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san fran/los angeles - which to stay in longer?

Travel Forums North America san fran/los angeles - which to stay in longer?

1. Posted by ni123 (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

For my trip to the West this summer, I have exactly 2 weeks to split between san francisco, los angeles and san diego, before I head on to Vegas. I have a flight booked into San Francisco, and a hotel room in Vegas, but I'd like some advice on how to divide up my time in California. I'm not old enough to rent a car, so I'll be flying from SF down to LA and then probably bus/train from LA to San Diego.

Any tips would be appreciated.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Most time in San Francisco without a doubt.
Los Angeles is an ugly grey city with nothing much at all to see or do. Give it a day for Hollywood and the big sights - two maybe if you want to visit a movie studio, but that's about the maximum you could spend there without wanting to be away.
I don't know San Diego, but for the remaining twelve days, I'd guess maybe eight in San Francisco versus four in San Diego? Or figure out if there's any conceivable way you can visit Yosemite by public transport, and make it five days San Francisco, four days Yosemite and three days San Diego.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

I basically agree with Sander, but 4 days in Yosemite? Yosemite in mid-summer is very very very crowded (must have reservations made for camping quite a bit ahead, and motels require a car). There's more to SF than just the city (one of the world's smallest in size) - you'll want to see Marin/Sonoma counties - beautiful coastlines, wine, etc. (suggest you rent a mountain bike in SF and cross the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin and ferry back). Then there's the Monterey Peninsula about 3 hours south - take the bus.

San Diego has great beaches (La Jolla, Pacific, Ocean and Coronado beaches), one of the world's best zoos, Seaworld and the Tijuana Trolley to Mexico. It also has hellish traffic and a poor bus system. I would get a room in Pacific Beach (a surfer hangout) - a good place to find girls too.

LV in summer is HOT HOT HOT - be sure to get a room w/pool and AC. (don't waste too much gambling - no one really wins in LV!)

You're missing much by not coming up north to Portland - a very cool town!

4. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 284 posts) 7y

The best weather during your trip will be in San Diego. Easy to access from Los Angeles, take the Amtrak train Pacific Surfliner. The station has platform connections to the Red Trolley light rail cars around San Diego.

5. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 7y

Honestly, you cant go wrong with any choice. San Diego would be the least fun place on yr list but 3 days still isnt enough. In my opinion, split it evenly between the cities and you still have a blast. All the ideas above are good. The wildlife park in SD is a no- miss and then u can have apple pie after ( its everywhere and soooooooo good). I prefer the wildlife park over the SD zoo but both are good. LA, the beaches are so easily accesible and good transit. SF is, well, SF. So much to do. If you do get the chance to go to tijuana, go for it. Cheap but dirty.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Apr-2009, at 15:54 by way2goeh ]

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

Quoting way2goeh

Honestly, you cant go wrong with any choice. San Diego would be the least fun place on yr list but 3 days still isnt enough. In my opinion, split it evenly between the cities and you still have a blast. All the ideas above are good. The wildlife park in SD is a no- miss and then u can have apple pie after ( its everywhere and soooooooo good). I prefer the wildlife park over the SD zoo but both are good. LA, the beaches are so easily accesible and good transit. SF is, well, SF. So much to do. If you do get the chance to go to tijuana, go for it. Cheap but dirty.

I like the Wild Animal Park too (run by the SD Zoo), but the problem is it's way up I-15 in Escondido (90 min on a bus). S. California is built for the car, and without one, well - you'll be at quite a disadvantage to say the least!