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Trying to work out itinerary.....

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Christchurch, New...
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Trying to work out itinerary.....

Hiya

We are two couples coming to US in September 2014.

We are arriving on 1st and departing 15th

We want to go to Vegas for five nights from 7th.

We are trying to decide on renting a car or doing day trips with hotel pick ups and flying to Vegas.

We would be looking at getting a pass for disneyland, universal, sea world and the zoo and probably the hop on hop off bus so we can see the Hollywood sights and Santa Monica etc

Im not sure if we will be able to squeeze all this in but I'm thinking Anaheim will be a good base?

Is there much to do in Anaheim in the evenings? Bars, restaurants, people watching etc

We will probably stay overnight in San Diego one night if we have a rental car.

Any tips or assistance will be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Fremont, California
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1. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

If you stay on the strip in Las Vegas, I would probably forego the car. You can taxi or use the monorail - and there is so much to see in the strip area, you could just rent a car for a day to see the Dam and Red Rock Canyon (or arrange a tour once you get to Las Vegas).

For the LA piece, I would rent a car and stay in a few places

San Diego - Stay there and do the zoo and Sea World'

Anaheim - You could stay here for disneyland and then do a day trip to Universal and a day trip to Santa Monica....(or you could relocate to the West side a day or two before your flight from LAX.

Figure you are flying out of LAX - look at drop off fees for cars, etc.

that will help you figure out if you should fly from Las Vegas to LAX or can fly to John Wayne or San Diego and start your trip from there.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

More people will see this thread and comment on it if you post in the general California forum: tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g28926-i29-Califor…

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

Keep in mind that for 2014 there is a big Holiday weekend Labor Day Weekend which will make it busy everywhere for Aug 29th through Sept 1.

Well you are sort of central to the things you want to do since Anaheim is located basically in the middle of the things you mention. However, alot of your destinations would not be daytrips really since alot of your day may be taken up with travel time. If you want to make Anaheim a base, then you would really need a Rental Car to make that work.

For example... Anaheim to Santa Monica... about a 1 hour drive in good traffic. Anaheim to San Diego..about a 2 hour drive. Anaheim to Universal Studios about a 1 hour drive. These drive times would be if you avoided the busier rush hour traffic times and could easily take twice that amount of time if you did not.

If you are only planning a day in LA, then you could do a daytrip there or two since its the closest. But, for San Diego since you have multiple days I would really suggest splitting your stay in Anaheim and San Diego as theres lots to do in San Diego as well. Im sure folks will suggest adding a few night in LA as well.

So... Can you travel all around and see the things you want with Anaheim as a base. Yes, you can and some people prefer to do that. But it is not as convenient as splitting your stay, and you have to be willing to add in alot more travel time to stay in one place. So its really up to you to decide what you want to do.

You may also want to consider the Southern California City Pass which combines a 3day Disneyland Parkhopper ticket, 1 day SeaWorld and 1 day Universal Studios ticket for a good value.

If you would like help finding somewhere to stay for the Anaheim part of your trip, you can give us a budget per night and what kind of accomodations you are looking for such as a nicer Hotel, or standard Motel in close walking distance to Disneyland, ect. and if you have specific dates you will be visting Disneyland we can also help with that part of your planning

Edited: 08 November 2013, 03:15
Anaheim, California
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4. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

OK, if you want just one location, Anaheim is good for a central location for what you want to do. Some do recommend splitting the stay to multiple cities, such as a few nights in San Diego.

OK, you are arriving on Labor Day in 2014, September 1st, the unofficial end of the Summer season, though a few school districts will have the first week off school before the start of their school year. (Most go back to school from mid-August to Labor Day).

Sounds like you are a good match to the Southern California CityPass, which is three days at the Disneyland Resort, a day at Universal Studios and a day at SeaWorld, with an optional add-on for the San Diego Zoo if you buy directly from citypass.com

citypass.com/southern-california/san-diego-z…

You can move to San Diego for a night to do the two things, or opt to use either public transit (Amtrak Pacific Surfliner) or the Gray Line Anaheim Tour Company, which will be happy to sell you "transportation only" tickets if you prefer day trips.

