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Drive from LA to SFO or Fly from LA to SFO in December

Drive from LA to SFO or Fly from LA to SFO in December

Old Dec 3rd, 2010, 08:54 PM
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Drive from LA to SFO or Fly from LA to SFO in December

Hello Everyone,

I booked tickets to fly to Santa ana. I was planning to stay in LA for 2 days and then drive from LA to SFO. Can you please suggest if driving is a good option or flying from LA to SFO is good option in December
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Old Dec 3rd, 2010, 11:52 PM
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I'm not a huge fan of driving from LA to SFO in winter, since it involves sitting on your butt all day and possibly working in some intense climatic driving. Not relaxing at all. So I would fly.
.
If not going straight into SF, I prefer going through San Jose or Oakland instead, since their flights are not delayed as often as those going into SFO. The moment there's any weather in SFo at all, planes are delayed for safety reasons.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Well, flying is no piece of cake either. Might depend on time of day, day of week etc. What part of LA are you staying in, and where in San Francisco is your destination?

Flying could mean a long, traffic-jammed drive from say Hollywood to LAX, returning the rental car, checking in 2 hours before flight time, delays, then a shuttle and train ride into the city once you arrive in SFO.
For me it depends on the date and time....but I would probably drive an hour or two out of LA late that 2nd night after traffic has died, making the drive a lot easier next morning. Then again, December weather can be iffy....so booking a flight might be a bit safer though not really much easier.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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Also, if you happen to be staying near Hollywood, flying out of BUR (Burbank) airport , and returning a rental car there, is much easier than dealing with LAX. Southwest and I think United and Alaska have service up to the bay area.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Depending on your schedule, you could check on Amtrak. Most involve an Amtrak bus to Bakersfield then the San Joaquin to either Stockton or Emeryville then another bus into San Francisco. The Coast Starlight leaves at 1015 and stops in Emeryville. I think it is cheaper than flying and less tiring than driving. Rental cars are available in downtown San Francisco, possibly cheaper than at the airport.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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>>then a shuttle and train ride into the city once you arrive in SFO.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 11:59 AM
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It is true that flying between LAX and SFO can entail hefty weather delays. Either Orange County/Santa Ana or Long Beach (LGB) are good options for flying in Southern California, and Oakland usually has better weather and a BART connection. Since most one-way rentals have hefty drop off charges, my choice is to fly.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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"an you please suggest if driving is a good option or flying from LA to SFO is good option in December "

Do you just mean from point A to point B on the same day? If so -- flying is a no brainer. You have the choice of several airports in SoCal and 3 in the SF area so a lot depends on where specifically you are starting from and where you want to end up.

But if you have several days, then the drive is great.
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Thank you everyone for the advise.

I am from east coast and i am on vacation in California for 15 days. Never been to california and wanted to visit LAX, SFO and MORE. I am flying to Santa ana today. Basically i wanted to get the most out of my vacation. Anyway the reason i wanted to drive is because it gives me an opportunity to see more places and also I like driving. i would appreciate if someone can advise certain routes to avoid due to possible bad weather in december.Although very tentative this is my plan so far.... Fly to Santa Ana on December 4th (am typing this from 30K ft...lol), stay in santa ana for 2 days then drive on Dec 7th morning to SFO with pit stops in certain places, (santa barbara, santa cruz--please advise anything else) . Reach on Dec 7th night or 8th in SFO area and stay for 4 days. On December 13th drive to Carson City (visit Lake Tahoe dont know if it is a good idea), drive back to orange county on 15th and spend couple days (please advise things to do while in OC) and fly back home on 19th. As mentioned am very OPEN to ideas and dont mind if the TRIP is completely changed obviously for more FUN...lol. THANKS MUCH
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Old Dec 4th, 2010, 07:25 PM
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now that you've clarified that you want to see as much of California as possible, YES, you should drive up the coast, it's a great experience. Just keep a good eye on the weather forecast for the days of your trip, and have a back-up plan for the return since you don't want to miss your return flight out of SNA.

