T Nation

Going to California


#1

Hey guys!

I'll be spending the fall in LA. As I got some extra time on my hands before all sorts of obligations start, I'm planning on getting there a week or two early and doing a little bit of traveling to get to know the state better. I'll be flying to San Francisco, planning on renting a car and at least driving the Route 1, but since I have a few weeks, I was wondering what kind of tips would you guys have of things one should definitely see and experience while in California. Doesn't matter if it is cities or places one should see or outdoors stuff to do, as long as it is great fun I'm up for it so feel free to shed your knowledge, it'll be greatly appreciated!


#2

If you enjoy the outdoors than Yosemite is a must stop. It’s kind of out of your way, but it was one of the most beautiful places I have been to.


#3

The weather here is currently mild, high 60’s right now.

I would recommend the Santa Monica Pier, you have probably seen it in movies. Manhattan Beach is also a great beach to see if you like the outdoor and sporty feel. Santa Barbara is a cool city to see, it’s about 100 miles north of LA off of the 101 freeway.

Not sure if it’s your thing but the Hollywood walk of fame might be worth checking out. If you want an iconic place to get your swole on, check out Golds Gym Mecca in Venice, you will see no shortage of jacked dudes and fitness chicks.

If you have the time, you can always drive to Vegas in about 4.5 hours.

LA also has an awesome variety of good food, we have everything here. I have eaten at a Tibetan restaurant near Venice Beach, and knock down some bomb ass french pastries just 10 miles further.

If you’re looking to do the family thing with kids, there is Disneyland, Legoland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and the Long Beach Aquarium.


#4

Don’t forget to bring your own water


#5

If you are driving down the coast from San Fransisco -
Don’t miss Big Sur. Stop and hike Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It’s one of the most beautiful places on the earth.

Oh, and Big Basin Redwoods is also really nice if you have the time to stay up in the bay area for a couple of days and are into hiking/ camping.

Stay the night in Santa Barbara. Go the the courthouse and climb to the top of the tower. There’s a great zoo in Santa Barbara with an ocean view.

South of LA - My neck of the woods. Crystal Cove State Beach is a great place to hike above the beach, check out the tidepools, have breakfast or evening drinks at the Beachcomber, go up the stairs to the Shake Shack and get a burger or shake. If you’re single, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach have more of a single scene, more nightlife, and are better for surfing. Laguna Beach is artsy, and it’s a beautiful drive down PCH. If you are into serious shopping, stop at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. More shopping and restaurants at Fashion Island in Newport Beach - a favorite place and it’s dog friendly if you have a dog.


#6

Are you single? Bringing kids?

What part of LA will you stay/work in?

There’s a lot to do in the LA area. What kinds of things are you into?


#7

Spend your days with a woman unkind, smoke your stuff, drink all your wine


#8

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:
If you enjoy the outdoors than Yosemite is a must stop. It’s kind of out of your way, but it was one of the most beautiful places I have been to.[/quote]

Look, all these great nature spots are in the Sierra mountains, which run from just north of Los Angeles into Oregon, but in California they are on the eastern side of the state very far from all the beaches and major cities.

Almost any place in the Sierras will be great. Yosemite is by far and above the best, but it is very busy during the prime summer months and hard to get into on many weekends. You can also try Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park, which are on the south Sierra but provide the same great scenery.

As someone who lives here, I can safely say that the Eastern Sierra is just as good but less busy. For a great experience in the Eastern Sierra, visit Mammoth Lakes. Beautiful scenery and great hikes, without the major tourist impact of the western parks mentioned above.


#9

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#10

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#11

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#12

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#13

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Are you single? Bringing kids?

What part of LA will you stay/work in?

There’s a lot to do in the LA area. What kinds of things are you into? [/quote]
Thanks for the great tips, keep 'em coming!

Powerpuff: Yes, I’m single, and no kids yet (as far as I know). I’ll be staying in South LA, I’m traveling there to study for a semester. I’m more into doing sports and being active rather than clubbing and being hung over, but other kinds of social activities where I’d get to meet more locals will of course be something I’m interested in!

Few words about my schedule - I’ll be arriving some time early August, with approx. 2 weeks before I need to be in LA. I don’t know if this is still prime tourist season over there, standing in a line and listening to screaming kids ain’t my thing :). Tips like King Canyon and Sequoia National Park are definitely welcome - thanks for those MrMuzik!

I’m planning on spending those two weeks north of LA, I’ll have the weekends mostly free to travel around Southern California, which is definitely something I’m planning on doing a lot, so those tips are welcome as well!

How long do you guys think I can keep myself busy in San Francisco, is there enough stuff to do and see to devote 5+ days to the place or should I just get on the road sooner?


#14

[quote]pushharder wrote:
Comus, you lucky nuff to have a woman wanna ball all day?[/quote]

Love in her eyes and flowers in her hair


#15

Point Reyes is 30 min north of sf. There are unbelievable hikes and you’ll see elephant seals and elk up close. You can shuck local oysters or head to bass lake and play around on the rope swing. If the drought hasn’t ruined it, alamere falls is a really cool waterfall falling onto a beach from the cliffs.

Napa and Sonoma are just north of sf as well if you’re into the wine thing.


#16

[quote]MrMuzik wrote:

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:
If you enjoy the outdoors than Yosemite is a must stop. It’s kind of out of your way, but it was one of the most beautiful places I have been to.[/quote]

Look, all these great nature spots are in the Sierra mountains, which run from just north of Los Angeles into Oregon, but in California they are on the eastern side of the state very far from all the beaches and major cities.

