Monday, February 28, 2011

Southern California Vacation tips

My friend is planning a Southern California vacation this fall. LUCKY!!!  My husband is from So. Cal so we have spend many summers at my in-laws house taking advantage of their location.  My friend emailed me a list of questions about planning her vacation.  I thought with Spring Break coming up, that his info might benefit quite a few readers. I've highlighted her questions to me in red and my answers follow each question.
1-With kids being so little 7,4,1 would you suggest Disneyland or Sea World? Disneyland for sure.  You will be surprised how fast kids grow up.  Go to Disneyland while they are still little and are not too old.  Kids tickets start at age 3-9.  So you would get the little one in free. 

2- We would like to fly.  How do you get the best deals? I always start with Kayak. Nearby airports are Orange County, Ontario, Long Beach and LAX.  JetBlue flies into Long Beach.  Tickets right now on Jet Blue are on sale (travel through April, but it will give you an idea of price) for $89 ONE WAY.  Kids under 2 fly free, but airfare adds up, especially since it's only 10 hours to drive there from SLC.  PLUS depending on where you stay you might need to rent a car which would be even more money.

3- Do you know of any good deals on condos?  Is this the best way to go? With a Condo, you are paying for the kitchen. Condos are a wonderful way to go if you are willing to leave the park and make your own meals.  If you are just going to eat out and eat in the park, having a condo that you pay extra for to have a kitchen that you don't use it pointless.  I've stayed at the Holiday Inn Condos. They are just around the corner (the back side, you'd have to take a shuttle or drive, it's too far to walk)  They are nice.  I just looked into prices (not for Fall, but it give you an idea) $164-$175 a night.  I've also stayed at the Best Western Main Gate across the street (literally) from the main entrance.  Prices for tomorrow start at $62.  We've stayed there for $89 during Spring Break (high season).  There is a fridge/microwave so that makes it easy with leftovers from Denny's next door. :)  It's also nice to leave the park for nap times and meals.(If you can find this hotel less then $89, this is where I would stay)

4- What else is there to do in Southern California?  The zoo, have you been to Lego Land? I have never done Lego Land.....too pricey for me!  I've heard it's fun, but those same people tell me how pricey it was.  The zoo is great.  The Safari Park (Wild Animal Park, they recently changed their name to Safari Park) is quite a drive.  It's neat, but if you are short on time, I would pass on that one.  I LOVE Sea World.  I believe Costco sells a Southern California Pass that includes the Zoo and Sea World.  The beach is fun if you have access to a car.  Medieval Times is fun too, it's a Jousting event with a full dinner.  If any of your kids (or any of you) have a birthday that month they can eat for free. Medieval Times is near Knott's Berry Farm, about 15 minutes North of Disneyland.  Knotts is more of a "Big Kid" place.  They have Snoopy Town, but it's mostly big roller coasters.  Not worth the price if you only have little kids, in my opinion. If you have a combination of older and younger kids, it's a great option.

Check local newspapers, grocery stores and hotel lobbies for discount passes to area attractions.

Do you have any questions I didn't answer in this post?  Leave me a comment or email me at
If you have any info to add, please leave a comment or email me! :)  
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  1. Thanks for the info, Michelle! We'll have to remember all this for our trip to SoCal this summer too!

  2. We have always booked our Disneyland vacations through and they always have great deals-with either the 3rd or 4th night free on your hotel. And tickets (park hoppers)are a much better deal than paying at the gate. They also have payment plans you can set up if you call the 1-800 number, and if you enter promo code DISNEY11 at checkout you can save $10 on the booking fee.

  3. This was WONDERFUL. HUGE thanks for the tips. You made this a wonderful, but simple, blog. This is a great resource.



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