As for Universal, the same, there is a Gray Line Tour that has a short trip to Universal after USH (Once again you can get the transit only option since you will have a CityPass), public transit, or maybe a combination of two day trips, one for USH and another for a full day in the LA area.

www.graylineanaheim.com

Flying to/from LAs Vegas, from the Anaheim area, I love Long Beach (LGB) and jetBlue for a better flight experience in general, and I like John Wayne (aka Orange County/Santa Ana/SNA) if you opt for Southwest Airlines.

Plenty of adult places near Disneyland, such as the Anaheim GardenWalk with Bar Louie and Herat Ultra Lounge for bars/clubs, and many other options if you like a bar as part of the restaurant. The Outlets at Orange Shoppertainment Mall has a lot of bars/Restaurants and other entertainment designed for adults. (As compared to "Adult Entertainment", which in the US means things like strip clubs). Also the area a few mile east of Disneyland on Katella next to the Honda Center and Angel Stadium (Major Sports/Concert venues) have a lot of adult places to eat/drink. A cheap cab fare to the area.

Maybe the first days in Anaheim, followed by the flight to Las Vegas, and then fly to San Diego Lindbergh Field (SAN) for a few days before heading back to the Anaheim area.

Huntington Beach...
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5. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

I would schedule your Los Angeles area visits at the end of your trip and spend a couple of nights in Santa Monica. That way you will end your trip near the airport. Also Santa Monica will give you a taste of a coastal town that is more comfortable in September than Anaheim, where it will be very hot. Santa Monica is great city for adult visits and will have the restaurants, bars and nightlife that young adults without children will appreciate.

As for Las Vegas, I don't recommend spending 5 nights there in September. (I lived there for 2 years). I would suggest 3 nights to see what there is to see, unless you are serious gamblers.

West Hollywood...
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6. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

I'm with LS. Five nights is a long time in Las Vegas especially in September where the high temps will be in the 90s.

Where you stay in southern California depends on your itinerary. For example, if you plan to visit Disneyland for just 1 day, then there's little reason to stay in Anaheim. There is nightlife in all the cities of the world to some extent but Anaheim is known primarily for 'family entertainment'. The world class nightlife for grownups is in Hollywood, West Hollywood (the Sunset Strip), downtown Los Angeles and in the city of Santa Monica. If I were flying for 10 hours to reach Los Angeles, I'd want to experience the best nightlife available in the region.

From what you've told us, this seems to be your current itinerary:

a. Arrive LAX on 1 Sep

b. 5 or 6 nights somewhere in southern California

c.1 or 2 nights in San Diego

d. Las Vegas from the 7th to the 12th.

e. 3 nights somewhere in southern California

f. Depart LAX on 15 Sep

You could easily split up the 5 or 6 nights in b. into 2 parts, spending 1/2 of the time in one place and the other 1/2 elsewhere. This would be especially recommended if you planned to use public transit since transfer times between the major cities if you use public transt is about twice as long as driving.

Here's one possible itinerary:

a. Arrive LAX on 1 Sep

b. 3 nights in Anaheim for the theme parks.

c. Hire a car, drive to the coast and explore some of the beach communities, e.g. Huntington Beach, Laguna, Dana Point, and drive to San Diego.

d. 3 nights in San Diego

e. Drop the car and fly to Las Vegas from the 7th to the 12th (consider an excursion to the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam during this time -- lots of tours available from LV for this). During your stay in Las Vegas, use the Deuce Bus to get around the hotel zone and taxis to and from the airport which is only 5 to 10 minutes from the hotels. Fly from Las Vegas into tiny BUR airport (the Luton of Los Angeles). BUR is just north of Hollywood.

f. 3 nights in the city of L.A., nearby West Hollywood (Sunset Strip area) or in the city of Santa Monica. All of these neighborhoods are near to one another, have decent public transit connecting them to one another and are closer to LAX than Anaheim is. They are also cooler in September than Anaheim. You could hire a second car or use the HoHo and public transit depending on your SPECIFIC itinerary.

g. Depart LAX on 15 Sep

Edited: 08 November 2013, 16:54
Christchurch, New...
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7. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

Fabulous! Thank you all so much - the plan seems totally doable!

