KCNP & LA trip itinerary help please - July

Old Apr 8th, 2019, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
If you can stay at Wuksachi Lodge on July 6 you'll be better positioned for the Sequoia activities. And avoid the long hour drive two times between there and John Muir Lodge.
John - thank you for this advice. I am looking into this potential change. It's a little more expensive but may be worth it for this one night. Thanks!
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I agree with janisj about your L.A. plans. I don't think you have a sense of how long it takes to get around. L.A. is huge.

If your sons are more into cars than shopping, they'd probably rather go to the nearby Petersen Automotive Museum.

I'd think twice (or three times) about the whale watching idea. If you're staying in Glendale, you'd first have to get to a place where the boat tours start. That's at least an hour in morning traffic. Newport Beach would be two hours. And there's no guarantee you'll see whales. If you do go, be sure everyone takes meds to deal with seasickness.
Jean, I completely agree! We have ZERO idea of how long it takes to get around...that's why I am seeking direction here! So thankful for your help! My boys would LOVE the automotive museum, and we are reorganizing our thoughts/plans once again. Also, because of your guidance we are cancelling the whale watching idea. I have been watching YouTube videos to get more ideas of what we might like to do, and I think I'm going to list the new ideas here and maybe someone will help me see what we can fit in and organize it for the 2 days. Thanks again for your feedback and help.
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by clarkgriswold View Post
It doesn't make sense to stay in Santa Clarita and then drive to Malibu next morning. Santa Clarita down to Glendale/Burbank/ Hollywood makes a lot more sense. Do Malibu on your beach day, it's just up the road from Santa monica.

In fact I would not stay in Santa Clarita, too much traffic leaving Santa Clarita in the morning. Keep driving that night 30 more minutes to Burbank or Hollywood for the night.
Clark, this is VERY helpful and we are now re-routing our plans. I STILL haven't secured lodging in the LA area yet, so your comment is very timely. Thank you for the tip!!
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
sure hope mtolar and/or mtolar5 returns - their plan needs work. (not sure why he/they has two screen names - maybe they are two halves of a couple?? )
Janis, thank you for your patience and helping us get this "plan" worked out. Yes -- still needs major work! Outside of my demanding job and loving family, my planning time has been limited. However, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and am hopeful I am getting closer to wrapping up a workable plan. We grew up in Texas and currently live in North Louisiana, so we have NO concept whatsoever of Southern California geography other than what I am constantly inputting into Google Maps to try and get an idea!

The reason for the Glendale Airbnb was because it appeared to be legal, inexpensive, and only a few miles further... But I'm realizing from everyone's comments that my concept of "only a few miles further" might could eat up our precious vacation hours in unnecessary traffic and time spent getting from Point A to Point B. So, I am going to cancel that Airbnb and start over.

AND I have no earthly idea why I have two accounts!! I cannot figure that one out unless I must've forgotten my password on my original account and somehow created another. Not sure how to correct. So weird... I posted this with mtolar5 account and realize I am commenting as mtolar... Crazy!! But at this point I'm just about insane from trying to plan this trip, so honestly not surprised!
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 07:47 PM
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LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN: (Questions about LA part of trip at the bottom)
July 4 Thursday
Arrive airport in Fresno at 3:30pm; rent car; pick up dinner and picnic lunch food & supplies. Stop at Visitor Center in Grant's Grove and pick up some pamphlets on different walks/hikes etc.(either this evening or the next morning)
1st night at John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park.

July 5 Friday
- Early Breakfast at JM Lodge restaurant; pack picnic lunch
- Visit Panoramic Point - right next to John Muir Lodge and the General Grant Tree Loop in the Grant Grove area.
- Drive to Kings Canyon and see Kings River.
- Stop at Boyden Cavern to get an ice cream and just sit by the roaring river. Do the Cavern tour maybe.
- Stop at Grizzly Falls (0.1 mi hike)
- Lunch – picnic
- Walk the Zumwalt Meadow Trail and stop at Canyon Overlook and Roaring River Falls
- Drive back and have dinner at the Lodge
9-10pm Stargazing: Wonders of the Night Sky at JM Lodge
2nd night at John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park

July 6 Saturday
Breakfast at the Lodge; pack picnic lunch
Morning: Horseback Riding in Kings Canyon (will make reservations in advance)
Lunch - picnic
Drive to Sequoia NP to the Giant Forest
- Big Trees Trail, Congress Trail, Crescent Meadow/Log Meadow Trail (see Tharp's Log and Chimney tree)
- Stop at Parker's group, tunnel log, auto log and Dead Giant trail (about 0.2 mile) along the road.
- Giant Forest Museum
Dinner at Wuksachi Lodge (make reservations in advance)
Drive back to Kings Canyon NP in the dark for 3rd night at John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park ***
***(I am trying to see if we could move lodging for this one night to Wuksachi Lodge so we can stay in Sequoia NP overnight on the 6th)*****

July 7 Sunday
Breakfast at the Lodge; check out this morning
Drive to Sequoia NP and park to catch the Gray Line Shuttle to Moro Rock. Also do Hazelwood Nature Trail & Big Trees Trail.
Lunch at Wuksachi Lodge
Tour Crystal Caves (make reservations in advance)
Leave the park around 4pm and begin driving toward Three Rivers
Dinner on the road maybe in Bakersfield
Drive at night to hotel in LA area?????

