Winter getaway - Southern California

Jul 20th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Winter getaway - Southern California

We are a couple who have just retired and are thinking of taking a 2 week getaway this winter in Southern California. We have been to San Fran down to Carmel so feel like we would like to spend our time farther south. Can anyone recommend a base town or city or recommend more of a two week drive down the coast staying at various places? Any thoughts? Thanks!
rbnwdln is offline  
Jul 20th, 2013, 07:50 PM
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Any thoughts?

My thought is that there is much of interest in the huge area from Carmel to San Diego and from the Pacific Ocean to Nevada and Arizona and it would help to have more specific questions.

Points of interest include Highway 1 from Carmel to Ventura, National Parks (Yosemite, Channel Islands, etc.), cities (Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and many others), wine districts (Paso Robles, for instance), missions, and much, much more.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 04:26 AM
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And when in winter are you considering? We have been there during the winter rainy season.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 05:11 AM
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Oops, sorry to be so vague. We are thinking of trying to see the things in Los Angeles that you always hear/read about. More interested in cities and beaches than mountains and national parks. We would like to probably stay away from Nevada and Arizona and more along the water.
I would like to go where it is warmer than here (Minnesota) and not rainy. We can be flexible with dates.
If you are familiar with Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, what is a good time to go (needs to be winterish)and is there one place you would recommend as a base or ....not? Thanks.
rbnwdln is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 06:53 AM
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The Fodors California crowd should be waking up soon and Im sure will offer some good advice. We have done several CA trips to escape the Midwest winter and found San Clemente and Laguna Beach excellent bases for the coast
FrankS is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Get a copy of Fodor's California 2012 and read through it.
(I got mine free because I'm quoted in it).
In February I'm going to Yuma AZ for a couple of days.
Yuma is across the river from California and only a few miles from Mexico.
tomfuller is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 07:09 AM
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I would choose Carlsbad - north of San Diego. In fact, I may spend some time there myself- spent last Christmas there.

I like Carlsbad because there is a nice little central downtown area with shops and restaurants, there is a nice big outlet mall for shopping, you can get around fairly easily on public transportation, you can take the train into many of the other beach towns and San Diego, and there are nice beaches.

Hope you find a good spot
sunbum1944 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 08:25 AM
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Do you plan to stay in only one location, or move around at all? If the latter, it would be easy to pick one spot in San Diego, another in LA, and if you want a third spot, then someplace farther up the coast, like Santa Barbara.

If on the other hand you want to pick a spot and "settle in" for two weeks, pick something in LA.
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 09:22 AM
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Some good ideas. Will pick up the Fodor's guide. Still pondering the whole thing. Thanks!
rbnwdln is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 01:00 PM
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You will probably be happy with the area between San Diego and Santa Barbara. San Diego and Los Angeles both have loads of activities for city lovers, and Santa Barbara is a beautiful city to which you can drive on Highway 1 through Malibu, which I think you will enjoy.

In LA we like to stay in Santa Monica or West Hollywood.


PS When we are in the Santa Barbara area we like to spend a night in Pismo Beach because it has many hotel rooms with ocean views. Also, the stretch of Highway 1 that goes through Big Sur to Carmel is one of California's most scenic attractions and a trip on it can include a visit to the Hearst Castle--one of America's great homes.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 25th, 2013, 12:54 PM
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There always seems to be a heat wave in Los Angeles in January, so you may be in luck. I'm sure others will disagree, but I'd eliminate Orange County and San Diego (though I do love Laguna Beach and La Jolla). Those areas are great for families, but given that you're retired, I'd recommend LA (staying in Santa Monica), Santa Barbara, Cambria and the drive through Big Sur to Carmel, though you may have more weather as you head north. If you're interested in wine but want to stay along the coast, you could make a day trip into the Santa Ynez valley from Santa Barbara and/or visit the Paso Robles-area wineries from Cambria. Cambria is also a good base for visiting Hearst Castle.
Vonse is offline  

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