Anaheim

Old Dec 31st, 2003, 07:53 AM
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Anaheim

Will be staying in Anaheim during Feb.2004. Anything worth seeing besides Disneyland. Will have car.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 08:01 AM
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Not in Anaheim (it's basically a suburban Hell of stripmalls and stucco tract homes, other than WallyWorld). But with a car, you have the whole of southern California at your disposal. There are literally thousands of things to see. In the Theme Park family, Knott's Berry Farms is a quick hop away from Anaheim in Buena Park. Six Flags Magic Mountain is an hour north in Valencia. You'll be about 45 minutes from Universal Studios Hollywood (not a real Theme Park-- more a working motion picture studio with a few attractions stapled on). For the small kids, Legoland is a little over an hour to the south in Carlsbad. There are zoos in San Diego and Los Angeles. There's a pretty good aquarium in Long Beach, not far from the dry-docked Queen Mary. There are excellent museums in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach, Laguna Beach and San Diego. Exciting art galleries can be explored in Santa Monica, Venice, West Hollywood, Hollywood, LA, Laguna Beach. There are casinos in the San Diego and Palms Springs areas....

What are you interested in seeing? We're talking about a geographic area larger than many countries. Help us narrow it down, and we can make concrete suggestions.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 08:04 AM
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Though it won't be extremely warm, it's always nice to take a walk at the beach - Laguna Bch. is a nice town, you can also check out Newport/Balboa or Huntington Bch. That being said, if you're more interested in theme parks you could always head up into LA to visit Universal Studios. Also in the area of Anaheim is another theme park, Knott's Berry Farm. Have a great time!
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Not really interested in theme parks and have no children along. Would Santa Monica or Laguna Beach be worthwhile? How about a day trip to San Diego, I'm not sure how many miles this would be.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 08:30 AM
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Well, then the next question is:

WHY ARE YOU STAYING IN ANAHEIM? There is absolutely nothing there of interest besides Disneyland. Nothing.

Laguna Beach is beautiful, but very laid-back. It's an upscale artists' community. Santa Monica is a more urban beach community, and a little easier to get in and out of. San Diego is two hours south of the LA area and a great city as well.

Without knowing a little more vis-à-vis your interests, reasons for visiting southern CA, it's really hard to recommend one area concretely.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Wife has a business trip and I must tag along for free. Rough life Huh? Just like to travel and do some exploring to new sites. I guess you confirmed my fears that Anaheim wouldn't be worth actually spending my money on.
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Don't despair-- if you have a car, you have a way OUT of Anaheim. It's central to, well, everywhere-- and that's a good thing.

But I repeat: What are your interests? It's not like you're in the middle of nowhere. We're talking SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. San Diego, for one thing, is definitely worth a day trip if you have the time. You may end up planning a trip there-- it's quite pleasant. Closer to Anaheim, you can go to Huntington Beach and check out the surfers, who will be riding the waves no matter how nippy it is (only hard rain deters hardcore surfers). Newport Beach is classy, but better for casual strolling with your wife on a free day. Lots of possibilities....
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Yes, you'll have to drive around no matter where you stay. Anaheim is central to both northerly sites (Santa Monica, Venice, Universal Studios, Hollywood) and southerly (Laguna, San Diego, etc.). I'd say, go to Disney one day, then plan to drive a bit further out. I also really like the Huntington Library (not in Huntington Beach, but I think in LA county somewhere), which has original edition books (I think including a Guttenburg Bible), a museum w/ notable art, and beautiful grounds w/ many different style gardens - English, Japanese, and more. You could also take a boat for a day trip to Catalina Island. There's plenty to take up your time while your wife is in meetings!
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Old Dec 31st, 2003, 11:39 AM
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I haven't been to the Huntington Library and Gardens in years, but it is truly lovely. By the way, it's in San Marino, just outside of Pasadena and a little northeast of Los Angeles. If you're interested, you can check out their website at www.huntington.org.
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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 09:30 AM
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Would it be possible to rent a bike and ride near ocean? From where to where? Im an avid cyclist and also enjoy walking 5-6 miles. Are the oceanfront areas safe or should I avoid certain areas?
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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 10:11 AM
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Avoid Santa Monica. Lots of gang activity. We live in Orange County and Laguna beach is great. All the areas from Newport Beach to San Clemente is gorgeous and safe. The beach at Dana Point is 5 miles long from the DP Harbor to San Clemente. A great walk.
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Old Jan 1st, 2004, 10:14 AM
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We were just in LA for a few days -- you can drive down to Venice Beach and rent a bike and have a terrific oceanside ride. There's a bike path specifically for bikes and skaters that goes for quite a stretch. For a different "beach" experience, you can also cruise for miles along PCH 1 -- stop in Malibu and watch the dolphins frolic -- you can also walk the beach if it's nice enough. We spent a good bit of time around Santa Monica as we've got friends who live there and in Topanga -- drive some of those loops through the mountains. You'll see everything from modest little bungalows to over-the-top sprawling multi-million dollar glass mansions. We enjoyed the drive up toward Griffith Park Observatory and the hiking paths there. San Diego is about 2 hours from LA -- I'd save it for another trip. I think you'll find plenty to do in the LA area.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 07:54 AM
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Deloris: Er, on what are you basing your assertion that there is a lot of gang activity in, of all places, Santa Monica?! I work in SM, five days a week, and frankly have NEVER seen gangs. Homeless people, yes, but they're not really a threat.

Of course, MY point of comparison is where I live: Long Beach, which DOES have a gang problem in some areas (not, thankfully, in the coastal neighborhood where I live).

Toms: I would be shocked if you couldn't rent a bike anywhere on the long bike path between Venice Beach and Torrance Beach. I'd try doing a web search. It's an easy ride, but you get to pass through the Redondo Beach Pier and the Strand (a super-popular stretch of sand in Hermosa Beach)-- lots to see and do on the way.
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Old Jan 4th, 2004, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for the info. I will certainly try to rent the bikes and do the beach areas as it may be my only time out west.Also the hike near Dana Point. Again thanks for the info.
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Old Jan 4th, 2004, 09:19 PM
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We live five minutes from The Strand (we were there there this morning), which is where we frequently do our morning walks. Our favorites places for breakfast or lunch afterward are Good Stuff Restaurant (just north of the Hermosa Pier at 1286 Stand, tel 310/374-2334), and Martha's 22nd Street Grill (23 22nd Street, tel 310/376-7786). Both places are very casual, offer outdoor seating with oceans views, and have places for bicycles.

For a terrific sunset dinner, I recommend Gladstone's Malibu (17300 Pacific Coast Hwy, tel GL4-FISH).

If you have any interest in art, architecture, or gardens, you might consider visiting the Getty Center.

Woody
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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Thanks for the restaurant tips. Always love to eat
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 09:41 PM
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This is rather pedestrian, but my almost-teen daughter was delighted by the Block at Orange shopping mall. http://www.blockatorange.com

We also stayed in San Diego for several days. There's a lot to see there: Balboa Park and the Zoo, Old Town, Sea World, La Jolla and the seals, and more.
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Old Jan 7th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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We had a delightful time at www.todai.com
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Old Jan 7th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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There are a lot of great restaurants in southern CA-- a lot in Orange County to be sure. Post with your likes/dislikes and you'll get inundated with recommendations. About 20 minutes west of Anaheim in Long Beach (my hometown), for example, I can give you some good non-chain choices (some pricey, some cheaper). You'll also find some good eateries in Downtown Disney (they're all basically chains, but you won't starve).
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