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NOS2006

Californiaaaaaaaaaa

32 posts in this topic

NOS2006    11

...here I come?

I've always wanted to visit Cali, for at least a few years now. I'm sitting there at work today though, and it hit me that I'd love to hit many of the places California has to offer: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Redwood Forest, drive the PCH, etc. My mom keeps wanting to go to the Carolinas and/or Florida, but we've been to both. Why not Cali? Because I think my parents are afraid of flying although they won't admit to it. But, now I've got questions to ask of you guys..

I'm hoping to convince my parents to go sometime next year, in 2008. However, before I present the proposition to them, I want some core facts on dates, costs, and a good overall vacation plan. So, I'll start with the easiest question: where are the best spots to visit in Cali to see get the most out of our vacation? I mean, I already narrowed down the above few places (I really, really want to go on the PCH).

Second, what's the best time of year to go? When is the climate the best? I was thinking sometime maybe around the end of March, beginning of April. Knowing when will not only help planning with school and that, but will also help with finding travel costs (both airplane and a rental car).

Third, just add anything you'd like to about it. Reccommendations? Ideas? Experiences? Please add!

Thanks, everybody! I really appreciate it.

Edited by NOS2006

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usonia    0

I drove the PCH from the Bay area to LA, very cool drive. :thumbsup:

Yep, I did that drive too. It is definitely something to experience. Beyond that, California has so many things to see, it would be near impossible to suggest something useful without knowing what your interests are.

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NOS2006    11

Let's go sight-seeing. :AH-HA_wink:

What are some great things to see both in the city and in nature? Where are some of THE most popular places to go in Cali for vacationers?

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trinacriabob    21

Growing up, we used to do "the triangle" but it takes a long time to drive. From LA, we would go to Lake Tahoe. Then we would head over to the Bay Area (SF and surroundings) and then drive down the coast back to LA. This was always a "must do" upon graduating from high school.

Natural beauty: Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Park (if it's not summer when it's mobbed), the central coast between Morro Bay and Big Sur, Santa Barbara coast

Cities: Los Angeles (the usual haunts you hear about but add Malibu, Santa Monica and the South Bay beaches), San Francisco (cable car ride, the Wharf, Marin view of the Golden Gate, Twin Peaks viewpoint), SD (La Jolla, the Zoo, the beaches, Balboa Park), OC (Laguna Beach, Newport Beach)

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Justin Bimmer    138

the best time to come to Yosemite is in the spring time when all the snow melts and the waterfalls are the strongest. You will get to come through Fresno too if you start out in SoCal, which is the largest city in the country not on an interstate highway. It also feeds the world with our delicious fruit, meat, and dairy products.

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Croc    268

Be warned: California is a ginormous state. The full-length PCH drive takes 12 hours at least.

Los Angeles area: So many cool places. Gotta check out Santa Monica, specifically the pier, Promenade, beach, walk along Palisades Park. Just gorgeous. Nothing better than watching a sunset from the fisherman's pier with shadows of Malibu cliffs in the background. Beverly Hills for the shopping and "I've been there" status. Westwood has a great nightlife scene as well as Diddy Riese and In-N-Out (and Pinkberry). Downtown LA has some nice spots, but also some not-so-nice spots. Chinatown is a blast though on the weekends. CBS Seafood has the best or second-best dim sum (depending on whom you ask) and isn't anywhere near as expensive as Empress Pavillion. Wanna see the first freeway of the West and third in the nation? Drive CA-110 from Pasadena into downtown LA. You'll go through such civil engineering marvels as the four Figueroa Street tunnels, pass through the LA Stack, and see the historic City Hall as you bound into downtown. Then there's the Getty. And Hollywood. Just so much in the LA area...The Grove also has the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store, so you should enjoy it...it's 4 stories and huge, so let Chris know you're doing it so he can draw a map and write a story about it at your expense ;)

Tips: get a convertible. you'll sit in some traffic, so get a tan while doing it. Plus when you're moving, the convertible rocks. Stay in downtown LA. You have excellent freeway access (110, 10, 101, 5) and almost everything is 20 minutes away.

South of LA: you cannot go wrong driving down into OC. Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, San Diego, Balboa, etc...so many beautiful beaches. Fashion Island in Newport is an excellent place to shop.

North of LA: It's a 6 hr drive up the Grapevine to the Bay Area. This drive is very boring, and it smells like aggriculture. The payoff is awesome though as SF is amazing. See the Haight Ashbury, ride the trollies, go to the best Chinatown in the USA...

San Diego: It's like a chill, warmer version of LA. Cleaner, smaller, more relaxed. Beautiful beaches. The zoo there is amazing.

Honestly you need multiple trips to see everything. It's just that intense. Have fun, though!