Alot of people have said 5 nights in vegas will be too long? Not sure why that is though? We aren't big gamblers but are definitely big drinkers hehe and we have at least three shows we want too see and one full day will be taken up with going to Grand Canyon etc.

If someone could recommend some accom options in Anaheim that would be great.

We would be looking at two separate rooms and budget would be $100 per night.

Would be at least three nights, maybe four if driving to Universal is better from Anaheim than from Santa Monica?

Thanks Again - I feel like I'm getting somewhere now

Anaheim, California
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8. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

The drive from Santa Monica or Anaheim to the Universal Studios area is about the same.

At $100 per room, I would start with the Extended Stay America, decent location, though a bit of a walk, a basic free breakfast, but the rooms are nice and come with a kitchen. Nothing fancy, but for the price, not bad. Recently remodeled.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g29092-d225012-…

I like the new feature on the TA Hotel Review page, where you can place you specific dates and then search by price.

Note, Anaheim is a very large city, and not everything is with walking distance to Disneyland, or on the ART Shuttle system. Also a lot of different styles of accommodations. I would work on a short list, and then come back and ask about ones that interest you in your price range.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g29092-Anaheim_Califo…

Edited: 08 November 2013, 20:23
Anaheim, California
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9. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

Also, if you average Hotel Budget is $100 per night, you will have a very hard time finding that in Santa Monica, or even the Hollywood area. Anaheim tends to have lower prices in general due to competition and the fact it is a major tourism location.

So with a rental car (parking is free at the Extended Stay America), maybe do day trips from Anaheim to the other parts of the Greater Los Angeles Area, and look at closer beach options, such as Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Long Beach.

For San Diego, I would look at the Old Town Inn at the price point.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60750-d80255-R…

Las Vegas, Nevada
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10. Re: Trying to work out itinerary.....

If your adding in the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas then your timing is about right there. But you would want to visit the South or North rims which have the spectacular views that everyone is thinking about when wanting to visit the Grand Canyon, and not the expensive West rim which is closer to Las Vegas, but does not have the same views. So.... 3 nites in LV and rent a car and stay overnight at the South rim of the Grand Canyon, and back to LV.

Sept for Disneyland usually would have shorter hours during the weekdays and longer hours on the weekends. With Fireworks and Fantasmic shows usually only being on the weekend days, Fri,Sat, Sun. But usually with a nightly World of Color show. So you may want to schedule your visit so you are visiting partly on a weekend day if you want to see those shows.

Also you may want to avoid Sept 12-14 very likely to be the starting weekend of Halloweentime at Disneyland since its usually started on the second Friday in Sept., which makes it busy that weekend at Disneyland. No official info will be out till late summer usually for exact dates.

Heres a Map of Hotels in the Disneyland area so you can see where things are located. The Disneyland Main Entrance is off of Harbor blvd near where it says "East Shuttle Area" on the Map. Most of those are standard some well rated Motels that are the closest.

printfreemaps.com/maps/freedisneylandareamap…

Your budget is on the lower side, but the time you are visiting should also be lower pricewise. I would suggest looking at the Anaheim Desert Inn... about a 7 min walk to the actual Turstiles that go into either Park, and should be within your budget. The farther out you book this standard Motel with a cancelable reservation the better since prices will rise the closer it gets to a date. About 7 months out if possible is good.

Best Western Anaheim Inn... could also be within that budget and is a standard well rated Motel about a 7 min walk or so.

The Alpine Inn... should be well within that budget as well and about a 13 min walk with Art shuttle service for a small fee per person to and from Disneyland is offered at the Hotel next door.

Red Lion... for a nicer Hotel also usually has some specials for around $99 a nite, but is a farther walk of about 15 min or so, but offer the Art Shuttle service mentioned.

Let us know what you think of the suggestions so far. If thats not what your looking for, you can always ask for more suggestions.