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3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

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Philadelphia...
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3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

Hi! I'm flying into LA with my family in a month and have three days before driving down the coast. Of course we want to hit Disneyland + California Adventure, and maybe Universal. But I would prefer not to stay in Anaheim but in some other place that is closer to the coast so I can do some shopping at the Grove, go see Malibu, etc. Any suggestions for what area/hotel to stay in? Budget is $300-400/nt. We will have a rental car. Is the whole Disney thing doable in 1 day? What would be a fun tour or activity to do for kids that age that has to do with Hollywood, the movie studios, etc?

Edited: 09 March 2014, 22:34
Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

Keep in mind that Anaheim where Disneyland is located is about a 1 hour drive South of the LA area. So its not convenient to stay in LA to visit Disneyland especially with smaller children. Santa Monica would be convenient to the areas you want to visit in LA area and you could stay near the beach there.. but thats going to be farther from Disneyland.

You could stay in Newport Beach or Huntington Beach and visit Disneyland... its about a 30 min drive from Disneyland, but that would be a farther drive to the things you want to see in LA.

A 2 or 3 day Parkhopper is usually suggested for a visit to Disneyland as there are two parks, and thier entrances face each other, an so much to see and do along with entertainment besides rides that can easily take up that amount of time.

You can of course visit Disneyland for just a day if you want to, but its usually suggested to just visit Disneyland Park if you are going to do that. With a 1 day visit, as there is alot just in that Park, and you would only really be doing the highlight of the Park in a day.

Edited: 09 March 2014, 22:50
Philadelphia...
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2. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

Ooh, yes now I am just understanding where Disneyland is located in relation to LA. So maybe I can have three full days in LA and stay in Malibu like I wanted to!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

Not sure what else your plans are for the LA area, but....Malibu is too far out really for visiting the LA Hollywood area. Its going to be up to about a 1 hour drive from that area to the Grove in any kind of real traffic, and Malibu is more of a residential area from what I understand.

Malibu is going to be way to far to visit Disneyland for a day, so Im assuming you are dropping that option if you are wanting to stay in Malibu?

Los Angeles
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4. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

Where would you stay in Malibu? Have you checked that out? Residential properties are *expensive* to rent (except for a few teensy apartments) and the motel/hotel situation there is...not promising for tourists. The motel isn't exactly a dive, but it is right on the highway and not convenient to anything. The only hotel I know of is very dated, but closer to the Santa Monica side of things.

So you are giving up on Disneyland? You can't do 3 days in L.A. without taking one of those for Disneyland unless you're adding days to your SoCal visit.

The Grove is not really near the Coast. That drive down Sunset (or Santa Monica) from the coast to the Grove is not swift.

Hollywood would be sort of in the middle (an hour from Disneyland - maybe), and 20-25 minutes from the Grove (including finding parking at off-peak hours). Malibu would be nearly an hour from Hollywood - depending on why you're going and where. I'd say it's an hour (at least) from The Grove to the Country Mart.

Santa Monica has nice beaches and is much closer than Malibu (it also has a pleasure pier, which is somewhat used as the theme for California Adventure - but not sure you'll have time to see that second Disney Park). If I were to choose two theme parks in SoCal, they would be Disneyland and California Adventure, then Knotts, then Universal, and lastly, Magic Mountain. Just personal opinion.

You're going down the coast? South? Then maybe take one of your days and put it in Anaheim. What else are you planning to do? South of L.A. there's San Diego - you could perhaps take a day off San Diego and put it in Anaheim.

If you mean you're going *up* the coast (towards SF) that's rather different.

At any rate, Disneyland itself is definitely a full (as in 12 hour) day. The best hours to be there, for kids, are early in the morning, so that's why people stay in Anaheim. I figure it would take me 2 hours to get to Anaheim from Malibu on a typical morning commute...a bit faster going back (maybe 1.5 hours). But 3.5 hours out of the day you go to Disney seems to me to be a waste of time and energy.

West Hollywood...
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5. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

Please clarify your itinerary: how many days in L.A./Malibu/Hollywood/Grove?

How many days at Disneyland. (One day is plenty, imo).

I'm not sure you're accounting for traffic in our metro area. The drive from Malibu to Hollywood can take an hour or more (during 'rush hour').

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

OK, I think I'm gonna give up on Malibu this trip, and the Grove. Thought the Grove was going to be more interesting but it looks like we have everything it has on the east coast. I've got about 8.5 days total from start to finish, and plan on starting in LA, heading south to San Diego stopping at some beaches in Orange Co. Major kids activities will be 1 day at Disney, 1 day at Legoland, and maybe 1 day at Sea World (or someone told me some other aquatic park that was better) so what I'm thinking now is to give 5 days to LA/Orange co and definitely want to do some sightseeing and shopping around Bev Hills Bel Air for me. I think the area I'd like the help with is to get the time in LA to be somewhat kid friendly but not soo kidcentric knowing that we're going to all these them parks later. As we have the kids in tow, my husband and I don't need anything too fancy or highbrow like fine dining, the ballet, or art galleries, but we do like soaking up the atmosphere of the more affluent areas of LA.

Anaheim, California
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7. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

OK, I would add more time to the Theme Parks and surrounding areas, such as Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm, maybe send your husband off with the kids, and you can focus on shopping at South Coast Plaza (one of the best upscale Shopping areas in the USA, has stores that Rodeo Drive can't claim), plus outlet shopping at the Citadel and The Block of Orange.

The LEGOLAND Resort has a great hotel on site for kids, and the Carlsbad Premium Outlets is nearby.

SeaWorld is awesome and IMHO, the best Aquatic Center on the West Coast. (I also like the Monterey Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Pacific).

I would also take time to drive the coastal areas of Southern California...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c174834/Califo…

8. Re: 3 days in LA with 6 and 8 yr old

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