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California Vacation...

manila
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California Vacation...

hi all, i'm planning to bring my wife and son 2.8yrs old in oct. to disneyland, universal, sandiego zoo, sea world, las vagas, grand canyon, SF, nappa valley maybe lake tahoe or if you have any other suggestions that my son and wife would enjoy its gonna be their first time in the US.

is this possible if we'll be staying there for a month and our start off-point would be in LA near hollywood.

end point is at SF.

pls. advice what would be the best plan to do all this all.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: California Vacation...

Hi Billy

I doubt if there is a "best plan" on an itinerary like this. Many options and it depends on what you're intentions are. See as many Nationa Parks as possible, or stay near the coast. Is your son 2.8 years old?

Here's a start:

LA: 4 nights.

Drive to San Diego for 3 nights.

Palm Springs 1 night.

From PS to LV, visit Joshua Tree NP.

LV: 3 nights.

From LV to the GC area: 3 nights.

From GC to the Zion/Bryce area. 4 nights.

From Zion back to LV: 1 night.

From LV through Death Valley to Lone Pine: 2 nights

From Lone PIne to Yosemite: 3 nights

From Y to Nappa: 2 nights

From Nappa to SF: 3 nights.

Or from 2nd time LV:

From LV to Santa Monica: 2 nights

From SM to Monterey: 3 nights

From Monterey to Nappa 2 nights

From Nappa to San Francisco: 3 nights.

Or a dozen other possibilities.

Tet

Uden, The...
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2. Re: California Vacation...

I mean Napa of course, not Nappa!

Newbury Park...
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3. Re: California Vacation...

With an almost three year old, I would keep driving to a minimum, especially as you will have had a long flight here and one going home.

Also, as far as activities go - your son probablly won't enjoy Universal that much - it is really geared more towards older kids and adults. You might want to consider adding Legoland onto your trip as well - your son is the perfect age for it and it is much more relaxing as a park with a little one. Look into getting a SOCal City Pass - it save syou money on many of the attractions that you will be visiting.

Napa is also more adult friendly, but your toddler will do fine. Search these post for children & Napa. I noticed Yosemite is not on your list. I would definately stop there for a couple of days.

POSSIBLE ITINERARY

DAY 1: Drive to Carlsbad upon arriving.

DAY 2: LEGOLAND, drive to Sna Diego that evening

DAY 3 -7 SAN DIEGO: visit the zoo, Sea World, hang out at the beach, explore the city, take the Old Town Trolley Tour. There is a lot to do with children.

DAY 8: drive to ANAHEIM

DAYS 9-11: DISNEYLAND Have fun at the parks.

DAYS 12-15: Stay in Hollywood, go to Universal, explore the city

Five Days - LA area

DAY 16: Drive to YOSEMITE. consider staying at Tenaya Lodge if funds permit and the park hotels are full. They have a nice indoor and outdoor pool, kid activities, flashlight hikes. There is also the SUgar PIne railroad near by for a fun train ride. (downside, is it is a 45 minute drive into the Valley)

DAY 17 & 18: Explore the park, the Mariposa Grove & Glacier Point, explore Valley,

DAY 19: drive North and east through the park on Tioga Pass and onto Lake Tahoe

Day 20 & 22: LAKE TAHOE

Day 23: Drive to NAPA

Day 24: Napa

Day 25: Drive to San Francisco in the afternoon

Day 26 - 30: SAN FRANCISCO

From San Francisco - take a day trip to Monterey and see the Aquarium. Be sure to go on the Fire Engine Tour while in San Francisco.

Hope this helps.

manila
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4. Re: California Vacation...

Wow...thanks for your advice, i guess i would have to do alot of puzzling to get this perfect. all these tips will certainly be a great help to make our family vacation be a blast ;)

Newbury Park...
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5. Re: California Vacation...

An update to my post - wanted to give you approximate driving times (without traffic)

LAX - Carlsbad (@90 miles, 1.5 hours)

Carlsbad - San Diego (35 miles, 40 minutes)

San Diego - Anaheim (95 miles, a little under 2 hours)

Anaheim - Hollywood (35 miles, 50 minutes)

Hollywood - Yosemite South (270 miles, 4.5 hours)

Yosemite South - Tahoe City driving through the Valley and Tioga Pass @245 miles, 5.5 hours)

Tahoe City - Napa (170 miles, 3 hours)

Napa - San Francisco (47 miles, 1 hour)

San Francisco - Monterrey (112 miles, 2 hours)

manila
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6. Re: California Vacation...

thanks juxie ;)

one more thing...you think i'll spend $4000 for this not including shopping ;)

Newbury Park...
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7. Re: California Vacation...

Depending on how many days you are here, but even if you are frugal - You will most likely need more than $4000. I tried to break it up a bit so you can get a better feel for it. Also, don't forgot california has tax added to everything - it ranges from 7% to 8.25% depending on what county you are in. Also it is sandard to tip 15-20% for meals.

Figure $100 minimum a night for lodging. Most places will be closer to $150 for an okay hotel/motel.

Food - depending on types of restaurants, on the low side, figure $10 a person for lunch, a bit more for dinner (unless you are having fast food).

Car rental @850 for a month (it is a one-way rental - so you'll need to add more) and gas. They are expecting gas to hit $4.00/gallon - which is high for us - but nromal for the rest of the world).

Legoland - $53/adult $43/child, can usually find discounts.

Add on more if you plan on taking any tours in the cities.

If you purchase the city pass - it will included most of your So Cal attractions. It is $199 per person (if you bought tickets seperately it would be $313

The 2006 Southern California CityPass bundles; a 3-Day Disneyland® Resort Park Hopper® BONUS Ticket - valid for unlimited admission to both Disneyland® park and Disney's California Adventure™ park for three days; and ample time to motor down the coast to stunning San Diego and two world-class parks; SeaWorld and your choice between the San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park and over to Hollywood for a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. CityPass delivers six days of unforgettable fun and adventure at a savings of over 30% and 14 days to take it all in.

Uden, The...
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8. Re: California Vacation...

Hi Billy

Staying in middle class hotels, taxes, gas, dinner, breakfast, tips

and small expenses count on $ 200,-- per day at least.

Carrental, entrance fees, flights and Las Vegas not included

Tet

Pacific Grove...
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9. Re: California Vacation...

Your trip sounds fun, with all your original thoughts it would be OK with a toddler. Mine is the same age and likes anything new.

One thing that may save you lots of $ is a AAA membership, with discounts to the zoo, lego land, seaworld, hotels, car repairs on the road and who knows what more. The agents have free maps, and are very helpful if you to their office and get routed.

One hotel to look up around zion or Bryce is the Desert Pearl

manila
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10. Re: California Vacation...

Thanks all:

i see that half of my expense would be on lodging, i guess i shoould start calling all my friends and relative in the area...hehe ;)

maybe i'll just pick on the sites that would best fit my son, and just plan another trip next year. looking at what i wanted to do looks very hectic...

anyways, i'll post whatever itinerary that i've come up with and will ask for your comments ;)

again thanks so much ;)