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Beckers

Disneyland, California west coast

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Our plan (pending vacation approval) Is for about 10 days out in California over Easter next year. I want to spend 4 days at Disneyland because we want to see everything (rides, shows, street entertainment, fireworks etc). Realistically we will probably never go back to DL so I want to see it all. 

What else would you suggest to see/do out there? I want to see the Golden Gate Bridge  and the full house house. And we want to see the pretty side of California redwoods, the coast, etc. 

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3 minutes ago, Beckers said:

Our plan (pending vacation approval) Is for about 10 days out in California over Easter next year. I want to spend 4 days at Disneyland because we want to see everything (rides, shows, street entertainment, fireworks etc). Realistically we will probably never go back to DL so I want to see it all. 

What else would you suggest to see/do out there? I want to see the Golden Gate Bridge  and the full house house. And we want to see the pretty side of California redwoods, the coast, etc. 

Keep in mind its a 5 hour or more drive from Anaheim up to San Francisco. Definitely doable as we did it a few years back. Could take the PCH up if you are going to do that. 

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2 minutes ago, Grumpy and Grandma said:

You don't have enough time..???San Diego Zoo, Carmel by the Sea,  Hearst Castle, Napa Valley, Gilroy (Garlic Capital)....

agreed. So far I am up to 12 days spent visiting California and still have plenty more to go back for. 

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2 minutes ago, Grumpy and Grandma said:

You don't have enough time..???San Diego Zoo, Carmel by the Sea,  Hearst Castle, Napa Valley, Gilroy (Garlic Capital)....

I know!! 10 days is too short but probably the most we can squeeze in. Summer is too hot for me and I don’t want To deal with too much make up work at school 😂

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1 minute ago, Katman1356...Jason said:

agreed. So far I am up to 12 days spent visiting California and still have plenty more to go back for. 

I think making a huge master list and then plotting it on a map and deciding on one small area is how we will have to handle it. 

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Personally, for 10 days I'd stick to Southern Cali, and save San Fran and northern CA for another trip someday....which hopefully you can pull off.  If you want to spend 4 days at DL, see anything around the LA area, maybe Santa Monica and Malibu, and get down to San Diego to see the zoo and stuff, I don't think you can also get to SF.  Not without rushing, or not spending much time exploring LA and San Diego.  I'd recommend focusing on everything south of say Ventura for a 10 day trip.  

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In my younger days ( Yes Beckers a long time ago ) me and some buddies went out for a formula one car race, spent 2 days at the races, one afternoon in Knotts Berry Farm, a day at the San Diego Zoo, did not see it all, crossed into Tijuana Mexico, visited the Crystal Cathedral and then drove up to San Francisco ( 2 Days there ) and did Fisherman Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard St. crossed the Golden Gate Bridge then drove back to fly out of LAX. Whew I am tired just typing all that, if we didn't fly the red eye flights both ways we would have never been able to even trying that much.

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5 hours ago, Beckers said:

Summer is too hot for me

Not normally in California...

Here's LA. F. &  C.

78 60 June 26 16
83 64 July 28 18
84 64 August 29 18

Lived there for 3 years, San Diego, I didn't want to leave, but Linda won.😁  That's where our DIS addiction started. 

 

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We flew into LA, spent a couple of days at Disneyland plus a day for Hollywood/Warner Bros tour. Then we drove inland, first to Sequoia/King’s Canyon which was beautiful. Then we headed north to Yosemite which was phenomenal. Those national parks were places I will never forget. From Yosemite we drove over to San Francisco. We made our base in Half Moon Bay, just south of SF and from there did day trips to SF, Monterey, 17-mile drive, going down the coast as far as Big Sur. We flew home from San Francisco.

Our trip was 12 days total, us and the three kids in a Ford Expedition. I honestly felt the drives were manageable and we didn’t overdue it. True, we didn’t really get to do anything in depth but we were able to experience the huge variety that California has to offer.

