California vs Orlando(22 Posts)
Thanks all - it's looking like Florida then, but flights seem to have doubled in the past 10 months which is making it all seem a bit more costly.
If you go to California without a car you can get around, using buses, I think the big blue bus will take you from the centre of LA to the beaches and there are green and red routes to hollywood etc. There is also the metro system. Am trak can take you out to visit towns nearby such as Santa Barbara.
You would find it easier with a car as there is so much to see outside the city.
if its about the theme parks go to florida - Disney in California is a completely different experience, you can get round it in a day and that's it. universal park is a long way away from Disney, you wont hop on a bus and get there in 10 minutes. I really like LA, been there about 10 times now as I have friends who live there. we normally stay near huntingdon beach which isn't too far from Disney but seal beach is nice, you need to go to Venice Beach on a sunday morning and have breakfast/lunch - there is always loads going on (my friend calls it freak beach because there is some strange characters about)
Hollywood is a bit sleazy and there isn't much to see - Chinese theatre, Hollywood sign, walk of fame, Melrose avenue for a bit of star seeing/clothes shopping and that's about it.
there is absolutely loads if things to see around LA, San Diego is nice, PCH is really nice driving up/down it, lots of nice places about too like Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, SAnta Barbara etc. etc.
Personally I didn't like San Francisco, ive been 4 times there and was followed on 2 occasions on 2 different trips - there always seemed to be loads of beggars about especially in town.
Regarding the getting from the airport to the hotel question , we booked a shuttle service for 25 dollars each.
Some bits near the theme parks in Cali seemed quite "rough" in comparison to Idrive as well....
We stayed in The Hyatt Regency for three nights (pre cruise) and visited Disney, the California Land Park and took a tour to the studios ( which was a long journey but great. Three nights was doable without a car as the hotel provided an hourlybshuttle to the park or you coulees easily walk it, but any longer you really need one. After the cruise we visited Rodeo drive, Santa Monica and a couple of other places. I wouldn't do a two week holiday just to do Californian theme parks. We've just booked a road trip for next starting in San Fransisco and then flying home from L.A.
If you are looking for a theme park holiday - go back to Florida, California will only disappoint in comparison to there for theme parks. We are just back from 2 weeks in California and loved it, it just depends what you like. Personally I couldn't go for 2 theme park weeks, we planned a visit to Universal in our holiday, didn't base it around it and drove from San Francisco down the Pacific Coast Highway (my favourite day actually, the scenery just blew me away!) to LA and then Laguna Beach. Universal was brilliant, I enjoyed the studio tour (visiting the sets) as much as the rides themselves, we didn't bother going to Disney - far too much else to do!!
And we had a car and saw what we needed to see in LA in a day (Hollywood Blvd and walk of fame, Hollywood sign and Beverly Hills).
I've now got very distracted looking at the UK version of that site and seeing whether local taxi drivers are ripping us off . . .
I have just found this taxi fare finder, which might help.
And Chopstheduck - that helps as well. We don't do International Drive, just the parks. I thought that we could do California as a theme park holiday, and then go back and do the nature stuff as a different type of break another time, but it looks as if there isn't enough of the theme parks to fill a fortnight.
Bunbaker - a taxi? We don't hate driving we just want a break from it!
Thanks Cider - that sort of comparison is just what I'm after, I appreciate that.
if you only want the theme parks then go for Florida. Flights are cheaper, and you don't have all the driving.
I love Cali, didn't like Florida much at all, but in Cali we only went to one park, drove nearly 3000 miles and saw so many amazing things. It can take an hour to get into LA in traffic from Disney too, so probably not the kind of thing you want to do.
I think too, that I-Drive and all of that is much nicer than the cali equivalent if you are into the parks mainly.
We did California this summer (and Nevada). We did a lot of driving but we expected it. There is lots to do and see but tbh Disney and universal in California are not a big as in Orlando. We have done Orlando too. We spent a morning at universal in California as that was enough. Didn't bother with Disney. We did Hollywood in a day.
Basically California is a very different holiday to Orlando. The theme park/Hollywood bit is only a small part really.
Yes. You would miss out on Death Valley, Yosemite, San Diego, Lake Tahoe - basically all the natural beauty that California has to offer. If all you are going to do is visit theme parks you might as well take the shorter flight to Florida.
OH hates driving, but driving in the US is much less stressful than driving on our overcrowded roads. How do you propose to get to the hotel from the airport, a distance of 35 miles?
We've done Florida quite a lot though Cider - what we wanted from California was Universal, Disney, Six Flags, cheesy Hollywood stuff, over 2 weeks. I was just wondering whether that was possible. It's the same cost and time of flights for us as far as I can see.
Tbh if all you want is Disney/Universal and the ease of Disney hotels etc you will be better off in Florida. Orlando is geared towards the parks whereas California just happens to have parks iykwim. There is much more to California than the Disney type parks and it seems a waste to go so much further and only do the Disney stuff.
It just doesn't seem like a holiday if we're driving Bunbaker - we'd do it if we had to, but would rather not. What would we miss out on do you think? Could you stay at that Sheraton and be at Disney and Universal from opening until close quite easily? Thank you!
It's a shame about not driving. California is just a brilliant place to visit and you would miss out on so much without a car. The only place we stayed in where we didn't need a car was San Francisco. We stayed at the Sheraton in Anaheim, where they provided a courtesy bus to Disneyland, and we took a bus tour of LA that included a visit to Universal studios.
Generally, though California is geared around the motor car, not the pedestrian or public transport user.
Thanks Attila - yes, I know that Six Flags is further away which is why I'm thinking we need three different hotels for this sort of holiday. We've looked at those three Disney hotels as well so it would be great if someone who has stayed there could let me know what they're like in comparison to the Florida versions.
There are three Disney run and owned hotels adjacent to Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim. I cannot comment on these though because I have no direct experience of any of these hotels.
I would look at a map of the Greater Los Angeles area. Los Angeles is a vast sprall of many interlinked cities. It would take around 60-90 minutes travel time depending on traffic to get to Universal Studios in North Hollywood from Anaheim.
You also mention Six Flags; this is located in Valencia which could entail another hour on top of travel time to arrive there from Anaheim. Six Flags is mainly geared at teenagers.
Trying to work out what would be the best option here. Not looking for people to tell me that theme parks are dreadful, just some input on what I'm not sure about please!
We've been to Florida quite a few times and only do WDW, Universal, Busch, Sea World. I'm not a theme park person but I'm happy enough to go for everyone else, I just find people to talk to. Everyone else loves it, so we know that would be a good holiday but . . .
wondering about California next time. The main problem is accommodation. We like to stay in a Disney hotel and a Universal hotel in Florida, as we don't want to hire a car, the kids like the feel of the on-site hotels, and the Universal fast pass/Disney extra hours is great. However, in California, it looks as if the hotels aren't as themed for Disney so they'd lose than element, and that we would need to stay in three different areas - extra one for Six Flags. Don't fancy the constant packing and unpacking.
Also, there is the option there to do all the cheesy tourist stuff, which I definitely would like - if we stayed in a theme park hotel, is that close to anything else or would we need to move again for all of that?
Any advice very welcome indeed - thank you!
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