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LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

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posts: 23
reviews: 3
LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

Hello TA

We are a family of 6 arriving from Australia, renting a car and heading towards Mammoth for some spring skiing. We want to spend a couple of nights somewhere to regroup and stock up on supplies. We will have a car. I am not sure if we should go straight from LAX to Camarillo ( I understand the shopping is good but what else to do for a couple of days? Huntington Beach looks like a great spot to chill for a couple of days but how is the shopping? Cabazon? Looking to purchase quality ski clothes, snowboards and all the usual bargains that the travelling Aussies love about the US

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
posts: 4,865
reviews: 144
1. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

What do you like to do besides shop? Huntington Beach does not have outlets but we do have great beaches. Camarillo has little other than its outlets. Mammoth is a full day's drive from Southern California and Huntington Beach is not on the way there from LAX. Cabazon has many outlets but I doubt you would find a lot of ski gear there. REI stores are good for that. Check them out on-line. There is plenty of ski related shopping at Mammoth.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 35,124
reviews: 343
2. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

I can't see the sense in wandering too far south or north if Mammoth is your final goal and Camarillo and HB are too far north and too far south.

I'd stick in the area around LAX more or less, meaning Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach.

Elle mentions REI, I mentioned Sports Chalet in my other post, both should be good for getting ski gear.

There are plenty of places to shop at good prices without heading to outlet malls. If you absolutely must hit an outlet mall there are two closer than Camarillo, one in LA and one in Orange County.

Long Beach...
posts: 398
reviews: 297
3. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

If you are here for spring skiing that is about the time the ski resorts start discounting the gear. Frankly, plan a trip to the beijing wholesale market i was picking up north face jacket at 25% of the retail price here or look at aliexpress

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
posts: 20,957
reviews: 21
4. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

It's also the time things go on sale in Mammoth. I mentioned different things in your other threads - but one of them concerns me most, you will have to rent a 4WD (two, I suppose), because you can't put chains on rental cars and Mammoth consistently has heavy snow in Spring (especially April).

Camarillo takes you Northwest an hour (then you have to return to LA to head to Mammoth), Huntington takes you south an hour (you have to return to LA to head to Mammoth). Mammoth is 5 hours drive from LA (I clock it from the 405 and 101 interchange). It's the 405 to the 5 to the 14 to the 395 - all heading east and north.

Santa Clara...
posts: 6,484
reviews: 17
5. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

Like LB, if you are looking for ski/board stuff, just wait until you get to Bishop and Mammoth. Value Sports has a huge selection http://www.valuesports.com/clearance The will be clearing out for the summer stuff. I have bought snow and hiking stuff from them. I just went to a huge preseason snow gear sale in SF and Value Sports ran the show.

If you are just looking to relax and shop, South Bay beaches and Santa Monica would be the spots. We have heard that prices at our regular stores are still very cheap for you Aussies. No need to go comb over the outlet stuff. I frankly find rhe quality inferior at outlets.

Edited: 1:02 pm, November 16, 2013
Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,260
reviews: 87
6. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

Do not go to Camarillo - if you are going to go to Ventura County, stay in Ventura (or Ojai). Ventura is close enough to the outlets to give you lots of shopping (and the outlets in Camarillo are...ample). Ventura has a regular mall (Pacific View) which is supposedly the only larger shopping mall with an ocean view.

But downtown Ventura is fun, has local restaurants (few chains), lots of shopping (many retro items and antiques) and tries to maintain a Back to the Future kind of vibe. Camarillo has absolutely nothing to do beyond the outlet malls. You can drive 6-7 miles away from Camarillo to get to a beach or go over to Santa Paula to take a train ride through orange orchards (to me, not the most exciting way to spend an afternoon, but then I grew up in orange orchards).

Camarillo is not on your way to Mammoth, but it doesn't add lots of time to the trip (you just go on the 126 over to the 5 and then make your connections to the 395). You do not have to return to L.A. to go to Mammoth. In fact, you'd find the traffic on the 126 to be very light compared to anything in L.A. and it is a route that even Los Angelenos sometimes choose to use (especially if they want to see some beach on their travels).

But the beach isn't in Camarillo, it's in Ventura (and Oxnard), where there are several very nice beaches. Ventura has a pier with two restaurants (and others along its boardwalk); always surfers or windsurfers or kitesurfers to watch.

There's a new shopping area near Camarillo (between Camarillo and Ventura) called The Collection and the REI store there just opened. It also has Ulta, Whole Foods, Target and a few other stores (and across the freeway from The Collection there's a Nordstrom Rack and some more discount stores). So that area is discount shopping heaven, I suppose. Truthfully, I do find the Coach outlet at Camarillo to be a fine place to shop for family members who like Coach and Lucky brands (there are of course dozens and dozens of others; my out of town friends want to go to the Croc outlet and have good luck there).

Anyway Mammoth is just as close to Camarillo (5 hours) as it is to L.A. if in the end you decide you want some outlet shopping (and there are several newish motels near the outlet because it's just that popular). To get to the 126 from Camarillo, take the Central Avenue offramp from the 101 and have a map or remember to go straight, turn right on Vineyard (Central dead ends there) and turn left on 118 (Vineyard dead ends there - hard to miss) then go about 3-4 miles to the 126, head east (towards Santa Clarita, Santa Paula).

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,260
reviews: 87
7. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

PS A more scenic route to get to Mammoth from the 5 involves going on the 138 to the 14, instead of going through Palmdale. It might add 10 minutes or something like that to the drive (less traffic for sure) and is, in our family's opinion, the better way to go.

posts: 23
reviews: 3
8. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

Thank you for your fantastic contributions and I will continue to do my research. Huntington is a draw card because my kids surf ( competitively) so they would like to visit and surf this iconic destination. Ventura sounds like it might fit our diverse needs......I read that it is a longboard destination though?

Hmmmm.......we will not be renting 2 x 4wd.....I thought we would be able to get a one way as far as mammoth lakes without chains so will have to consider flying there.....or maybe skiing Tahoe instead.....more thoughts needed around this one.

9. Re: LAX to Mammoth Lakes via Camarillo or Huntington or ?.

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