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LA to San Francisco and back to LA

Travel Forums North America LA to San Francisco and back to LA

1. Posted by keith_minky (Budding Member 2 posts) 4y

Hi There
I am planing a trip for my family (me the wife and 2 kids). I am thinking about flying to LA and hiring an RV and driving to San Francisco and back to LA. I am trying to find out any info of thing to do places to see etc.
I have a girl starting year 12 next year she dosent want to miss to much school so I am thinking about going over the chrismas hoilday and I would like to know if this is a good time to travel and what the weather would be like.
If anyone know the dates of there Christmas hoilday so I can avoid them.
Any help on RV hire and RV parks would be great to. Not sure what to do with the RV when in San Francisco do there have parks like our one near the city were we can stay and leave the RV and travel into the city.

Thanks Keith

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

Okay, first the fairly obvious places for you and the kids in LA:

Disneyland (in Anaheim southeast of LA)--the first of all the Disney Amusement Parks

Knotts Berry Farm (in Buena Park, not far from Disneyland)--a different version of the Disney Resort

Universal Studios and Citywalk--in Hollywood (north end right off Hwy 101)

Now the less obvious, but still fun things to do during the December timeframe in LA:

La Brea Tar Pits (right off of Wilshire on the west side)

Olvera Street (right downtown just north of City Hall by a few blocks)==a mexican heritage and shopping area 1 block long--also restaurants here and in Chinatown nearby

Griffith Park Observatory--they have places here where you can have 1 million volts go through your body and light up a fluorescent bulb while you are holding it (and still live to tell the tale--as I'm doing now after having done this). And, of course, at night they have the planet watching shows

Huntington Library and Gardens (more for the adults, but still great for kids if the weather is good)--in San Marino a short ways east of town

Next post will tell you where to go once you've left the LA area.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

Driving north, take Hwy 1 through Malibu and up to Ventura (great views and good beaches along this drive).

In Santa Barbara, rent a bike for 4 at the beach and go up and down the beach (on the concrete walkway). Then head up to Solvang--a town that looks exactly like a Danish village and where you can get great pastries and Danish food.

Halfway up the coastline, stop and visit Hearst Castle near San Simeon. Then, before it gets dark, drive the coast route up to Carmel (this drive is considered probably the most scenic in the country, except possibly the drive through the southwest near the Grand Canyon to Moab.

In Carmel, get off and take the "17 mile drive" along the water (this is the best part of the whole drive). In Monterey, go to the "Cannery Row" area and visit the aquarium (one of the 3 best in the country). Now head to Santa Cruz and go inland to the redwood park called Big Basin and take the easy 1/2 mile hike from the main parking lot in the middle of the park. From there, go over the hill to San Jose and visit the "Winchester Mystery House"--the most unusual house in the US.

Then head on up to San Francisco--I describe what to do there in my next post.

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

In San Francisco, ride the cable cars, and go to the cable car museum. Go to Fisherman's Wharf and visit the Boudoin Bread company there. Be sure to take the tour and see the unusual shapes they make bread into (especially the many animals). Go next door to Pier 23 and get tickets for the ferry and visit Alcatraz (the old maximum security prison that is located on an island in the middle of San Francisco Bay). Go see the Japanese Gardens and Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Also, visit the Palace of Fine Arts nearby. Cross over the Golden Gate Bridge and back.

If you have the money and your kids are old enough, consider visiting the show called Beach Blanket Babylon one night. You'll have to buy tickets early, but the show is unlike anything you've seen below and quite hilarious.

One night cross over the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island and go to the vantage point overlooking San Francisco. It is probably the single best place to view the city.

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 4y

Going back to LA, consider heading east to Yosemite and then down to LA. The main valley and its meadow area is supremely beautiful (this is one of the most visited national park in the US). You can stay either in Murphys (a nice small town) or Angels Camp (a larger, not as dramatic town) before visiting the park.

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Feb-2012, at 22:30 by Calcruzer ]

6. Posted by thebean (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y

Hi just completed this exact same trip!! Yeosimte national park was the high lights and if you can Las Vegas is worth a visit. It was fairly expensive though our RV was about $2,500 for the three weeks but it was 25 foot. It had everything you needed and more! Good luck with everything:)

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Feb-2012, at 19:12 by thebean ]

7. Posted by keith_minky (Budding Member 2 posts) 4y

Thanks a lot for the info. That great.
I have just got to work out the best dates.
I dont ready want to be in LA duing the school hoilday and the weather whats it like Dec- Jan Time of year?
Will we get snow when we head north?

8. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 4y

In California, you only see snow in the mountians (Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Mt. Shasta and the higher peaks east of LA/SD). Seems to me I've experienced considerable rain in Dec/Jan - rather miserable weather if you ask me. Much of Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia NPs will be closed, but the ski areas will be operating if there's enough snow. Snow will prevent you from traveling some of the passes (if you'd like to see Lake Tahoe) without chains. California is considerably more beautiful and accessible in Fall or Spring.

9. Posted by JamboEm (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y

Hi, We are a young couple mid 20's and are planning our honeymoon to west coast in August. We are flying from UK to SF and want to drive down the pacific coast. End it all in Vegas and return to UK. Does anyone have any info that would be useful to us please? Been in the US few times but never visited west coast. Thanks

Post 10 was removed by a moderator