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San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles

(30 Posts)
peachygirl Sat 29-Jul-06 16:12:46

We're off to these three very soon looking for any tips/ must do/sees recommendations

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 29-Jul-06 16:26:38

How long are you spending in each city and where are you staying?. This is particularly important with regards to LA as this city is a series of mini cities spread over a very wide area.

Alipiggie Sat 29-Jul-06 16:28:30

Only been to SF - trolley car ride, trip around the bay and/or Alcatraz. Pier 69 Fisherman's Wharf superb restaurants down by the water. Lombard Street, has the most bends of any road in world. Well worth a visit. It's a fabulous city you'll have a great time. Don't know the others at all. Although I hear a helicopter ride over the Hollywood Hills is cool. Vegas will be very very hot. Have a great trip.

apronstrings Sat 29-Jul-06 16:39:25

los angeles is a sprawl - I don't think there is much to do other than shopping. It is fun to see the holywood sign, rodeo drive, santa monica boulevard etc but there isn't much to them other than saying you've been. Santa Monica , the coast and the smaller shops are nice and interesting. The getty museum has a great reputation and my parents raved about it - but I haven't been there - i think you used to have to book (?)

There is of course Disney at Annerheim - which is not far

SittingBull Sat 29-Jul-06 16:47:26

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HAPPYFACE Sat 29-Jul-06 17:24:13

Dh and I went on fly drive for 3-4 weeks in 1998, it was fantastic. We did San fran but not much there to interest us other than the prison which was briliant. Pretty sure it was in Palm Springs, which is not too far, there was a lovely water park with slides etc, will check with Dh later and post again if I'm wrong.
Las Vegas was fantastic, would love to go back but don't feel the children would appreciate it as much as us (need my mum to agree to look after kids!) It really doesn't sleep, we liked the fact that when you are on the fruit machines the waitresses come round to get you drinks, and they are free!! Only went on gaming tables once and lost too much money too quickly!!
LA has a jewellery shopping area a bit like London Hatton gdns, we brought my engagement ring there and got a really good deal!!
If I think of anything else I'll let you know, but I would def go back if I could.
I suppose it's everyones different taste really because went to New York in 2000 and didn't think much of it!!

apronstrings Sat 29-Jul-06 17:35:57

happyface - we are planniong new york with the children this autumn. Did you take your children when you went?

HAPPYFACE Sat 29-Jul-06 17:43:47

No, it was the last leg of our honeymoon, we went round the world!! Then we didn't go away for 5 years because of having the children, and now were not brave enough to do a long haul flight again with them yet!! So were sticking to canaries etc
We stopped off in Hong Kong, on to Oz Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, off to New Zealand, then to Hawaii (would go back, thought it was really nice) lastly New York. I think someone should go if they've never been because it is an experience.
But I just didn't find it very exciting/nice to make me need to go again.

Steppy1 Sat 29-Jul-06 17:54:33

Wow this brings back memories !!! We did San Fran, drive down Highway 1, across the Mohave Desert, Grand Canyon, across Hoover Dam, into Vegas then back to San Fran in just over a fortnight (before children of course !!) It was knackering but fantastic. Highly recommend the MGM hotel in Vegas (wasn't that expensive ) and just walked around people watching (fascinating experience watching all the old dears at the slot machines and the serious gamblers, mainly japanese in the roped off casino areas !!) San Franciso was fab because it was during "Fleet week" (October) when all the boating fraternity get together and sail into the Harbour...the Blue Arrows (equiv to our Red Arrows) also show off with some spectacular flying stunts just above the boats...Grand canyon was awe inspiring, emotional and very humbling...try and visit if you can it is well worth the detour !!! Have a fab time..and enjoy

peachygirl Sat 29-Jul-06 20:35:59

Hi thanks all we're in SF and LV for 4 days and then LA for 6 days.
Sitting bull sadly no children yet I'm pregnant with my first I will be 13 weeks when we travel. We staying in the Stratosphere in LV and and at the moment are planning a trip to the grand canyon/ hoover dam probably by coach, we're already doing 4 flights and and another, even in a light aircraft, isn't too appealing! As part of the deal we are getting a free night flight over LV. I'll make a decision about that when we get there.
We would like to go to Alcatraz and walk over the golden gate bridge and DH is keen to go to Berkley, he lectures in US politics so the bookshops will be a big draw, also the Richard Nixon Birthplace, which might seem a strange choice to most but will be very interesting for him.
We're not big theme park people but are thinking of universal studios but obviously no rollercoasters for me!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 29-Jul-06 22:10:40


Not at strange choice to my mind; my brother once paid a visit to that museum!!.

Nixon's library is at Yorba Linda; the directions for which are given below:-

From DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES: Go south on Interstate 5 to Highway 91. Take Highway 91 east to Highway 57. Take Highway 57 North and exit Yorba Linda Boulevard. Head east (turn right) on Yorba Linda Boulevard and proceed to the Museum at 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard. is the website to look at and has all sorts of information.

What part of LA are you staying in?. I ask this as if you're staying in the Hollywood area you can get the Metro train service up to Universal. If you're staying somewhere other than Hollywood you'll need to book an excursion or drive.

SF is nice and there's good shopping around Union Square in particular - Macys is v good for shopping along with Nordstrom (my fave department store!). Fishermans Wharf area is touristy with some nice restaurants (Bubba Gumps is good) but you can get boats from there to take you across to Sausalito and other places.

Do consider a trip out to the Grand Canyon when you;re there.

Would recommend you see the Forum shops at Caesars Palace, pay particular attention to the sky in there and the fountain of Bacchus!!. Spagos (for lunch) is excellent. Hoover Dam is worth a trip out and is not too long a journey. Haven't stayed at the Stratosphere Tower but have been inside the casino and it looked perfectly fine.

