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