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bobo    91

If you're there for only a few days, I'd concentrate in the L.A. area and maybe head to San Diego. If you have a few more days, head north along the coast and pass through Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey, and end up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I wouldn't stay in the Bay Area for more than a couple of days unless you want to take some nature diversions or are into museums and shopping. If you like the National Parks, take Highway 99 and stop by Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and then Yosemite.

There's no bad time of year to visit California, though rain can spoil things, though it's pretty sporadic. Spring would be the best time of year. Summer can get hot in Southern California and the Central Valley, but it's a tolerable, dry heat. Fog can be really bad in the Central Valley in the winter and spring after it rains in the early mornings and late nights.

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AAS    13

All excellent suggestions...

You could just go to Disneyland and California Adventure, and see "all of California" in two days :P

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Nick    31

I drive PCH every day...nothing special :P

Be sure to let us locals know when you come out NOS...I'll be happy to show you around the canyons a bit. :AH-HA_wink:

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FAPTurbo    1,078

LEGOLAND CARLSBAD!!!!!111!1!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!1one!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!1eleven!!!1!!!!!!!

:P

I was much younger when I went to California. ^_^

Maybe hit up Disneyland. Who doesn't love going to Disneyland? Everyone loves Disneyland!...

:P

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What the heck you think we are here a travel agancy??? :lol:

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Camino LS6    866

Some things/places that stick out in my memory:

Muir Wood - nothing compares to walking through those groves

La Brea Tar Pits - very cool natural phenomena

Driving the PCH - Although I had to do it in a high-mileage Volvo which I had to repair before we could leave. :rolleyes: When I got to LA, I rented a '68 Lemans vert and cruised around Malibu. :thumbsup:

San Luis Obispo - very cool little seaside place which reminded me of the New England coast for some reason. Saw a really fine '70? Vette vert there.

Travelling through the incredible destruction of the Oakland Hills after the devastating fires, it was the most amazing level of destruction I have ever seen.

Haight-Ashbury - overrated and has one lousy coffee shop on the corner.

Lombard St. _ the most bizzare street ever! Just crazy.

Flying along the coast from Oakland to Monterey in a small private plane to have dinner. Felt like I owned the world.

Realizing that the cat Hadn't crapped on the rug, but it was the air in LA that I was smelling!

Missing my plane home and thus being at LAX at just the right time to have someone I knew from Philly call out my name across the crowd - completely out of the blue. Freaked me out a bit.

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tmp    2

Late spring is the best time to be here. I would stay in Santa Monica. Downtown is central, but it's also dead at night. the Sea Shore on Main Street is clean and inexpensive and two blocks from the beach in a very nice part of SM http://www.seashoremotel.com/

Definately rent a convertible. Even if you keep the top up during the day you can have it down at night. I personally don't care for Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica (it really doesn't have that much anymore that's not at any other mall in the area) but it's worth a walk through, and you can walk from the hotel. Main Street is also a very hip shopping district, as is Montana Avenue (which is too far to walk, but you can drive and park north of the avenue on the side streets.

Beverly Hills is okay, just to say that you've been there. Parking in the municipal lots is 1 hour free, parking at Neimans or Barneys is 2 hours with validation, or there is street parking north of Santa Monica blvd. If you want to do Rodeo, I'd do it on a weekday, it's tourist central on the weekend. The side streets are more of whatever you would find at a local mall (Pottery Barn, Gap, etc).

A few destinations: Mulholland Drive (preferably at night) starting from Sepulveda Boulevard going east. You'll be going through some seriously expensive real estate with killer valley views. Once you have gotten past the entrance to Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, you will get the most incredible head-on city view of downtown.

The Village Cafe in Beachwood Canyon: Beachwood Canyon Drive is going to give you the best view of the Hollywood sign you're going to get, and the tiny Village Cafe inside the Hollywoodland gates is a slice of 40's Hollywood: decent food (burgers, sandwiches, and breakfasts) that's fairly cheap and you are apt to see some b-list celeb from the neighborhood. If you have time to wander the vertiginous side streets in the canyon, you can see some of the amazing original houses from when this was a 1920's housing development. Artisans were brought in from Italy to hew the stones that were used in the retaining walls on the steep streets ( a warning: these streets are very steep, with many switchbacks. If your parents are afraid of heights, stick to the bottom of the canyon) This would be a good morning destination then you can cruise Hollywood Boulevard going west.

Sunset Boulevard: Once you've gone past the famous parts of Hollywood Blvd, (at LaBrea) hook a left and go right on Sunset. It's a fairly heavily trafficked street, but it's worth a drive. You will go from semi-seedy Hollywood past the West Hollywood clubs, through Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Brentwood. If you want to you can hook a left in Brentwood and return to Santa Monica or continue on through Pacific Palisades to the Ocean.

