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Help It's all too much....

Yorkshire
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Help It's all too much....

We are planning to come to California this summer for 2/3 weeks bringing two teenage girls (very excited). They want to do some of the Hollywood stuff but not theme parks. Want to see as much as we can but have been reading my guide book and there's too much to choose from - it all looks fantastic.

We are planning to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco - where are the best places to stop on the way? What about other trips eg San Diego, Yosemite etc. Please help!

Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: Help It's all too much....

You have a fairly good amount of time to explore a very large state. If you have a choice choose three weeks rather than two. I suggest that you search former messages here and see what interests you most from what others have said.

Look at the coastal drive between LA and San Francisco.

Decide how much time you want to spend in the LA area. Do the girls need Disneyland? You said not theme parks so I assume not. Good.

You will want to visit Yosemite.

You will want *several* days in San Francisco.

Are you interested in the wine country north of San Francisco?

You will get suggested itineraries, but before you decide on one of them study more carefully your guide books and decide what fits YOU.

Then come back with questions.

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2. Re: Help It's all too much....

Yes to San Diego and Yosemite, both places have much to offer! Laguna Beach is also a very pretty place to spend time in. Have fun with your research and welcome to the travel forums! :)

Paso Robles, CA
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3. Re: Help It's all too much....

First, I will second what the previous writer said about San Francisco. I always wish I had more time there! I have a teen daughter myself and have hosted several exchange students and this is what they liked best, starting from the south: 1. Venice Beach (free & entertaining) 2. Universal Studios (an amusement park, but cool for teens)with the nearby City Walk. 3. Santa Barbara's beaches and shopping on State Street. 4. San Luis Obispo has a Thursday Night Farmer's market that's a great street party and the Madonna Inn is a kick. 5. Cayucos is one of the last of the classic beach towns 6. Skip the castle at San Simeon (unless they have an interest in Art & Architecture)--take them to see the Elephant Seals just north of the castle on Hwy 1. 7. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a 1950s style amusement park with a classic rollercoaster. 8. San Francisco highlights--shopping at Union Square, Alcatraz (yes, it's touristy but really very educational, and worth while just for the boat ride and photo opportunites from the island--be sure to reserve tickets online), China Town, and a Baseball game at the beautiful stadium, the warmest spot in S.F.

Whatever you do, give them time to relax and enjoy our beautiful beaches, all unique. They really enjoy being kids again, tidepooling and riding boogie boards. Just be prepared for cool weather on the coast and in San Francisco. North of Santa Barbara the ocean water temps are colder. Layer! California has many micro climates and temps can range from 50 degrees farenheit to 110 in one day, depending on where you drive and the time of day. Europeans used to the Mediterranian are often shocked by our cold water and cool ocean breezes.

Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Help It's all too much....

Yes. Read nobeetsplease carefully. Well thought out adivce.

And have a wonderful trip.

Topanga, California
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5. Re: Help It's all too much....

If they like to swim, call a local surf shop in Malibu or Santa Monica and get them a private lesson. The shop will recommend a good, fun teacher and the shop can rent the boards and wetsuits.

Believe me, this will be an experience they'll never forget. They might even meet some cute surfer boys (or be taught by one).

Here are a couple of good shops I've personally dealt with:

http://www.zumajays.com/

http://www.malibusurfshack.com/

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Help It's all too much....

With the time you have, you could include Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I implore you to do so!

Here's a trip I recommend:

San Francisco to San Luís Obispo following the DRIVING DIRECTIONS at http://geocities.com/touringsfo/ and noting the details found in the reports "A Trip to Las Vegas . . ." and "A Trip to Anaheim . . ."

From San Luís Obispo through Yosemite to the Eastern Sierra Highway (395) to go down the Eastern Sierra Highway to Lone Pine into and through Death Valley then through Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon thence to Los Angeles via Phoenix.

7. Re: Help It's all too much....

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