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California Itinerary Help Needed

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Sep 13th, 2013, 04:20 AM
  #1
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California Itinerary Help Needed

Hi, I am in some need of assistance planning my upcoming trip to California. Most of the trip is booked. I only need to book about 4 nights somewhere. I will be there for 3 weeks and this is what I've booked so far:

1) Arrive LA - Stay 5 nights in West Hollywood. This accommodation can't be changed.
2) Disneyland - 3 nights. I can cancel this accommodation if necessary.

3) 2 nights not booked yet - need help deciding where to go. Was thinking of maybe staying in Santa Monica, but I'm not sure. If there is somewhere nicer I would love to hear suggestions.

4) Cabo, Mexico - 6 nights. This accommodation can't be changed.

5) Fly back to LA - need to book 2 nights somewhere.

6) 2 nights booked in Santa Barbara. This hotel can be cancelled.

7) Last 2 nights booked in West Hollywood before heading home. This accommodation can't be cancelled.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Casper
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Sep 13th, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #2
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I Forgot to mention that I'm looking for some really nice accommodation set in a picturesque setting, resort style.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 07:28 AM
  #3
 
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2.) www.lagunariviera.com

5.) When you fly back to L.A., drive directly up to Santa Barbara. Then you'll have 4 straight nights in the L.A/Santa Monica area.

Or, extend your Santa Barbara stay to 3 or 4 nights and include a drive up through wine country/Los Olivos/Santa Ynez.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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>>I'm looking for some really nice accommodation set in a picturesque setting, resort style.<<

#3. Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel, or someplace in Laguna Beach

If you could fly from Cabo to Monterey or San Francisco, 2 nights in Carmel, or Ventana/Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Then drive the Big Sur coast to Santa Barbara.

Stu Dudley
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Sep 13th, 2013, 08:11 AM
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Are you traveling with children? If not, Disneyland doesn't seem to fit with your desire for picturesque settings.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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Laguna beach is pretty far south from la. I would recommend the Hyatt in Huntington Beach or one of the resorts on the beach in Santa Monica. HB will give you a SoCal beach community vibe. SM is more of a city feel.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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>>Laguna Beach is pretty far south from la<<

The OP will be at Disneyland - not LA on #2. Laguna Beach is 35 mins away. Actually, I would stay in Laguna Beach/Laguna Niguel and visit Disneyland as a day trip from Laguna. That's what we did when we lived in Laguna Beach.

>> some really nice accommodation set in a picturesque setting, resort style.<<

It has been a while since we lived in the LA/Orange Co area, but neither Santa Monica nor Huntington Beach would fit my "understanding" of a picturesque resort. Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel would.

Stu Dudley
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Sep 13th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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What month are we talking about?
Why not fly to San Francisco from Cabo and then drive down the coast on US 101 and CA 1?
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Sep 13th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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I would try NOT to stay in L.A. 3 different times in 3 weeks, but with the things already booked and unchangeable I don't know what else you can do.

What time is your flight to Cabo? I wouldn't want to be in Laguna Niguel the night before a morning flight. What do you want to do in L.A. in that one full day before going to Cabo? Or is the property/hotel more important than sightseeing?

If you plan to sightsee, consider Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. It's close to LAX and some sightseeing options.

http://www.shadehotel.com/index.php

If you just want a beautiful resort property, consider Terranea Resort. It's about an hour from LAX.

http://www.terranea.com/
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Sep 13th, 2013, 03:42 PM
  #10
 
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>>> I wouldn't want to be in Laguna Niguel the night before a morning flight<<

Good point.

If your plane departs LAX early in the afternoon, or on a Sat or Sun - there is only a 30 min difference in driving from the Ritz Carlton vs Terranea (according to mapquest).

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Proper...el/Default.htm

Stu Dudley
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Sep 13th, 2013, 04:13 PM
  #11
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Hi everyone, yes I have 2 young children so that's why we are going to Disneyland. I'm staying twice in LA because I want to shop and catch up with friends.

Jean, our flight leaves for Cabo at 10.50am. We get back to LA from Cabo at 4.30pm. I should have booked the flight to go to Santa Barbara but I acted hastily. Now I can't change the airfare without paying a hefty penalty.

I will have a look at some of the hotel websites mentioned above.

