Author Topic: California Honeymoon - March 2014  (Read 2164 times)

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Awestruck Shmuck

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California Honeymoon - March 2014
« on: March 03, 2013, 03:38:09 AM »
Evening all! :)

My fiance & I are currently in the early stages of wedding planning and one of our top priorities this weekend has been brainstorming honeymoon ideas.

We've decided the beachside/resort holiday isn't what we want (we live in Sydney Australia, and spend a lot of our weekends at the beach, and want to DO things and see sights).

So far, we have a rough plan of:

- 5 days in LA (too many?)
- 5 days in San Fransisco (Alcatraz and Union Square definitely)
- x days at Disneyland (2-3 maybe?)
- 5 days or so in Napa Valley or in/near a national park

Not sure about the order of which areas to visit first, but do any locals have suggestions of where to go/what to see for the above?

We're keen to see museums, galleries, historical sites - and a basketball game (or 10 if DF plans the itinerary lol). He's mad keen on ice hockey too, thats played in March...in California, right? I'd love to surprise him with tickets.

Thanks in advance,

A.S. :)


Judah

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 03:10:41 PM »
I don't know about hockey at all, or basketball either, frankly. No clue. But the rest...

I would combine LA and DisneyLand for a total of 6 days.  DisneyLand/California Adventure deserves two days all by itself.  There is a ton to see in LA, but it's not a big city geographically. I'd include Hollywood and the beaches.

San Francisco can be seen in 3 days unless you want to spend a lot of time just soaking up the city.

Napa Valley is one of those places that can be great for just relaxing, but even so, I wouldn't spend more than 3 days there. After a while all the wineries start to seem the same.

That would leave you time to head up to the North Coast or out to Tahoe, both of which should be seen.

But that's me.
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Lynn2000

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 03:29:52 PM »
I respectfully submit San Diego, which is a great city, and people never seem to think of it. I live in the Midwest but have traveled to San Diego about ten times for work conferences. There's the beach, there's historic stuff like the battleship museum and the Old Town district, there's the world-famous zoo, Coronado Island, Balboa Park with lots of museums, etc.. It's only a couple hours' drive from LA.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 04:20:06 PM »
My California itiniary woudl go something like this. Start in San Diego. Visit the zoo get timezone adjusted.  I'd then rent a car and drive up to Mission San Juan Capistrano for a little of the Mexican/California history before heading to Laguna Beach to spend the night and wander around the cool area.  The next morning drive to Annaheim for a day at Disneyland before heading into Los Angeles.  (Traffic is always terrible in LA but I've found late night the best) 

Spend a few days in LA to do the basketball games, visit the Hollywood sites if it interests you, take a day at Universal Studios theme park, have lunch in Malibu, wander around Rodeo drive.  Maybe 4 days total

From LA, I'd head further north to Santa Barbara (maybe take a side trip to the Ronald Regean presidential library... very engaging museum with a ton of US and World History).

From Santa Barbara, I'd head north again for a visit to Hearst Castle and then head up to Monterrey for over night again. 

San Francisco is a quick drive and I'd plan 2 to 3 days.

Then your off to the wine country for 2 to 3 days before driving to Sacramento to fly home.

I think this would be around a 14 to 15 day trip.

wheeitsme

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 04:44:56 PM »
If you want to break it up, I'd do it this way:

- 2-3 days in LA (There is not that much to do and it's hard to get around)
- 5 days in San Fransisco (Alcatraz and Union Square definitely) It's a great town and there's lots to do and see.  If you don't mind the hills, it's a great walking town. Catch a show at a Theatre, Go to museums, have afternoon tea at the Palace.
- 2 days at Disneyland (Maybe 3) One day for each park (used to live 2 miles away)  The the Anaheim Ducks (Go Ducks!) play very nearby, and it's easy to get to.  It's also usually easier to get tickets than for the LA Kings
- 3 days  in Napa Valley (just spent 2 days there - the Napa Wine train was awesome)
- 3 in/near a Yosemite national park (I've never met anyone who was sorry they went there-I lived there for 8 years)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 04:47:19 PM by wheeitsme »

Awestruck Shmuck

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 05:38:36 PM »
I respectfully submit San Diego, which is a great city, and people never seem to think of it. I live in the Midwest but have traveled to San Diego about ten times for work conferences. There's the beach, there's historic stuff like the battleship museum and the Old Town district, there's the world-famous zoo, Coronado Island, Balboa Park with lots of museums, etc.. It's only a couple hours' drive from LA.

