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Unread 28 Apr 19, 07:30 PM  
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#1
aimo
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Beginning to plan South California Trip April 2020

Evening Dibbers!

I am in the early stages of planning a family trip to California for April 2020. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 kids, who will be 10 and 13 when we go.

Rough plan is to stay 14-17nights (depending on annual leave allowance from work) over the Easter Holidays.

I have been reading the trip reports on here and researching, where to go and when. Its a bit overwhelming to be honest, so many great places to go. We are going to focus on the south of the state and a rough route planned. Not sure yet which way round we will follow the loop, planning to fly into LAX or San Diego, (flights not released yet)

It will go something like this...

Santa Monica

LA

Fonatana (for the speedway)

Barstow (for the outlets & nearby ghost town)

Big Bear Lake

Joshua Tree

Palm Springs

San Diego

How does that sound for a rough plan?

I also wondered about flying into one airport and out of the other? But would we be missing out if we didn't see that part of the coast between LA and San diego?

Any advise appreciated, particularly suggestions about how long to stay in each place, accommodation, and things to do.

We really wanted a mixture of cities, relaxation, and outdoors walks, scenery, activities. Not planning on doing any theme parks, , we've been to Orlando the last 3 years so my hubby would like to do something different next year!

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 28 Apr 19, 07:42 PM  
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tocpe321
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We went to California nearly 2 years ago and had a really good holiday.

We went into and out of LAX with a BA Flydrive and visited some of the same places as you such as San Diego and Joshua Tree as well as further North like San Francisco and Yosemite.

We went for three weeks and there was a lot of driving. If you are maybe thinking of 8 stops over 17 nights that would average out as 2 nights in each place, i.e. 1 whole day and it may feel like you are living in the car.

I would try to extend trip and/or reduce places visited.

This is a summary of the planning and actual trip which may assist with some of your trip.
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1046701

Happy planning.
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Edited at 07:50 PM.
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Gulf coast
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Unread 28 Apr 19, 07:59 PM  
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kateb78
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Weve just booked flights today for our trip next March. Were flying into San Francisco and home from Las Vegas. Were planning to drive the coast road but will spend time in LA and San Diego so Ill be interested to hear your plans and the advice you get on this thread!

I just know that well only scratch the surface so accept that we wont be able to do everything - that just gives me plenty of excuses to plan more trips in the future

Enjoy your planning!
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Unread 28 Apr 19, 08:59 PM  
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#4
aimo
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Getting Excited
 
Join Date: Oct 14
Originally Posted by tocpe321 View Post
We went to California nearly 2 years ago and had a really good holiday.

We went into and out of LAX with a BA Flydrive and visited some of the same places as you such as San Diego and Joshua Tree as well as further North like San Francisco and Yosemite.

We went for three weeks and there was a lot of driving. If you are maybe thinking of 8 stops over 17 nights that would average out as 2 nights in each place, i.e. 1 whole day and it may feel like you are living in the car.

I would try to extend trip and/or reduce places visited.

This is a summary of the planning and actual trip which may assist with some of your trip.
https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho... php?t=1046701

Happy planning.
Awesome! thanks!
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Unread 28 Apr 19, 09:00 PM  
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#5
aimo
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Getting Excited
 
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Originally Posted by kateb78 View Post
Weve just booked flights today for our trip next March. Were flying into San Francisco and home from Las Vegas. Were planning to drive the coast road but will spend time in LA and San Diego so Ill be interested to hear your plans and the advice you get on this thread!

I just know that well only scratch the surface so accept that we wont be able to do everything - that just gives me plenty of excuses to plan more trips in the future

Enjoy your planning!
You too!
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Unread 29 Apr 19, 06:16 AM  
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danisleigh
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Originally Posted by kateb78 View Post
Weve just booked flights today for our trip next March. Were flying into San Francisco and home from Las Vegas. Were planning to drive the coast road but will spend time in LA and San Diego so Ill be interested to hear your plans and the advice you get on this thread!

I just know that well only scratch the surface so accept that we wont be able to do everything - that just gives me plenty of excuses to plan more trips in the future

Enjoy your planning!
We are doing the same in reverse next August/sept! We have planned 4 nights in Vegas, 6 in Anaheim and LA (either 4/2 or 3/3 split), then a night in Pismo and a night in Monterey, 2 in Yosemite and 2 in SF.
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Unread 29 Apr 19, 04:39 PM  
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#7
Olympiad
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Join Date: Jan 14
Hi,

How long to stay in each place very much depends on what you want to see and what you enjoy so any advice on here can only be subjective.

Having said that and looking at your plan and time available I'd suggest 3 nights each in Santa Monica (or that area of LA up towards West Hollywood), San Diego and Palm Springs.

If you stay in Santa Monica then you don't really need another base in LA. Also you can use Palm Springs as an easy base for Joshua Tree NP.

In terms of flights, I personally would make it a loop. From Palm Springs you can drive through the mountains to San Diego and I would then consider 2, possibly 3 depending on time available, nights around some of the Orange County beaches - Newport, Huntington and Laguna. This would give a relatively short drive back to LAX (plus a chance to go whale watching if you wanted to).

You can thin fit in your other stops around the core places.
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Unread 29 Apr 19, 04:53 PM  
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#8
aimo
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Thats really helpful advice, thanks!
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