LA vs San Fran vs San Diego

Old Dec 21st, 2006, 11:16 AM
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LA vs San Fran vs San Diego

Hello all. My husband and I, mid-twenties, are thinking about taking a trip to CA in March. I know LA, San Fransisco, and San Diego are the major tourist cities. Which one should we go to? I am interested in celebrities, beach, shopping, and any famous must-see places. Also, what is the weather like at the end of March? can we stay in one city and drive to another, are they close enough for a day trip? Thanks, any suggestions/ideas are appreciated.
joelst is offline  
Old Dec 21st, 2006, 11:27 AM
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If you have a 10 day trip you can hit all three.

If you have a 7 day trip you can visit two.

If you have a 3 day trip you should pick one.

March is rainy and mild temperatures (60s usually). This past March it rained in California for something like 27 out of 30 days.

SD to downtown LA is 2.5 - 3 hours driving time (no traffic).

LA to SF is 6 hours (inland) or 10 - 11 hours (coastal route). It is a bit over an hour by air.
saps is offline  
Old Dec 21st, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Based on your stated interests alone, LA is the best fit. Still, any of these cities can make for a great vacation.

Just be aware: "Celebrities" are not milling about on LA streets waiting to be noticed-- OK, besides Paris Hilton (and why is she even famous in the first place?!). You need to steel yourself for the possibility that you might not see anyone remotely famous. However, go hang out at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset and Fairfax, and you just might see some celebs. Or Urth Caffé on Melrose.

The best chances of having OK weather at the end of March are indeed in southern CA. This March found San FranCisco rather cool and drizzly. At the same time, San FranCisco is a wonderful city to visit, rain or shine, cool or hot, any time of the year.

As far as relative distances go, I'm beginning to wonder if anyone outside of California has ever looked at a map of the state. This isn't Disney California Adventure, kids; from LA to San FranCisco is almost 400 miles on the most direct route, and San Diego is 120 miles farther south on the same route (Interstate 5).

Although LA to San Diego could conceivably be a day trip (on empty freeways it's a 2-hour drive), there's a lot to see down in SD, so it should be at least a two-night visit.

And for the record, there's a LOT more to California than these three big cities. How about Napa and Sonoma? Santa Barbara? Solvang? San Luis Obispo and the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley? Hearst Castle? Carmel? Monterey? The Redwoods? Big Bear? etc., etc., etc. No worries-- I bet you'll be back to visit.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 03:16 PM
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LOL about looking at the map

How much you can see definitely depends on how much time you have. LA and San Diego sound like they fit your criteria more than SF.

March will not be "beach weather" - you may end up with a heat wave, but most likely you will have cool temperatures and maybe some rain in southern california, almost guaranteed rain in northern california that time of year. Depending where you are from though, the weather may seem heavenly since it rarely gets very cold here.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 05:08 PM
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I agree you'd probably like L.A. best, but a warning: March can be kind of drippy and gross here and is easily one of my least favorite months. (Speaking as a native.)
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 05:46 AM
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"This past March it rained in California for something like 27 out of 30 days."

I believe the rain made as far south as San Diego only 5-6 of those days. The weather in SF is Not great ever and pitiful in March.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 08:35 AM
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>>>The weather in SF is Not great ever and pitiful in March.<<

Not great ever???'s quite nice here today.

Stu Dudley

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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 08:21 PM
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"Not great ever"? Sheesh, I've lived here for decades, and I've done quite a bit of travelling all over the world, and I have to say: the Bay Area has some of the most gorgeous weather on the planet all year long!

Does it get cold? Yup. Does it rain here? Of course -- but not every day, by any means, and not for weeks on end. Does it get sunny & crystal clear a lot? Yes. Does it get beastly hot? Rarely. Do we get snow? Even more rarely, unfortunately.

And, as SD said, it's so bee-youtiful today (after pouring rain & grey yesterday), I could lick it off a cone!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 10:50 PM
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I lived in San Diego and L.A. I love San Diego because it has a small beach town feel to it, and its compact enough, that you can hit many places. However, no "celebrities, or famous must-see places" unless you count Sea World and San Diego Zoo must sees.

L.A. is HUGE. But if your goal is must-see in terms of celebrities, go where they hang out which is Malibu, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills. I have to tell you though, I used to live about 4 miles from Beverly Hills, and 2 miles from Santa Monica, and I never saw celebrities. The only time I saw one, was when I saw the current CA governor go to church during Easter, and when I was stopped in front of Rodeo Drive, and Renee Russo was making a left turn in her car. And I lived there for 2 years--so don't expect to see much of them around.

I LOVE, absolutely LOVE San Francisco. The fresh seafood in the Fisherman's Wharf can't be beat. The architure reminds me of NY, and the outdoor markets are great! I'm still trying to convince DH to move there for a few years--no success. To me its like being in NYC without the snow.

So from my prespective, you can't go wrong with either of these choices. Although, I think you might like LA the best. March is not such a bad month to visit. It gets wet but depending on which region of the country you're from, it shouldn't bother you.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 08:41 AM
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If you have a week, definitely do the coastal into one city and fly home from another. Check the car rates before booking your airfare because sometimes the one-way rental rate is $100 cheaper going north-to-south as opposed to the other way around. You're really "on the road" between cities only about 11 or 12 hours total, but you can see and do so much up and down the California coast.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 03:20 PM
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While I love SF, it sounds like you would like LA and San Diego best (you can easily combine these two in one trip).
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Old Dec 24th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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Los Angeles fits best what you say you want to see and do.

The drive to San Diego is about 2 hours south, to San Francisco about 10 hours north.

Weather should be OK San Diego and LA in March, still cool and rainy in San Fran.
suze is offline  
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