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-   -   Leaving on our southern california trip in 5 weeks. please critique our itinerary (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/leaving-on-our-southern-california-trip-in-5-weeks-please-critique-our-itinerary-516379/)

kenm Mar 28th, 2005 08:22 AM

Leaving on our southern california trip in 5 weeks. please critique our itinerary
 
Hello all,

We've planned a family vacation to San Diego and Anaheim to celebrate our parents 50th wedding anniversary. There's 14 of us going (age range 3-75 yrs.) from May 3-11.
We're staying at the Comfort Inn Zoo in SD for 4 nights (Tues-Fri) and at the Desert Palm Inn & Suites in Anaheim for 4 nights (Sat-Tues).
In SD, we plan on seeing the Zoo and Seaworld, and maybe spending the third day sightseeing around the city (Balboa Park, La Jolla, Seaport Village, etc...).
Would it be better to take the trolley for the day to go sightseeing or take the rental car?
We would also like to go to one of the casinos in the area for dinner and to gamble a little.
On our way up to Anaheim on Sat. we'll probably take in Legoland.
As far as Anaheim goes, we plan on 2 days at the Disney Parks with the 2 day hopper pass. We'll probably do some sightseeing as well (Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Sunset Blvd. etc...), and maybe a ballgame if we have time (the angels are in town that week).
My question is, should we do Disney on Sun-Mon, and sightseeing on Tues., or sightseeing on Sun. and Disney on Mon-Tues?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Kenm

Dreamer2 Mar 28th, 2005 08:49 AM

I would not do Disney on a Sunday. We went to California Adventure last April on a Sunday, and it was impossibly crowded. I got on 2 rides the entire day! Be sure to use Fast Pass and Single Rider strategies as much as possible.

I don't know if you are church goers, but the Crystal Cathedral is a fabulous monument and the grounds are lovely. I'd be tempted to spend Sunday morning there instead! Or of course, you are looking to tour LA. Not sure how what's open on Sundays, but the beach areas much be available. :)

For sightseeing in San Diego, I highly recommend the Trolly Tour. It was interesting and fun, and all the members of your party can hop on/off depending on what they want to see.
I recommend Balboa Park, the Mission, Old Town, and Coranado Beach.

It's a great time of year to go, as all the flowers should be in bloom, and if it's anything like last year, you'll have great weather. Sounds like a wonderful trip! Congratulations to your parents.



kenm Mar 28th, 2005 11:41 AM

Thank you Dreamer.
We are planning on doing the crystal cathedral while we're out there. We'll go to the May 8 service, which is Mother's Day.
What makes this trip nice is the fact that the Crystal Cathedral and Disneyland are also celebrating their 50th anniversaries in 05'
That trolley tour also sounds good. I'll definitely look into it.
Thanks again! Kenm

xkenx Mar 28th, 2005 11:50 AM

You'll spend a lot of time/traffic going to S.M., Venice, Sunset Bl. You may be disappointed in those places. If you are at all tight for time, perhaps staying in San Diego & Orange Counties may be better.

sfamylou Mar 28th, 2005 11:56 AM

I'm a big Angels fan, so go to the game and cheer for the home team! They are a lot of fun to watch.

Bill_I Mar 28th, 2005 11:58 AM

If you do plan on including Venice Beach in your sightseeing. To get the maximum people watching & activity, I would go on Sunday rather than a Tuesday.

kenm Mar 29th, 2005 05:38 AM

Thanks Bill,
It was also my thinking that there would be more activity on the Venice Beach boardwalk on Sunday. I just wasn't sure if there would be more traffic on the roads on Sun. or on Tues.
Also, We're looking for a nice Mother's Day brunch/lunch while we're out there. Does anyone have any ideas as far as that goes? We saw one advertised at Disneyland, but we're not sure what else is available.
Kenm

joesorce Mar 29th, 2005 06:26 AM

Traffic is generally quite a bit easier to navigate on Sat & Sun so I'd do the sightseeing/Hollywood stuff on the weekend.

Bill_I Mar 29th, 2005 10:27 AM

Just don't get caught in the Sunday evening traffic, when everybody is returning from where ever they went all weekend. Also, Saturday evening traffic can be a bit hectic if going anywhere towards the entertainment areas, at a time when everybody else is doing the same thing.

sillysara495 Mar 29th, 2005 10:37 AM

I would deffinately say to go to disneyland on monday and tuesday. During the week, there are a lot less people because familys work and go to school. Deffinatly use the fast passes. Just as another note, i don't know if it still works because they might have changed the rules, but if the 75 year old will be attending disneyland and has trouble standing or other things, they can obtain a special assistance pass so they have access to get onto rides which have not yet been modified for the disabled.

kenm Mar 30th, 2005 05:47 AM

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
Does anyone have any additional thoughts on the Mother's Day brunch/lunch in the Anaheim/LA area.
Thanks again! Kenm.

rjw_lgb_ca Mar 30th, 2005 07:25 AM

How much money do you want to spend? What kind of food do you like? Do you want off-the-chain Fine Dining, or is merely good with a nice ambience sufficient? There are hundreds-- no, maybe thousands-- of choices for brunch on Mother's Day in the greater LA area. Considering you will be in Anaheim, here are some in, at most, fairly short driving distance:

-- Brunch at the Disney Grand Californian's Napa Rose. Not cheap, but pretty much the class act of the Disneyland-area eateries.

-- Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. Quite good Creole cuisine, fun room.

-- Studio at the Montage Resort, South Laguna Beach. EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE-- but worth every penny.

--- Splashes at the Surf & Sand, Laguna Beach. Relatively reasonably priced, good food, beautiful beach views. Laguna has some of the very prettiest shoreline in California (one shot I got from the bluffs is my screensaver, and everyone is jealous that I live less than an hour away).

-- Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point. The food there has always been excellent, and the views are gorgeous from the property.

I can recommend some awesome restaurants in my area (Long Beach is 20 minutes away from Anaheim), but take note-- these recommendations are based on the sublime food:

-- Lasher's, Belmont Heights. Wonderful Sunday champagne brunch, served in and around a 1920s restored Craftsman bungalow (a predominant type of house in that neighborhood). I live three blocks from this place. I'd crawl there for their brunch.

-- Shenandoah Café, Belmont Shore. Superb Southern-inspired food in a shabby-chic dining room. Very informal.

For fairly-good all-you-can-eat buffet brunch, I can recommend (with slight reservations) The Reef, which is on Long Beach Harbor down the street from the drydocked Queen Mary. It's a champagne brunch, and they're really nice, and the patio views of the harbor are a wonderful thing on a warm spring day-- but the food can't hold a candle to a place like Lasher's. It's good, just not great.

I'm sure there are many other places in OC (does anyone know if Mr. Stoxx has Sunday brunch? That place is great), so hopefully others will chime in. I haven't even mentioned my two favorite seafood places in OC-- Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach and the Original Fish Company in Los Alamitos-- but then again I'm not sure if they have weekend brunch. I'm sure they do...!


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