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Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

by Shezly29 Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Hello there (:
My boyfriends birthday is on september (2013) and mine would be on April (2014) so I am planning on surprising him the day of his birthday with the plane tickets and then have enough time to plan what we both want to do and so on, so it'll be a present for both of our 21st birthdays. Now my question is, what are some recommendation of MUST SEE, MUST DO. We are going for a week but we are going everywhere possible. and also what would be the cheapest but centric place to stay. Basically I need help with everything, I am doing some research but I would love to people who live or have been there I just want to enjoy and get to know new places !!

Thank youuuuu (:

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15 Answers
  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Hi. Welcome to Virtual Tourist (VT). You've posted in the California Travel Forum so I'm going to assume you mean California when you say Cali. (An advertiser for Cali in Egypt has posted and will be removed so you may not see his posts).

    You don't say where you are from so it's hard to have an idea how to help you. If you are from Europe, be aware that distances in the USA are much greater than you are used to. You can see a lot in 2 weeks, but we live in California and there's a lot we haven't seen yet. First, it's too large for you to simply base yourselves someplace and make day trips. It takes 3 days just to drive from the bottom of the state to the top of the state. You will probably want two bases, perhaps Los Angeles and San Francisco (most common).

    As a native, I'd suggest perhaps dividing into 3 bases and a road trip, trying to fly into one city and out of another. San Diego is the extreme southern city and is my favorite city in California. Type it into the VT Search Window and see photos and things to do from many VT members to see if you might be interested. Everyone seems to want to see Los Angeles because of Hollywood and Disneyland so you probably want to figure that into your plans. There is a lot more to LA than those two things so check it on the VT Travel Pages too. Flying into LA and out of San Francisco would be a good idea if you can do it.

    You might enjoy a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH or route 1) from north of Los Angeles to near San Francisco. It's the drive you see in all the movies along the Pacific coast and is spectacular. Plan at least two days, perhaps stopping in San Luis Obispo on the way. Lots of cute beach towns and spectacular ocean views.

    Finish your tour in San Francisco with perhaps a side trip to the Napa Valley wine country just north of the city. There is also Yosemite National Park and it's kind of out of the way but it would be a shame to miss it while you're here.

    If you could give us some more specifics, like where you're from, where you're flying into, what you enjoy seeing, etc. you will get a lot more suggestions.

    I'm from Sacramento, the state capitol of California and think it's a great tourist attraction too but with only 2 weeks, you will probably want to give it a pass on your first trip. I hope you'll come back and visit us sometime too.

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Oh yes, here in the state we teasingly call it socal and norcal (meaning southern California and northern California). I've never heard Cali before which is why I'm wondering if you really do mean Egypt. Let us know.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Jim_Eliason Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    As stated above California is way too big to be seen in a week. It would be best to pick one of the major cities and explore that. I think for most foreign traveller's LA would most fit their concept of California. However if your looking more for culture, then San Francisco might be a good choice. If lying on a beach is your idea of a vacation then maybe San Diego is the right place.

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  • Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Shezly29 Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I'm sorry I should of mentioned we are from miami, idk where I am flying into yet. And we enjoy pretty much everything that is new to us, we'd like to go out one night somewhere to have a good time may be club, restaurant or lounge. We'd like to see Disneyland as well I'm glad you mentioned that, we for sure want to see the view of that road as well as Hollywood. Any other attractions or activities too ! Do you recommend renting a car then ?

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  • Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Shezly29 Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    And what is the weather like in San Diego during the months of April and May?

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 18, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Yes, renting a car really makes life easier in California. Traffic is nasty in LA but not too bad elsewhere. In San Francisco you really can use public transportation. Weather in San Diego in April and May is usually lovely. They have about the best weather in the entire country. LA can be very smoggy and San Francisco can be damp and chilly, but SD is lovely. That's usually a pretty good time for anyplace in California except possibly the highest mountains. There it's impossible to predict. Can be almost anything.

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  • Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Shezly29 Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Okay thank you so much !! You guys are so helpful (;

    One more thing,
    I have a little itinerary set up thanks to you guys, please let me know what are the best areas to stay in, where its closer to the MUST SEES or MUST DO.
    - Day 1: arrive to SD early morning. Planning to stay around La Jolla?(Spend two nights, and leave third day early morning)
    - Day 3: drive to Disneyland (~2hrs) plan to stay one night at Long Beach?
    - Day 4 Night: Arrive to LA (after a ~45min drive from LB). Need suggestions where to stay.
    -Day 5- Explore LA
    - Day 6 afternoon: Fly home.
    ( might be stay one day longer but not sure yet )

    Please let me know of any stops or any routs that I should not miss !

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  • Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Shezly29 Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    Day 2 would just be enjoying SD

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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by marinarena Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    Shezly29 wrote:
    Okay thank you so much !! You guys are so helpful (;

    One more thing, I have a little itinerary set up thanks to you guys, please let me know what are the best areas to stay in, where its closer to the MUST SEES or MUST DO. - Day 1: arrive to SD early morning. Planning to stay around La Jolla?(Spend two nights, and leave third day early morning) - Day 3: drive to Disneyland (~2hrs) plan to stay one night at Long Beach? - Day 4 Night: Arrive to LA (after a ~45min drive from LB). Need suggestions where to stay. -Day 5- Explore LA - Day 6 afternoon: Fly home. ( might be stay one day longer but not sure yet )

    Please let me know of any stops or any routs that I should not miss !

