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Travelling to the US with Family

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about California
1. Posted by Sanjeev Nanda (Budding Member 4 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone, I would travelling to California with my wife and two kids aged 7 and 8 this december. Since, this would be my first visit to the US, I am not sure of the places which I can visit. I would be staying there for about a month or so. So, any suggestions are welcome.

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1936 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

California is pretty big!

Tourists often head for Hollywood and hope to see some well known movie or TV star.

Visit Disneyland.

Perhaps visit a Dude Ranch.

Death Valley.

Visit a winery.

Look over the information and maps from this travel forum:
https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/California/

You are the only one who knows what will interest you. You can even do something as simple as buy a travel guide for California and do some research.

Good luck.

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 443 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Do you want to spend all your time in California, or do you want to visit other parts of the USA? Are you flying into Los Angeles or San Francisco? . . . or one of the other airports?

In December roads through the mountains may be closed at times because of storms so if you plan to visit parks, you need to be a little flexible with your time. Are you renting a car?

Knowing none of your plans, I'll suggest looking at San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The desert area around Palm Springs is interesting. The drive up the coast is spectacular depending on the weather. Then there is wine country and redwood trees. Lots to see and do right here in California.

4. Posted by Sanjeev Nanda (Budding Member 4 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

Do you want to spend all your time in California, or do you want to visit other parts of the USA? Are you flying into Los Angeles or San Francisco? . . . or one of the other airports?

In December roads through the mountains may be closed at times because of storms so if you plan to visit parks, you need to be a little flexible with your time. Are you renting a car?

Knowing none of your plans, I'll suggest looking at San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The desert area around Palm Springs is interesting. The drive up the coast is spectacular depending on the weather. Then there is wine country and redwood trees. Lots to see and do right here in California.

I am flying to San Francisco and I would be spending my time in California itself.

5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 443 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Hi. Sorry to take so long in reply but we've been traveling and haven't had great internet access. With two children aged 7 and 8, you could focus on kid-friendly tourist things for this trip. I'm not sure about San Francisco. I know there are cable cars to ride and our kids loved Fisherman's Wharf and all the activity there. One thing I would recommend is the California Academy of Science. It is absolutely fun and fascinating even for adults but your kids would love it. It is also in a really nice park and for you and your wife, there is the DeYoung Art Museum which is really nice and the top floor is a viewing platform for wonderful views of San Francisco.
California Academy of Science web site
DeYoung Museum web site

Los Angeles is a large metropolitan area that includes Anaheim and Pasadena among many others. I'm sure you know about Disneyland in Anaheim. There is also Universal City, another movie-related theme park nearby. The kids and you might really enjoy Olvera Street downtown. It has a state park right in the middle of Los Angeles. It is about the Mexican heritage of the area and there are always lots of fun activities going on. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site You can also visit the beautiful Los Angeles Union Station (train station) and walk up to the Frank Gehry Disney Hall (fabulous concert hall) if you like architecture. There is Santa Monica which is cute and has a lovely beach and pier. Contact the Los Angeles Visitors Bureau for information because there is just so much to do. If you have a daughter, there is a doll museum; there is a modern art museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is world class; there are the La Brea Tar Pits beside it the kids would enjoy. We love the Huntington Museum, the Getty Museum and the Norton Simon Museum which is in Pasadena.

If you go to San Diego which I highly recommend, stop at Palm Desert on the way. There is a place called "The Living Desert" that is great for any age but kids love it . . . so do their parents. There is a huge model railroad showing historic railroads all over the world; there are animals from all over the world; the raison d'etre of the museum are world deserts and many have been recreated throughout the park. You can get a date milkshake while you're there . . . an experience not to be missed. The Living Desert web site

In San Diego, there is Balboa Park which has many attractions but the most interesting to me is the San Diego Zoo, world famous for at least 50 years. There is Old Town San Diego Historic Park, small but interesting and great fun. There is Sea World that all kids love. You have the San Diego Air and Space Museum, Seaport Village and the Gaslamp Quarter.

As you go through the state, if you have any interest in history, try to find the famous historic California Missions. There are two near or in San Diego, at least two in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco and the last mission on the mission trail in Sonoma near San Francisco.The California Missions Trail web site

All this is only in cities. There are, of course, state and National parks but winter can be difficult depending on the weather. Death Valley is usually easier to visit in winter because it's not so hot and if it rains and the wildflowers bloom, it is breathtaking. It depends entirely on the weather.

I hope you enjoy your trip. We love California.

6. Posted by Sanjeev Nanda (Budding Member 4 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

Hi. Sorry to take so long in reply but we've been traveling and haven't had great internet access. With two children aged 7 and 8, you could focus on kid-friendly tourist things for this trip. I'm not sure about San Francisco. I know there are cable cars to ride and our kids loved Fisherman's Wharf and all the activity there. One thing I would recommend is the California Academy of Science. It is absolutely fun and fascinating even for adults but your kids would love it. It is also in a really nice park and for you and your wife, there is the DeYoung Art Museum which is really nice and the top floor is a viewing platform for wonderful views of San Francisco.
California Academy of Science web site
DeYoung Museum web site

Los Angeles is a large metropolitan area that includes Anaheim and Pasadena among many others. I'm sure you know about Disneyland in Anaheim. There is also Universal City, another movie-related theme park nearby. The kids and you might really enjoy Olvera Street downtown. It has a state park right in the middle of Los Angeles. It is about the Mexican heritage of the area and there are always lots of fun activities going on. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site You can also visit the beautiful Los Angeles Union Station (train station) and walk up to the Frank Gehry Disney Hall (fabulous concert hall) if you like architecture. There is Santa Monica which is cute and has a lovely beach and pier. Contact the Los Angeles Visitors Bureau for information because there is just so much to do. If you have a daughter, there is a doll museum; there is a modern art museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is world class; there are the La Brea Tar Pits beside it the kids would enjoy. We love the Huntington Museum, the Getty Museum and the Norton Simon Museum which is in Pasadena.

If you go to San Diego which I highly recommend, stop at Palm Desert on the way. There is a place called "The Living Desert" that is great for any age but kids love it . . . so do their parents. There is a huge model railroad showing historic railroads all over the world; there are animals from all over the world; the raison d'etre of the museum are world deserts and many have been recreated throughout the park. You can get a date milkshake while you're there . . . an experience not to be missed. The Living Desert web site

In San Diego, there is Balboa Park which has many attractions but the most interesting to me is the San Diego Zoo, world famous for at least 50 years. There is Old Town San Diego Historic Park, small but interesting and great fun. There is Sea World that all kids love. You have the San Diego Air and Space Museum, Seaport Village and the Gaslamp Quarter.

As you go through the state, if you have any interest in history, try to find the famous historic California Missions. There are two near or in San Diego, at least two in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco and the last mission on the mission trail in Sonoma near San Francisco.The California Missions Trail web site

All this is only in cities. There are, of course, state and National parks but winter can be difficult depending on the weather. Death Valley is usually easier to visit in winter because it's not so hot and if it rains and the wildflowers bloom, it is breathtaking. It depends entirely on the weather.

I hope you enjoy your trip. We love California.

Thanks a lot buddy. Have a great day. :):)

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Respected Member 479 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

I don't know whether to mention the current fires in some sections of California. Hopefully they will all be out by then.

8. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 443 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

The fires will be out by December. They are far more likely to encounter some rain or in the mountains, snow. December is usually very nice here.