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California Road Trip , ideas for 5 night stay, self catering beach resort near to end of trip???

(8 Posts)
georgeclooneyfan Fri 25-Mar-16 10:21:30

Hello, we are looking to go on a US west coast road trip in July of this year for 3 weeks. I did post something similar a while ago, so apologies. Looking to do San Fran, Yosemite?, PCH, LA, LV, then home. We almost booked last year but my son ended up in hospital and we didnt go, thankfully he is doing well now. My dh is 50 in July as well and we have fancied doing this for a while.

We were going to fly into San Fran stay 3/4 nights, either go north to Muir Woods, Big Basin Redwoods Park which is further down than San Fran or across to Yosemite (dh is driving so he is thinking more of the other options rather than Yosemite ,any advice would be great??) if we chose Yosemite we would then go back to the coast via Monterey and head down the PCH stopping at various places for at least 2 nights each time to give us time to see things. It would be myself, dh, dd (17) and ds (14). Although its a road trip, we are trying to make sure we dont spend loads of time in the car.

I've been trawling the web places to stay etc and for things to do to keep us all amused. One of our bug bears is that we will all have to share a hotel room or get two rooms, we are so used to going self catering, its going to be an expensive trip and we want to enjoy it but not sure we are going to get a proper nights sleep as my son is a real night owl! Im sure we will be fine, just a bit of a thought if we all havent slept very well, lots of grumpy people on a road trip hmm. Have looked at Airbnb but as I dont really know the areas its hard to know where to stay.

So basically we had thought of maybe staying for 5 nights in self catering house or villa nearer to LA (basically to catch up on sleep and for dh to get a rest from driving ) not sure of what resorts would be safe and have things for us all to do.Been looking at Newport Beach, Huntingdon etc. Then we head to Las Vegas for a couple of nights then to Grand Canyon, back to Vegas then home to Scotland.

I feel tired just typing this and reading what we are going to do maybe we are trying to do too much? Any advice would be very grateful.Thanks in advance.

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whattodoforthebest2 Fri 25-Mar-16 11:12:00

I did a similar trip 3 years ago and ended up in LA and stayed in a hotel in Venice Beach. However, many of our stopovers were in Air BnB places and I'd highly recommend them. I stayed in Miami and New Orleans last year in Air BnB places and the accommodation was fantastic. Have a good look at their website and look at the reviews. You will certainly be able to find a self-contained apartment around Venice Beach. Incidentally, when you get very near arrival time, of course the prices drop quite dramatically. That depends how willing you are to leave it 'til the last minute. I wasn't bothered and left Miami until the morning I arrived. I was travelling with my daughter and we had 5-10 places ready to book instantly when we landed at the airport - the prices has changed and we ended up in a fab apartment overlooking the marina, with parking valet, pool etc.

Venice Beach is a lovely area, young and trendy, so my daughter loved it. However the area around it looks quite run down, so check out the area on google and read the reviews carefully. I wouldn't stay in LA itself, I wasn't that impressed, the traffic was a nightmare and, other than going to a Lakers game at the Staples Centre, I stayed well away. Venice Beach has lovely cafes by the beach, skateboarders and graffiti and street artists, it has a great vibe and is very relaxing.

We did about 17 days driving from SF to LA via Yosemite and that was enough driving and quite enough to see. Your itinerary is very full-on, I'd say.

whattodoforthebest2 Fri 25-Mar-16 12:25:13

(I mean I left organising accommodation in Miami until the morning we arrived.)

georgeclooneyfan Fri 25-Mar-16 17:02:19

Thanks for the reply whattodoforthebest2. I have been back on Air bnb and had another look like you say its a good idea to read the reviews. There are some lovely places just takes a bit of time to go through them all. Never thought of Venice beach, my dd would like it for sure. We had hoped not to spend alot of time in LA itself maybe universal studios tour not sure yet, Hollywood sign. Think it will be mega busy at any of the theme parks in the summer.

We have a big map of California and have spent many nights looking at the distances between all the places down the PCH and any detours of to Yosemite etc. We did think of missing out GC and Vegas and doing the likes of Zion, Bryce canyon and GC another time. Need to start saving!
I do agree that we are trying to cram alot in and its just knowing what to miss out.
thanks again.

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twentiethcenturybitch Fri 25-Mar-16 17:25:37

With kids of that age I would say its def worth sucking up a bit of the driving to make an amazing experience of it. Particularly as your eldest is 17 so perhaps last family hol? I can't help with accom as we did a similar 3 week jaunt, pre-kids, but I would say, don't skip the inland part, despite the driving. We flew to LA, did up the PCH then from San Fran to Yosemite, through Death Valley to Vegas, GC and then back across. Death Valley remains my all time favourite destination for its 'other worldliness' I think teenagers will find it amazing! I think the appeal of California is just how diverse the geography is, stunning coast, lushness of Yosemite, harsh desert. See it all I say! Wish I was going, but need to wait until the kids are a lot bigger.

FlowerOfTheWest Fri 25-Mar-16 17:48:22

We did a similar trip but in reverse, starting in LA. In LA we stayed in Venice Beach but I didn't like it at all, I just thought it was tacky and grotty, and there were a lot of homeless people about in the part we stayed in. That's just me though, others obviously love it. If I was going back I would stay in Santa Monica but I think it is a lot more expensive.
Other places we stayed on the way up the coast were Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach and Carmel (my favourite!).

CotedePablo Fri 25-Mar-16 18:37:02

Cambria is a wee place that's nice for a couple of days, about halfway between LA and Monterey. Have lovely memories of breakfast on Moonstone Beach.
Like others say Airbnb is great for the US.

georgeclooneyfan Sat 26-Mar-16 22:08:20

Thanks for the replies everyone, we have been looking at our map again and may rethink our route. I think your right twentiethcenturybitch that it would be great to see the how the geography is so different inland to the coast. It would be a shame to miss it, we are put off a bit by the driving distances and the heat in death valley, but that might be part of the fun hmm of it and something to remember and talk about in years to come. Santa Monica, Pismo and Cambira are on our list Flower of The West and CotedePablo thanks. My dd will have just turned 17 and right enough not sure how much longer she will want to holiday with which seems a bit sad. Im sure if we go to Australia to visit my brother she will jump at the chance grin. Away back to look at my map and look into death valley a bit more.thanks again everyone

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