Similar to Catalina or La Jolla?

Old Feb 20th, 2019, 06:53 AM
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Similar to Catalina or La Jolla?

Hi, everyone we're thinking of doing another trip to California. We loved Catalina Island and La Jolla - mostly for the pretty views and beaches, good open air restaurants, nice weather, the walkable areas, and the chance to see some wildlife. Are there any other areas you could recommend that have the charm of these places? Have already been to the Hotel Del and enjoyed that one too. Thanks for any recommendations you can give me. We're open to other areas besides California if you think they have what we're looking for. Just looking to go for about four nights or so.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 07:12 AM
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Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands.

Carmel and Monterey Bay.

San Juan Islands in Washington.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 08:17 AM
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Thanks, Jean. I appreciate the recommendations. We went to the San Juan Islands in Washington last year and loved them. Great suggestion. Honestly I'd love to go back. I went to Monterey years ago as a kid; that's a good thought. I remember going to the aquarium there. Have not been to Santa Barbara, will take a look - can you stay on the Channel Islands? For some reason I was thinking they were undeveloped. I should mention we've been to Victoria, BC and that ticked all of our boxes as well. Beautiful! Thanks for the ideas.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 10:44 AM
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No, there's no staying on the Channel Islands unless you're into primitive camping. You even have to bring your own water and food/snacks (although the boats carry a limited amount of both). Every effort is made to keep the human impact on the islands to a minimum.

The islands are sometimes referred to as California's Galapagos. IMO it's one of the most fascinating places in California and worth the effort to visit. The islands are home to many endangered species and other animals that exist nowhere else in the world. Staying in beautiful and genteel Santa Barbara and perhaps taking a day or two to explore the wineries and towns of the Santa Ynez Valley would make a perfect vacation!

https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/index.htm

https://www.travelandleisure.com/tri...lifornia-guide

FYI, depending on where you live, look into flying directly into Santa Barbara to avoid having to deal with LAX. Even flying into Burbank or San Luis Obispo would be better than LAX.
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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 02:59 PM
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Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, and Newport Beach.


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Old Feb 20th, 2019, 06:19 PM
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May I ask what time of year and hotel budget per night? Both Carmel and Santa Barbara are wonderful but lodging has to be chosen carefully and time of year matters quite a bit!
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 07:02 AM
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Thanks, everyone; I appreciate the great suggestions. We usually travel in April and September so open to either one of those if you think one is better than the other.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 07:40 AM
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September usually has better weather.


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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by volcanogirl View Post
Thanks, everyone; I appreciate the great suggestions. We usually travel in April and September so open to either one of those if you think one is better than the other.
In April I would probably shy away from the northern areas, including the Monterey Bay area, at that time of year, and keep to the southern coast, from Santa Barbara to the San Diego area. The combination of cold ocean water and some propensity for fog and overcast on the coast could make for a less-than-ideal time of it. Santa Barbara has the advantage of being close to warmer inland areas like Ojai, but even there you're not going to have sit-on-the-beach weather.

Look at Balboa Island, a lovely residential island in the middle of Newport Bay. It's artsy and full of cool shops and cafes, and eminently walkable, and just a few minutes from the Orange County airport.

How important is a beach? In April I'd also give very strong consideration to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. Palm Springs has a fantastic ring-a-ding vibe with incredible mid-century architecture, a strong arts scene (great wee museum) and terrific food options. And in an hour or two you can be in the middle of Joshua Tree NP, with its fantastic rock formations, cool hikes and wonderful scenery. Do the loop through the park and end up with a date milkshake in Indio, or maybe some outrageously good Mexican food, before returning to PS for the night.




For September, it would be hard to beat the Monterey/Carmel area, or the whole of Monterey Bay for that matter. Look at Point Lobos - stunning nature and scenery, and, on the other end of the Bay, at Capitola with its beach and colorful waterfront -



Or for a quite different area, for September have a look at the BC Sunshine Coast, reached by ferry from the Horseshoe Bay terminal just north of Vancouver. This area is under the radar for most visitors to BC, but it's a terrific region, with calm (and surprisingly swimmable) beaches, lakes and sea coves dense forest and mountains, artsy and fun communities, farm-to-table restaurants, and a real "island time" vibe not unlike that on the San Juan (US) or Gulf (BC) islands, but without the hype and crowds.






Last edited by Gardyloo; Feb 21st, 2019 at 07:54 AM.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 01:35 PM
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It doesn't have to be a beach per se, but we love the water. Mackinac was another spot we loved - no beach time, but gorgeous relaxing water views, boat trips, etc.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 06:50 PM
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Just a thought, but in So Cal we're having a very wet, cold (for us) winter. Today in San Diego, we had multiple hail showers and it's cold, in the high 40s. with a freeze warning for overnight. Today there was a foot of snow in our mountains. 6th Grade Camp is snowy and the kids are loving it! By April, it will be warmer, but if you want lovely warm/hot weather, I'd wait until September.
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Old Feb 21st, 2019, 07:02 PM
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When talking about coastal California (anywhere along the whole length of the state) September is just about the best weather of the year.

April can certainly be nice (or not) -- but usually not 'beachy' weather.
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Old Feb 25th, 2019, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for the information on the weather. I think every time we've gone has been in September, and the weather has been beautiful.
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Old Feb 25th, 2019, 11:40 AM
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>> I think every time we've gone has been in September
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