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9 hours ago, Beckers said:

Our plan (pending vacation approval) Is for about 10 days out in California over Easter next year. I want to spend 4 days at Disneyland because we want to see everything (rides, shows, street entertainment, fireworks etc). Realistically we will probably never go back to DL so I want to see it all. 

What else would you suggest to see/do out there? I want to see the Golden Gate Bridge  and the full house house. And we want to see the pretty side of California redwoods, the coast, etc. 

4 days at Disneyland is still 4 busy days. We were out there for 8 nights, spent 6 in the parks, and still didn't see it all. We spent 1 day driving on the PCH. Even rented a convertible. A Mustang convertible is the most uncomfortable car ever!! But we were stylin with the top down 🙂 We weren't able to get far enough North to see the pretty stuff. Lot's of city streets. We should have headed South. We also spent a full day for the Price is Right. Ordered the tickets ahead of time. Fun once, but a VERY long day. Don't think it's an option with kids though. My layover on the flight out was in San Francisco, so I got to see the Golden Gate bridge from the plane.

Also, I was out there in August back in 2008. I still needed a fleece for those early morning rope drops, and after the sun went down. The temps are not NEAR as hot in the summer out there as it is in the Southeast

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Spring in S Cali, can be beautiful.  If we were going out for 10 days, I honestly would only spend 2 at DL, simply because are so many other places to explore!

 

13 hours ago, DaveInTN said:

Personally, for 10 days I'd stick to Southern Cali, and save San Fran and northern CA for another trip someday....which hopefully you can pull off.  If you want to spend 4 days at DL, see anything around the LA area, maybe Santa Monica and Malibu, and get down to San Diego to see the zoo and stuff, I don't think you can also get to SF.  Not without rushing, or not spending much time exploring LA and San Diego.  I'd recommend focusing on everything south of say Ventura for a 10 day trip.  

I agree, it would be tight and there are some really beautiful areas near Frisco; it would be sad to miss those.   If they cut their DL time back to 2 days, that could open up time.

 

12 hours ago, dblr....Rennie said:

In my younger days ( Yes Beckers a long time ago ) me and some buddies went out for a formula one car race, spent 2 days at the races, one afternoon in Knotts Berry Farm, a day at the San Diego Zoo, did not see it all, crossed into Tijuana Mexico, visited the Crystal Cathedral and then drove up to San Francisco ( 2 Days there ) and did Fisherman Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard St. crossed the Golden Gate Bridge then drove back to fly out of LAX. Whew I am tired just typing all that, if we didn't fly the red eye flights both ways we would have never been able to even trying that much.

Ha... those days sound familiar :))  I was born down there, but we moved to Washington State when I was almost 8.  After that, many "quick"  trips back down to visit family.  Knotts Berry Farm, goodness.. so many good memories eating at Grandma's Chicken (or so we called it, I think it's actually called Mrs. Knott's Chicken DInner?).  It's been too long since we've been back.  I think we need to plan a trip out with the kids soon.  My extended family still lives down in Riverside.  Fun fact:  my great-grandfather was a police office back in the 30's; he transported Al Capone to Alcatraz.

 

9 hours ago, dvccamper said:

We flew into LA, spent a couple of days at Disneyland plus a day for Hollywood/Warner Bros tour. Then we drove inland, first to Sequoia/King’s Canyon which was beautiful. Then we headed north to Yosemite which was phenomenal. Those national parks were places I will never forget. From Yosemite we drove over to San Francisco. We made our base in Half Moon Bay, just south of SF and from there did day trips to SF, Monterey, 17-mile drive, going down the coast as far as Big Sur. We flew home from San Francisco.

Our trip was 12 days total, us and the three kids in a Ford Expedition. I honestly felt the drives were manageable and we didn’t overdue it. True, we didn’t really get to do anything in depth but we were able to experience the huge variety that California has to offer.

