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joebear Mar 18th, 2010 07:49 AM

Where in California?
My teen daughter has requested to go to California this summer. I have only been to San Diego as a child. Need suggestions. We will probably go on Friday and return on Tuesday. That works well with work short trip. I am thinking June or late May.....depending on college summer school schedule which is not posted yet.

I am considering San Francisco or San Diego .....

**If my teenage son goes along, he is not big city type .....into outdoors. Need ideas for that option also. Would consider longer trip if we chose this option.

colombiana Mar 18th, 2010 08:10 AM

I love San Francisco and I think would be a better option specially if your son goes. There are lots of options for outdoor things to do. Muir Woods is close by, Sausalito, there is also a park right next to Golden Gate Bridge (just a few suggestions) Hope this helps Gina

Jean Mar 18th, 2010 08:18 AM

Los Angeles would work for the same reasons, and the weather would probably be better. Ocean, Griffith Park, Santa Monica National Recreation Area, Catalina for your son. More and better museums, shopping, Hollywood, amusement parks for your daughter. Three days isn't much time, and I hope you aren't talking about Memorial Day weekend...

Placename Mar 18th, 2010 08:29 AM

Why does your daughter want to go to California? What does she want to do?

I would think Los Angeles, Santa Monica area would be fine for such a visit. Or maybe Newport Beach area.

Placename Mar 18th, 2010 08:30 AM

Is she looking for sun and beaches? If so, San Francisco would be a bad choice.

MichelleY Mar 18th, 2010 09:24 AM

Although I prefer SF to Southern California, teenagers would probably prefer San Diego or LA area. This is what they see on TV and movies and want that experience. Sun, beaches etc.

joebear Mar 18th, 2010 09:28 AM

Not interested in beach. Will do weekend close to home.

I think she just wants to see reason in particular.

Just got back from DC so museums are not high on list.

No not Memorial Day weekend....

What is there to do in Santa Monica?

janisj Mar 18th, 2010 10:23 AM

California is like 5 or 6 states - w/ so many different areas/climates/attractions.

Do you/she/he want mountains (Tahoe or Yosemite)? Redwoods (several places in the far north and near SF)? Theme parks? Coastal scenery? Shopping? or something else?

"where to go in California?" is sort of like "where to go in Italy?" -- too many choices. So maybe get a guide book and let her get some general ideas and then we can help you refine the itinerary.

Placename Mar 18th, 2010 10:31 AM

I like the idea of giving her a guide book.

With only 3 days, she certainly isn't going to "see California".

StuDudley Mar 18th, 2010 10:44 AM

If you want an efficient (minimum travel time between sites) & car free visit - San Francisco would be my choice.

Stu Dudley

november_moon Mar 18th, 2010 11:23 AM

I like the guide book idea - or you can check out travel shows online. That might be even better to help you guys narrow things down. has a bunch of travel shows you can watch and it is free. Netflix also has travel DVDs and may have some in the "watch instantly" section too.

Since your daughter doesn't have a particular reason to go to California other than to go, I think that by checking out some guidebooks or travel showes, she can see what appeals to her and then you can go from there. All the ideas given so far are great - just a matter of tailoring the trip to your family's interests.

Dayenu Mar 18th, 2010 11:42 AM

San Francisco with a few side trips, if you haven't been to Yosemite, plan to visit! Also Lake Tahoe is a beautiful area.

You don't have to fly to SFO only, check also OAK especially for Southwest. Both connected to the city by BART, depending on location of your hotel.

BKD Mar 18th, 2010 12:06 PM

Hands down San Francisco. There's so much to do and you don't need a car. We took our kids on a private tour of the city that went out to the Muir Woods as well. They loved SF.

Southern California is too much about driving around. Takes hours to get anywhere.

joebear Mar 18th, 2010 12:42 PM

Thanks, will read up on San Francisco. High on list since my hubby or I neither have been.

Will fly and won't get a rental car.

NO on the amusement parks too. Rather see the city and sights.

How far is Yosemite?

I realize not many days but work calls....We find shorter trips through out the year work best for us. Probably will extend to 4 nights.

sf7307 Mar 18th, 2010 12:49 PM

Yosemite is about a 4-hour drive from the city, as is Lake Tahoe. With only 4 days, though, I wouldn't recommend that -- there are plenty of outdoor spaces a lot closer to the city. If you have 4 full days and want to get out of the city, I'd recommend you drive down the coast as far as Big Sur, and turn around and come back. Here's a link to a report on a similar day-trip we did (we live a little south of SF) over Labor Day Weekend:

StuDudley Mar 18th, 2010 04:40 PM

Here are my ideas about things to "do & see" in San Francisco & surrounds

Stu Dudley

ncounty Mar 18th, 2010 04:48 PM

for such a short trip and with your interests in cities and such and since you have never been to SF, I would definitely vote for san francisco. And, I live in San Diego.

november_moon Mar 18th, 2010 05:12 PM

If you aren't going to rent a car, then I think SF would be my choice too. San Diego is ok without a car too, although not as easy to get around in as SF. And for such a short trip, I'd stick to SF rather than making day trips.

elnap29 Mar 18th, 2010 05:18 PM

With your time limitations, I'm sure you could find plenty to do in San Franicsco to fill the trip and still leave wanting more! In addition to the Stu Dudley suggestions as well as your guidebook explorations, you might consider picking up a copy of Stairway Walks in San Francisco. These walks are my new obsession. Even if you choose to do only one of them, you will see SF in a completely unique way, and each walk only takes about an hour or an hour and a half. It's like going on a treasure hunt!

StuDudley Mar 18th, 2010 06:23 PM

I plug the Stairway Walks in my "suggestions". They will take you to some nooks & crannies that you won't find by yourself.

Stu Dudley

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