Hope you have a fab time!!.

batters Sat 29-Jul-06 22:31:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

copycat Sat 29-Jul-06 23:44:35

Hi peachygirl, congrats on your pregnancy
We toured California with our kids in 2003 when they were 5 and 8. We took a city tour of SF which included Alcatraz in the afternoon and that worked out really well. We all loved Alcatraz and the bus tour enabled us to see parts of the city we may have otherwise missed. It was also historically informative. Do ride the trolleys though and visit Pier 39 where you might alos see the Sea Lions. We also took a one day trip to Yosemite National Park which is very beautiful.
From SF we flew to San Diego and from there we drove up to LA staying in a hotel in the 'colourful' Venice Beach/Muscle Beach area. Santa Monica is nice and within easy reach of Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood. We drove from LA to Las Vegas where we stayed three nights at the Venetian before flying back to SF for our return flights. We took a helicopter trip over the hoover dam and Grand Canyon and landed at a ranch for lunch where the kids and adults could take a horse ride. Each of the big themed hotels is worth a visit - you can take a roller coaster ride around New York New York hotel or at the top of the Stratosphere Tower - well your DH can! Take a gondola ride around the canals at the Venetian, watch the dancing fountains at Bellagio, go and see the lions at MGM hotel or the tigers at The Mirage (if they are still there) and watch the volcano erupt outside, check out the mummys at the pyramid shaped Luxor Hotel and the Forum shops at Caesars Palace are definitely worth a visit ... phew! Have a fantastic trip. When do you leave?

SittingBull Sun 30-Jul-06 10:42:25

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SittingBull Sun 30-Jul-06 10:51:00

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SittingBull Sun 30-Jul-06 10:53:04

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peachygirl Sun 30-Jul-06 11:29:35

Hi thanks everyone especially Attila for the directions to the Nixon birthplace!
In SF we are in a hotel on Sutter st which seems pretty central and in LA we are in the Marina Del Rey so a bit further out so we have hired a car but I'm hoping for a least one day of lounging in the sun. I'll be ready for the gasps from tanned californians regarding my pasty white body!!

aDAdOnMumsnet Mon 31-Jul-06 09:53:14

We were really impressed by Yosemite National Park - not toooo far out of your way really, and just stunning scenery, waterfalls, mountains and wildlife - scenery that you'll recognise from the film Jurassic Park. It's quite easy to rent a 'condo' in the middle of the woods - all mod cons and room for the family, but far enough away from the main road to feel you are away from it all. We loved SF and driving highway 1, but really felt the places we came across beyond that lacked any soul, and Yosemite was a joy and antidote to that.

The great thing about America with kids is that any motel you stop at usually has enormous king-size beds and apartment style rooms, so you can fit the whole family in easily.

aDAdOnMumsnet Mon 31-Jul-06 09:59:59

Sorry just read your thread properly - you dont have kids yet, in which case you'll have even more room!!

Also nice trip from SF is across golden gate bridge (easily done on rented bikes if not driving) and to Muir woods, and its nearby beaches.

triplets Tue 01-Aug-06 17:06:30

This brings back lots of happy memories for me too. We did 2 trips in 91 and 93 with our son Matthew. Went to all the places mentioned, the number one for me was the Grand Canyon, everyone should see it before they die! Loved the 17 mile drive along the Big Sur area, and had a lovely breakfast at The Madonna Inn, a real quirky place which is fab, also took one of the tours at Hearst Castle, out of this world, thats nr San Luis Obispo, I suppose my least favourite place was LA, we did have fun though in Disneyland. I loved the desert, Joshua Tree Monument, oh I could go on! You will have a ball, it is as they say Awesome! We are planning to go next Aug, Cali/Arizona with our triplets who will be 9 by then, are we mad...........yes, but I know it will be a fantastic experience for them as it was for my beloved Matthew. So glad we did it all with him, the trip will bring back memories for us, tinged with sadness, but hopefully he`ll be with us in spirit, now I am feeling sad.........

aDAdOnMumsnet Thu 03-Aug-06 10:22:35

Hi triplets, it sounds like going back to california/arizona is going to be a truly special trip for you. I hope so!

triplets Thu 03-Aug-06 20:46:18

Thanks for that message, what I am trying to do now is find really unusual accomodation, something out of the ordinary, something fun. Hate the thought of being in a motel with no space with these three, ok wheen it was just the three of us. Any ideas?

aDAdOnMumsnet Fri 04-Aug-06 08:03:02

Not sure I'm going to have any great suggestions for you - my family was only 2 of us at the time! I certainly have no experience of having 9 yr old triplets!

If you were going to Yosemite, I was told by a couple of people about staying at Camp Curry, where the accomodation is in very large luxury tents. They look quite fun...

Camp Curry

Beyond that I dont have any ideas. What about a giant motorhome for a few days?

mogwai Sun 06-Aug-06 23:25:25

we did the same trip in 1999

San fran was a great place, though it looked easy to walk everywhere and yet when we did it we ended up trekking for hours

We also went to South Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, both of which were fab

We stopped at Monterrey and St Luis Obispo (sp???) on the way to LA, which I think kids would enjoy.

LA was a real letdown so we shipped out to San Diego (about 80 miles??). There's Sea World there for the kids and it's much smaller and more manageable than LA

Las Vegas was hilarious, the kids will love it

triplets Mon 07-Aug-06 22:26:16

We have been to all the places mentioned with Matthew, so this time although we want to do something similar we are hoping to find something new and different. As I said we won`t be able to drive hour after hour listening to Camel Radio with these three, so will probably end up in 3/4 places and use them as a base. Just something abit different and fun and not madly expensive! Can`t do anything yet though as the flights for next summer are still not on sale!

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