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Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Melbourne...
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Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Hi,

We are planning a trip to the US in December we will arrive on 22nd and before we head of on a road trip would ike to spend 22,23,24,25th south of LA doing some day trips. I plan to pick up a car from the airport and head south. What I would like to know is can anyone recomend a place to base ourself while we do day trips to say Disneyland, San Diego etc. The thing is I am not sure what we wil do ove rthose few days and we are happy to drive 1-2 hours each way to see stuff I am from NZ/Aus so driving is not an issue.

Any ideas would be much appreciated

Cheers

Maria

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Laguna Beach and Newport Beach and Huntington Beach would all work, check a map, Costa mesa however will probably have the most economical lodging choices.

Driving is definitely a BIG issue if you don't watch carefully what times you get onto the freeways. As a general rule, avoid traveling between 7:30 and 9:45am, and also between 4:30 and 7:45pm whenever possible.

Melbourne...
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2. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Great thank you, was wondering is there any basketabll on in December that we could go and watch?

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Yes, basketball season is in full swing in December. Our two local professional teams play at Staples Center in downtown LA:

lakers.nba.com

clippers.nba.com

In addition, there are some major college basketball teams in the area that will be playing games during that time period. UCLA and USC are the bigger schools but there's also LMU, Pepperdine and San Diego State.

Thousand Oaks...
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4. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Freeway traffic leading up to Christmas is a complete nightmare....

I would stay close to Disney when you plan on visiting there and staying in San Diego when that's the day trip.

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

I would definitely visit Balboa Island in Newport Beach ... They decorate all the houses and it's adorable ... Park on a Balboa Peninsula and take the ferry over. Old Town San Diego is another place to visit at Christmas.

Melbourne...
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6. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Thank you for all your suggestions do you have any idea when tickets might be released for December/Jan I am trying to figure out whether we spend some time exlploring LA before we do a road trip or after before we fly home. But I would love to suprise me other half with a live NBA game!

Los Angeles
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7. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

Last year Lakers tickets for single games went on sale September 22. I imagine that the Clippers and the Lakers will both start selling tickets around the same time this year. You should start checking the above web sites in early July as the schedules will normally be released in the mid-July time frame - that way you can try to plan to be here when one team or the other has a game on.

Rancho Santa...
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8. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

I think you need to get some clarity here. I'm not clear on what your present plan is. Are you actually staying in LA and heading south? Or are you heading south and looking for a place to stay in Orange County? You're all over the place geographically. Lakes/Clippers are in downtown LA. Disneyland is in Anaheim in Orange County. San Diego is in another county. If you're going to Disneyland, you should stay the night. Driving down from LA isn't really worth it. Further, San Diego is most definitely NOT a day-trip from LA. It takes about 3-4 hours because traffic is very unpredictable.

Conceivably, you could stay in OC and drive north to LA and south to SD. However, this isn't the easy drive you might surmise. Moreover, OC is quite a different experience from LA. Nice, but markedly different. It is probably better to base yourself in each location for a couple of days each. BUT, you really need to come up with an itinerary. Without that, recommendations about where to stay are difficult to make. Can you clarify?

By the by, as an aside, Laguna Beach is very pretty. But, over the past year, I am stunned by the level of congestion there on a nice day. If you go, get there early. Traffic backs up tremendously because there are only two ways into two -- PCH or the 133 -- and they bisect in downtown.

HTH

Anaheim, California
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9. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

With just 4 days (3 or 4 nights) I would look in the Central/Southern Orange County area as central, so Anaheim for lower priced accommodations (and lots of variety) and freeway close, or if you are looking at a beach area, Newport Beach would be my first choice, then the Dana Point area.

A reasonable drive to San Diego, and Los Angeles (Downtown/Hollywood), traditionally the Lakers play a game on Christmas Day in the afternoon at the Staples Center. Maybe if you don't need a Hotel on the 25th, go to the game, and then drive a few hours to get a head start on your road trip.

As for Christmas feel, I like both Disneyland and Knott's Merry Farm for Christmas shows and decorations.

10. Re: Christmas in LA best place south to use as a base

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