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Itinerary & Drive Time Help

Oakland
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Itinerary & Drive Time Help

Me and my bestie are heading down for a long whirlwind girl’s weekend trip: Disneyland, TMZ tour and obligatory Hollywood tourist stuff, maybe Santa Monica, possibly a spa day at Glen Ivy Corona – and of course the local sights (Balboa Island?). Problem is I’m NOT AT ALL familiar with southern California and I’m not sure if I’m setting myself up for a driving disaster.

The plan is to fly into Long Beach because it offers the best airfare and stay at the Fairmont Newport Beach because they are offering an unbelievably super low deal and it seems at least reasonably close to Disneyland.

As far as distance between destinations, accounting for local traffic, is the Fairmont reasonable as a base?

SoCal
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1. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

How long will you be in the area? The Fairmont is not near anything you want to do except visit Newport Beach. If you are in town for 2 days you are trying to pack too much in. DL is a full day and you won't see and do it all at the park, much less the second park. Here are average drive times if you can avoid traffic: Fairmont to DL 30 minutes, to Glen Ivy 1 hour, to Hollywood 1 hour, to Balboa Island 15 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday you may be able to avoid most traffic but on Monday to Friday you will likely have longer drive times.

Oakland
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2. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

Thanks Jen. We're looking at 3 nights 4 days and pretty much fly by the seat of our pants on vacations and take things as they come. The only real "must dos" are 1 day Disneyland, TMZ tour & Hollywood.

I'm used to northern california traffic, but it seems like it might be more intense down south.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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3. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

I'd drop the Glen Ivy idea it is too far out of the way and burns a lot of time. Fashion Island in Newport Center has a good day spa, Spa Gregorie, and the the Islands Hotel (formerly the Four Seasons) has one too and the Marriott Newport Center does too. You could do that and hit Balboa Island before or after.

Anaheim, California
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4. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

My vote is exactly as Scott has said. Glen Ivey is lovely but spa Gregory is fine - not as nice as others mentioned but my wife has been there and liked it.

I really like the Fairmont. It was a le Meridien and they did a nice renovation. It's in a lovely area in the middle of the stuff you've mentioned and, for two "besties" traveling together (did your spell check try to make it 'beasties' as well LOL), I think it's perfect.

Tom - Owner

Anaheim Tour Company

Anaheim, California
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5. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

My vote is exactly as Scott has said. Glen Ivey is lovely but spa Gregory is fine - not as nice as others mentioned but my wife has been there and liked it.

I really like the Fairmont. It was a le Meridien and they did a nice renovation. It's in a lovely area in the middle of the stuff you've mentioned and, for two "besties" traveling together (did your spell check try to make it 'beasties' as well LOL), I think it's perfect.

Tom - Owner

Anaheim Tour Company

PS. I would leave at 10am for Hollywood and allow 1:15 to get there. Hope on the 405 North and get right on the carpool lane. Then, in about 25 mins, you will see the 110 Freeway North (I think toward Pasadena) take that and, again, get immediately over into the carpool lane.

Take that through downtown LA onto the 101 Hollywood Freeway North. Get off at Hollywood Blvd and turn left. Take that past Highland to your second light (first being a crosswalk). Turn right to the third parking entrance on the right and under the Hollywood and Highland Center.

While you are there (please review the TMZ Tour), see the other parts of H&H Center, go West a Block on Highland to Sunset and turn right. Have an early dinner in West Hollywood (you'll know you are there when everything is suddenly cleaner and more stylish) at one of the Cafes along Sunset and continue down Sunset into Beverly Hills. Turn Left on Rodeo down 4 blocks past Santa Monica to the shopping area. Plenty of places to park on the street.

Continue to the end of Rodeo and turn right on Wilshire. This will take you back to the 405 which, if you go South, will bring you back to the Fairmont.

Although it's Carpool almost all the way, I would avoid starting home before 7:30pm and, the later the better.

So, if I were a girl with my Bestie, that's what I would do.

Happy Travels...

Tom - Owner

Anaheim Tour Company

Newport Beach...
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6. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

This looks doable in 4 days.