Flying into LAX and out of SFO is a great idea.  Good time saving tip.  We've been RVing too long... I didn't think of that option :lol:

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13 hours ago, dblr....Rennie said:

In my younger days ( Yes Beckers a long time ago ) me and some buddies went out for a formula one car race, spent 2 days at the races, one afternoon in Knotts Berry Farm, a day at the San Diego Zoo, did not see it all, crossed into Tijuana Mexico, visited the Crystal Cathedral and then drove up to San Francisco ( 2 Days there ) and did Fisherman Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard St. crossed the Golden Gate Bridge then drove back to fly out of LAX. Whew I am tired just typing all that, if we didn't fly the red eye flights both ways we would have never been able to even trying that much.

Got to thinking about this trip and forgot we even did Universal one day as well, starting to think why did we get a hotel room we were hardly in it.

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We have spent a number of days in Cal. the past few summers, both via air and also our own vehicle.  When we flew into LAX, we rented a car.  The prices for the car were very reasonable, likely because of the high volume of customers.  That is, if you return the car to LAX.  The cost may be, and probably will be more if you return it to San. Fran.

If looking for a place to stay in Anaheim, give some thought to staying at the Candy Cane Inn.  The name sounds kinda goofy, but we took a chance on it many years ago, and have stayed there every time since when we are in the area.  This place sits right on Harbor Blvd. and is an easy 10 minute walk to the park entrance.  They also offer free shuttle service to and from the park if you wish.  Like many hotels in the area, they offer a "free" breakfast which is quite nice. We have never had bad interactions with any of the staff.  If interested, book early as they also get a lot of business from the Anaheim Convention Center.  They are a "Disney Good Neighbor" Hotel, so you can also get tickets there.  They provide a discount for AAA members.

Would strongly suggest you consider a trip to Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP which is several hours away.  It is gorgeous.  Consider staying at the John Muir Lodge in Sequoia.  When in the area of this small lodge, there is a very narrow side road that you can drive up to a parking lot, then hike for five-ten minutes to reach a summit which provides a jaw-dropping, beautiful view of the Sierras.  Some likely will be snow capped.  If going to this park, take some cold weather gear with you.  When we went there a few years ago, it snowed (in June) and part of the park was closed.  The trees are huge and are something to see.

From there, it is only a few hours drive to Yosemite.  Also a place of great beauty.  If you are going there, try to avoid the weekends as many people from the bay area go there for short periods of R & R.  

From there, you can drive virtually due west to the bay area in a few hours.  SF has several expressways, all busy all the time.

Finally, if you have the time, consider driving south from SF, to Monterey, next door Carmel, the 17 mile drive (fee) around Pebble Beach, and continue south on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), California 1.  The views are fantastic, especially around sunset.  Continue on to San Simeon to see the Hearst Castle (fee for tours), elephant seal beach, and other small towns.  Near Thousand Oaks, you might consider a stop at the Reagan Library in San Simeon.  Eventually, the southern drive will take you back to LAX.  

I think it would be a push to complete everything I have listed above in 10 days.  But, hopefully, there are some ideas for you and the family to think about.  Have fun.

Edited by PghBob
Error - The Reagan Library is in Simi Valley, the Hearst Castle is in San Simeon.

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If you do make it up to San Fran, be sure to visit the Disney Family Museum.  Its located in the Presidio, which is near the Golden Gate Bridge...  But I am like the others... you don't have enough time to do and see it all....  Maybe plan for a trip up north next go round...

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While you are in SoCal I would suggest you take a day to drive down to Mission San Juan Capistrano via the Pacific Coast Hwy. This will take you through Laguna Beach and the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. You aren't that far from San Diego, about 1.5 hours,  so might want to think about a day to visit there and hit San Juan Capistrano.

Are you flying? If so how are you planning your flights in and out of CA? 

