We are off to California!!(222 Posts)
After many hours research and lots of help from fellow Mumsnetters on my previous thread now cant quite believe that we are all booked up (through Trailfinders) so thanks again!
Final Itinerary worked out - we fly out from Glasgow next August 31st and spend 2 nights in New York, and then fly onto California.
4 nights San Francisco, then pick up a car - 1 night Monterey - 1 night in Santa Barbara (at a lovely hotel right across from the beach) - 4 nights Los Angeles - and last but not least 4 nights in an ocean front room in a hotel on Laguna Beach!
Now we can start planning all we want to do!
Home now, what's everyone's favourite bits of their Californian holidays?
mrswobble OP here, we still have it to look forward to, we leave 31 August! What did you do and enjoy?
Had great time, sure you will too! Saw so much! We flew to SF, used open top bus (3 day pass good deal!) for getting around as we were near to Ghiradelli end of fishermans wharf where bus stops were. Loved going over GG bridge to Sausalito, did it twice! Big DS's biked the bridge. Yosemite stunning scenery. Monterey aquarium good (entry bit expensive) Pushed boat out for 2 nights at the clement on cannery row, only stay in travel inns so very impressed!
Wish we had more time on 17 mile drive and Carmel. You get given a leaflet/map when you pay $10 with all the stopping places and wildlife info marked on it. Recommend you stop at Pebble beach golf club, the route goes thru car park anyway. Walk through club house (welcomed in by door man) and see the view of the 18th green and bay, don't need to like golf to appreciate it!
Highway 1 - stopped at Bixby bridge and McWay falls for picturesque photos. LA - Griffith observatory for great views of city and Hollywood sign. Mulholland Drive and Beverly Hills for amazing houses. Santa Monica and Venice beaches for lovely sand, saw Helen Hunt film being made on beach there, not her though!
Report back when you've been! Bon Voyage!!
OMG - just found this thread! returned from LA/Orange County/San Diego 3 days ago!!!
We spent 1 night in Santa Barbara too.
Best theme park? Knotts Berry Farm.
Coastline just amazing.
Freeways - scary!!!
mrswobble, weve got the 3 day open top tour pass for SF to, plus we have hired a small car for the day there to drive over the Golden Gate bridge up to Bodega Bay. How far off the Highway is it to walk to the McWay Falls, really want to do that to Cant wait!!!!
1805 Im really looking forward to the coastline!
McWay falls is only a very short walk from the highway.
My favourite bits were:
Cycling the GGB
Big Sur Coast
My meal in Santa Barbara
JTNP and Mojave Desert
mcWay falls are next to the main highway, we weren't sure exactly where they were but came across the sign luckily. You can get more info if you google it! You could pay to park in the carpark or some people parked on a lay by on the roadside saving several dollars! It doesn't exactly gush and was smaller than I expected but if you walk to the end of path, it gives good views up the coast and some information boards about who owned the land etc. definitely a good place to stop and stretch your legs before carrying on the long drive!
It's in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Those multi-day open top bus tours are really terrific. I live just south of SF, and when I have guests come to visit, I pick up the two day passes from Big Bus/Red and White. The night tour is the best part, IMO. With Big Bus it's included for free with the multi-day tours, you just have to put your name down for a slot. Coming back across the Bay Bridge at night, with the light show going, is a blast. Bring a jacket!
If you want to do Alcatraz, get tickets well in advance. Or, if you really want to go and haven't managed to prebook, get up good and early and get to the terminal well before the first boat of the day. A lot of people with reservations miss this first cruise, owing to the early hour, and it's your best shot to get out of the standby line and onto the island.
Gah, must stop myself from rambling on.
Hope none of the posters on here are in Yosemite at the moment. Highway 120, the main road in from SF is closed due to a massive wildfire and Evergreen Lodge, which I've recommended on a few of these threads, has been evacuated.
Hope all safe.
Massive flooding in Joshua Tree too - large parts of the park closed.
Fires still raging but travel agent have assured us unless things change drastically SF should still be ok, hope it hasnt spoiled anyones holidays and everyone is ok. Getting so excited now - 3 more sleeps!!!!!!!!!
San Francisco on sky sports 4 now, fantastic pictures of the Americas cup! Shows the bay and bridge, and lots of the places we went inJuly!!!!! Sunny and blue there now looks better weather now!
We are in LA now but had glorious weather in SF to! I will never forget the day we drove over the GG Bridge!!
Im here! Got back on Tuesday morning mrswobble and still suffering jet-lag, but it was so worth it! Words can describe how much of an amazing holiday it was, everything was just so perfect and I didnt want to come home. Couldnt do everything but think we managed to do a mixture of exploration and relaxation!
Just loved San Francisco - did the open top bus tours around the city and over the GG Bridge, weather was glorious. Alcatraz eery but really good. Hired a small car and drove over the GG Bridge up to Bodega, had a sightseeing trip around including the old schoolhouse from Hitchcocks The Birds, ended up in a local shop...it had just been the 50th Anniversary and Tippi Hendren had visited and done a book signing, my DH picked up a picture she had signed and asked the woman behind the counter if it was for sale, she said hold on and I will phone and check, he assumed she was phoning her manager..next thing you hear her saying "Hello Tippi..."...yep she was phoning her to ask if she could sell it to my DH, and yes it came home with us!!!
Stopped in Santa Cruz, stayed over night in Monterey and then loved the coast drive, stopped at Bixby Bridge but somehow managed to miss the McWay Falls! Stayed overnight in Santa Barbara, our hotel was beautiful and right across from the beach...but as they were both only overnight stops didn't see much of either really. Had a great time in LA and drove up Sunset Blvd, around Beverly Hills and walked around Hollywood Blvd. Went to Venice Beach and stopped and got a picture of the High School on the way back, which was Rydell High in Grease. Had a great day at Universal Studios, not just the theme park but the studio tour was fab, saw the original sets from lots of films including Bates Motel from Psycho!
Last 4 nights was spent in Laguna Beach at a hotel right on the beach, sitting out on the balcony watching the Pacific Ocean and sun set was just glorious. Also visited Crystal Cove State Park just up the road and saw the cottage used in the film Beaches.
Welcome home! Wow that sounds amazing! We've been back about 6 weeks but still talk about how good it was. DD (11) bought a large clip frame and put tourist leaflets, tickets and photos in to make a collage which is nice to look at and remember it all! As I mentioned before, watching the Americas cup coverage, with SF looking so nice, made us want to go back. Shame so £££££ and far away.
Where would you like to go next year!
Thank you, it was amazing! . Think I'm going to do the same as your DD actually, I have a big collection and that's a good idea! We were just leaving as they were practicing for the Americas cup.
Next year we are probably back to our usual family holiday - a drive from home in the West of Scotland to France, DH is a bit worried it wont compare to this year and I've said to him you cant compare the 2 anyway, we just love France though...we hire a cottage with its own pool and basically just relax and do a bit of pottering around, especially to the supermarkets to get wine! What about yourself?
California was a one off special holiday and hard to top it! I don't know where we will go next! Cornwall is my favourite destination of choice but if we win the lottery Canada or Australia maybe?!!!
I love Cornwall to! The year we went we were very lucky and had gorgeous weather. And yes I dont think you can top California We are planning to go to Florida in 2016 with some friends, but dont want to do Disney.
So glad everyone had a great time. We live here and we love it....we holiday in California every summer now...no planes for us anymore. We just feel so exhilarated every time we leave Los Angeles to explore.....yet to do the Mohave desert so will plan that trip soon.
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