    On Day 4 in LA, some good areas for you, could be (1)Mid-wilshire/Miracle Mile, close to the Farmer's Market/The Grove. (2) Century City, a typically safer area that is catered to the business crowd. It is concrete city but there is a mall there and a good number of good hotels + close to Beverly Hills which you'll want to sightsee. (3) Culver City/Santa Monica. Culver City especially in the downtown area is charming, one of the safer spots that has some entertainment. You could see a TV taping, like Jeopardy at the nearby Sony studios, lots of nice restaurants and an arts scene there. Perhaps you could stay at the historic Culver Hotel, very handsome and classy place. Near to CC is Santa Monica which has everything you'll want to see and do, with beach, shopping and all. The beach hotels can run a bit expensive, but try for a motel a little away from shore to save$$.

    Also, some other areas LA/greater LA worth checking out for accomodation: South Bay beach towns like Redondo/Hermosa Beach, Westwood, Studio City/Sherman Oaks area. -Marie

     

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    La Jolla is beautiful and if you have a car is fine but If rather stay closer to downtown San Diego. On the other hand, La Jolla is beautiful.

    Santa Monica is a fun place to stay in the LA area.

    One of my favorite places in LA is Olvera Street. It is a city State Park that celebrates our Spanish heritage and there are lots of activities and people including great food. You can also walk to the gorgeous LA train station and up the hill to the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Concert Hall.

    Enjoy your trip.

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  • Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Shezly29 Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I have heard that La Jolla is more of a grown and pricy environment, they have recommended me to stay in downtown SD ? Any suggestions?

    What about LA what can't I miss tere, I am planning on staying maybe West Hollywood? Go to universal maybe..

    And I am pretty sure I am not going to be able to rent a car which is a bummer because of my age, so please help me with options for transportations within my itinerary?

    And I am planning to take maybe $2,000 - 2500? Not counting the plane tickets or hotel stays, is that good? How much should I plan to spend a day?

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Jim_Eliason Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    La Jolla will be very pricey, downtown will be unique in that there are some cheap hostel places but average hotel will pretty expensive. If you want something in between I would suggest old town or mission beach areas. The cheapest hotels are in hotel circle area of mission valley but that's a more difficult area without a car. Both downtown and old town are served by the trolley lines, which will make getting around without a car easier.

    A warning on SD weather, as Beausoleil says we have the best weather in the US but this is many due to consistent temps we have here. That means you will probably wake up to low 60s at your time of year but it may never it above the high 60s during the day, which is quite comfortable but if your primary goal is to sunbathe it might be a bit cool for that. We also have a phenom called May grey, which means waking up to fog and overcast. sometime during the day the sun will come out, it may be 9Am it may be 4 Pm but you will get some sunshine at some point.

    You can to Anaheim and La by Amtrak from either downtown or old town.

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by Beausoleil Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    You don't give your age, but you might check this web site that tells you the policies of all the car rental agencies. Find the ones you can use and then check for prices. autorentalguide.com/car-rent...

    The morning fog isn't just San Diego, it is all the coastal part of the state and often pretty far inland. You just wait for it to burn off and if you're lucky, there won't be too much when you're here. It happens more than May too so don't feel you have a bad choice of vacation month. The Old Town area or actually downtown would be my choice for many reasons and if you don't have a car, it would make transportation much easier. They have trolleys and buses and the trains are also good on the California coast.

    Have fun.

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  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by atufft Online Now Mar 20, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    You know one of the best times of the year to visit San Francisco is during April-May, before the summer fog rolls in. Frankly, two 21 year olds driving a rental car around unfamiliar territory sounds risky. Fly to SFO, take BART into town, and hang out for several days wandering aimlessly about the city on foot. This is a lover's city. Transit is excellent and cheap, and people are friendly, and mostly young and artsy fartsy fashion oriented. You can take the ferry boat north to catch transit to Napa Valley for a day in the wine country if you like, or take a ferry to Sausalito and Muir Woods. Or, take BART over to hang out along colorful Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley--the birthplace of university student activism. If you spread your week between San Diego and San Francisco in a rental car, you be exhausted, and you won't have much time to see California except through the windshield. I love San Diego, but I'd wait until the beach action heats up in July and August for this kind of fun.

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  • Re: Planning a trip to Cali, April/May 2014?

    by stubbie87 Online Now Feb 24, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    I am a Los Angeles native and have lived here my whole life. I tell everyone I meet that wants to visit Los Angeles it is the BEST city but you have to have a car! Also after your day in Disneyland you should still drive to Los angeles and stay there, it will be about the same time commute because of traffic. So from Disneyland it would take probably an hour to get to LB and an hour to get to LA or Santa Monica so don't waste your time going to stay in LB. If you want shopping and beach appeal stay in Santa Monica you are on the beach there is great shopping and restaurants and main street has some smaller bars. If you want the Hollywood scene then stay in Hollywood or downtown Los angeles. There are so many amazing thing to see and great places to eat. If you choose to stay in downtown make a reservation for your last night at Perch LA the views are amazing from this restaurant and there drinks are really good!

    I would say the biggest thing is if you want a beach experience stay in SM but since you are already staying in La Jolla then I would really suggest staying in downtown. The Omni, standard, or Bonaventure are nice hotels with cool things around. You could walk to Olvera Street which has great Mexican food and a cool experience. You could also walk to Little Tokyo which is small but quaint little area. So much to do in LA you cant go wrong!

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