OK - we have 3 nights / 2 days in LA area (no lodging yet; budget $225/nt) and below are some things we THINK we would like to include, if possible. At this point, I do not have a plan for what to do / not do on which days/evenings. I appreciate your feedback and tips for what we might could include. I have looked at everything from Universal to Catalina Island to just "hanging out downtown and exploring." We are a mom and dad bringing our 24 y/o and 16 y/o sons. TIA for your help!

July 8 Monday
??? what to do and where to stay

July 9 Tuesday
??? what to do and where to stay

What can we do from this list in our 2 days? (in no preference order & we know we can't do it all):
- Beach activities: rent bikes, maybe drive to Malibu or not??, ride ferris wheel at Santa Monica pier, etc., see an ocean sunset, Venice Beach?
- Peterson Automotive Museum?
- Tacos on Olvera Street?
- Try Korean BBQ??
- Maybe plan to visit The Broad? (pick a cool museum that we can visit that won't take a whole lot of time)
- We would love the Farmers Market and/or Grand Central Market
- Maybe see The Last Bookstore (not high on the list but if we are in the area)
- Visit Beverly Hills & Rodeo Drive (if for no other reason than to see the cars)
- Brunch/pancakes at The Griddle Cafe on Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
- Get a pic in front of Hollywood sign
- Hollywood Walk of Fame & see the Chinese Theater
- Griffith Observatory (maybe at night?)

July 10 Wednesday: Fly out of Burbank at 11am
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 09:07 PM
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>>Drive back to Kings Canyon NP in the dark for 3rd night at John Muir Lodge >Leave the park around 4pm and begin driving toward Three Rivers
Dinner on the road maybe in Bakersfield
Drive at night to hotel in LA area?????
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Old Apr 9th, 2019, 07:33 AM
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I agree with janisj about limiting your L.A. sightseeing. Your list is still all over the city, and your time is very short.

First of all, you need a map of L.A. You mention things you'd like to see/do as though you could just drop by as you pass through. You don't have time for wandering. If you use Google Maps for driving directions, add time to the estimates provided as Google is almost always too optimistic and doesn't include time spent looking for parking.

Olvera Street is where L.A. began, but it would be a detour from almost everything else on your list. If you do go to downtown L.A., you could eat great tacos and other ethnic foods at the Grand Central Market. There are Korean BBQ restaurants nearby but not inside GCM. Although the GCM is near the Broad Museum, you can't just visit the Broad on a whim. You need (free) reservations for a timed entry, so you would have to plan your sightseeing around your Broad tickets. If your family has any interest in music, you might enjoy the Grammy Museum which is in downtown L.A. but isn't close to the GCM/Broad Museum area. There are DASH buses that circulate in DTLA, but unless you intend to see many things it would be faster to repark the car and then depart for your next destination rather than return to where you first parked.

You would see many, many more exotic cars in the Petersen Automotive Museum than you would see on the streets of Beverly Hills.

The Hollywood sign is visible from numerous places in L.A. You don't have to go to the sign to have it in the background of your photos, and hiking to the sign would take a lot of time. There is a good photo-op spot in the Hollywood/Highland complex (where the Dolby/Kodak Theater is).

Parking at the Griffith Observatory is extremely limited. You should go to the website to help you plan your visit.
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Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:59 AM
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The Burbank airport will be a breeze, compared to LAX, so good for you booking your return flight from there. So you don't have to stress in returning your car and catching an 11a.m. flight, I'd recommend you stay on that side of town.
You'll need to pare down your expectations for L.A. sightseeing.

We stayed at the Elan hotel, which was a good location for that side of town, which includes breakfast and afternoon wine & snacks, with yoghurt, fruit and waters available 24/7. I think it's in your budget, and they have large rooms.
I think it took about 20 minutes to drive to Burbank airport from the hotel.

From there, you can visit Hollywood sites (although not my favorite thing to do, but you mention them).

Check to see what concerts are at the Hollywood Bowl. It's a fabulous venue and concerts are fun. You can bring in your own picnic and beverages.

As far as cars go, L.A. is chock full of high-end vehicles. Take a drive on Sunset Blvd and you'll see plenty. No need to go anyplace special to see cars, really.

If you want to visit an oceanside spot, I'd suggest you go to the Marina del Rey/Venice Beach/Santa Monica area, or to Malibu/Zuma if you feel like driving further. Your sons might enjoy those two spots.

Last edited by MoBro; Apr 9th, 2019 at 09:01 AM.
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Old Apr 9th, 2019, 02:17 PM
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You can do Malibu and Santa Monica in one day if you want (I like Duke's for lunch, has ocean views), maybe even visit the Getty Villa, entrance is free but you need reservations for parking.
The letters on the Hollywood Sign are something like 40-45' tall so no selfies, it is really meant to be viewed from a distance. Save your time for something more worthwhile.
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