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Disneyland California and West Coast Trip Planning Disneyland California and West Coast Holiday Planning Questions, Suggestions and Tips.

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Old 30 Aug 20, 02:52 PM  
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#1
jojo_3596
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San Francisco to Anaheim- where in between?

To escape the covid doldrums and uncertainty around next years planned trip to Florida, Ive decided to occupy myself by looking into very early planning of a west coast trip for summer 2022. We will be a family of 5, 2 adults, 3 kids ( 16,12,10).
Will only really have 2 weeks possibly 16 nights at a push due to annual leave restrictions. Want 3 nights in SF and 3-4 in Anaheim to do Disneyland. Where to stop in between? I also have seen a couple of people mentioned they finished up in San Diego for a beach aspect. Really got no idea where to start, but thinking a bit of research will occupy me while DH is off out with his pal tonight! 😂 Much appreciate anyone who can share their West Coast itineraries- tia.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 03:24 PM  
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Whitequeen
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Moro Bay or Monterey or San Luis Obispo... all of these are nice places. We looked at the map and chose places evenly along the route from SF to Anaheim. We did the trip over 2 nights. We then did a search on here and Trip Advisor and went with the best reviews and prices.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 03:41 PM  
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400ixl
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Most people do Monterrey for a couple of nights as there is enough to fill a day there.

Then a days drive down stopping at the sights gets you to the area around Piano. I wouldn't stay in Piano, but Morro Bay or Obispo as mentioned. Some push on to Santa Barbara. From those places you can then get into LA the following day.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 03:44 PM  
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abiknox
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We did Monterey Bay and Pismo beach. Monterey had lots to offer, Pismo was much quieter but so beautiful.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 03:44 PM  
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We stopped in Monterey 2 nights Avila Beach 1 night and Santa Barbara for 2 nights then 4 nights in San Diego after our Universal Holllywood stay.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 03:45 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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Might be worth viewing the trip report in my signature.. it is all on one thread and is pretty much the accepted route, other than that some go inland to take in Yosemite.

1. Where to stop? Well, its about 120 miles to the awesome Monterey.. home of some great whale watching and a world class aquarium. Many stop here for a night or two.
Anaheim is a further 360 miles on from Monterey, should you drive the beautiful PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).
Monterey to the wonderfully restrained Madonna Inn at San Luis Obispo or alternatively, Pismo Beach is just about short of halfway to Anaheim at 150 miles. This takes in Big Sur, Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer etc as well as the Elephant Seals at San Simeon and Hearst Castle. I would choose one of these, Madonna or any one of several in Pismo..
It is then a further 200 miles to Anaheim.

San Diego is further 95 miles on from Anaheim and was for us, the absolute jewel in the Crown of the vacation, notwithstanding that our accommodation was a bad choice. That again, is hopefully well covered in my trip report... and we only got on one beach!

I believe that the important thing is to realise that this is a 1000 plus miles driving vacation with loads to do, spread over a large (albeit ribbon), Route. It is absolutely nothing at all like a fortnight in Orlando with a day trip to the Gulf Coast. For us, Disney formed a very small part in a brilliant whole and with hindsight, we would have scrubbed it altogether, such is the quality of the alternative attractions...

Since our 2018 vacation, we have done a further 2019 Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Orlando, Naples Miami vacation (see signature) and for 2020 we have twice booked (and failed) to get to California and surrounding areas once more. (SFO, Monterey, Madonna, Renton, Vancouver in March.. Then Phoenix, Tucson, Tombstone, Hollywood, Pismo, Monterey, SFO for August). The West Coast is truly fabulous and imho, vastly more interesting than Orlando.

What California showed us was whole new horizons in USA vacationing. It is doubtful that we will ever spend more than a few days in Orlando again!
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2017 Panhandle purgatory trippie. https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1193744 .
2018 California N toS trippie. https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1072473
2019 East Coast, Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Orlando, Naples. trippie.
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And the future...Arizona/Cali/Nevada 2021
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...4#post14647964

Edited at 06:41 PM.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 04:08 PM  
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jojo_3596
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Originally Posted by cornishfrogboy View Post
Might be worth viewing the trip report in my signature.. it is all on one thread and is pretty much the accepted route, other than that some go inland to take in Yosemite.

1. Where to stop? Well, its about 120 miles to the awesome Monterey.. home of some great whale watching and a world class aquarium. Many stop here for a night or two.
Anaheim is a further 360 miles on from Monterey, should you drive the beautiful PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).
Monterey to the wonderfully restrained Madonna Inn at San Luis Obispo or alternatively, Pismo Beach is just about short of halfway to Anaheim at 150 miles. This takes in Big Sur, Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer etc as well as the Elephant Seals at San Simeon and Hearst Castle. I would choose one of these.
It is then a further 200 miles to Anaheim.

