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family of 6 california trip!!

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Swansea, United...
Level Contributor
41 posts
2 reviews
family of 6 california trip!!

hi there, we are a family of 2 adults and 4 boys aged 11, 7, 5 and 2. we have travelled a lot over the years but this is our 1st big trip with all 4 of the boys! i have found my flights which i am wanting to book very soon but need to have a clearer idea of what do do for the best as we are wanting to get things right.

ok hubby is a surfer so we will need our trip to be based around the beach with a few days here and there visiting yosemite, we are hoping to fly into lax on the 28th march and have till the 13th april, i think my concern is accommodation for us all as im not keen on the 2 room thing in hotels/motels,

so the other idea is the rv thing but dont want to be driving a massive vehicle around everywhere either? plus i have read that us brits cannot hire an rv straight from the airport and have to be in the usa for 24 hours before we can hire?? wow its all really confusing?...we have no interest in going to vegas so our trip would be clustered around sf, la, and sdiego as i said with some nice trips out to the national parks etc and maybe down to ps. any help will be hugely appreciated.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
45,157 posts
83 reviews
1. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

With only two weeks, it's a great idea to keep your trip focused. I suggest heading up the coast, to San Francisco, and to Yosemite first. Pismo Beach (1 night) - Monterey (1 or 2 nights ... very family friendly & maybe Dad can make a day trip to a surf beach while Mom goes to the Aquarium) - San Francisco (3 nights) - Yosemite NP (1 night ... wish you had more time!) - back to L.A. or Orange County.

There are more details about the coastal drive between L.A. and SF linked to the Top Questions in the upper right. I'm not a surfer, but maybe you would more time in other coastal towns. (I assume that your husband knows the water will be COLD so he'll be in a wetsuit.)

For your Southern California tourism, maybe stay in Orange County. Is Disneyland on your list? Anaheim has several motels with larger family suites (bunk beds!)

San Diego could be lots of fun for you & your boys as well. The 11 year old may be a tiny bit old for Legoland, but the rest of the crew should like it!

For lodging suggestions, go to each city/destination forum and read the Top Questions in the upper right. Read hotel reviews, specifically ones recommended for families. Then post on that forum.

Two specific tips about finding accommodation for a family of 6: In San Francisco, look at this list: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-c187982 Also, send a Private Message (click her name, then select Send Message) to TA member Kim G who is planning a September visit with her family of 4 boys: tripadvisor.com/members-forums/78KimG78

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
15,164 posts
58 reviews
2. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

I've never heard of it being necessary to be in the U.S, for 24 hours before renting an RV. However, in LA at least, I'm not sure there's anywhere to rent an RV right at the airport.

Also be aware that RV's can be difficult in the big cities like LA and San Francisco. In LA, for instance, most RV parks are on the outskirts of the city, and using an RV as your mode of transport to get around the city tends to be highly impractical - they can be difficult to drive in city traffic and parking for them can be difficult to find.

So I think your best bet would be to fly to LA, spend a couple of days in LA / Orange Country (search for all-suite hotels like Embassy Suites, Orchid Suites in Hollywood to see if you can find hotels that can handle 6 people in one room) with a rental car if possible. Head to San Diego via car or train. After you leave San Diego, rent an RV and head to the less urban areas. Eventually make your way to San Francisco (via Highway 1 through Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel if possible) and get rid of the RV when you arrive there. You probably won't need a rental car in SF, but again look for suite hotels that can accomodate 6 in one room.

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
24,253 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

For Surfing, check out Huntington Beach, San Clemente and Pacific Beach/Mission Beach in Southern California.

Level Contributor
30,136 posts
796 reviews
4. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

Huntington Beach, Newport, San Clemente and Dana Point (Doheny Beach) are all places in Southern CA with great surfing. The beaches in Southern CA are very nice, also. Huntington has a pier you can walk out on and is known as "surf city."

Enjoy your travels! :)

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
30,320 posts
142 reviews
5. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

Orange county I agree would be a surfer's paradise as far as Ca goes and the water will be a tad bit less cold.

But the monster waves are in one spot in CA which also can be visited by your DH. It is just north of Half Moon Bay, The Mavericks It is 30 or so minutes south of San Francisco and if by chance you are staying at the RV park in Pacifica, it is even closer.

Here is one link to what is going on there this season


San Francisco...
Level Contributor
3,749 posts
127 reviews
6. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

As far Yosemite, you do not have to rent an RV. There are vacation rentals and hotels that can accommodate six. We stayed at the Cedar Lodge and they have a suite with the kitchen that has a Murphy bed in the living room. And two beds in the other room. That worked out very well.

Swansea, United...
Level Contributor
41 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

Thank you everyone for your advice!! Sounds like there are lots of solutions to my worries!

Also wondering if the weather will be warm enough for days on the beaches on the southern end of California? Well warm enough for a welsh family ha!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
59,307 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

Not 24 hours but you have to stay overnight first after an intercontinental flight from UK before you can pick up the RV and the p/u will take time not to mention buying groceries.

9. Re: family of 6 california trip!!

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