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Old 01-22-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: HP/Eagle Rock
330 posts, read 1,220,828 times
Reputation: 143

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Coming to check out California for the first time in late March and early April.
It will be just myself and my 3 kids (7-14).
Flying in LAX and renting a car.
We plan on doing the tourist stuff like Legoland, Universal, Knotts maybe Disneyland.
My preference is to do a vacation rental instead of hotels, but I am open to hotels too, just scared of hotel taxes, fees, kids getting into the minifridge, nightly parking, etc. that bump the prices upwards.
In addition to the amusement parks, I plan on driving by and possibly stopping into the areas marked on the map below:

I need advice as to whether or not I should get one home base vacation rental in the Hollywood area and then travel around to the various places, including Anaheim and Santa Barbara, or move around, making plans to attend Disney and go to Santa Barbara on certain days??
I have the kids so I never know what is going to happen, so that is why maybe I should NOT plan my trip day by day or because I have kids that is why I should?? LOL

Another thing is that the airline is charging $25 per bag to check in, that is each way, so I was thinking about packing light (one bag with all of our clothing and getting a place (or different places) with a washer-dryer instead.

Can anyone share their experiences, previous vacationers or residents?

Thank you!
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,527,516 times
Reputation: 3402
encino? glendale? inglewood? i can see burbank if you wanted to catch a filming of a show, but other places really aren't very interesting places, even for locals. even culver city really doesn't have that much going on unless you wanted grab a decent bite to eat before catching a movie. having said that, i would stay in LA and travel from there, hollywood or the coastal area would be best. you should also put the farmer's market/grove on your list, the kids will probably like it.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:21 PM
 
671 posts, read 1,914,508 times
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It can be a fairly long drive from LA to Anaheim/Santa Ana depending on traffic. If you were going down in Orange County for more than one day, I'd sleep there in Anaheim instead of driving back and forth to LA.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:35 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,936,811 times
Reputation: 6716
I agree with Mike121. If you're going to Disneyland or Knotts I'd consider staying near there for the day before and after; might as well get your full day's money worth out of the ticket. Legoland is quite a bit down the coast, closer to San Diego, so I definitely wouldn't try to do it as a daytrip from LA.

In general, though, I do think staying in one place is your best bet. Maybe cluster Anaheim and/or Carlsbad stuff at one end of the trip, then spend the bulk of your nights in one central place in LA. With nine nights you have some room to work with. The vacation rental (as opposed to hotel) sounds like an excellent one.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:34 AM
 
2,914 posts, read 4,749,698 times
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Gee, I hope no one from Legoland is reading this but I'd forego the experience. Stay a night somewhere in OC and go to Knotts and Disneyland with the cash and time you'll save. And/or you can spend the money going to Medieval Times or Pirate Dinner Adventure (they're only about a mile from Knotts and next door to each other) to make it a whole day into evening out plus dinner with the family. Yeah, sorry Legoland. I wasn't all that into it.

Legoland: $67/Adult; $57/Child
Medieval Times: $47.95/Adult; $33.95/Child (No drive, less expense; meal, but it's only an evening's dinner and show, not an all-day excursion.)
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:39 AM
 
Location: HP/Eagle Rock
330 posts, read 1,220,828 times
Reputation: 143
Thank you I will look at breaking up the trip with half up north and a couple of nights south. Would something in Newport Beach be OK for Orange County?
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
1,287 posts, read 4,704,227 times
Reputation: 663
Yes, I agree that breaking up the trip between Orange County and LA makes a lot of since. You can do Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Laguna Beach, Legoland etc. while based in OC. And then come up to LA to do Universal Studios, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, The Getty, and day trip to Santa Barbara. When in Orange County, it probably would be best to stay in Anaheim near Disneyland. There is tons of lodging around there that caters to families with young children.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:30 AM
 
Location: HP/Eagle Rock
330 posts, read 1,220,828 times
Reputation: 143
Thank you, I am looking at some Priceline and Hotwire strategies for getting a place in Anaheim. Can you tell me if Tues, Weds are good days to go to the Parks (it will be Easter week though so it may be busy all week?) if I want to avoid big lines or is that just inevitable?
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
44 posts, read 70,075 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2peaches2oranges View Post
Thank you, I am looking at some Priceline and Hotwire strategies for getting a place in Anaheim. Can you tell me if Tues, Weds are good days to go to the Parks (it will be Easter week though so it may be busy all week?) if I want to avoid big lines or is that just inevitable?
From my experience the Parks are always somewhat crowded, especially on holidays. You might also try the Aquarium of the Pacific here in Long Beach or the Queen Mary, they are both really cool and only around 25 minutes from LA straight down the 110 or the 710.
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