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Is California overrated as a vacation destination?

Is California overrated as a vacation destination?

Old Aug 19, 19, 4:20 am
  #31  
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I think California is only “overrated” if you visit some of the most frequently-visited places at the most frequently-visited times. You may very well end up paying top dollar for a subpar experience, all while spending too much time in traffic.

But that’s true almost everywhere, isn’t it? At least when discussing top tourist spots in the U.S. or the world.

I also suspect that a lot of people who visit SF hit a few tourist spots and assume they “know” the city. Heck, there are even people who live here who don’t know the place well. Again, something that is probably universal. Visiting or even living in a place doesn’t make you an expert on it. I take individuals’ travel advice with a large grain of salt, on FT and elsewhere.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:59 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by kale73 View Post
All I’m going to say about CA is that Needles needs another ‘s’.
Sneedles?
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Old Sep 3, 19, 11:03 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
.., spending about eight days there - Tahoe, Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon NPs. Then, coast - Cambria/Big Sur/Monterey/Half Moon Bay and arrival to Bay Area before flying out.
..
So my question to the audience is: if you traveled to California for vacation and - this is important - it was not your first time, did you have a feeling that the travel did not generate the return you've expected?
what you had was a road trip with checkmarks covering a LOT of very touristy areas in 8 days probably in the middle of busy summer season. Not surprisingly it was expensive exhausting and not particularly rewarding - to put it in SEA prospective probably an equivalent of covering Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket and Samui in a week during chinese new year.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 9:28 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
what you had was a road trip with checkmarks covering a LOT of very touristy areas in 8 days probably in the middle of busy summer season. Not surprisingly it was expensive exhausting and not particularly rewarding - to put it in SEA prospective probably an equivalent of covering Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket and Samui in a week during chinese new year.
i love the south east Asia equivalent. I keep thinking of Seattle when I read SEA! That’s a FT benefit (curse?) :-)
like Kathy said, there’s much to discover in sf despite living here my whole life. I just accept that I don’t have time to see it all - I live in a neighborhood that I never even heard of as a child or young adult.

This is a great thread. Most USA cities have a lot of poverty. I keep telling people that I’ve observed this tragedy since my own childhood. Just gotta try to stay ahead of it to avoid falling into it and then help if there’s extra to donate.

I would enjoy 8 days in big sur / Monterey / Tahoe but would despise the drive with Tahoe. Add 2 more places and it’s just too much travel!
As a lifelong sf resident, this year we took an 8-day holiday to LA including half the time in Disney and I loved it. But no major rushing or pressure to see too much.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 10:52 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
I live in a neighborhood that I never even heard of as a child or young adult.

Because it didn't exist, because it had a different name, or because you just never heard of it? (I recall many years ago when people started to say "I live on Lower Nob Hill" and my retort was 'You mean Upper Tenderloin?"

One thing that has never stopped in my 34 years in the area is that there's still the sense of at least a little bit tourist while wandering around SF. An alley I never noticed, or a building I never noticed, at least from a particular angle, even though I may have passed these places many times.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 12:33 pm
  #36  
 
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Definitely not overrated! Yosemite, Big Sur, the Redwoods, Monterey Bay, Tahoe, Mammoth/June Lake, Catalina--some of the most beautiful scenery in the world--I should know, I've been to nearly 100 countries! Certainly some places like Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard, Universal Studios, etc., are simply tourist traps with nothing much to offer unless you like crowds and overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops but overall, California is a gem among the 50 states.
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Old Sep 8, 19, 7:26 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mahlerfan View Post
Definitely not overrated! Yosemite, Big Sur, the Redwoods, Monterey Bay, Tahoe, Mammoth/June Lake, Catalina--some of the most beautiful scenery in the world--I should know, I've been to nearly 100 countries! Certainly some places like Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard, Universal Studios, etc., are simply tourist traps with nothing much to offer unless you like crowds and overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops but overall, California is a gem among the 50 states.
Very true. But even Santa Monica Pier has some good qualities -- it's on the Pacific Ocean. Kind of like the Fisherman's Wharf area of SF, which is on the SF Bay, if a place has a beautiful natural setting, that redeems it to a certain extent. And there are even a few worthwhile sights around the Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 (etc.) north waterfront area. You just have to know what to seek out and what to skip.

P.S.: Mentioning Pier 39 reminded me of the resident sea lions there, and this year is the 30th anniversary of their taking up residence! It'll also be the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake (Oct. 17), after which the sea lions arrived.

Last edited by KathyWdrf; Sep 8, 19 at 7:32 pm
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Old Sep 8, 19, 9:01 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
Very true. But even Santa Monica Pier has some good qualities -- it's on the Pacific Ocean. Kind of like the Fisherman's Wharf area of SF, which is on the SF Bay, if a place has a beautiful natural setting, that redeems it to a certain extent. And there are even a few worthwhile sights around the Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 (etc.) north waterfront area. You just have to know what to seek out and what to skip.

P.S.: Mentioning Pier 39 reminded me of the resident sea lions there, and this year is the 30th anniversary of their taking up residence! It'll also be the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake (Oct. 17), after which the sea lions arrived.
Don't get me wrong. Santa Monica Pier and the adjacent Palisades do have some nice qualities (as do Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39), but if you have been to Santa Moncia lately, during the summer, especially now that the Expo light rail line can whisk tourists and beach goers to the beach from downtown LA and all points in between in under an hour, you'll know that the place is swarming with people.

Last edited by mahlerfan; Sep 8, 19 at 10:53 pm Reason: Keep the political commentary our of this forum
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Old Sep 9, 19, 5:25 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mahlerfan View Post
Don't get me wrong. Santa Monica Pier and the adjacent Palisades do have some nice qualities (as do Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39), but if you have been to Santa Moncia lately, during the summer, especially now that the Expo light rail line can whisk tourists and beach goers to the beach from downtown LA and all points in between in under an hour, you'll know that the place is swarming with people.
(Bolding mine)

Which was exactly my first point in post #31 .

Except that if a lot of those tourists are indeed using public transit instead of clogging the roadways and parking lots even more, well, at least there's that.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 11:11 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
(Bolding mine)

Which was exactly my first point in post #31 .

Except that if a lot of those tourists are indeed using public transit instead of clogging the roadways and parking lots even more, well, at least there's that.
I certainly can't disagree with you that reducing the number of cars on the congested LA area freeways and surface streets and reducing air pollution are good things!
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