California Family Trip (with older kids)

sdrsdd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
Please help! We will be in CA (flying into LAX) July 27-Aug. 3--flying home early on the 4th. My kids are 17, 14, 11--we will have a rental car.

What should we do? We will do 3 days at DL for sure. What else? Thinking of maybe driving to San Diego to do Sea World? Warner Bros. Studio Tour? Universal? HOllyWood sign? I need HELP planning this trip. We haven't been to CA in over a decade! Any other amusement parks, beaches, tours etc that we MUST DO?

Thanks in advance!
 

PHXscuba

Mouseketeer since birth!
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Where are you coming from? How important is beach time vs. theme park time? What do your kids like to do for fun -- music, sports, hiking, etc.

Have you been to WDW or Universal in Florida? If you have been or plan to go to Universal in Florida, Universal Hollywood is mostly overlap.

Warner Bros. plus Griffith Observatory (seeing Hollywood sign) makes a nice afternoon and evening. Could do at the beginning or end of your trip if you fly from LAX.

Your kids are good ages for Knotts Berry Farm if you want another theme park thrown in.

Sea World is nice if you are planning a couple days in the San Diego area (maybe beach time).

PHXscuba
 

sdrsdd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 25, 2006
I maybe want to do one beach day. Where is a nice beach? My kids all love amusement parks and like sports. I thought maybe hiking to the HOllywood sign would be fun???

We have been to Universal in Florida a few years ago...

I think they would like Sea World...now I need to find a reasonable hotel in San Deigo.
 
  • craigkerstiens

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2014
    I maybe want to do one beach day. Where is a nice beach? My kids all love amusement parks and like sports. I thought maybe hiking to the HOllywood sign would be fun???

    We have been to Universal in Florida a few years ago...

    I think they would like Sea World...now I need to find a reasonable hotel in San Deigo.
    If you want to do a day at the beach I'd recommend probably a day or two in the Santa Monica area. Though there are quite a few beach options that each vary so worth researching each of the major ones a bit.
     

    PHXscuba

    Mouseketeer since birth!
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2008
    I maybe want to do one beach day. Where is a nice beach? My kids all love amusement parks and like sports. I thought maybe hiking to the HOllywood sign would be fun???

    We have been to Universal in Florida a few years ago...

    I think they would like Sea World...now I need to find a reasonable hotel in San Deigo.
    You can't hike to the front of the Hollywood sign, it's on inaccessible land. There are trails to get above it. Check out a website called "Travel Caffeine dot com" and search for"Hollywood sign" -- he's got an article about hiking to it. The best areas for the "classic" front view are from the Hollywood/Highland area along Hollywood Blvd. or from Griffith Observatory. (If you have kids who loved the "La La Land" movie they will want to go to Griffith).

    Great CA beaches are everywhere: classic surf city in Huntington, Santa Monica with the iconic pier, San Diego's Mission/Pacific beaches. It might easier to figure out where in your trip you have time for a beach and plan backwards from that.

    San Diego in high season for a couple nights is going to be pricey no matter what.

    PHXscuba
     

    PHXscuba

    Mouseketeer since birth!
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2008
    Also remember you have Dodgers, Angels, and Padres playing locally.
     

    1911

    DIS Dad #856
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2014
    knotts is close to Disneyland and worth a day,universal is a one day park as well and there is 6 flags magic mountain which has a ton of great roller coasters.
     
  • ninergrl6

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2018
    If you're flying into and out of LAX, do the beach either your first or last day since LAX is near the beaches. It really isn't close to anything else though. The Hollywood stuff is easier to reach via BUR, the Orange County stuff is easier to reach via SNA, and the San Diego stuff is easier to reach via SAN.

    During which part of your trip are you planning to go to Disneyland? Beginning, middle, or end? That can help you determine where else to go and when. You don't want to be going back and forth in CA traffic.
     

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