Since you are staying 4 days at Disneyland I would suggest you consider driving Pacific Coast Hwy up to Monterey and plan the next day there. In addition to all of the Steinbeck sites they have a great aquarium. 17 mile drive is also in the area. Going up to Monterey via PCH will take you through Big Sur  which is about 25 miles before you get to Monterey. An alternative would be to spend the night in Big Sur and see the trees the evening you arrive, spend the next day in Monterey and drive the rest of the way to the SF Bay area that evening. Depending upon traffic if you stick to PCH (CA Rt 1) you are talking about a 7 - 8 hour drive to Monterey from Anehiem. Again depending upon traffic the other routes that use PCH/US 101 or I-5/US 101 the time will be closer to 6 hours.

One thing to note is the Coast Redwood while tall does not have the large girth of the Sequoia. If you are more interested in seeing those then I would suggest going inland to Yosemite. However given the time of year you are talking about snow could still be an issue. In fact I'm sure Tioga and Glacier Point roads will be closed.The drive will be about 5 - 6 hours. We haven't been to Yosemite since we moved away from CA in the early 90's. I know they have implemented traffic controls that limit vehicles in the park and require the use of parking decks and buses. So you will need to do your own research. Yosemite could give you a couple of options a day would give you a chance to fully see the valley and one of the Sequoia groves. You could also do a drive through for an couple of hour stop where you see the big trees and waterfalls from short education walks near the parking areas then continue on to the Bay Area. Personally if you go this way I would try to spend at least a full day there. Things like the Mariposa grove of Sequoias are best seen from the longer trails than they are from the education loop. It is a 3 - 4 hour drive to the Bay Area from the park.

You can hit the highlights of SF in a day or spend a couple days. When we had visitors we would typically spend a day in SF and the next day cross the Golden Gate to Sausalito, Point Reyes Natl Seashore, Muir Beach and other things north of the GG bridge.

I don't know if you have a train aficionados but the California State Railroad Museum is in Sacramento which is about an hour and a half from the SF Bay Area. It is located in the Old Sacramento which is their Gold Rush Historic District.

Of course for adults the Napa Valley isn't that far from the SF Bay Area either in the event someone wants to go on a tasting tour.

 

 

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:06 PM, Grumpy and Grandma said:

Not normally in California...

Here's LA. F. &  C.

78 60 June 26 16
83 64 July 28 18
84 64 August 29 18

Lived there for 3 years, San Diego, I didn't want to leave, but Linda won.😁  That's where our DIS addiction started. 

 

I’ll have to look at the temperatures more. Summer would give us more time but we don’t get out of school until June 18th or so.  

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:14 PM, dvccamper said:

We flew into LA, spent a couple of days at Disneyland plus a day for Hollywood/Warner Bros tour. Then we drove inland, first to Sequoia/King’s Canyon which was beautiful. Then we headed north to Yosemite which was phenomenal. Those national parks were places I will never forget. From Yosemite we drove over to San Francisco. We made our base in Half Moon Bay, just south of SF and from there did day trips to SF, Monterey, 17-mile drive, going down the coast as far as Big Sur. We flew home from San Francisco.

Our trip was 12 days total, us and the three kids in a Ford Expedition. I honestly felt the drives were manageable and we didn’t overdue it. True, we didn’t really get to do anything in depth but we were able to experience the huge variety that California has to offer.

I’m thinking flying into one city and out of another may be the way to go. I’m going to look at the places you mentioned. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 12:50 AM, mouseketab.....Carol said:

4 days at Disneyland is still 4 busy days. We were out there for 8 nights, spent 6 in the parks, and still didn't see it all. We spent 1 day driving on the PCH. Even rented a convertible. A Mustang convertible is the most uncomfortable car ever!! But we were stylin with the top down 🙂 We weren't able to get far enough North to see the pretty stuff. Lot's of city streets. We should have headed South. We also spent a full day for the Price is Right. Ordered the tickets ahead of time. Fun once, but a VERY long day. Don't think it's an option with kids though. My layover on the flight out was in San Francisco, so I got to see the Golden Gate bridge from the plane.

