West Coast California
We were flown out by the lovely Virgin Australia, although the long way round (via Australia) the service was great.
On arrival at LAX Airport I was surprised at how smooth the arrival process was; after an eye scan and fingers prints I was out into the arrivals hall in no time.
The majority of my photos were mostly of Theme parks, food and cocktails! And I guess that is how I could describe my trip! Oh, and shopping!
So what to do in LA? First stop ......spend your day at the Universal Studios theme park and the attached City Walk outdoor mall. You could stroll down Hollywood Boulevard to Grumman’s Chinese Theatre and look at all the celebrity handprints and footprints. Or you could take a picture of the Hollywood sign (need a good lens though).
My Pick of Hotels –
Sheraton Universal Hotel - Good location close to Universal Studios and the Metro.... They have a free shuttle that runs every 20 minutes. Club Room options.
Andaz West Hollywood - Location, Location ... West Hollywood right on the legendary Sunset Strip and it’s a 2 minute drive from Beverly Hills. Modern, designer, boutique Hotel. Free Wifi.
In San Diego, we visited the Zoo and Sea World. At the Zoo take the bus tour, this makes the task much easier and is highly recommended. Sea World is an amazing place to take the family for the day, from the fun shows to the amazing visuals, if you like sea life, this is the place to go. As for nightlife and entertainment, head for dinner and drinks in the Gaslamp Quarter. If you get the chance, head out to The Lodge at Torrey Pines La Jolla. The homes along the coastline at La Jolla are amazing. They fit the landscape and they have obviously been designed by some first-rate architects. It comes as no surprise that some of the wealthiest folks around have chosen this beautiful area as a place to live. The curving coastline, bluffs, and beaches are exquisite. Torrey Pines Golf Course is a prominent feature in La Jolla. If you watch one of the televised national PGA tournaments played at Torrey Pines, you can see one of the loveliest natural settings imaginable. It is right up there with Pebble Beach as a breathtaking backdrop for golf.
My Pick of Hotels –
Manchester Grand Hyatt - in the heart of San Diego, this hotel is very close to the Gaslamp Quarter so you can walk pretty much everywhere including the lovely Marina that surrounds the Hotel. Great views and Hertz Desk in house.
Catamaran Resort Mission Beach - Great location on Mission Bay. This hotel is a waterfront tropical resort with spacious room with great views over the water. All rooms include their own balconies or patios.
Next stop Anaheim. Going to Disneyland and California Adventure (which are right next door to each other) was one of the main things we did while in Anaheim. We got a 2-day park hopper pass which allowed us to go to both parks for two consecutive days. There were lots of really fun rides at both parks. Normally I’m someone that doesn’t like “scary” rides, but I really enjoyed the rides at Disneyland and California Adventure especially the new Cars ride. Having said that, I wasn’t brave enough to ride on the Tower of Terror, which is one of the most popular rides at California Adventure. And if you’re brave enough head to Knott's Berry Farm, America's first theme park, if you’re a thrill seeker and love rollercoasters.
My Pick of Hotels –
Hyatt Regency Orange County – Recently refurbished elegant Hotel with shuttle to Disney. Unique Kids Suites, where kids get their own sleep and play space.
Sheraton Park Hotel Anaheim - walking distance of Disneyland. The beds and pillows are SO comfortable, they provide Starbucks filtered coffee in room. And free bottled water.
Overall a fun filled packed in trip. Food was insanely cheap, I couldn’t believe it! And portion sizes were incredible, way too big for people that aren’t used to it. I could barely finish small meals a lot of the time, haha. The saddest part came at the end of the trip when we had to go home.
Things to know .....
Be aware of parking fees at all Hotel as this may determine where you stay.
Purchase Fast Pass Ticket for the Theme Parks (save you time in the queue).
Wear good shoes for the Theme Parks lots of walking............and plan your day there so you get to see and much as possible.
September was a great month to travel.... fewer people at the Parks and not too hot.
Don’t forget your ESTA US Visa................