PCH: Everyone should have their "American Gigolo" moment and drive PCH in a convertible. Starting in Santa Monica, go north on PCH into Malibu. After the bridge over Cross Creek, make a right onto Civic Center Way and find a place to park. This is the Malibu Country Mart, a collection of shops and restaurants that might be the best place for star-sightings in all of LA county. Getting back on PCH, drive up past the Ventura county line to Point Mugu (you can't miss it, a giant rock between you and the ocean. Park there and spend a few minutes enjoying the Pacific- you have a decent chance of seeing frolicking Dolphins, sometimes even whales. On the way back to Santa Monica, hook a right into Paradise Cove. The cafe there doesn't have the greatest food, but your parents can have a nice drink and watch the sunset over the water. They might even remember the place as being where James Garner's character lived in the '70's TV show "The Rockford Files"

If you want a tour of Beverly Hills, click Here

Hope this hugely rambling post helps

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tmp    2

One other thing that I cannot stress enough: read the parking signs! A lot of areas on the West side especially have restricted and/or permit only parking. The worst way to end a nice day is to come back and find a ticket because you went over the time limit or didn't notice a sign. If the are has restrictions, the sign will be posted at the beginning and end of the block.

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Croc    268

Realizing that the cat Hadn't crapped on the rug, but it was the air in LA that I was smelling!

Just curious, how long ago was this? LA's air doesn't really smell anymore unless you're in certain industrial areas...

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Croc    268

I forgot about star-searching...a ton of A-listers live in Brentwood, so hang out around that area...Perez Hilton bases his operations at the local Coffee Bean there.

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I'm not exactly goo-goo & ga-ga about New England but I think California sucks even more.

There are two AWSOME things about California for me:

1. Rust free classic cars on every corner, people using

1951 Chevrolets & 1947 Buicks as daily drivers.

2. Those crazy dragway style blinking lights on the two

lane on-ramps. Every time you get on the highway it's

like a drapg race w/ the guy in the next lane!

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AAS    13

I'm not exactly goo-goo & ga-ga about New England but I think California sucks even more... [\Borat] NOT! [\Borat]

That's better... :)

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California is NOT the state with the most elaborate system of highways... all clogged with Priuses and movig 12mph... Not.

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AAS    13

California is NOT the state with the most elaborate system of highways... all clogged with Priuses and movig 12mph... Not.

:lol:

Yeah... well... I do a good job of not driving during those times...

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Yeah... well... I do a good job of not driving during those times...

So you only drive between the hours of 11:00pm and 4:00am? :P

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Nick    31

Just curious, how long ago was this? LA's air doesn't really smell anymore unless you're in certain industrial areas...

Well, I must say, a couple years back I went on a trip to Australia...upon return into LAX I stepped outside of the plane and immediately thought to myself "What died in here?" Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt the same way. :P

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Charger4U    0

...here I come?

I've always wanted to visit Cali, for at least a few years now. I'm sitting there at work today though, and it hit me that I'd love to hit many of the places California has to offer: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Deadwood Forest, drive the PCH, etc. My mom keeps wanting to go to the Carolinas and/or Florida, but we've been to both. Why not Cali? Because I think my parents are afraid of flying although they won't admit to it. But, now I've got questions to ask of you guys..

I'm hoping to convince my parents to go sometime next year, in 2008. However, before I present the proposition to them, I want some core facts on dates, costs, and a good overall vacation plan. So, I'll start with the easiest question: where are the best spots to visit in Cali to see get the most out of our vacation? I mean, I already narrowed down the above few places (I really, really want to go on the PCH).

Second, what's the best time of year to go? When is the climate the best? I was thinking sometime maybe around the end of March, beginning of April. Knowing when will not only help planning with school and that, but will also help with finding travel costs (both airplane and a rental car).

Third, just add anything you'd like to about it. Reccommendations? Ideas? Experiences? Please add!

Thanks, everybody! I really appreciate it.

I think seeing the redwoods, going to lake tahoe, visiting yosemite are all things i would do.....By the way whats Deadwood Forest? I live in Deadwood Town lol.

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Croc    268

California is NOT the state with the most elaborate system of highways... all clogged with Priuses and movig 12mph... Not.

And you know...how? Because that isn't the case...The LA area has a very elaborate system, and yes, some of the older ones dating from before the Interstate system even existed are a bit clogged at points...but I really don't think traffic sucks except of the 405, and the part of the 10 around the Harbor interchange. Even the East LA Interchange doesn't get THAT bad. Dan Ryan is far worse IMO. Edited by Croc

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