UK Family need help - California or Florida ?

Old Jun 19th, 2004, 12:25 PM
  #1  
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UK Family need help - California or Florida ?

We are a famliy of 2 adults and 5 yr old daughter, Ellie.
We are off to Crete in Greece shortly but are considering America for 2 weeks in 2005. I fancy Florida for beaches and relaxation and hubby fancies California for the diverse landscape and things to do.
We LOVE:
Beaches, sun, theme parks, animals (wild or otherwise !).
Somewhere with a bit of life but not too lively and with atmosphere.
Shops (for me and my daughter) and nice retaurants(we don't really drink )
My husband I have been to Hawaii and like everyone on this site - LOVED IT but think it is too far for a 5yr old to travel from the UK.
We cannot take our daughter out of school so are restricted to either 1st 2 weeks of June or in her main holidays which are the 6 weeks from 20th July so weather could be a factor.
Would really appreciate some help from all you American experts over there.

Kind regards, Anna
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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The weather in most of Florida in July and August is unbearable -- you'd spend all your time indoors or in the pool

IMHO, California is a better bet to meet all the family's diverse interests.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Definitely California! There's nothing like it. Florida also has high humidity to contend with. Try the beaches around LA or in Orange County, where Disneyland is located, and where there are some great shopping malls, then drive up Hwy.1 to San Francisco. It will be a memorable trip.

There's so much info on this website that will be useful to you for planning your visit here.

Have a great time!
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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California is like a small country. There are big cities, charming towns, mountains, beaches, deserts, lakes. Theme parks and national parks. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the world (in my opinion). History and a glimpse of the future (good and bad) in the world's most culturally diverse communities of Los Angeles County.

All this and great weather too!
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 04:55 PM
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Hi,
I lived in CA for 7 yrs. and moved to Southwest FL 15 yrs. ago. I have to agree with the other posters, the time of year that you are limited to leads me to strongly suggest you go to California. Florida is wonderful, especially for a child, but it is far too hot in June, July, August and September.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 05:06 PM
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Actually San Diego is a very nice area to see. They have a world famous zoo and a wild life park as well and if are adventurous you can walk across the border into Mexico (Tijuana) for a few hours of diversion.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 05:22 PM
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I live in and love FL--but not in the summer. I've been to England several times, and twice in June. The contrast in the weather at that time between here and there will be a shock to your system!

Our family is doing a Cal./HI vacation next month. The coast from Santa Barbara to San Francisco is the definition of what you're looking for!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2004, 11:15 PM
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I think that California would be the best choice. Southern California has the best beach weather. We have great cities (LA, San Diego, San Jose) as well as parks such as Yosemite, Big Basin, Sequoia, etc., and the most beautiful coast from Santa Barbara up to the Monterey area on highway 1.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 04:17 AM
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I'm from the UK and love California. I know us Brits seem to love Florida, but California does have it all in my book. Beaches, shopping, restaurants, glamour, theme parks, I could go on for days.
Go for California you won't regret it. I went for the first time 7 years ago and have gone every year ever since.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 05:45 AM
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I'm from the southeastern US and it is soo unbearably warm during the months that you mentioned. I too love California in the summer and there is a wide variety of things to do for people with families. Please enjoy your stay, wherever you decide to go.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Here's another Floridian casting a vote for California. It is far too hot and humid here during the period you can travel. CA has beaches, sun, theme parks, animals AND a diverse landscape--enough to keep you all busy for two weeks and then some. The water may be a bit chilly, but you'll be far more comfortable there than you would be here the rest of the time.

Our best friends came from England for our daughter's wedding in July several years ago. They wilted and agreed that from then on they would visit us in March, never summer (and we would head their way in June and July). The contrast is just too extreme. We can barely adjust some days (this past week) despite living in it all the time.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Let me point out something I think has been missed: You can't do a real comparison between FL and CA .

CA takes up about two-thirds of the US West Coast, while FL is just a small part of the US East Coast. A more valid comparison would be: How does CA compare with FL, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia?

The point about the weather is valid, but to illustrate what I'm talking about, how do you feel about temperatures in the 50s in summer? That's what you'll experience in San Francisco.

