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May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

Calgary, Alberta...
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May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

Hello I have a few questions for planning my itinerary.

We are arriving at San Diego in early May via Mexico, and planning on spending 2-3 days there. We will likely be renting a car and what we want to see is a baseball game, sea world, the zoo, old town, and la jolla.

After this we are unsure if we want to take the train up to Anaheim, or drive. If we want a half day drive, what good stops are on the way? We want to visit a wine vineyard, maybe in Temecula?

In Anaheim we will be spending anywhere from 3-6 days. We are getting the city-pass so will be doing 2-3 days in Disneyland. We want to spend most of the time in this area but have at least 1 day at universal studios, and 1 or 2 more days exploring LA/Santa Monica.

Should we stay the whole 6 days in Anaheim and drive up for the Hollywood/Santa Monica/LA day trips, or switch hotels after Disneyland?

Thanks :)

Anaheim, California
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1. Re: May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

Gee, lots of options and choices.

Do you like to drive?

You can do it using public transit, I would stay in the Old Town area of San Diego and use public transit (Trolley and buses) to hit all your lists of San Diego things to do.


Then take the Amtrak to Anaheim, and base yourself there, plenty of options to get around the area, the one complicated one would be Santa Monica, but there are plenty of other beach areas with easy access from Anaheim. Getting to the Downtown LA/Hollywood/Universal Studios area is fairly easy using public transit.

A car is nice, but then you have to deal with the cost and parking fees (Hotel and tourist attractions charge much of the time), plus dealing with the hassles.

Public transit is less stress and normally less in costs, but then you have to deal with their schedules and that some places are hard to get to....

I tend to do the middle road, and drive to an location, but leave my car at the Hotel when I can, so I can relax and enjoy and adult beverage or two without worries...

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2. Re: May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

Hi Brad,

I'll try to answer each question....

" What good stops on the way from SD to Anaheim"? - sorry I don't know of ANY.

"Temucula vineyard"? - nope, don't know about that either.

" Should we stay whole 6 days in Anaheim..." - YES.

I'm a fan a renting a car the entire time, and then staying in the same hotel. Lots of freedom to do what you want when you want, and you're not wasting time checking in/checking out.

It certainly can be argued that you may be wasting your time on the freeways ( which could be hours - UGGHH )

Other than that - I like your itinerary. 3 days SD - great ( it's what we did a couple years ago, after 7 days in Anaheim, which included the drive up to Santa Monica for a day )

West Hollywood...
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3. Re: May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

It really depends on what you're looking to experience.

Anaheim is a resort area (hotels, restaurants, shopping -- most of it oriented toward families) that supports the two Disney Parks.

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the U.S. -- home to the American movie and music industries, with world-famous nightlife areas (for grownups) along the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood and in and around Hollywood Bl in Hollywood.

The city of L.A. has no theme parks but boasts hundreds of attractions including:

a. Natural beauty (hills, mountains, valleys, canyons, beaches)

b. One of the largest urban parks in the U.S. (Griffith Park) which has, among other things: the Greek Theater (one of Los Angeles' outdoor musical venues), the Griffith Observatory, the Autry National Center (adjacent to the L.A. Zoo), a dozen hiking trails, a golf course, etc, etc

c. 100+ museums including 2 hilltop art museums (the Getty Center and, my favorite, the Getty Villa) along with small museums of varying themes from ancient tar pits or broadcasting to automobiles to discrimination, etc, etc

d. World-class shopping and dining

e. Movie-studio tours: Paramount. Sony, and in nearby Burbank, Warner Bros, as well as Universal Studios (just outside of the city of L.A. in Universal City)

f. Walking tours of our historic neighborhoods, and dozens of escorted and non-escorted tours (hop on, hop off tours) of the metro area

g. Ethnic neighborhoods of many kinds (our voting materials are printed in 8 languages including Russian, Tagalog (Filipino) and Farsi (Persian) so there are numerous neighborhoods you can explore representing many, many cultures.

h. Unique architecture: from our City Hall (a blend of art deco, art moderne and moorish architecture) to restaurants shaped like donuts, hamburgers and hot dogs! (and everything in between).

i. Celebrities

So, if you think that our city is worth a couple of 'day trips' from Anaheim, then stay there for 6 nights; otherwise, pack your bags (which isn't a big deal since you're just throwing them in the car for an hour or so) and head into 'the city'.

Have a great visit!

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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4. Re: May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

I would keep the car the whole time. Southern California is not a place you want to be without a car.

What to see on the way from San Diego to Anaheim. Well you could go up the 15 Freeway to Temecula and visit one or two wineries, and get back to Orange County using the Ortega Highway (Hwy 74), but I wouldn't drink the wine then, swish and spit.

Or you could go to Anaheim via the Coast Highway in Orange County. That takes you through Dana Point, South Laguna, Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar and then head inland to Anaheim. Laguna Beach is a great little town where in downtown Laguna the Coast Highway is right on the beach. There are great places to eat, shop and knock around there.

You also have the Mission San Juan Capistrano, opened in 1776 that is just about where you get off the freeway in Orange County to get to the Coast Highway. The Ortega Highway also basically starts there so you could do Temecula and a winery.

As to how many nights in Anaheim. If you only plan on spending a couple of days in LA, I wouldn't bother switching hotels. Yes LA a ton of sights, but that might be an argument for putting off that for another trip at a different time and just hit a couple of highlights this time.

5. Re: May 2013 trip itinerary to SD, Anaheim, LA

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