Best Day Trips from Santa Monica

Feb 6th, 2003, 01:48 PM
  #1  
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Best Day Trips from Santa Monica


We'll be in Santa Monica from 2/13 until 2/20 with 2 teenage girls and 7 yr old boy. We're looking for info on good day trips. We're planning on Universal Studios and maybe Disney but would love recommendations on driving tours in LA and north and south along beach. Thanks!
bethpeter is offline  
Feb 6th, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Depends on how energetic you feel, but you can easily do day trips to Santa Barbara or down the south coast to Newport/Laguna/San Clemente, although on the latter the traffic can be nasty returning. If you have time, try to familiarize yourself and kids with the history of the missions, which would make visits to Santa Barbara or San Juan Capistrano (near San Clemente) interesting to them.

Hollywood is an obvious day trip destination, maybe combine it with lunch downtown at Olivera Street and a stroll through Union Station.

As for beaches, well, it is February, but Venice, Manhattan, Hermosa and Malibu are pretty obvious choices. Go have breakfast at Martha's 22nd St Cafe next to the Strand in Hermosa Beach, then walk along the Strand or in the sand, imagining you had enough bux to own one of the oceanfront houses.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 7th, 2003, 06:16 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for your help! Could you estimate the drive time to Santa Barbara and the drive time to Laguna? Are both the northern coastal and southern coastal routes equally scenic/interesting from Santa Monica? or is one better if it ends up we can only do one?
bethpeter is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 10:01 AM
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The coastal drive north to Santa Barbara is more stunning in my opinion. Mostly because you cannot drive along the coast for most of the route south to Laguna Beach and the southern drive is through much more populated areas. Going north will take you through Malibu, Ventura and the lovely unpopulated areas just south of Santa Barbara. Expect the drive to take close to two hours.
Spike is offline  
Feb 7th, 2003, 10:38 AM
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You could make a daytrip to Long Beach harbor area. The Aquarium there is really good. The Queen Mary is there, & the shops & restaurants along the water make for some good dining. Last June, when we were in Santa Monica, we took a day trip down to the mission of San Juan Capistrano. This was a place I visited once when I was a kid & now 40 years later, wanted to see it again. I really enjoyed it & didn't remember it being as big as it is. It was about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs drive 1 way. It was mostly freeway & we used the carpool lanes. Also, Six Flags near Valencia, has some really good roller coasters if your in to that. Also liked Knottsberry farm amusement park -- If you go here, go to the chicken restaurant just out side the maingate, for supper - their chicken, & biscuits with boysenberry jam is excellent.
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