Also, I was out there in August back in 2008. I still needed a fleece for those early morning rope drops, and after the sun went down. The temps are not NEAR as hot in the summer out there as it is in the Southeast

Everyone posts about the convertible and I thought it looked great until I remembered Adam would probably be squished in the back and Elizabeth will probably still be in a car seat making it even tighter. I need to bring a baby sitter so we can ditch the kids and brian and I could rent one 😂

 

good to hear about the temperatures. My California knowledge is about as close to zero as you can get 😂 

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On 3/17/2019 at 6:03 PM, dblr....Rennie said:

In my younger days ( Yes Beckers a long time ago ) me and some buddies went out for a formula one car race, spent 2 days at the races, one afternoon in Knotts Berry Farm, a day at the San Diego Zoo, did not see it all, crossed into Tijuana Mexico, visited the Crystal Cathedral and then drove up to San Francisco ( 2 Days there ) and did Fisherman Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard St. crossed the Golden Gate Bridge then drove back to fly out of LAX. Whew I am tired just typing all that, if we didn't fly the red eye flights both ways we would have never been able to even trying that much.

Good grief that’s a lot 😂 such a party animal you were in your younger days.

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7 hours ago, PghBob said:

We have spent a number of days in Cal. the past few summers, both via air and also our own vehicle.  When we flew into LAX, we rented a car.  The prices for the car were very reasonable, likely because of the high volume of customers.  That is, if you return the car to LAX.  The cost may be, and probably will be more if you return it to San. Fran.

If looking for a place to stay in Anaheim, give some thought to staying at the Candy Cane Inn.  The name sounds kinda goofy, but we took a chance on it many years ago, and have stayed there every time since when we are in the area.  This place sits right on Harbor Blvd. and is an easy 10 minute walk to the park entrance.  They also offer free shuttle service to and from the park if you wish.  Like many hotels in the area, they offer a "free" breakfast which is quite nice. We have never had bad interactions with any of the staff.  If interested, book early as they also get a lot of business from the Anaheim Convention Center.  They are a "Disney Good Neighbor" Hotel, so you can also get tickets there.  They provide a discount for AAA members.

Would strongly suggest you consider a trip to Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP which is several hours away.  It is gorgeous.  Consider staying at the John Muir Lodge in Sequoia.  When in the area of this small lodge, there is a very narrow side road that you can drive up to a parking lot, then hike for five-ten minutes to reach a summit which provides a jaw-dropping, beautiful view of the Sierras.  Some likely will be snow capped.  If going to this park, take some cold weather gear with you.  When we went there a few years ago, it snowed (in June) and part of the park was closed.  The trees are huge and are something to see.

From there, it is only a few hours drive to Yosemite.  Also a place of great beauty.  If you are going there, try to avoid the weekends as many people from the bay area go there for short periods of R & R.  

From there, you can drive virtually due west to the bay area in a few hours.  SF has several expressways, all busy all the time.

Finally, if you have the time, consider driving south from SF, to Monterey, next door Carmel, the 17 mile drive (fee) around Pebble Beach, and continue south on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), California 1.  The views are fantastic, especially around sunset.  Continue on to San Simeon to see the Hearst Castle (fee for tours), elephant seal beach, and other small towns.  Near Thousand Oaks, you might consider a stop at the Reagan Library in San Simeon.  Eventually, the southern drive will take you back to LAX.  

I think it would be a push to complete everything I have listed above in 10 days.  But, hopefully, there are some ideas for you and the family to think about.  Have fun.

This is all great info, thanks!! Especially about the snow/winter gear and stuff. Living in south jersey elevation is not something I think about, I think the highest point in South Jersey is like 145 and is a look out tower on top of a land fill 😂

 

lots of info on here to look up and think about, which is why I knew we needed to plan this one a year in advance. 

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Oh, and we took SuperShuttle from LAX to Anaheim, then rented the car for just a couple of days from a Hertz place just a block from the hotel. We stayed at the hotel Indigo around the corner on Katella. We were using rewards points so the cost was $0, so having just a little further walk was worth it.

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