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Where to locate ourselves??

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Manchester
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Where to locate ourselves??

We are a family of three travelling to US in August and spending the last 8 nights in LA area. What we want to do is Celebrity tour stuff with our 14 year old daughter and anything else you think might appeal to her, Universal, Disney and she would also like to do Seaworld plus after seeing Las Vegas, Yosemite and San Francisco I had promised my husband a few quiet beach/resort days. We are flying back to Manchester from San Diego late in the evening.

How best to locate ourselves? Happy to do two different stops but no more. Is 1 day enough at Universal? What about Disney? Have done Florida so how different is it. How far away is everything? We will have a car hire but as I have said I have promised my hubby a bit of R&R near the end for his sanity! Many thanks in advance!

Anaheim, California
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1. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

I would look at Newport Beach or Huntington Beach as a good central area along the beach, great options in VRBO's, and hotel Resorts like the Hyatt and Hilton in HB. Many celebrities live in the area.

www.surfcityusa.com

www.visitnewportbeach.com

Then do day trips to Disneyland, Universal and maybe Knott's Berry Farm.

You can buy a Southern California CityPass, which is a 3 day Disneyland ParkHopper, a day at Universal and a day at SeaWorld. So there is a good gauge of timing. Knott's, America's 1st Theme Park is close to Disneyland, and is worth a day. SO that is 6 days, plus add time at the beach....

I would opt to move to San Diego for the last night or two to visit SeaWorld, and other things like the San Diego Zoo, the Old Town State Park, etc.

www.sandiego.org

And then fly out of SAN.

Rancho Santa...
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2. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

I am confused. Please clarify your itinerary. You don't seem to grasp the distances involved. Los Angeles where Universal is; Anaheim where Disney is; and San Diego where are Sea World is; they are in separate counties. They are at least an hour apart or more through potentially heavy freeway traffic. You can't realistically base yourself in a single location. It is like me asking, where should I stay in the UK? It depends upon your itinerary and your budget. Please provide some more details.

Your daughter might find the Grammy Museum at LA Live interesting.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d17…

HTH

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

You're going to want to use at least two locations for something like this.

Universal is just north of Hollywood. Disneyland is in Anaheim, about an hour south of there by car. Sea World is in San Diego, another 90 minutes or so to the south of Anaheim.

One day is enough at Universal. Disney in California has a lot of overlap with Disney in Florida - many of the rides / attractions are duplicated in Florida, either exactly or very closely. But that's not true for 100% of the rides / attractions in the two Disney parks in Anaheim. So if you've been to the parks in Florida, do some further research and then decide how much time you want to spend at Disney here. Most likely 1-3 days.

So which two places to base yourself really depend on how many days in each of the 3 places (LA, Anaheim, San Diego) in order to minimize your back and forth driving. Some people take day trips to LA and San Diego from Anaheim but its not something I'd suggest doing more than one day. Beaches abound near all of these areas - beaches relatively close to Universal include Santa Monica, Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches, along with Venice Beach. The orange county beaches (Huntington, Newport, Laguna) are closer to Disneyland. And then there are many beaches in the San Diego area.

california
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4. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

I would do a night or two near Hollywood that would include Universal (one day) and the stars stuff, then two nights in Anaheim for Disneyland, and the rest in San Diego, where you can do beaches.

Staying in one place would not be ideal.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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5. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

If your husband wants a break at a beach resort for 2-3 days/nights without touristing about, and you want to stay in Huntington or Newport as your final place.

That means putting SD first.

It also means that in the first few days at the beach, you'll be driving pretty far to get to Universal and Hollywood, but if you don't want to move more than twice, that's your only option. Restful beach locations are not next to Hollywood or Universal or Disneyland.

Is Disney CA worth it? Well, to me it is, totally (particularly California Adventure) but I'm a Disney fan. The original Disneyland has lots to appeal to me. And, if you've just toured California, California Adventure is very amusing, as it tries to recreate the entire experience of our state in one amusement park. If you were to have seen Hollywood, for example, before going, at the side of the freeway you'll see the old hotel that is the basis for the Tower of Terror ride, and you will have seen (in Yosemite) the granite and the rivers that part of CA tries to re-create. It also tries to recreate some of Hollywood's old feel - and has some great interactive exhibits about how special effects are made and some interesting exhibits on how theme parks are made (at both parks).

But not sure you can do all this in 5 days (giving your husband his rest). San Diego and Los Angeles (seen from the perch of Newport or Huntington) will take up 5 days, easy.

california
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6. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

They fly out from San Diego, why do that "first???"

Manchester
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7. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

Thanks to you all for your input. Yes, Hitchkennedy - I do realise the enormity of the area and what we would like to achieve in our 8 nights. That is why I asked the question and already assumed that one base would not fit all.

To give a clearer picture, we fly into Las Vegas for 3 nights, one day trip to Grand Canyon, 3 nights in San Francisco and 2 at Yosemite before heading down the highway to LA.

Should we think about basing ourselves in Anaheim and then drive down the last 4 nights to stay in San Diego to allow some R&R and Seaworld? How practical does that sound? What is the public transport like into LA if we did not want to drive and what to see with a 14 year old? Grammy museum sounds interesting, prob a bus tour and Hollywood sign?

Also would appreciate some input where the best outlet malls are before we head home!

Anaheim, California
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8. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

OK, if you base yourself in Anaheim, Gray Line Anaheim has many day tours from the area. But you could drive to Hollywood, park at the Hollywood and Highland Center, and do your own tour...

www.latourist.com/index.php…

Two Outlet Malls are near Anaheim, The Outlets at Orange and the Citadel Outlets.

Driving down the Coast, you will pass the Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

As for where to stay in San Diego, there are no real resorts like the Hyatt or Hilton in Huntington Beach, next to the beach in San Diego. Hotels to look at in the Pacific Beach/Mission Beach area include the Tower 23 and the Pacific Terrace.

But there are many in the area facing the Mission Bay, the Catamaran and Bahia Resorts are a few blocks from the Ocean and have bay beaches. The Paradise Point Resort is in the middle of the Bay on an island, so isolated, but relaxing and very close to SeaWorld.

Limerick, Ireland
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9. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

Shopping, Don't ignore the regular malls

like Westfield.com / U.S. as they compete with the

outlets.

Edited: 27 February 2014, 15:14
Pasadena, California
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10. Re: Where to locate ourselves??

This jumped out at me:

"To give a clearer picture, we fly into Las Vegas for 3 nights, one day trip to Grand Canyon, 3 nights in San Francisco and 2 at Yosemite before heading down the highway to LA."

Are you spending any time driving down the California coast? Or are you just taking a quick inland route to LA? Just want you to be aware that the coastal route is gorgeous and includes great scenery and fine beach towns. You might want to take some of those 8 days for a coastal drive. It would add many hours, of course, to your overall drive, but might be worth it.

A common route is: SF-Yosemite-Monterey-Big Sur-Cambria-Santa Barbara-LA. With common overnight stops at Monterey, and either Cambria or Pismo Beach. Pismo Beach or Santa Barbara might constitute good "beach" stays, in addition to the ones mentioned in LA/Orange County. And in San Diego, I'd definitely find a location at a beach-- there are just tons.

Keep the car for all of your Southern California visit.

And to answer your question (yet again), at least two locations in SoCal: San Diego, and either Orange County or LA County, depending on where you'd spend most of your time.

Edited: 27 February 2014, 19:13