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Southern Californian Vacation

Old Feb 28th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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Southern Californian Vacation

So we think we will stick to California for our vacation. Especially traveling with two kids. - ages 4 and 5. Going with San Diego and Los Angeles.- we have 9 days for our trip-including travel. We are flying out of Denver, CO. I would appreciate fun/kid friendly hotel ideas and other things to do. We would like to take a day trip to Coronado Island, possibly spend the night? Would like to go to San Diego Zoo and Sea World. End of the week we would drive along the coast to Los Angeles and see Hollywood and that area. Any must-do's or must-not's? We don't mind driving to get to something worth visiting. Kids are great travelers. Hotel budget would probably be around 200.00/night. Thanks!
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 03:51 PM
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Did I read this correctly?
You're spending a grand total of nine days for a trip to Southern California, and DENVER is your flight city?
You are aware that Denver is a minimum of two days of driving from that area, aren't you?
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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PaulRabe, she said they are flying out of Denver. Are you flying into LAX or SAN?

Now, I live in San Diego and have never stayed here but some friends take their kids to Paradise Point. They live here and still like a little summer weekend there.

What types of things do you like to do?

People seem to enjoy LegoLand. Check out the Rueben Space Museum in Balboa Park, also the Natural History Museum is made for children.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 05:35 PM
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I read that to mean you are flying Denver to SoCal and back to Denver . . . right?

Definitely 100% take the kids to LegoLand. Your kids are the perfect age - plan on most of a day there.

Not quite sure about the >>We would like to take a day trip to Coronado Island, possibly spend the night?
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:25 PM
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If you flew into SNA, you could spend 2 days in Anaheim and hit Disneyland & California Adventure. Then head south to Carlsbad (about an hour) to Legoland - they also have an aquarium and waterpark, making it a destination worth considering.

Perhaps you meant Catalina Island? That would be a fun day trip, or better yet an overnight. The boat ride over would even be fun for the kids.

I'd continue south to San Diego and go to the Zoo and Sea World.

A true KID vacation!
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 09:53 PM
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I agree - I did think brando might have meant Catalina, which does make more sense re 'overnight'. But in the context I thought she was asking about Coronado w/ San Diego.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 06:12 AM
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Yes, I'm sorry, I did mean Catalina! Thanks!
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 06:15 AM
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And flying into San Diego and out of LAX.
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 07:01 AM
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San Diego: At that age, my kids loved Legoland and SeaWorld. For quick weekend trips, we stayed at West Inn and Suites near Legoland. The kids liked the breakfast buffet and small pool, and I thought the price was right. We've also stayed at the nicer resort hotels and in La Jolla for longer vacation trips. I like the Wild Animal Park and the San Diego Zoo too. The animal park is a little out of the way so we usually stopped there on our way home. We did the behind the scenes tour at the Wild Animal Park which I thought was awesome. We spent one sunday morning going to the massive brunch at the Hotel Del and then rented the big 4 or 6 person bikes and rode about. The kids also liked playing on the beach by the hotel. La Jolla is also pretty cool and has a nice cove.

Los Angeles: I probably have lots of posts on things to do in LA with kids but here are a few suggestions for the younger set. In Pasadena: KidSpace by the Rose Bowl, Huntington Museum and Gardens (including a kids oriented water park); at Griffith Park enjoy: LA Zoo, Gene Autry Western Museum, Travel Town (a collection of old trains) and a really cool play park called Shane's Inspiration (fully accessible, public park); on the west side, mid-Wilshire area: La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA, and Peterson Automotive Museum; on the far west side: Santa Monica Pier, several kids play spaces and craft studios, the beaches; south of downtown you'll find the California Science Center which has the Endeavor space shuttle and a great collection of science/nature things to engage the kids. And, of course, the Theme Parks. Lots more to do as well but that gives you a pretty good start.
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Oh, and the Long Beach Aquarium is really popular with the younger kids. Mine could stare at the giant fish tank for a really long time. They also liked feeding the lorikeets. The Queen Mary is located near there too and a little village of shops.
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 10:24 AM
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While in San Diego, definitely spend some time at Coronado Beach. But check out La Jolla Shores beach also. While in La Jolla don't miss the Children's Pool. Kids love seeing all those seals...well, adults do too, and the view is magnificent.

In San Diego, they would probably enjoy eating at the Corvette Diner. http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/menu-...vette-diner/y6
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 10:26 AM
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Hmmm, don't know why that link says no page found. On that page you can click on "our restaurants" at the top, then when the list comes up click on Corvette Diner.
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Old Mar 1st, 2013, 10:55 AM
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Legoland is perfect, they are just the right age. Also there is a nice nearby outlet mall for your wife. SD Zoo is world famous.

I'd also take them to Disneyland, not sure they would appreciate stuff in Hollywood. Disneyland is in Anaheim and has plenty of nice budget hotels across the street from the park. Residence Inn might be within your budget, comes with free breakfast and light dinners M-Th.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Thanks all!
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Check out other posts under California for San Diego advice - such as the Cove in La Jolla, Tidepools at Pt. Loma/Cabrillo National Monument (nice museums and view there too), Railroad Museum and Ruben E. Fleet (science exhibition/games for kids) in Balboa Park, as well as the Air and Space and the Natural History Museum and the like. As was also mentioned - we love the Wild Animal park - now called Safari Park, as well as the Zoo and of course, SeaWorld and the Shamu shows, Dolphins, Polar Bear/Walrus exhibit, and on and on. They also have a new roller coaster ride which we haven't tried yet.

Friends of ours who lived here used to rent a cottage at Paradise Point/close to Sea World - for the weekend - and their kids loved it. Very nice.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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You might want to consider what the one-way drop-off fees are for your rental car when you fly into and out of two different cities. Those fees can be quite large.

Can you fly into and out of the same airport? Probably San Diego would be best if you can find non-stop flights - with two small kids, changing flights is such a hassle.

With good traffic, it's only about 1 1/2 hours between San Diego and Anaheim.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Kids also might like the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla near Scripps, went there once, and had a great time, not expensive either. Just try and avoid weekdays when school is in session, there were two budloads of kids there on a field trip the day we visited.
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Old Mar 4th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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You might not have to worry about the one way drop off fee for the car rental. I used Hertz out of downtown San Diego and dropped off at the Burbank airport for the same price as it would have been to drop off in San Diego. But you should definitely do some comparison shopping.
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