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2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

London, United...
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2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

In early stages of planning a 2 ish week trip with teens (13-19) to California and can't decide whether it's best to fly (from London) to LA or SF first and either tour from Noth to South or vice versa. We would fly in from one and home from the other so we don't have to drive back to our original starting point.

We want to visit Sea World San Diego, all the usual sights in LA inc Disney, Universal, Hollywood, Knottsberry farm etc. etc. and Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz etc in San Francisco. We are planning on hiring a car and self driving but maybe not in San Francisco as it seems that Public Transport is good there?

Has anyone got any suggestions as to the best route or seen any similar iteneries to this? We don't want to do Palm Springs/Vegas/Grand Canyon as we have done these before.

We will probably arrive around the 5th July. Any advice appreciated.

Thanks

T

Washington State
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1. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Hi

I think either direction works.

SFO - SF - {pick up rental car and drive to} Yosemite Valley - Monterey - Pismo Beach - L.A. - Anaheim - San Diego - LAX

Notes:

Definitely don't need or want the car in SF.

You don't have to include Yosemite, but I usually add it to my suggested itineraries!

Disneyland is in Anaheim, not L.A.

You can arrange the 3 main southern CA destinations in another order, if you want. Pismo Beach - Anaheim - San Diego - L.A. might work.

There are quite a few sample itineraries in the Top Questions on the right side of the page (full TA website, not the app.) The Top Q also has info about which pros & cons of the Hwy 1 coastal drive direction.

London, United...
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2. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Thanks very much for your speedy response. I've not heard of Pismo beach. Is that a good stop over point with things to do there?

Thanks

Washington State
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3. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Central Coast DE Kibbles09 posted some info about family friendly Pismo Beach recently, but I can't find that thread. Here is some other info she posted:

"Pismo Beach is a classic beach town with a wide stretch of sandy beach, a pier and a funky downtown with your typical T-shirt shop stuff. It is more kid friendly since there are arcades, bowling and, well, that nice stretch of beach to play on. Ventana Grill, Steamers, Splash Cafe, Brad's are just a few dining options in Pismo Beach."

Los Angeles
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4. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Generally if you start in SF and want to do the coastal route to LA, you can either go to Yosemite first, then Monterey, then continue down the coast to LA. Or you can go from SF straight to Monterey and beyond if you don't want to do Yosemite. The coastal drive needs at least one overnight stop between SF and LA, or even between Monterey and LA. The usual places for one night that are somewhat around half way include Cambria, Morro Bay or Pismo Beach. All are nice. If you can take two nights, then I would stay the first night in Monterey, Carmel or Pacific Grove. If you can take three nights, I'd do two nights in Monterey / Carmel / Pacific Grove, then one night in Cambria/Morro Bay/Pismo Beach, or one night each in those places and then the last night in Santa Barbara.

London, United...
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5. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Thanks loads. The advice is great. I have stayed in LA before (23 yrs ago) and believe we based ourselves centrally in order to stay in just the one hotel and not have to keep changing.

Based on development/traffic etc since then, is this still practical? and if so where would a good central location be? We will want to go as far north as Six flags and as far south as San Diego probably flying home from LAX. if everywhere is an hour or so away we would be fine with that.

Thanks again.

Chula Vista...
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6. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Hi T,

Did you know that BA has nonstop service from LHR into San Diego? It certainly makes it easier to do an "open-jaw" ticket--fly into San Diego and home from San Francisco (or vice versa), without any back tracking in your trip at all.

San Diego has so much more than just SeaWorld, so I hope you plan at least 3 nights here. There's Balboa Park with its 14 museums and gardens; the San Diego Zoo (also in Balboa Park); the USS Midway; the San Diego Maritime Museum; Cabrillo National Monument; Torrey Pine State Reserve; and Old Town State Historical Park.

There are the beach communities of Coronado, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla--all near most of San Diego's attractions. A little farther north are Del Mar, Encinitas, Leucadia, and Carlsbad.

http://www.balboapark.org/

http://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

http://www.sdmaritime.org/

http://www.midway.org/

http://www.missionsandiego.com/

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=663

http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/

seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sandiego/

http://www.torreypine.org/

http://www.sandiego.org/

Get your teens involved in selecting your destinations / attractions to get them more interested in the trip.

Zed

London, United...
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7. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

Thanks Zed. That has given us a lot to think about.

We will get the Teens involved but at the moment don't want them to know we are even planning the trip. :-)

T

8. Re: 2 Weeks with teens in San Diego, Los Angeles & San Francisco

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