Southern California Help, Please

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:54 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,733
Southern California Help, Please

Last year, I had a trip planned to CA which began at Yosemite and ended in LA. I backed out because I was afraid to spend vacation days with a grandchild on the way.

So this year, I am ready to jump on a trip that includes a convention in San Diego, but I have to move fairly fast.

The convention begins in San Diego on Sept 1 and ends on the 4th. I can probably lop off the first or last day. Our total time on the ground could be up to 10 nights, but 9 is more likely.

I'm thinking of seeing the most beautiful spots between LA and San Diego, but I don't know what they are.

I would love some help with a rough itinerary. We like to look at the ocean and mountains, and generally enjoy art. I like Catholic sites, so missions would count.

This would be my husband and I and we are late 50s, early 60s, average condition. No strenuous hikes, but we do like to walk.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:09 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,496
Either during the convention or as you are leaving town, defiitely need to go to downtown La Jolla. The cove and looking at the cliffs is always stunning to me no matter how many times I've seen it. The drive along the Coast Highway from Del Mar through Carlsbad is nice with some pretty beaches.

In Orange County, get off Interstate 5 in Dana Point and follow the coast through Laguna, Newport and Huntington Beach. There are some nice spots through that area.

The Palos Verdes Penninsula is absolutely breathtaking and you can start in San Pedro ending up in Redondo Beach. Here's a thread going now about a Sunday drive in LA or Orange County and although there is some "silly" discussion, it talks about several different beautiful drives.
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...onvertible.cfm

Once you are in LA, Mulholland Drive is nice and also a drive through Topanga Canyon. This will give you some of the mountain feel.
paula1470 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:10 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,496
If you like art, lots of art galleries in Laguna Beach.
paula1470 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:21 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 73,140
Have you driven up the coast before? If not, with that many days I'd take a drive up the coast stopping along the way.
starrs is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:36 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,068
If you make it to Topanga Canyon, I strongly recommend lunch or Sunday brunch at the Inn of the Seventh Ray. You will feel like you have stepped into the most peaceful place and the food is amazing! It is in the town of Topanga just off Rte 27 which goes across the canyon/mountain between Malibu on one end and the Valley on the other, i.e. can be accessed from either of these two parts of LA.
socialworker is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:40 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,294
If possible, I would avoid driving on Monday, Sept. 5th. That's Labor Day, and traffic everywhere along the coast will be a bear.

Definitely visit a mission or two. San Juan Capistrano is one of my favorites, and it's located about halfway between SD and LA. I often meet my SD friend for lunch at the Cedar Creek Restaurant across the street from the mission and then stroll the mission grounds or walk around the Los Rios Street historical district.

I agree with the recommendations of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. If you can afford it, stay or dine at Terranea. If neither fits your budget, you can stop and walk the grounds and the public-access cliff trail for free. Look for pods/schools of porpoises that regularly swim in the area in front of the resort.

http://www.terranea.com/

http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/parksites.htm

The ocean views from the Getty Villa in Malibu are gorgeous, and the villa grounds are beautiful. A timed parking reservation is required.

http://www.getty.edu/visit/
Jean is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:55 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,871
Also, if you are in LA, you would probably enjoy both the Getty Villa and newer Getty Center. http://www.getty.edu/visit/

And the LACMA museum is very nice as well: http://www.lacma.org/visit/plan-your-visit.aspx

We just spent a month in San Diego and we are the same age as you and your husband. We loved Mission Beach for walking both on the ocean walk side and the bay side. We also loved the Hillcrest area for eating and just hanging out. Our faovorite restaurant finds were the Rubicon Deli over by the beach, http://www.therubicondeli.com/ casual, great sandwiches, frehsly made liked spicy Tuna and meatball. We also liked the Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill for great reasonably priced seafood and fish, and just practically a stones throw from another great gourmet tact place called Lucha Libre. On Hillcrest we loved Arrivederci: www.arrivederciristorante.com. Finally in Little Italy we loved a newer Italian place called Bencotto. All fresh homemade pasta-really good. www.lovebencotto.com And back up on Hillcrest, Chocolat was great for gelato and also has a good looking menu-but we only tried the gelato www.chocolatsandiego.com
jpie is online now  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 06:15 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
It is only 120 miles between Los Angeles and San Diego, and 20 of those miles are a barren stretch though Camp Pendleton.

Highway 1 between Dana Point and Long Beach is quite built up and it passes through several appealing towns, including Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.

In this area, Highway 1 is not elevated as it is in many places north of Los Angeles. Thus, you will not have the sweeping views you would have when driving Highway 1 farther north.

If you spend nine days to make this trip, you will have plenty of time to dawdle.

Fodor's California 2011 is an excellent resource for any trip to California.

HTTY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 07:23 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,733
This is great information. Thank you all. I'm going to try to make the air reservations tomorrow. More questions later!
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 07:25 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,733
I forgot to say that no, we haven't driven this coast before. DH and I have made trips to No. CA, and we have both made trips to LA, but not together. I've been to San Diego a few times, but it was over 30 years ago, so it will all be new to me.

A good idea to pay attention to where we will be on Labor Day.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 09:24 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,496
HTTY-Ah but that 20 barren miles through Camp Pendleton has a beautiful unobstructed view of the ocean the whole way. I drive it at least several times a week and never get tired of seeing the ocean there.
paula1470 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 09:55 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,294
One person's "barren stretch" is another's "blessedly undeveloped area."
Jean is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 12:04 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
I am glad to learn that the Camp Pendleton landscape is no longer barren and that it is a pleasure to drive through it at 80-85 miles per hour.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 01:48 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,294
If you're going 80-85, you might end up having a nice chat with a CHP officer. But at least you'll have a lovely, unobstructed view of the ocean while he/she is writing your $400+ speeding ticket.
Jean is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 02:55 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 49,521
>

That's great advice. I love both places. When you are done eating or viewing the mission (check on hours ahead of time) you can walk around the little town of San Juan Capistrano along the main street (near the Mission).
nanabee is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 03:22 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,490
No specific help for your trip, but I grew up in southern California and have always been fascinated with the various missions. Definitely include some of those. And of course beaches, lots of beaches!
suze is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
vabarone
United States
12
Aug 23rd, 2014 04:07 PM
MartiniKat
United States
7
Jun 27th, 2009 04:07 AM
momplaygroup
United States
12
Jun 30th, 2008 11:19 AM
kdwyer
United States
5
Nov 23rd, 2004 12:17 AM
buzzybuzz
United States
7
May 27th, 2004 07:27 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO