4 Days in California - Appreciate Advice

Apr 21st, 2009, 04:20 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 22
4 Days in California - Appreciate Advice

We're a couple of Aussies flying to NY in November and plan to have a 4 day stopover in LA on the way home. We arrive late on the Sunday night and were thinking of hiring a car and staying near the airport. Then we will have Mon to Thurs. to do some touring before flying out on Fri evening. We have been to LA before so do not intend to spend any time there. Not sure whether to head north to Monterey or south to San Diego. Would appreciate any advice on suggested touring itinerary, places to stay and how to make the most of 4 days.
aussie_nomads is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 06:15 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 793
Go towards San Diego. Stop in San Juan Capistrano. Then do the Wild Animal Park north of SD. You won't have much time for too much sightseeing beyond looking at coastal scenery.

The Wild Animal Park is much different than a regular zoo. The animals are outside and it makes you feel almost as if you were in Africa.

I would not start the drive up the coast to San Francisco, as you really do not have the time.

Alternatively, you could fly back and forth to SD and make that your base.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 07:24 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,337
Alternatively, you could head north to Santa Barbara, Solvang and even San Luis Obispo. This trip would be very doable in four days. Take a closer look: http://tinyurl.com/dbc6dc
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 08:51 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,390
Going north into Santa Barbara, Solvang etc would be a pretty trip. A little more relaxing than going to San Diego.
San Diego, for a long weekend in Nov might have better weather.

LaurenKahn is right about Wild Animal Park, it's a great time to go there or to the Zoo in San Diego because the animals are active in the colder weather.
It depends upon whether you want to relax or go.

You didn't say what weekend you'd be in Calif.
Thanksgiving will be on the 26th of Nov. If you plan to be anywhere on Thursday the 26th you'll want to think about food ahead of time. Chances of finding a meal without booking ahead would be better in San Diego.
LSky is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 06:21 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,390
BTW, don't book a hotel room in San Diego without getting a good deal. Tourism is down here, (it's made front page news this morning), so good deals are here to find.
LSky is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 06:49 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,597
The trip up north would offer much more beautiful scenery than the trip down south. I would highly recommend that, if you go up north, to take Hwy 101 until you get to San Luis Obispo then take HWY 1 up the coast through Big Sur. That is a spectacularly beautiful drive.
montereybob is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 08:51 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,640
We have had beautiful weather in Dec. on trips to San Diego and Laguna Beach. I would go to either one of these places. I found a great deal on the Hotel Del for 50% off, it was just a two day sale and booked 3 nights for a trip later this year. Deals are very good right now on hotels! Plan to spend some time in SeaWorld, La Jolla and Coronado if you go to SD. ***kim***
kimamom is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 09:01 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,994
Just returned from San Diego...then drove up the coast to LA...Laguna Beach is a great place to stay...nice B&B, and it's approx half way..of course, Disney land is worthwhile, even for adults, if you are in to that sort of thing. But we go to San Diego and always find stuff to do that is new, and even going back. If I only had 4 days, I'd spend them all in the SD area...do the Wild Animal, Zoo, The Park has wonderful museums (we spent two entire days there and never ran out of things to see), can do a Whale Watching trip, the Downtown is interesting, and there are lots of places to hike, explore.
Just my thoughts.
clarasong is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 10:07 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 36
San Diego is a great place. You can stop in La Jolla ( very artsy) on the way down and visit Coronado Island while you are there. It's a gorgeous city. Also, there is Old Town and lots of great places downtown. I don't think you will be sorry. It Never rains there !!!
lovelucy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 01:36 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,390
LOL lovelucy, "It Never rains there !!!" True, but please, lets not affirm that too much Most of us would love a good couple of weeks of rain
LSky is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2009, 02:40 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,021
If you are flying both in and out of LAX, IMO the trip to Monterey would be way too much driving.
socialworker is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 11:11 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 742
Are you interested in seeing Death Valley? The weather there is fantastic in November, and it's about a 4, maybe 5, hour drive. The direct route is up through Trona, the most dismal town you will ever set eyes on, or a more scenic but farther route is Highway 395 through Lone Pine. Lone Pine is about 4 hours from L.A., but it's a couple of hours from there to Furnace Creek. Lone Pine is a kind of cute little town that sits at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the continental U.S. The eastern side of the Sierras are very sharp and rocky and rugged, quite beautiful.
gigib is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 12:05 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
We were in LA recently and visited the Huntington Library
http://www.huntington.org/ This was amazing. The Japanese Tea Garden is beautiful. If you have time, this would be something interesting to see.

We also visited the LaBrea Tar Pits. http://www.tarpits.org/

It would be a full days drive to Monterey. We visited the Hearst Castle north of Cambria. http://www.hearstcastle.org/ Cambria would be a nice small town on the ocean to visit. It is about a 4 hour drive from LA. http://www.cambriachamber.org/
bratsandbeer is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 04:06 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 22
Thanks to all who replied. Lots of ideas to consider and will make planning much easier.
aussie_nomads is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 04:31 PM
  #15  
ekm
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
LA is quite close to Orange County, and you have some time to spend here. I would suggest renting a car and coming down (about 45 mins) south to Huntington Beach (famous for surfing culture), Newport Beach (upscale charm) and Laguna Beach (artistic and eclectic culture). My Aussie sister-in-law and ex-pat brother love it here.
ekm is offline  
Apr 24th, 2009, 09:28 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
San Diego is a lovely 4 day trip and is only 2 hours from LA. There are so many lovely neighborhoods to explore....downtown/gaslamp, Coronado, Little Italy, La Jolla, Del mar, Encinitas, etc. You should go hiking at the Torrey Pines reserve; the beach hike views are gorgeous.
ncounty is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:19 PM.