California - What can I do there?


#1

So I need to plan a vacation in California for my family. I was supposed to do it a few weeks ago but I’ve been busy constantly.

I believe quite a few of you are from the state and have better info than just me searching on Google randomly.

Specifically, we are planning to visit Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. And I am concerned about boring stuff like how bad is traffic, how good is the public transportation, should I use a rental car/uber/taxi, are summers chokingly humid and hot, etc.

Any other tips would be nice but considering I need to keep a teenage girl entertain, I’m not sure I have a clue what I am doing. Might just roll the dice and see what happens.


#2

@Vocino should be able to talk San Francisco. My limited experience was that public transportation wasn’t bad and uber was readily-available; I’ve never been to LA or A Whale’s Vagina.


#3

Not a resident, BUT, regarding SF, if you intend to visit Alcatraz, book it NOW. Went there in July and trips were sold out until August. SF is a super fun place, be sure to walk the Golden Gate and down by the pier. The aquarium is also a fun spot for the kiddos. Trolly system is great, so I’d considering getting a pass to ride if for the time you are there.


#4

If you plan on doing LA and SD, i recommend getting a car and just going down the coast. Orange county ain’t a bad spot either :stuck_out_tongue:.


#5

Any particular reason why San Diego is A Whale’s Vagina?

Sewage problems?
The wind carrying the stench of the dump?
Horrific accident as the whale vagina factory?


#6

#7

Oh, well. at there wasn’t an accident at the whale vagina factory.


#8

Literally anything…

we have:

  • hundreds of major beaches
  • the redwoods
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Disneyland and other theme parks (Harry Potter land just opened in Universal Studios)
  • tons of museums (mainly in SF area)
  • wine country in both northern (Napa Valley) and southern (Temecula) california

I mean it would be better to say what you enjoy doing and people could give you ideas.

Are you flying or planning a 2-3 week trip?

Because driving San Fran to LA is about 6 hours and from LA to SD takes about 1-3 hours depending on traffic. The drive from SF to LA isn’t bad but it is very very boring.

  1. Depends, if you are driving around LA or SF in peek times, traffic can get bad.
  2. in SF it is pretty great, lots of tourist places just off BART or a short taxi / uber / bus ride.
  3. I would if you don’t have a car, parking in the tourist traps is usually pretty open and having your own transportation is nice.
  4. Not really, but it depends on where you are, coastal…not really, inland, possibly. If you are staying coastal a LOT, bring a jacket (zip up hoodie, not down or anything) for nights out, it isn’t uncommon for days to be around 90-100 Freedoms and then it dips at night.

Again, really depends on what you all enjoy doing, how long you are staying and your budget.

You could spend the cost of arrival and travel or you could spend whatever amount you could dream.


Theme parks are going to set you back anywhere from:

https://www.knotts.com/ (50~ USD)
https://disneyland.disney.go.com/ (110-120 USD)
http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/ (105-120 USD)

Disneyland is an all day thing, the fireworks at night are amazing. They usually do like 3-4 night time displays, 2ish around the water and 2 ish around the castle there is also an amazing show in California Adventure called wonderful world of color or something, amazing show. 100% DO NOT SKIP CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE many people write off CA Adventure because “OMG disneyland!!” but it really is an amazing park. I would totally recommend a 2 day pass and hit up both disneyland and California adventure at a comfortable pace if you go here.

Knotts berry farm is a nice place for roller coasters, more “Adult” centered. I wouldn’t suggest staying too late as Knotts has had a history with theft later into the night.

I haven’t ever been to universal studios, I hear it is a lot of “looking” attractions. Harry potter land just opened up there though and it will likely be packed for a while since people are coming to that section. Since it shares a price with Disneyland, if you are debating the 2, I’d take disney over universal.


Beaches and Museums are going to be about parking (5-10 USD) and admission (Museums only 10-50 USD)

Too many museums in SF to list, @Vocino would have a better handle on it than I would, I’ve been away from NorCal too long.

The beaches in SoCal (Huntington, Newport) are amazing to walk and ride. You can get some amazing views. Look up Huntington Pier and have dinner on the pier at the diner, the food isn’t amazing but the view is. Avoid the “Pricy” place right on the sand, the food was very “Meh” both times I ate there.

(Huntington Pier – Rubys Diner)

San Diego has Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. Both of which are pretty fun and both are massive and would require 1-2 days to really enjoy without sprinting through both locations.


So…yeah…you get the idea. Lots and lots and lots to do here.


#9

I think @GuardianX covered it well. I’ll just add a few tips.

You need a car in LA and SD. However, I wouldn’t drive between them. Take the train. There’s a train that goes down the coast and it’s nice and relatively quick. It will drop you off in the heart of SD and you get on in downtown LA or Orange County.

Driving from SF to LA is definitely not worth the time. The really beautiful drive is down the PCH along the cliffs and it takes forever.

You only need Uber if you’re staying in SF. I would get a Clipper card for your stay so you can hop on and off any mass transit (including cable cars and tourist ones).