Or maybe you mean you'll limit yourself to Southern CA. If so, then the comparison is more vaild.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Head for San Diego: magnificent zoo and separate wild-animal park, Marineworld, fine harbor, excellent beaches, Balboa Park museums, lots of good restaurants and shopping, especially at Seaport Village and the Horton Mall. You won't lack for things to do.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 04:19 PM
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K 999 makes a good point--CA is very large and very different depending on where you go. You mentioned Hawaii--do you love the tropics? Then Florida, especially Florida Keys, might be the place for you. California is not really "tropical"--even So Cal. The warmer regions are sunny but not humid, and the water, while not freezing in So. Cal, is not warm like Gulf waters either. Northern California beaches are great to explore, but can be cold and windy...

I love the tropical feel of Florida, and actually don't mind the humidity and heat (once I take a day or two to adjust)--even enjoy the afternoon thundershowers. We have gone in June, and loved it--I guess it's a great place to visit for a short time. Depends on how you feel about heat and humidity.

California will offer more diversity (fog in SF and sun in San Diego) since it is so large, and plenty of interesting land animals--no coral reefs to explore off-shore, though. Disneyland is great and so is Disney World--plenty of other theme parks in both states. Restaurants in San Fran, Napa, Sonoma, LA can be outstanding. We love the seafood in Florida....

Have fun!

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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:21 PM
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Anna,

If it were just the 2 adults traveling, I would vote for California -hands down. I am not a big fan of Florida. However, Ellie might appreciate the shorter flight. Mickey & Minnie look the same on both coasts. (I am speaking from experience here, we have been flying from LA to Germany our 2 kids since they were infants.) The last 4 hours can seem like an eternity for a child.

That being said, I'd like to give you some advice regarding your timing. Whichever destination you choose, I would very highly recommend coming during the 1st two weeks of June. Many schools in the US do not finish their school years until the 2nd or 3rd week of June, so the theme parks, museums and natural attractions will be much less crowded in early June than in late July & August.

We were camping in the Sequoia National Forest (in California) last weekend (June 17-20) and we had very little company. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience!

Happy travels in Greece and in the US!
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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san diego is a wonderful city and i think staying there with a couple of days around disneyland would fit your bill. i will warn though that especially in early june, they often have "june gloom" with the coastal area being overcast usually every morning until around 11:00 a.m. and occassionally, all day.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Definitely California, and specifically San Diego. In addition to low humidity, we have waaay fewer mosquitoes and other flying bugs. Do come in July/August. Even though it's a very busy time, the weather is much better than in June.

In addition to the already mentioned Zoo and Wild Animal Park, we have Sea World and Legoland. The Disney experience is easily doable in a day trip, although staying overnight does make it easier and less tiring.

If you decide on California, you probably should limit yourselves to either north or south.It's too big a state to do it all in a couple of weeks. Unless your daughter's idea of heaven is sitting in a car! The southern part is much warmer, but still a huge area to cover.

You will need to rent a car, wherever you decide to go. Good luck.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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I guess I will be the dissenting voice. (I should point out the I too live in Florida). But for what you are asking for Florida has it all. While it is true that it is very hot during July and August, most tourist attractions are set up to minimize the discomfort and you will be in the company of a lot of other Brits. Florida beaches win hands down. Disney World has much more to offer than Disneyland. Busch Gardens in Tampa is a wonderful theme park with an excellent variety of animals. If split time between Orlando area and Tampa area you get everything you are looking for and more in a 70 mile range. The gulf coast beaches are some of the best in the US, (California beaches the water is very cold). I have visited California (San Diego and San Francisco)by the way and while I enjoyed them both, I prefer my home state. Just my opinion, for what its worth from a lifelong Floridian.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 10:50 AM
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And there's another reason to pick California...in Florida, you'll be around a lot of other Brits!
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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While I haven't been to Southern California, I absolutely loved Northern California including San Fran and the Monterrey Bay area. It sounds like the San Diego area would meet your needs. I think that Florida is too hot and humid.
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