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A Big Thanks To The Troops

Downingtown, PA

Southern Calif - Stuff To Do?

My 13 yr old son and I may be heading out to Anaheim, CA in April for a few days and wanted to get some ideas on some quick trips around the area. I know there's disney, universal (way too $$$), and we might do CA Adventure, but what else outside of that? He wants to see the coast - suggestions on drives for that? What about Joshua tree - worth going to? Worth going down towards San Diego or such? He likes old stuff and interesting places.

I would love to have seen Yosemite and the redwoods, but that looks like a 7 hr drive. Don't know if I would be allowed to fly into LAX and fly out SFO.

Thanks for any ideas.
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The Pig
I know you want to be me

Premium,MVM,Ex-Mod 2008-13
The OC
reply to QuaffAPint
Sounds like inexpensive is a criterion, and there are plenty of no or low cost things to do, especially if you are the outdoors type. Postal See Profile and I have started quite a few threads featuring area hikes. Check those out.

Because you're going to be based in Orange County, check out the beaches - Huntington, Laguna, Crystal Cove State Park. Whale watching cruise out of Dana Harbor.

Joshua Tree is great, but it's a bit of a drive and there's not much to see along the way. San Diego is also great. The zoo is a must-see, but not cheap. The Midway is fun, but probably not for a 13 year-old.

Hollywood is fun. Nice to play tourist for a day. There are a number of museums. The Getty is world renowned. LA Natural History is great and you'll feel like you've been there because it's featured in so many movies. Same with Griffith Observatory.

There are world class skate parks if the boy is into that. Etnies in Lake Forest, Van's in Orange, Murdy Park in Huntington Beach.

Have fun.
Use caution while driving or operating machinery.

Ach Du Lieber
Premium,ExMod 2002-05
Seaside, CA
reply to QuaffAPint
I dunno if I would call Joshua Tree "Southern California" but if you do find yourself venturing out into the desert, check out the Calico Ghost town just outside of Barstow. (It's 100 miles away from Joshua Tree, but probably will be a lot more fun.)

»cms.sbcounty.gov/parks/Parks/Cal ··· own.aspx

You could start there, then drop down to Joshua Tree, then from there pop over to Palm Springs...but that's a LOT of driving and it's nowhere near the coast.

- FM
Q: How many theoretical physicists specializing in general relativity does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to hold the bulb and one to rotate the universe.

Long Beach, CA
reply to QuaffAPint
San Diego is micro beer mecca.

Boulder City, NV

1 recommendation

reply to QuaffAPint
Sequoia National Park is about a 3.5 hour drive out of L.A., about 4 hours and some change out of Anaheim. If natural wonders float your boat like they do mine, then the drive is well worth it.

Sounds like a spring break getaway, but you said "a few days". To be honest, you really need to spend at least a week, no less than 6 days in SoCal just to scratch the surface. It looks like you two are coming from the East coast, if you're gonna make that trip for only a few days it would be frustrating. Disney World (much closer to you) is a better Disney experience and Universal is a total rip off + there's a Universal in Orlando as well. If you gotta do Universal, only do the Tram tour and leave.

My SoCal itinerary would be:
Day 1) Disneyland/California adventure (if you just gotta see the original)
Day 2) Hollywood Blvd + Venice beach + Santa Monica Pier
Day 3 - 4) Sequoia National Park -Return 5th Day morning
[optional] Day 3 - 4) San Diego Wild Animal Park + Sea World -Return 5th Day morning.
Day 5) Whale watching boat to Catalina Island (an all day affair but is the best kept secret in SoCal)
Day 6) Chill out with Junior at La Jolla beach Kayaking and snorkeling around the Cove. Head back home tired as all get out that evening...but with 1,000 pictures that will last a lifetime.

If you could swing 2 weeks, I would have you renting an RV and driving over to the Grand Canyon (which should be a must on everyone's bucket list) for a few days and back through Hoover Dam, then to Joshua Tree. You son's only going to be 13 once, and he's about at the age where hangin' with Dad is still fun.

Capture it now, even if it cost a few more $$ and he has to miss a couple days of school. It's priceless.


NOT Texas!
reply to QuaffAPint
Consider The Aquarium Of The Pacific in Long Beach.

Do not trifle with dragons; for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!