I'm going in October. I have already been to Carmel and San Francisco so that's why I'm not going back this year. I've also done the Big Sur drive, and although it's beautiful, it was taxing with a young child. I might go back when my kids are a bit older. At the moment they are 2.5 and 5 years old.

Can anyone recommend a good car hire company. I need to book a car and I can't remember the company I used last time.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 04:27 PM
  #12
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what hotel do people recommend in Santa Barbara? I've booked 2 nights at the Canary but I can cancel it. I may stay in Santa Barbara for 4 nights before going back to LA for the end of the holiday.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 05:25 PM
  #13
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Is Ojai nice? I noticed it is on the way to Santa Barbara, so I was thinking I could always drive from LA airport when I get back from Cabo and stay in Ojai a night.
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Sep 13th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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This reminds me of the advice we give travelers on the Europe forum. You don't want to be so far from the airport the night before a flight that you risk missing it.

MapQuest may say it's only 30 minutes' difference between the RC in Laguna Niguel and Terranea, but if there's an accident or other tie-up anywhere north of Laguna you have really no alternative but to tough it out on the 405. And IMO, the time needed to get through Orange County traffic shouldn't be underestimated. From Terranea to LAX, you can skip the freeway entirely if necessary.

If the flight to Cabo is mid-week, the drive from the RC could take 90 minutes or more. If you have to check in 2 hours before the flight (I don't know if that's the case), you'd want to leave the RC by 6:15/6:30a. That could be a little ahead of the traffic, but there's no guarantee.

The Canary in SB is very nice. Just off the "main drag," State Street. Ojai is charming and scenic, but it's much smaller than SB with less to see/do. Great for relaxing, though.

You don't say what day of the week you return from Cabo, but if you drive away at 5:30/6:00p you'd be heading into heavy traffic for the first hour. You might consider driving the coast and stopping for dinner somewhere along the way. The clocks don't change until Nov. 3rd, so sunset will be at about 6:00p.

All of the major car rental companies (and many smaller ones) have operations at LAX. Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Budget, Thrifty, National, Payless, Midway, Enterprise. Have I forgotten any?
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Sep 13th, 2013, 06:22 PM
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If you decided you could do without a rental car in Santa Barbara, it is quite easy to ride an Amtrak Surfliner train to downtown SB from Los Angeles Union station. The SBA station is at the foot of State Street. There is also a way to rent a car within walking distance of the SBA station.
Children 5 and under ride free on Amtrak. What are you going to see in Santa Barbara other than the zoo?
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Sep 13th, 2013, 10:26 PM
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The last train from Union Station (downtown L.A.) to Santa Barbara is at 7:10p. It usually departs on time, but one never knows with Amtrak...

There is a FlyAway bus from LAX to Union Station that departs every 30 minutes and takes 30-50 minutes, so you'd need to catch the 6:00p bus at the latest.

If your plane lands on time, if you don't have to wait (long) for luggage, if you get through immigration quickly, if you find the bus stop quickly and don't wait long for the bus, you might make it to Union Station in time.

Too many 'ifs' for me. And what would you do about dinner?

Driving from LAX would give you a view of the ocean and coastline. By the time the train reached the coast, it would be dark.
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Sep 14th, 2013, 03:21 AM
  #17
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No, I'm definitely hiring a car. With children and luggage I don't need the stress of going anywhere by train. I fly to Cabo on a Saturday morning and arrive into LAX from Cabo on a Friday afternoon.

I just want to relax in Santa Barbara, and just do some wineries and other sight seeing. I'm not the kind of person who needs to fill my day with too many activities. Just being away is nice for me.
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Sep 14th, 2013, 11:55 AM
  #18
 
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Try carhire3000, it will include all your insurance.
Santa Barbara is lovely, be sure and visit the mission there, and wine tasting in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley is always fun.
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Sep 14th, 2013, 12:07 PM
  #19
 
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>>. . . arrive into LAX from Cabo on a Friday afternoon.<<

The traffic on Friday afternoon will be HORRENDOUS. I'd wait til after 7PM to start your drive north.
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Sep 14th, 2013, 01:32 PM
  #20
 
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Seems like a lot of moving around with two little ones. Might want to consider ways to consolidate your locations. The fewer hotel moves, the more enjoyable the trip will be. I'd suggest sticking to a 3-night minimum per hotel.
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