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Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

Dublin
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Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

My family and I are heading to California on the 9th of August from NYC (there for 4 days) until the 28th. We arrive into SFO and are staying in Half Moon Bay for 4 nights to attend a wedding, but after that I haven't planned anything. I was going to book 4 nights in San Francisco but was advised to just extend my stay in Half Moon Bay and use it as a base to Explore San Francisco (Although I like the idea of dropping back the hire car and staying in the city). After that I'm stumped!, I've never been to California before. Here is my must - have list :

1. Will be travelling with wife and 2 daughters so outlet shopping is a must

2. Kids are 16 and 11 so theme parks are a must

3. I defintely want to spend some time in San Diego

4.Wife and Daughters definitely want to spend time in L.A.

5. I would like to see Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam etc..etc.. but dont know if this is too much travelling? (I can leave these for another trip if it means spreading this trip too thin)

Basically, after Half Moon Bay we have 15 days before we fly home from L.A.X., so it's probably an idea to finish up in Los Angeles so ANY suggestions? what way would you plan your trip around these dates?

Berkeley, Ca.
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1. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

I wouldn't use Half Moon Bay as a base to see San Francisco. It's a good hour's drive away, and the transit connections are poor. Stay in San Francisco itself to see the city.

I guess I would say if you could travel Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anaheim (for Disneyland), San Diego, with maybe a day or two in between San Francisco and Los Angeles, your three weeks would be quite full. I'd skip Las Vegas, leave that for another trip.

Dublin
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2. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

Ok,what way would you structure it if you were finishing up in L.A.?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

15 nights? Or 15 days?

San Francisco - 3 nights

Yosemite Valley - 1 night

Eastern Sierra - 1 night

Las Vegas via Death Valley - 2 nights (outlet shopping)

Grand Canyon NP via Hoover Dam - 1 night

Anaheim - 3 nights (+ shopping)

San Diego - 2 nights

Los Angeles - 2 nights (+ shopping)

To me, that looks too rushed. How about this one....

..........

SF - 4 n

Monterey - 1 n

Pismo Beach - 2 n

Los Angeles - 4 n

San Diego - 4 n

Anaheim - 4 n (I put this at the end. Disneyland is slightly less crowded toward the end of the month, and maybe less crowded during the week. But you could probably visit these three places in any order, as long as your flight home isn't too early.)

Look at Premium Outlets for locations. Consider regular malls in southern California ~ lots of shopping options there! In fact, you might want more time in L.A. to take advantage of all those opportunities (L.A. 5 nights, San Diego 3 nights.) Read the Top Questions in the upper right on the L.A. forum page for more info.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

Maybe try his:

1. San Francisco-Yosemite NP

2. Yosemite (You'll need a reservation)

3. Yosemite-Monterey

4. Monterey

5. Monterey-Cambria

6. Cambria Los Angeles

7.8.9: Los Angeles/Anaheim

10. To San Diego

11.12: San Diego

13. Drive back to Los Angeles.

Btw, we visited SF from Half Moon Bay. It's not ideal but it can be done. Another option is to visit Santa Cruz (Boardwalk, surf) from Half Moon Bay.

You also easily can spend longer time in Yosemite.

Tet

Dublin
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5. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

Thanks Lads, its looking good. I think I would probably be better off leaving L.A. until last, the flight home is 9am - I'm not sure of the check-in time for international flights?

Dublin
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6. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

BTW, its 15 nights - we leave Half Moon Bay on the morning of the 13th of August (Monday), and fly home from LAX on the morning of the 28th (Tuesday)

Grover Beach...
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7. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

Here's another itinerary:

SF: 3 nights

Yosemite: 2 nights

Monterey ( With a a stop at the Gilroy outlets on the way from Yosemite): 2 nights

Pismo Beach: 1 night

Anaheim: 3 nights

San Diego: 2 nights

LA: 2 nights

Pretty close to Tet's, but finishes up in LA.

Edited: 17 February 2012, 21:45
Uden, The...
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8. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

For our international flights we're always at the a/p 3 hours before departure. We like to play is safe......

9. Re: Need help planning a 3 week holiday in California please

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