That's another great idea, thank you! Some great ideas from all of you, very much appreciated. I will show this thread to FH and see what can be worked out. I will google all the attractions mentioned too, yay!!
Thanks again  :)

nutraxfornerves

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 12:41:22 PM »
The drive up the coast between LA and SF through Big Sur is one of the all tine great drives. It's best done in 2-3 days, stopping for the night in San Luis Obispo and Monterey, perhaps.

If your interest in the Napa Valley is wineries, California has a number of first-class wine regions in addition to the well-known Napa Valley. You would pass through several of these between LA and SF.

A classic trip is something like this, assuming 15 days:

Day 1, arrive LA, relax, get over jet lag and fatigue
Day 2-5 in LA, including Disneyland
Day 6 Drive to San Luis Obispo, or possibly Cambria (arsty town, lots of romantic B&Bs, art galleries, etc.)
Day 7 Drive through Big Sur to Monterey.
Day 8. Drive to Yosemite National Park (about 5 hours)
Day 9 in Yosemite
Day 10 drive to SF (get rid of the car. You don't need it & parking can be expensive and hard to find)
Day 11-13 in SF.

That gives you 2 days to play with. You could spend the night in Santa Barbara, then take a whole day to drive ot San Luis Obispo via a lot of great wineries. (The movie Sideways was filmed in that area.)

You could spend a day in the Point Reyes area north of SF--likes of nature, hiking, etc.

You could spend a day or half day whale watching in Monterey.

Lodging in Yosemite books rapidly. If you want to stay there, you need to book it as soon as you can--you can book  a year in advance.

San Luis Obispo has a terrific Thursday Night Market--part famers market, part craft fair, part music fest, part food fest. 

There are hockey teams in LA, Anaheim, and San Jose. There will be games in March.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 11:58:49 AM by nutraxfornerves »

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menley

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 07:54:34 AM »
If you want to visit a national park, I *highly* recommend Muir Woods. It's between (sort of) Napa Valley and San Francisco, so it's an easy side trip from either city by car, and it is gorgeous.

http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

There are very easy trails for the less experienced hikers (ahem... me!) but also more advanced hiking trails if you prefer.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 02:44:37 PM »
LA native here, and there is so much to do in LA!  Unfortunately traffic is a problem, so you have to be strategic and try to spend the day in the same area. 

- Hollywood - Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood and Highland Center mall, the
- Griffith Observatory
- See a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall or Hollywood Bowl
- Walk down Rodeo Drive or Robertson Boulevard to see celebrities
- La Brea Tar Pits
- The Getty Museum
- The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
- Third Street Promenade
- Universal Studios theme park (different than Disneyland)
- Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles
- Monterey Park for suburban Chinatown
- Hiking in Runyon Canyon

You should probably spend at least two days in Disneyland, one for Disneyland and one for California Adventure.

It's pretty hard to get Lakers and Clippers tickets for basketball directly from the teams, but you can try stubhub.com or lakers.com or clippers.com for tickets being sold by other people.

The Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are the local NHL teams.  The Kings, Clippers, and Lakers play in Staples Center, which is in downtown Los Angeles.  The Ducks play in Anaheim, which is in Orange County, not far from Disneyland.  The Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champions.


Library Dragon

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 06:13:37 PM »
Since you will be in the Monterrey-San Francisco area and want to do wineries I would recommend skipping Napa.  Go to Livermore, California instead.  The wineries are fantastic, it's not over touristy, and the downtown is attractive and fun. 

Let me give my plug for Wente Winery in Livermore (full disclosure, I have family that works in the tasting room).  It is the oldest continuously owned family winery in the US.  The Wentes introduced Chardonnay to the US and 75% of all California Chardonnays come from the Wente clone.  Concannon Winery is also in Livermore as well as little wineries and large wineries (about 35 in all).  http://www.lvwine.org/

When at Disneyland if you want a marvelous Italian meal go to the Anaheim White House http://www.anaheimwhitehouse.com/.  The owner Bruno Serato is from the Verona area originally.  Great food, but he's also a truly good guy.  He puts most of his profits into providing meals to low income children. 

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Awestruck Shmuck

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 07:44:01 PM »
Such great ideas!! I got made redundant recently, so I'm focussing on finding a new job at the moment, but FH is all over this thread making plans!!

We don't drive, so driving holiday is out - but he's looking at coaches/mini tours so we can get to the areas that are more out of the way - that you all have mentioned.

