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Can anyone share their US West Coast itinary - child friendly(6 Posts)
We are visiting family in San Francisco this Summer and then will drive down and fly home from San Diego over 2 week’s.
I have done the SFO to LA drive a few times but never below LA and never with kids. We are now travelling with 2 boys - 5 & 8. Could anyone share a child friendly itinerary- covering Disney etc but also some more chilled time? Recommendations for specific places to stay also appreciated.
I think Highway 1 is still closed and not due to open until the end of the summer so that might influence your plans.
We had four kids wth us - 6, 4, 4 and 3.
We had four night/3 days in SF then left early morning to Monterey, did the Aquarium and a wander but didn't stay the night. Partly because we were struggling to find accommodation and partly because we found it easier to do a minimum two night stop.
So that same day we drove on to Big Sur Campground and Cabins and had two nights there. Lovely spot for kids and is just north of the road closure.
We then had a long day drive to Santa Barbara but did a break at Pismo Beach. Two nights in Santa Barbara in an Airbnb which was nice. We just had one day in SB - went to the beach, swimming, lunch on the pier and then there is a water taxi/boat ride that we did.
Next day we drove to Anaheim. Half of us went via the Reagan Library (doable with kids) and half of us via the Queen Mary (also fine with kids).
We had three nights in Anaheim. You don't need to stay in a Disney hotel (although of course you can!) Lots of non-Disney options just a few mins walk away. We stayed at the Fairfield Marriott which was fine. The Marriott Courtyard next door had a better pool with slides etc. I think if you google 'Good Neighbour' hotels there are a range of options very close to Disney.
We had two days at Disney which was full on but just right! We also did a character evening meal the night we arrived which worked well.
We didn't do anything else in LA - for us that was fine as it was August and we didn't think the kids would appreciate any of the sights in that heat. I think whatever you do in LA I would stay close by. So if you wanted to also do Universal I would stay at Universal for a few days and then move to Anaheim for Disney. We found the traffic crossing the city was horrendous so having a five minute walk to the Disney gate was perfect for us.
After that we headed to Sequoia (2 nights Wuksaki Lodge) and then Yosemite (3 nights Half Dome Village Cabins) and then home from SF. You could always do SF - Yosemite - Sequoia - LA then coast to San Diego?
Just to say - we did this pre-road closure so we're on Highway 1 for the coast but!
Highly recommend the Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego. Closer to the ocean than downtown. Own beach, nice pool, free parking. We had a room with 2 double beds, sitting area & tiny but functional kitchen. Twice a week they do early evening Disney/Pixar films on a screen on the beach or by the pool & we saw a craft session one day but it is not somewhere that has a 9-5 children's club.
Go to La Jolla (about 15mins drive) and paddle with the sealions - just amazing ! If your DSs are sporty it was easy to get baseball tickets on the day (so many matches in a week), family friendly atmosphere & loads of parking nearby.
Southern California is lovely. Paddle boarding/kayaking at Dana Point (or the whale watching boat trips). There’s a “baby beach” there too with a very shallow incline and roped off which is great for kids.
Disney/Legoland/San Diego Zoo.
Pretend City and Discivery Cube in Irvine are great too but indoors.
Laguna Beach nice too.
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