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Old 06-29-2018, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Mars City
5,732 posts, read 2,611,660 times
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My family is planning a trip to the LA area, and are curious about our tentative plans. We have two children (9 and 16) and are interested in a mix of fun and scenic activities. Here's what we have so far for the three full days we'll have:

Day 2 - Universal Studios (we'll be staying nearby)
Day 3 - drive west on 101, south on 27, Toganga State Park?, Tuna Canyon Park?, drive along the coast, see the Malibu area
Day 4 - go to Santa Monica, the pier, Palisade Parks(?), probably the beach, other?

Obviously, the focus isn't on the urban areas. Are there things we should know, other than traffic? Areas along 101 (Ventura Fwy?) to avoid? Parking hassles? Any notable restaurants to go to in those areas? Completely different places to go?

Last edited by Thoreau424; 06-29-2018 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Mars City
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No comments or suggestions? I always help others when they ask vacation questions for my area.

Did I say something offensive or annoying?
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:31 PM
 
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No, you didn't.

The 101 runs north and south.

You can do Malibu and Santa Monica on the same day.
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:48 PM
 
1,523 posts, read 774,519 times
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Good evening,

I was just in metro L.A. myself for vacation. I've been more than a half dozen times. Sounds like a good itinerary. If you find you have more time on your hands, a drive south on the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County is great too (Huntington Beach, New Port Beach and Laguna Beach). Also, in O.C. of course Disney Land, Knotts Berry Farm are there. I would also consider taking the train if you decide San Diego is worth your time. Use Metrolink. Amtrak runs a double decker train with wifi and power outlets. It beats the 100 mile drive to SD. the San Diego Zoo can't be beat and Old Town San Diego is great for browsing.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:30 AM
 
Location: The Big Apple and Shytown and Miami and Dallas and Milwalkie and St Paul-Mineopolis n DCMV n WestBay
1,289 posts, read 1,619,104 times
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Try tripadvisor forums. It is much more active when comes from responses about travel related in LA.
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Aliso Viejo, Orange County, CA
5,166 posts, read 6,740,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Good evening,

I was just in metro L.A. myself for vacation. I've been more than a half dozen times. Sounds like a good itinerary. If you find you have more time on your hands, a drive south on the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County is great too (Huntington Beach, New Port Beach and Laguna Beach). Also, in O.C. of course Disney Land, Knotts Berry Farm are there. I would also consider taking the train if you decide San Diego is worth your time. Use Metrolink. Amtrak runs a double decker train with wifi and power outlets. It beats the 100 mile drive to SD. the San Diego Zoo can't be beat and Old Town San Diego is great for browsing.

This is very good advice. If the OP stays in a central location like Laguna Beach, he can make the drive up to LA, over to Disneyland, and down to San Diego without the need for a train.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,732 posts, read 2,611,660 times
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^ As mentioned before, our hotel is close to Universal Studios, so not a central location. We're mostly focused on sites - especially scenic - that are north and west of L.A., and along the coast, away from the denser urban areas.

Thanks for the comments, and the tripadviser forum suggestion.

Last edited by Thoreau424; 07-02-2018 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:03 PM
DKM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
3,854 posts, read 1,368,016 times
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Santa Monica pier all the way up Hwy 1 PCH to Point Magu with stops along the way is a very nice day (or the other way around). That's pretty much my plan for Thursday and it never gets old. I wouldn't drive down Topanga from where you are. Its a fun drive from the beach though, as the view is spectacular at the top. For you it would be more fun to take Sunset or SM Blvd over and see some neighborhoods by car without wasting time walking around. If you're from out of state, it can be quite interesting. Near Universal you also have the option to check out some view points, like 7036 Mullholland. Other things you can do with the kids is some museum near La Brea. Getty (either of them). Griffith Observatory. All of these things are crowded in the summer though, and so plan accordingly. I suggest having the passenger navigate with live traffic on their phone.

You could make it to Santa Barbara for another day if you are up for it. 2 hours driving, maybe less if you go at the right time.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:40 PM
 
2,504 posts, read 3,273,975 times
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I agree about Santa Monica & Malibu/PCH on the same day.

I think Malibu/PCH is a great idea as you'll get some great scenic views & probably not to bad of traffic once you get away from Santa Monica.

Pay attention to the off roads because sometimes you can pull off the PCH and go up some mountains/hills & get some great views of the beach.

I also recommend Griffith Observatory but you might have difficulty with parking. It could be very crowded but might not be bad before 10.

Santa Monica pier will probably be very crowded but it's def something you should do if you're there.

Since you're near Universal Studios you could drive up the mountains & see some of the awesome houses. This will also allow you to get a great view down at the town. I think DKM mentioned what I'm thinking of in terms of a place to park and have a view down at the direction of Universal Studios.
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