January 30, 2007,
R.S. asks from Lewisville, TX on January 28, 2007
What Are Some Fun Things to Do in CA Besides Disneyland?
We are going to Disneyland in California soon and I am wondering what else is fun for a family with 2 kids. We don't really want to do any other amusement parks but what else are some must see attractions? My kids are ages 5 and 10.
T.O. answers from Dallas on January 28, 2007
Southern California is not fun to drive around in, so keep that in mind. Also, you didn't say the ages of your kids and that makes a difference but here's some ideas.
The beach. It's about 40 minutes West to the beach (Redondo Beach and Pier is the place to go) but the weather should be good and it's fun to walk along, build sand castles and if it's warm enough (and it often is being So. Cal.) play in the waves. Do stay on the beach and don't go out on the rock jettys to see the waves, every year some tourist gets washed away doing that. Also the Redondo Beach pier is a great place. You can spend a day walking along the beach, and go to the pier. Parking is pretty easy and it's cheap.
Also, near Disneyland is Po' Folks....... a good place to eat if you're missing Southern food, kind of like a Cracker Barrel but much more crowded. Cool model trains run around the top of the dining room.
Also, free and this time of year is good to see, Whale Watching from the Point in Palos Verdes. Nice museum and nature trail. This too is about 40 minutes from Disney but about 15 minutes from Redondo so you might want to combine. By the way, Palos Verdes is where they filmed the opening shot of Falcon Crest (years ago).
Of course, there's Hollywood's Walk of Stars which would take an hour to get to and it is cool to see, but remember if you get your photo taken with the folks dressed up as Batman or Superman that you have to tip them, that's how they survive. Ripley's Believe it or not is there too, and the Egyptian Theater is gorgeous. You'll spend lots of money eating around here and buying things but it is really cool. But don't wander off the main drag.
Check out www.familyfun.com they might have more ideas.
D.S. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2007
being a native of southern california here are some things that you can do. Santa Monica Pier, 3rd street promenade, venice, melrose, Citywalk, tons of hiking trails, Griffith Park, Travel Town (train cars), Observatory, Queen Mary, Aquariam of the Pacific, Hollywood Blvd particurally El Capitan (owned by Disney and they put on a live show before the movie). If you need anymore ideas, let me know!
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J.B. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2007
We were out there last year and, just in case you're closer to it than Redondo, my family loved Laguna Beach (farther south than Anaheim in Orange County). It's a great little seaside town with a nice, easy-access beach. We also went to a Los Angeles Dodgers game and it was fun, although you definitely have to make allowances for traffic.
Really need to reiterate what someone else said and point out that you WILL sit in traffic, going anywhere. Seven days a week. Durn near 24 hours a day. I have sat in stopped traffic at 10:30 pm on a Saturday night out there. I have sat stopped in traffic at 9 am on a Sunday morning. You never know where the stupid slowdown is going to be, or when. And NEVER try going anywhere during rush hour, if you will be going in the normal direction of bad traffic. Rush hour is from like 6-9 am and from 3-7 pm. Particularly be prepared to sit in unexpected delays on the I-5, the I-10, and the I-101, in either direction.
So I guess my point is this: Southern California is fun and there is a TON of good stuff to do out there. But I wouldn't waste my family vacation driving in it. You're already hitting Disney and that's the big one, so I would just draw a circle on a map around where you're staying and do some web searces for fun stuff to do in that area. Also try Half Price Books' travel section for good, cheap travel books.
J.E. answers from Columbus on January 28, 2007
Dana Point is great. http://www.ocean-institute.org/edu_programs/index.html
I was there just two years ago and went there on a field trip in school (years ago :) ). It's about 35 miles, give or take, from Anaheim. We went on a Friday and drove back up through Anaheim and hit horrible traffic even at 8:00 pm, so just plan your trip accordingly, no matter where you go.
You could also go to the mountains. Big Bear and Mt. Baldy are close to the Anaheim area. There's more to do at Big Bear and they have a cute village and a nice lake. Lake Arrowhead (near Big Bear) is great, too. Depending on when you go, you could see some snow. If not, you'll at least get a good view and some fresh air and it's a lot more relaxing than a crowded attraction.
During our last trip there, we drove to Long Beach, followed PCH down through the beach cities and ended at Dana Point and then went back through Anaheim.
Two days later we went to Big Bear and went sledding on inner tubes and had a blast. (in between we went to Disneyland :))
Disneyland is great and I know you aren't looking for more theme parks, so I would definately aim for the beaches or mountains. I miss them both terribly and I've been here almost 11 years!
Have a great trip :)
H.G. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2007
All the movie and tv studios have tours. You can also get game show tickets or tv show filming tickets if you know the dates you are going to be there. Also, the Santa Monica Pier is very fun and right on the water...a must if you are in SoCal. There is also a large farmer's market on the weekends with little things for kids to do and walking Venice Beach always offers interesting stuff to look at. You can get henna tattoos there...they are safe for kids and last about two weeks. And while you are in SoCal, don't forget about In-n-Out Burger...they are great hamburgers that are totally affordable and are a California legend. Hope you have a great time. H.
K.M. answers from Dallas on January 30, 2007
"being a native of southern california here are some things that you can do. Santa Monica Pier, 3rd street promenade, venice, melrose, Citywalk, tons of hiking trails, Griffith Park, Travel Town (train cars), Observatory, Queen Mary, Aquariam of the Pacific, Hollywood Blvd particurally El Capitan (owned by Disney and they put on a live show before the movie). If you need anymore ideas, let me know!"
could have been my post dont forget the tar pits .. La Brea Tar Pits.