Almost any place in the Sierras will be great. Yosemite is by far and above the best, but it is very busy during the prime summer months and hard to get into on many weekends. You can also try Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park, which are on the south Sierra but provide the same great scenery.

As someone who lives here, I can safely say that the Eastern Sierra is just as good but less busy. For a great experience in the Eastern Sierra, visit Mammoth Lakes. Beautiful scenery and great hikes, without the major tourist impact of the western parks mentioned above.[/quote]

As someone who LIVES in Mammoth Lakes, ca…please come and visit !
The summer months are nice but we do have a lot of visitors.
Over the last 13 years I have lived here, by far my favorite months are may and mid September through late October. This is due to the low visitor turnout and the fact the generally the weather is still fairly stable.

It is a pain in the ass to access though. Hwy 395 off the 14 out of the L.a basin is the only road north, or driving hwy 395 south out of Reno is truly beautiful as well.

From Yosemite valley to mammoth lakes is about 2.5-3.0 hours depending on how many blue haired winnebago driving grannies you get stuck behind, lol.

I have expirienced snow in All months of the year, although from may until mid oct it is usually measured in inches. Oct 16th 2004 we did receive 5 feet in 48 hours.
This is very unusual though.

The mountain and road biking is wonderful, as is the Climbing, Hiking and mountaineering ! Truly a place for 4 season adventures.

Hope this helps a bit ?
If you are going to be in California for 6 months or more then take your time.
It is a very loong state…800 Miles (1400kilometer) and wide 200 miles(320 kilometer) so be prepared for that.

LosAngeles to Mammoth lakes is about 3.5 hours…
LosAngeles into Yosemite Valley is about 5 hours…
LosAngeles along the coast to/from SanFrancisco is about 10 hours.


#17

[quote]Fistiecuffs wrote:

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Are you single? Bringing kids?

What part of LA will you stay/work in?

There’s a lot to do in the LA area. What kinds of things are you into? [/quote]
Thanks for the great tips, keep 'em coming!

Powerpuff: Yes, I’m single, and no kids yet (as far as I know). I’ll be staying in South LA, I’m traveling there to study for a semester. I’m more into doing sports and being active rather than clubbing and being hung over, but other kinds of social activities where I’d get to meet more locals will of course be something I’m interested in!

Few words about my schedule - I’ll be arriving some time early August, with approx. 2 weeks before I need to be in LA. I don’t know if this is still prime tourist season over there, standing in a line and listening to screaming kids ain’t my thing :). Tips like King Canyon and Sequoia National Park are definitely welcome - thanks for those MrMuzik!

I’m planning on spending those two weeks north of LA, I’ll have the weekends mostly free to travel around Southern California, which is definitely something I’m planning on doing a lot, so those tips are welcome as well!

How long do you guys think I can keep myself busy in San Francisco, is there enough stuff to do and see to devote 5+ days to the place or should I just get on the road sooner?[/quote]
I visited San Fran for three days and saw tons of stuff within that time. The city is pretty compact so you can walk from place to place or take the bart.

Also, I live in San Diego and I would highly recommend at some point visiting here for at least a few days. In my opinion, San Diego is nicer and more relaxed than LA.


#18

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:

[quote]Fistiecuffs wrote:

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:
Are you single? Bringing kids?

What part of LA will you stay/work in?

There’s a lot to do in the LA area. What kinds of things are you into? [/quote]
Thanks for the great tips, keep 'em coming!

Powerpuff: Yes, I’m single, and no kids yet (as far as I know). I’ll be staying in South LA, I’m traveling there to study for a semester. I’m more into doing sports and being active rather than clubbing and being hung over, but other kinds of social activities where I’d get to meet more locals will of course be something I’m interested in!

Few words about my schedule - I’ll be arriving some time early August, with approx. 2 weeks before I need to be in LA. I don’t know if this is still prime tourist season over there, standing in a line and listening to screaming kids ain’t my thing :). Tips like King Canyon and Sequoia National Park are definitely welcome - thanks for those MrMuzik!

I’m planning on spending those two weeks north of LA, I’ll have the weekends mostly free to travel around Southern California, which is definitely something I’m planning on doing a lot, so those tips are welcome as well!

How long do you guys think I can keep myself busy in San Francisco, is there enough stuff to do and see to devote 5+ days to the place or should I just get on the road sooner?[/quote]
I visited San Fran for three days and saw tons of stuff within that time. The city is pretty compact so you can walk from place to place or take the bart.

Also, I live in San Diego and I would highly recommend at some point visiting here for at least a few days. In my opinion, San Diego is nicer and more relaxed than LA. [/quote]

I agree about San Diego. I was born in the LA area and then spent a year in San Diego for college; better weather, less smog, and in my experiences friendlier people.

I’d suggest checking out Ocean Beach. It’s kind of a funky place, but a lot of fun, too. The Zoo is always cool. I’m a big baseball fan, so I really enjoyed going to Padres games. Beautiful stadium and tickets weren’t too expensive.


#19

Prior to Mammoth Lakes, I lived down in Chula Vista (before the “eastlake” bullshit) from 1985-2002.
San Diego IS really cool with a lot to offer year around.
If you like the beach scene, check out Ocean Beach for their funk, Pacific Beach for the Yuppie factor,
LaJolla Cove on a friday eve for a bit of extravegance, Blacks (naked co-eds), