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Itinerary Help Please

Norwich, United...
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Itinerary Help Please


We are in the process of planning our first self drive trip around California. At the moment we are looking to start in San Diego and finish up in San Francisco with LA and a couple of other places in the middle probably.

I will also add that we will be taking our 5 year old so needs to be child friendly ideally. So far we are planning to do the following in LA:

Universal- is 1 day enough?

Chinese Theatre

Warner Brothers Studios- is this any good?

Hollywood walk of fame

Hollywood sign

Disney parks (are we better to stay in Anaheim for this part and would you recommend 2 or 3 days for the 2 parks in total?)

We have never been to LA and would really appreciate any advice you guys could give us on how long to stay, where to stay and any good things to do you think we have missed.


Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Others will add lots of ideas, but for me, and with a young one, I would say Santa Monica is not tobe missed.

Have fun :)

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Yes, one day is plenty for Universal. To be honest, its really more geared towards older kids (teenagers) so may not be ideal for a five year old. But generally its a 1/2-3/4 day activity. Since its near the other Hollywood sights (the sign, the walk of fame, and the Chinese Theater), which only take a couple of hours at most, you could do both on the same day.

Warner Brothers is very good as well. Its a pure tour of a working movie studio, no theme park aspects to it like at Universal. Warner is also not far from Hollywood so you could also do the Hollywood activities on the same day.

If your child likes space, or science, two places you should not miss are the Griffith Observatory (www.griffithobs.org) and the California Science Center, which is where the space shuttle Endeavor is being displayed. The California Science Center is right next to the Natural History Museum, so if your child likes fossils or dinosaurs, this is a good place to go. Likewise the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is a good place to go if they like fossils. If your child likes dolls, then the American Girl store at the Grove shopping center would be a good place to go.

As for Disney, it really depends on how much time you want to spend there. There are two Disney parks next to one-another - Disneyland, and Disney's California Adventure. Disneyland is the larger of the two and to really do it thoroughly, you'll want two days there. California Adventure is smaller and can generally be a one-day park. But some people go to Disney for as little as one day. Generally, yes, you'll want to stay in Anaheim those days/nights, as its an hour drive between Anaheim and the rest of LA.

Santa Monica, CA
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3. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Los Angeles is a terrific place for a family visit. So many nice, outdoor things to do! First, explore Griffith Park:


The LA Zoo is wonderful and affordable, good Western Heritage museum, pony rides, train rides, hikes, scenic views, all in 4000 acres in the middle of the city.

Santa Monica: I raised two kids here and it's pretty great! Beaches, multiple playgrounds along the beach, pier with rides, arcade, small aquarium, historic merry-go-round, the new park in the downtown area, Tongva Park, has a sweet children's area. If your budget allows, I would try to stay in Santa Monica.

Museums - Science Center and Natural History museums are excellent, as is the Getty Center (large garden and plenty of interesting things even for a youngster). The LaBrea tarpits are a must! The Original Farmers Market/Grove makes a good stop for a meal after the tarpits. Don't overlook botanical gardens; we've been taking our kids to them since they were babies. The LA Arboretum is especially good for children, IMO.

Stay in Anaheim for your Disneyland portion of the trip. You can probably do the park in 2 days because there are only 3 of you, but if you want three, why not? You might want to consider Knotts Berry Farm while there, too.

Southern California
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4. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Agree with #2 and #3 and think about Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park instead of Universal, unless you want to do Universal - you can do that and Hollywood sights the same day. Knott's has lots of stuff for all ages, your child might like the Camp Snoopy area. Be sure and eat at Mrs. Knott's Fried Chicken Dinner restaurant.

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Itinerary Help Please

A 5 year old won't like the Warner's tour at all and is too young for universal. The rest of the places on your list take an hour to see and are in one place.

Great suggestions by others above

West Hollywood...
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6. Re: Itinerary Help Please

Warner Bros won't admit 5 year olds on their tours, as I recall. You might want to research our metro area a little bit further. L.A. has hundreds of attractions besides Hollywood (WB is in the city of Burbank and Universal is in Universal City -- surprising, I know, since it's called Universal Studios HOLLYWOOD). Focusing on Hollywood attractions is like visiting London to see Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and then heading home.

Take a look at our TOP QUESTIONS BOX at the right side of this page. If you can't see it, here's a shortcut to our FAQs (similar content):


An attraction that might interest you and your co-travelers is Griffith Park (google it). Massive urban park with a dozen attractions, many of which are 'child-friendly'

7. Re: Itinerary Help Please

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