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I have been reading some of the discussions regarding traffic. I need help with the best time to go to the attractions we planned.

We are landing in Long Beach Aug. 18 going to San Diego for 1 night to see the Padres. Sat going to the Zoo. After the zoo we are driving to Santa Monica for 3 nights. Will we hit much traffic Saturday night going to Santa Monica?

My husband and son love roller coasters, so we are planning on Magic Mountain. The question is - What is the best day to go? What time to go to avoid traffic?

After Santa Monica we are spending 2 nights in Anaheim. We have tickets to the Angels game. I thought 1 day we might go to Raging Waters.

We have a night flight on Thurs. August 24th out of Long Beach. What will the traffic be like going to Long Beach Airport?

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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1. Re: Traffic

Driving from San Diego to Santa Monica - you won't hit much traffic. It will be slow around LAX.

Driving from Santa Monica to Magic Mountain - if you drive on a weekday, be sure to leave AFTER rush hour - leave anytime after 9:30. Sunday will have the least amount of traffic, but the park will be more crowded than it would be on Monday.

Santa Monica to Anaheim, also leave after rush hour, or before 3PM.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Traffic

Unfortunately, I''ve not found any time when Los Angeles area freeways are free of congestion except from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Regarding Saturday evening travel from San Diego to Santa Monica: this should generally be not be too bad, and the later you leave the better. Before leaving (and while traveling if you have internet access) check sigalert.com By checking at different times of the day before you leave, you might get an idea of which freeways are most congested etc. ( www.sigalert.com/map.asp?Region=Los%2BAngeles )

Turin, Italy
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3. Re: Traffic

Saturday night from San Diego to Santa Monica shouldn't be too bad. I've done it at different times on Saturday and I would count on 3 hours. Then, if it takes you less, you'll be happy. The 405 is notoriously hideous (and its reputation is well-deserved), but check the website the other poster left you for sig alerts and such. Of course, things can change in a matter of minutes.

Santa Monica to Valencia for Magic Mountain you can expect to be bad any time before 9:30 or 10, as the other poster said. It kind of depends where you're staying in Santa Monica. If you're staying near the 405, you can get on it and avoid most of the hassles. If you're staying near the beach, though, and have to drive east on the 10 and then north on the 405, that's going to be a problem because the 10 east is very crowded during the week with commuters going to work downtown. The entire section north on the 405 will be bad for the first several miles (during the week), up and over Sepulveda Pass, so just expect it. After that, though, unless there's an accident, you'll be flying up to Magic Mountain. School is still out so I would say it doesn't make much difference which day you go on as long as it isn't a weekend.

As for the 405 heading south, expect a nightmare basically at any time of day, any day of the week, especially north of the 10. Some days/times are better than others, but it really is horrible. Remember not to try to drive back to Santa Monica from Magic Mountain on a weekday during rush-hour traffic -- wait until after 7 p.m., at least.

Did you ask about Santa Monica to Anaheim? Any weekday will be bad going east on the 10 to connect you to the 405, but once you hit the 405 south, you should have smooth sailing, assuming it is in the morning and not the afternoon. The majority of the traffic during the week is heading the other direction. That's if you want to take the 405 all the way to Anaheim. You can also take the 10 east to the 5 south, and, in that case, you can expect traffic until after rush hour (again, I mean during the morning).

The traffic here has gotten increasingly worse, especially in the last 2-3 years. The definition of "rush hour" has increased. Of course, it isn't always feasible to do all your driving after 10 p.m. Just try to keep a positive attitude and be happy you don't have to drive in this traffic every day!! Good luck!

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4. Re: Traffic

Thanks for the information.

We are staying near the beach at the Doubletree.

After reading the post we will probably go to Magic Mountain on Monday after 10. The park is open until 8 PM I am sure we will stay to closing. It sounds like the lines can get very long there. I hope it is worth the time.

I thought it would be better to relax at the beach on Sunday after a day at the zoo and the drive back to Santa Monica. A previous post said to go to Magic Mountain on the weekend to avoid traffic.

The Angels game is at 7 so we will most likely head over there mid afternoon on Tuesday.

We usually try to take a longer vacation over both weekends but my son has something planned for Friday.On a shorter vacation there is not as much time to relax especially if we are sitting in traffic.

Thanks again