San Diego is further 95 miles on from Anaheim and was for us, the absolute jewel in the Crown of the vacation, notwithstanding that our accommodation was a bad choice. That again, is hopefully well covered in my trip report... and we only got on one beach!

I believe that the important thing is to realise that this is a 1000 plus miles driving vacation with loads to do, spread over a large (albeit ribbon), Route. It is absolutely nothing at all like a fortnight in Orlando with a day trip to the Gulf Coast. For us, Disney formed a very small part in a brilliant whole and with hindsight, we would have scrubbed it altogether, such is the quality of the alternative attractions...

Since our 2018 vacation, we have done a further 2019 Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Orlando, Naples Miami vacation (see signature) and for 2020 we have twice booked (and failed) to get to California and surrounding areas once more. (SFO, Monterey, Madonna, Renton, Vancouver in March.. Then Phoenix, Tucson, Tombstone, Hollywood, Pismo, Monterey, SFO for August). The West Coast is truly fabulous and imho, vastly more interesting than Orlando.

What California showed us was whole new horizons in USA vacationing. It is doubtful that we will ever spend more than a few days in Orlando again!
Thankyou for such a comprehensive reply! Ill certainly take a look at your trippie over a glass or two of Rose tonight! Be good to get into planning mode again.
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Old 30 Aug 20, 04:14 PM  
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kateb78
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We did 2 nights in Monterey, 1 night Cambria, 1 night Santa Barbara, 1 night Burbank, then we should have had 2 nights Anaheim though our plans were changed by Covid! We went on to 4 nights in San Diego. I would happily do the same route again as it meant we had lots of time to stop off and explore whilst taking in the scenery but without mammoth drives in between our stops. Well be back in California as soon as were able!
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Old 30 Aug 20, 06:01 PM  
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Mrs Red C
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My favourite place was Solvang, a Danish based community with lots of history inc the 1804 Mission Chuch too. Fabulous food/drinks as well 😁

We visited in April 2018 and also did Trip Reports, travelled from San Francisco to LA via Joshua Tree NP.
Henry Cowell NP has/had (depending on the recent fires) lovely big Redwood trees and a vintage train too.
Found Monterrey overated, the Aquarium was very expensive, didn't do whale watching as did that years ago.

Love the Desert Hot Springs, Aerial Tramway up the mountain, such extremes.

There's so much to see and do that you'll have to go back again. Think you need to find things that each member of your family likes and share them out. It is a long drive between both Cities so take that into account too. Don't plan to do everything as its too tiring doing a trip like this!

Enjoy your research and definitely check out all the Trip reports, lots of shared and different ideas/experiences. 😁
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Old 30 Aug 20, 06:13 PM  
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Bluetrekker
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Originally Posted by cornishfrogboy View Post
Might be worth viewing the trip report in my signature.. it is all on one thread and is pretty much the accepted route, other than that some go inland to take in Yosemite.

1. Where to stop? Well, its about 120 miles to the awesome Monterey.. home of some great whale watching and a world class aquarium. Many stop here for a night or two.
Anaheim is a further 360 miles on from Monterey, should you drive the beautiful PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).
Monterey to the wonderfully restrained Madonna Inn at San Luis Obispo or alternatively, Pismo Beach is just about short of halfway to Anaheim at 150 miles. This takes in Big Sur, Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer etc as well as the Elephant Seals at San Simeon and Hearst Castle. I would choose one of these.
It is then a further 200 miles to Anaheim.

San Diego is further 95 miles on from Anaheim and was for us, the absolute jewel in the Crown of the vacation, notwithstanding that our accommodation was a bad choice. That again, is hopefully well covered in my trip report... and we only got on one beach!

I believe that the important thing is to realise that this is a 1000 plus miles driving vacation with loads to do, spread over a large (albeit ribbon), Route. It is absolutely nothing at all like a fortnight in Orlando with a day trip to the Gulf Coast. For us, Disney formed a very small part in a brilliant whole and with hindsight, we would have scrubbed it altogether, such is the quality of the alternative attractions...

Since our 2018 vacation, we have done a further 2019 Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Orlando, Naples Miami vacation (see signature) and for 2020 we have twice booked (and failed) to get to California and surrounding areas once more. (SFO, Monterey, Madonna, Renton, Vancouver in March.. Then Phoenix, Tucson, Tombstone, Hollywood, Pismo, Monterey, SFO for August). The West Coast is truly fabulous and imho, vastly more interesting than Orlando.

What California showed us was whole new horizons in USA vacationing. It is doubtful that we will ever spend more than a few days in Orlando again!
Thanks for this and trip report. We are hoping to return to California next summer and it will be a first trip to SAN Diego. As we wont have a car I was thinking of the Seaport area so that sounds like a good choice. Was it the Go SAN Diego card you had? I see you can have an option to include a fixed number of attractions.
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