I agree, ditch Glen Ivy, and go to the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach for a spa day (my wife loves that place): http://www.pelicanhill.com/

The Fairmont usually has great weekend deals because it caters primarily to business travelers and is pretty sleepy on the weekends. It is technically in Newport Beach, but it does not really feel like you are "in" Newport Beach. It is next to the airport and surrounded by office buildings and about as far away from the beach as you can be while still being in Newport.

That being said, if it is just a place to rest your head for the night, who cares...?

As long as you avoid rush hour, you should be okay. Also, you will have carpool, making things even more bearable. If you are going up to LA and want to maximize carpool avoid the 5 freeway, which only has carpool up to the LA County line. Instead, take 405 north, to 710 north (both have carpool lanes) and that will deposit you on the 5 freeway right where you will be getting on the Hollywood freeway (the 101). Generally avoid the 5 going to and from LA, if possible.

Also, because the Fairmont is next to the 55, I will warn you that the 55 north during the evening rush hour is murder (although less so with carpool).

If you are trying to get up to LA in the morning, do note that the 405 north going up to West LA (Santa Monica etc...) is an absolute nightmare during the AM rush hour. It has a carpool lane (only up to about LAX), which will help, but just keep that in mind.

Here is a suggested plan (assuming you fly into Long Beach in the morning and fly out on your last day in the evening):

Day 1: Fly into Long Beach in the morning, check into hotel, head to Balboa Island for lunch, walk around the island, take the Balboa Island Ferry to the peninsula, walk along boardwalk, dinner in Corona Del Mar (picnic at Inspiration Point?)

Day 2: Disneyland

Day 3: Drive up to Hollywood and do TMZ tour/Hollywood sights, dinner and evening in Santa Monica

Day 4: Breakfast at Beachcomber in Crystal Cove State Park, walk around Main Beach in Laguna Beach in late morning, Pelican Hill Resort for lunch (at the Grill) and spa, fly out of Long Beach that evening

Edited: 12:42 pm, May 15, 2012
Anaheim, California
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7. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

Hi again,

The 710 does not have a carpool lane that I am aware of. It also dumps you onto the 5 before downtown which would not be good.

That 110 is the hot ticket. Elevated Carpool lane for a majority of the LA portion and only about 3 miles of traffic with non-carpool before the 101.

Anyway, it looks as if the other poster was typing at the same time I was posting so, it's all good.

I like the Beachcomber and love Pelican Hill - it's a chunk of change for their spa treatments but is pretty impressive.

Love the "Day 1" suggestion - really a nice day after getting in to your hotel. I might have dinner at the Ruby's diner on the end of the pier in Balboa. It's not "luxury" by any stretch of the imagination but, it will provide an amazing view of the sunset and you can sit on the patio on top.

VERY southern CA... Turn right out of your hotel onto Campus which will take you to Jamboree - turn right on Jamboree to the very end - you will go across a great little bridge onto Balboa Island - just as suggested above.

Have fun.

Tom - Owner

Anaheim Tour Company

Edited: 1:22 pm, May 15, 2012
Newport Beach...
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8. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

Tom, thanks for catching that one.

It is the 605, not the 710, that has the carpool, I didn't think that through enough. The 110 is a great option because you get to by-pass the 5 entirely (always a good thing). Good call.

Oakland
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9. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

WOW ! I'm amazed at the kindness and thoughtfulness of TA members. @Tom and @Bow consider yourselves virtually hugged. These are excellent suggestions and have greatly reduced my stress level in planning this trip. I'll also be sure to write my reviews. Thank you so much!!!

Anaheim, California
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10. Re: Itinerary & Drive Time Help

Teresita,

That's really nice. Thank you for the virtual hug.

Feel free to keep asking as you will find lots of people here that are helpful, I think.

Thanks Bowneline - wasn't trying to correct you and I'm glad you accepted it in the spirit that it was meant. Some folks get a little sensitive...

Where to you like to eat lunch on Balboa. I'm such a creature of habit, I normally just go to Hershey's Market - their Deli is great - and get the Ahi Sandwich which is out of this world.

Then, I sit on the bench in front with a bottle of water and Island Chips just watching people go by.

Not sure about the lunch options... any suggestions for Teresita if she does have lunch on the Island?

Tom