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California Here We Come Trip

California Here We Come Trip

Old Jun 17, 15, 3:31 am
  #1  
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California Here We Come Trip

Planning a trip with family - short 7 days, itinerary as follow:

Day 1 Arrive LAX, pick up car, drive to San Diego 1 night
Day 2 Day tour San Diego, late afternoon drive to Santa Clarita
Day 3 Six Flag Amusement Park
Day 4 Morning Check out, drive towards Monteray, via Ventura
Day 5 Morning drive towards San Jose, outlet mall
Day 6 Morning towards San Francisco, city tour, Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Forest another Mall in evening, stay another night San Jose
Day 7 Drive towards LA via inland highway
Day 8 Free day in LA, check out outlet mall, evening drive to airport and check in - 0125 flight takes off for BKK

Experts of the area, is this workable?

Advice and tips welcome, thank you.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 4:50 am
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What time of year will this be? It can make a difference.

What are ages of kids?

Some of your driving days seem pretty ambitious. The drive from Santa Clarita to Monterey on the Pacific Coast Highway will be pretty much all day in the car. Some of the finest coastal scenery in the world and little time to stop off occasionally along the way and enjoy it.

Would it be possible to rearrange your flights to arrive at LAX or SAN (San Diego) and depart for home from SFO (San Francisco) or SJC (San Jose)? Eliminating that long backtrack to LA would make for a more relaxed and enjoyable visit.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
What time of year will this be? It can make a difference.

What are ages of kids?

Some of your driving days seem pretty ambitious. The drive from Santa Clarita to Monterey on the Pacific Coast Highway will be pretty much all day in the car. Some of the finest coastal scenery in the world and little time to stop off occasionally along the way and enjoy it.

Would it be possible to rearrange your flights to arrive at LAX or SAN (San Diego) and depart for home from SFO (San Francisco) or SJC (San Jose)? Eliminating that long backtrack to LA would make for a more relaxed and enjoyable visit.
Kid ... she's no more a kid, college student....

I know Santa Clarita to Monterrey can be long, so no hotel bookings, if need be just stop and stay a night somewhere, then next day to San Josť.

Will arrive LAX and not possible to depart from SFO as THAI don't fly from there. The backtrack is planned as it would be cheaper then flying SFO - LAX. Gave myself 1 day of driving with plenty of stop. Then I will have a free day shopping before heading to LAX for return to BKK.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 5:21 am
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I forgot to add, this trip will be done in mid July,.... in about 3 weeks time...
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Old Jun 17, 15, 6:44 am
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I would skip San Diego. If you're only going for a day and then trying to drive to Santa Clarita in the "late afternoon", you're setting yourself up for a miserable drive. You will have traffic leaving San Diego, all through Orange County, all through Los Angeles County, etc. Spend the first night getting accommodated in LA and spend the next day touring LA before driving up to Santa Clarita. If you want another outlet mall to explore check out the Citadel Outlets on the 5 Freeway around City of Commerce.

And Six Flags is likely to be brutally hot in the middle of July.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
I would skip San Diego. If you're only going for a day and then trying to drive to Santa Clarita in the "late afternoon", you're setting yourself up for a miserable drive. You will have traffic leaving San Diego, all through Orange County, all through Los Angeles County, etc. Spend the first night getting accommodated in LA and spend the next day touring LA before driving up to Santa Clarita. If you want another outlet mall to explore check out the Citadel Outlets on the 5 Freeway around City of Commerce.

And Six Flags is likely to be brutally hot in the middle of July.
Have to be in San Diego to pick up the daughter...... done LA previously and also Citadel Outlets. Perhaps I would have to leave San Diego in the early afternoon.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 8:16 am
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Put the daughter on an Amtrak train and pick her up at Union Station in downtown LA.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by kapitan View Post
Have to be in San Diego to pick up the daughter......
Buy her an Amtrak ticket and meet her in LA. The drive from San Diego to Santa Clarita can easily take 4-5 hours on a midweek afternoon.

If interested in stopping at an outlet mall, the Camarillo Premium Outlet mall, on the way to Ventura and Monterey, is infinitely superior to the Citadel.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by kapitan View Post
Have to be in San Diego to pick up the daughter...... done LA previously and also Citadel Outlets. Perhaps I would have to leave San Diego in the early afternoon.
If Day 2 is a weekday, leaving early afternoon maybe worst than late afternoon. Leave early afternoon, you hit traffic in LA. Leaving late afternoon, you may hit traffic leaving San Diego, but by the time you get to LA, the traffic would be better.. after 7pm.

It is only a 2 to 3 hours drive without traffic, I would just have dinner at San Diego and leave in the evening around 7pm and you will probably get to your hotel before 10pm.
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Old Jun 18, 15, 9:08 am
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I'd seriously recommend getting a one way flight from BUR to SFO, OAK, or SJC after Magic Mountain, then another from the bay area to LAX mid day on day 8. This'll save you quite a bit of driving considering you don't have very much time.

I also second Need's advice about leaving San Diego later. Leave at the wrong time and you could turn a 2-3 hour drive into 5-6 hours. LA traffic is something you don't want to mess with.

BTW if you're not familiar with them Southwest Airlines doesn't publish their fares outside of their website, and they are the major carrier BUR-bay area, and one of the main players bay area-LAX.

Last edited by Lost; Jun 18, 15 at 9:40 am
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Old Jun 18, 15, 9:40 am
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Obviously these are just a personal opinions --

1) Unless amusement parks are a major attraction for your family, I would skip Six Flags? My son's family - wife and 2 teenage sons - went there last year and wondered why they wasted the time.

2) As others have said, the one day drive up the coast will be tiring and you will be most tired for the most scenic (and stressful driving) part of it. I would encourage you to plan an overnight in either Morro Bay or Cambria.

3) You mentioned Ventura but I'm not sure why. If you split the drive north with an overnight, I would encourage you to spend a little time in Santa Barbara instead.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 4:06 am
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Drive CA-1 southbound instead of northbound. Closer to the ocean and much easier to pull over to take pictures.
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Old Jun 20, 15, 4:46 pm
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Bring your own water - we can't spare any of ours.
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Old Jun 20, 15, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Put the daughter on an Amtrak train and pick her up at Union Station in downtown LA.
This is very good advice. If I ever need to go to San Diego, driving is my last choice. Amtrak is my first choice.

You can buy the ticket for her online, and it isn't hard to get to the Amtrak station in San Diego.

If you insist on traveling to San Diego yourself, take the train. You can come back the same day, and if you're jet lagging at all, you get somewhere between four to six hours to nap on the train (two or three hours going down, two or three hours coming back). Go for business class, bring some ear plugs, and have a nice sleep. You can even get a coupla beers on the train, if that seems good to you. Or you could have a nice relaxing evening in San Diego-- many nice hotels are more or less close to the train station-- and come back the next day.

Be advised, since you wrote that you were traveling in July: they will have Comic Con down in San Diego from July 8 to July 12, and it will probably be more crowded than usual on the train and in the hotels close to the convention center during that time.
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Old Jun 20, 15, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more View Post
Drive CA-1 southbound instead of northbound. Closer to the ocean and much easier to pull over to take pictures.
But much scarier if you aren't used to driving this type of road.
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