California sites to skip?

Old Jul 14th, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Nanabee, do you mean San Simeon, or are you referring to Hearst Castle? If the latter, I have to disagree -- I thought it was great (I've been twice, once as a kid and once as an adult)! I can't imagine skipping Hearst Castle in favor of Los Gatos (which is a nice little town, but nothing more than cute with nice shops and restaurants).
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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I agree with Leanna. My sights to skip wouldn't necessarily be someone else's sights to skip. I'm an L.A. native, and I'm usually baffled when I hear what visitors want to see while they're here.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 10:58 AM
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Leanna and Jean are on the right track.

But, I thought this post was a joke. I never heard of planning a trip based on what others claim to be unworthy attention. People have told me they hate Venice and LA. We love visiting both places.

I also don't plan my meals based on what other people don't like to eat.

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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Well I do think Leonora's question was a little vague and yes everyone does like different things, but I don't think it's bad to get input from people who know the areas. It seems like lots of people are on Fodors right now planning trips through California and it's a little overwhelming for them. I can understand that since it's a big state and each part of the state is very different from the other.

However, I hope that Leonora now uses the input she's received to sort out what her family would like.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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There are many things on the coast you must do once and Hearst Castle is one of them. Take the overall tour, the view is amazing and the history of the mansion is quite interesting.

I love Pauli's Coffee Shop (or something like that on the main drag) in Solvang for their pancakes. Yummmm.

There are so many wineries now between San Francisco and LA, you can easily get your winery visit in and not detour up north to Napa. Paso Robles and Edna Valley have great wines and lovely wineries.

I would skip some of the tourist traps like the theme parks, Rodeo Drive (hate it and we have never seen celebrities there). I love Farmers Market by the Grove; one of my favorite places in LA; good food and interesting ambiance. The Grove is just a very nice, upscale mall, basically.

The drives are great; either the 1 or the 101. The scenery between Monterey and Santa Barbara is amazing; the wineries, the stables, the sand colored hills with big, green oak trees sparsley spread around, the grapes; breathtaking, really...stop when you see something you like.

The seafood in Monterey is wonderful, and in Pismo (Splash, right by the pier there, very reasonable). Be sure and take your camera...
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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As a tourist from Down Under, we enjoyed Pier 39 in SF, the Bay cruise, driving the Big Sur and visiting Hearst Castle, seeing the sea lions and driving along the bay area of Santa Barbara. Carmel was lovely and although it was very touristy and expensive, we thought it was a town we would like to visit again sometime. We thought Solvang was very touristy and thought it was not a town that we would like to visit again other than stopping to stretch our legs for a while.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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The Monterey Aquarium was wonderful and well worth more than just a hour or two. The warehouse clothing place close by was also interesting for us as we did not have such places in Australia at the time. We do now.
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