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Driving San Francisco to San Diego: 14 days, 2 kids (11 & 8): Things to do?

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May 4th, 2013, 10:35 AM
  #1
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Driving San Francisco to San Diego: 14 days, 2 kids (11 & 8): Things to do?

We're starting our 2 week trip in San Francisco. We are thinking of spending 2 days in San Francisco, then start heading south. Our next stop will be LA, but was wondering if there is anything in between worthy of stopping and staying, trying to keep the kids entertained.

We think that 3 or 4 days in LA should be enough, then head south again to San Diego for a week.

We are flexible in our itinerary. Our kids are Disney fanatics, so will definately do that. Are there any other interesting things to do with kids from San Francisco to San Diego?
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May 4th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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What about a day north of San Francisco to see the Redwoods?We did this trip with kids 4 and 7 years ago. They loved the Redwoods which is why I included it.
Then Carmel with it's beaches, The Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Santa Barbara with it's beaches and a really wonderful zoo. The SB mission is beautiful too.
On the way to San Diego from LA, stop in San Juan de Capistrano. We had read a children's book about the swallows returning to Capistrano.
A week in San Diego sounds perfect.
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May 4th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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Elephant seal rookery just north of San Simeon and Hearst Castle (which is a nice stop also for parents).
Maybe Legoland in Carlsbad, although the 11 yr old might or might not like it (geared toward smaller children).
Point Lobos State Park is beautiful, nice hiking of various length trails.
What time of year? I really like the Safari Park (formerly called San Diego Wild Animal Park) but it is in Escondido and gets real hot in summer.
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May 4th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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We will be travelling end of June for 2 weeks.
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May 4th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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The aquarium in Monterey is always a hit with kids.
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May 4th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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I love San Francisco. In my opinion, you could easily stay more than 2 days. Alcatraz is a great tour as is the Golden Gate, Chinatown and North Beach. Ride the Cable Cars and get some of that great SF food. If you like baseball, they have a great ball park near downtown. You'll also find great food at the Warf.

You could take Hwy 1 along the coast from SF. It's an amazingly beautiful drive along the beach and through the redwoods, but it's long. It may be too long for kids with Disney land on the brain. You may be better off just getting there as fast as possible.

If not, Monterrey has an amazing aquarium. A great place for the kids. I guarantee they'll love it.

Big Sur is another cool option. Personally, I have never been. Like the other contributor suggested, you could stop at Hearst Castle. I went there when I was a kid. It was pretty cool, but again, may be overshadowed by Disneyland. If you do go to Hearst Castle, stay the night in Cambria. It's a nice little village, but with kids, one night is enough. It's pretty , but not much to do. In fact, from that point to LA, there really isn't much for kids. It shouldn't be a problem as you could make that drive in four hours.

Ahhh, San Diego...
The zoo is a must and maybe even the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (once called the SD Wild Animal Park)further north where the animals roam mostly in the open. There's Lego Land, but I never seem to hear great reviews about it.

The Midway (Aircraft Carrier) Museum is pretty cool as well. You could spend a day downtown, shopping at Horton Plaza and dining in the Gaslamp - lots of great food - maybe take in a another baseball game.

Seaworld is also very popular and has rides these days. It may be a little chilly by the coast. We get a June Gloom here that can last longer than June. It's a cloudy marine layer that tends to hug the coastline.

Balboa Park is very beautiful and has some really nice museums such as the Aerospace Museum and the Miniature Train Museum the kids should like.

You can also see the seals over at Childrens Pool near La Jolla Cove. The cove is a beautiful park and beach stroll.

Best beaches for families are likely La Jolla Shores, Del Mar Beach and perhaps Carlsbad State Beach. If they don't like waves, you could go to Mission Bay where the water is calm. They say the water is safe, but I don't trust it. Looks and smells bad to me, but the park is nice.

Hope all that helps. Have fun!
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