Thanks ever so much! x

Judah

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 11:10:16 AM »
Such great ideas!! I got made redundant recently, so I'm focussing on finding a new job at the moment, but FH is all over this thread making plans!!

We don't drive, so driving holiday is out - but he's looking at coaches/mini tours so we can get to the areas that are more out of the way - that you all have mentioned.

Thanks ever so much! x

Does FH drive? I ask only because getting around California without a car is...very, very difficult. California is huge: Los Angeles to San Francisco is 400 miles and that doesn't take into account any side trips you want. Outside of the large metro areas there really isn't much public transportation to speak of. I'm not trying to discourage you at all, I just want you to be prepared.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
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Strong hints don't work.
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Just say it!

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StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 11:15:31 AM »

Does FH drive? I ask only because getting around California without a car is...very, very difficult. California is huge: Los Angeles to San Francisco is 400 miles and that doesn't take into account any side trips you want. Outside of the large metro areas there really isn't much public transportation to speak of. I'm not trying to discourage you at all, I just want you to be prepared.

I agree with this.  If you don't drive, then you should consider looking at tours where they can drive you around.  You can probably even get a private tour so you can work with your own itinerary.  The only city in CA that has decent public transportation is San Francisco, and that's just the city proper.  If you want to go outside of it at all you would need a car. 

BatCity

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 02:36:47 PM »
A few more notes from a native Californian. Disclaimer: I grew up in San Luis Obispo and went to college in Santa Barbara.

March in California is by far the most beautiful month. The rainy Winter results in fields of wildflowers and hills of green grass.

The real charm of California is in its smaller cities and coastal towns. When I lived in Texas, I didn't miss Los Angeles or even San Francisco. I missed Monterey and Carmel, Santa Barbara, and of course SLO. That's where you'll see the things you won't find at home....but you will find that you feel quite at home everywhere you go, with all our eucalyptus trees!

If you want to catch basketball, see a Lakers game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For hockey, wait till you get up north and catch the San Jose Sharks. You've never seen hockey till you've seen a coliseum full of techno-geeks wearing teal ;-)

I'd agree with other recommendations:
The San Diego Zoo is world class.
The city of Santa Barbara is a gem. Eat at the Enterprise Fish Company, not on the wharf.
Any and all missions you can catch along the way. The one in San Luis Obispo is in extremely good shape and is one of the few that still holds services, and it's in a beautiful spot.
Please don't miss Monterey, and when you go, make sure to go to the aquarium.
If you are visiting wineries along the Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo route, visit Talley Winery in Arroyo Grande. They are the best in the region.
If you visit Wente in Livermore, let me know, we live right down the road in Pleasanton.

Feel free to PM if you have questions.

Awestruck Shmuck

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Re: California Honeymoon - March 2014
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 10:55:41 PM »
A few more notes from a native Californian. Disclaimer: I grew up in San Luis Obispo and went to college in Santa Barbara.

Please don't miss Monterey, and when you go, make sure to go to the aquarium.


Oh my goodness, San Luis Obisbo looks absolutely beautiful, as does Monterey!!

Okay, so we're doing a lot of planning today, and have found a lot of day tours that will take us from the main/easily accessible areas to the different places we want to go. we will be landing in LA, then getting a town car transfer to San Diego straight away, itinerary (sort of) is as follows (We'll be catching the Amtrak trains between SD, LA,SB & SLO):

Land in LA
San Diego (3 nights)
Los Angeles (3 nights) + 1 night @ Disneyland Resort
Santa Barbara (3 nights)
San Luis Obisbo (2 nights)
Something else here? Maybe a 2 night tour to somewhere more inland?)
San Francisco (4 nights) (several day tours out of the city)

I'm still working out how to get from SLO to San Fran - we'd like to stop somewhere in between, and looked at Monterey, but it looks a bit far. A 3 hour train trip is the max we'd like, and each train-leg of the trip so far looks like 2.5-3 hours on train.

We're currently writing a list (well, I'm compiling a spreadsheet) of every single attraction/event/thing we'd like to do/see, and figuring out how much of it we can do.
I've added all suggestions from this thread to the list, and FH is super keen to see a lot of what was mentioned!

I'm so excited!!

At the moment, the itinerary is 16-18 days, and we'd like to stretch it to a month, if work permits, but at this point, i've found so many awesome things to do in each place on the list, we'll probably just stretch each stay out to 4 nights! woo hoo!!