Too much for 4 days in Southern California?

Old Mar 7th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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Too much for 4 days in Southern California?

My husband and I are planning a short 4 day trip to Los Angeles area in April. We haven't been there since we were kids and are looking for lots of ocean views, wine, and people watching. Would it be to much to do the following?

1st day, arrive and head up to Santa Barbara.

2nd day, Santa Ynez Valley, wineries, drive back to West LA area to stay for the night

3rd day- maybe explore Venice Beach/Santa Monica area, then head to Laguna Beach for the night

4th day- explore Laguna/Newport beach area before heading to the airport around 2 or 3pm.

I realize Laguna is the opposite direction so I'm wondering if we are better off spending another day in Santa Barbara and relaxing more? We just wanted to see as much as possible, but I don't want to feel like all we did was sit in traffic!
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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Just personal opinion here.. That's an awful lot of driving for a 4-day trip. You could easily spend that much time just in Santa Barbara alone, between the beaches, shopping, restaurants etc.

If it were me, for a short trip I'd choose either Santa Barbara, OR both Santa Monica and Laguna.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 06:58 PM
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If you're leaving from LAX rather than John Wayne, yeah, that may be a bit much on the driving/sitting in traffic.

But it can be done, assuming your flight home is late in the evening. If you're leaving Laguna at 2 or 3 p.m. and it's a weekday, you will be sitting in traffic for hours.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:09 PM
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I would stay in SB the second night, then get an early start down the coast (maybe 8:30am), breakfast in Ventura to let traffic die down a bit, take the coastal route 1 down to Santa Monica and Venice for the day, head down to Laguna after 7pm, enjoy breakfast, shopping and lunch in Laguna and then make your way up the coast all afternoon.

It's a lot to do but just 2 hotel check-ins instead of 3 makes a big difference in my opinion, less hectic.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the advice. It seems like with the limited time frame it makes more sense to stay on one side of the city or the other. Laguna Beach looks very appealing to us but Santa Barbara and the wineries up that way would also be fun.

I guess the other question could be if Laguna Beach and surrounding area would be more worthwhile than Santa Barbara and area. I just saw some photos of Laguna Beach and the ocean looked so beautiful. Is Santa Barbara similar?
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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I live in Southern CA and love both the Santa Barbara and Laguna Beach Areas but if I had to pick one I think I'd pick Laguna Beach. So much to do in the whole area. Whatever choice you make you will have fun!!
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 02:30 PM
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If you love the ocean, the drive up to SB is only 90 min and well worth it, even if just for lunch and back.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 02:32 PM
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Santa Barbara is a much bigger city (at least area-wise, not sure about population) than Laguna. But both have lots of surrounding beaches, things to do etc. You could spend four days in either area and find plenty to do.

Laguna Beach, with a side trip or two to Disneyland, Catalina or even to San Diego's attractions is a popular choice.
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