As for Tahoe, watch the snow reports, you are not allowed to put chains on rental cars and chains are required after a storm. You will probably need to nix the Tahoe/Carson City plan.

Leaving SNA for San Francisco "in the morning" is a terrible plan, it puts you into horrible, slow traffic all the way up until you're out past Los Angeles. The night before, take the 2 hour drive from SNA to Camarillo or Ventura instead, it will save you 4 hours in the morning. . Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, Best Western, they all have convenient motels right off the 101 freeway north of Los Angeles. If you're not tired you might even get all the way up to Santa Barbara.

Don't get on freeways from SNA through Los Angeles between 6:30am through 10am or in the afternoons between 3:30pm and 7:30pm, it's a nightmare. Keep these hours in mind on your return trip down into Los Angeles on the 15th as well.

Forty lashes for not planning ahead! The best way to do this trip would have been flying home from the San Francisco area rather than the crazy backtracking...but we wish you the best with your last-minute winging it.

P.S. Columbus Motor Inn, Chelsea Motor Inn and Buena Vista Motor Inn are all good choices in San Fran that do not charge extra for parking. Most other hotels charge from $30 to $60 per night.
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Hello Everyone..

Reached Santa ana last night. Will be staying here for 3 days.. can anyone please advise places to go and things to do in or around Santa Ana.
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Disneyland
Laguna Beach
Balboa Island/Newport Beach/Corona del Mar/the Wedge

Don't you have a guide book ??

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Wow, you're movin! Good job.

First, adjust your thinking about Santa Ana and the LA area. Santa Ana is simply a political/governmental entity within the LA megalopolis of 13 million people, often called "greater LA" So, the way I think, everything in greater LA that's up to an hour and a half drive from Santa Ana is "in or around it"

Here is a good guide to what you can do in LA.

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/l...city-guide.htm

Check this site for traffic conditions. I always do before leaving the house (unless I'm just going to the grocery store). Heed joesorce's suggestions about the best time to travel. I think you can access this traffic site on some smart phones and iPads.

http://www.sigalert.com/Map.asp?lat=...-118.22335&z=2
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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it is a long, angonizing, never-ending drive. period.
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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Hey, I'm writing THIS from 30,000 feet - isn't inflight wireless awesome? Anyway, just replying to the last post - it may be long (and I absolutely agree about not leaving Santa Ana in the morning, but unless you take the interstate (rte 5), IMO it's neither boring nor agonizing. Lots of plAces to stop along the way that are great to see in their own right. (my flight into SFO was delayed for 2 hours supposedly on account of weather in SF - of course , if the weather's bD, driving probay won't be fun, either)
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 09:45 PM
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Thank you Stu and dbdurand .

Here's what i was able to cover today even though it was a rainy. Visited Laguna beach, Newport beach , Carona Delmar and Fashion Island.

Fashion Island was ok.. just like any other shopping mall but found it to be little expensive though. Loved Laguna beach!!!

eather looks good and hopefully it doesn't rain tomorrow. Not able to decide where to go tomorrow, Whether San Diego or Balboa Island or Venice Beach and Santa Monica. . Can you please suggest..
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Old Dec 5th, 2010, 10:59 PM
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Of those choices, I suggest San Diego.
San Diego is about 1 1/2 hours from Santa Ana, in good traffic of course. Here's what you can do there.

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/s...city-guide.htm

The Old Town Trolley Tour is a good and entertaining way to see the city. It's Hop on-Hop off. I've taken it even though I've had a car and knew my way around fairly well.

http://www.trolleytours.com/san-diego/
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is just outside Escondido, about a 1/2 hour closer to Santa Ana than San Diego.

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/park/index2010
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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>>>Venice Beach and Santa Monica.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Thanks dbdurand and Stu,

Stu - I already visited Newport and Laguna yesterday . Since I am here in Santa Ana today and tomorrow, wanted to visit other places which are in our around Santa Ana.

I guess like dbdurand suggested I'll change my plan and visit San Diego..

Thanks much for the advise and suggestions..
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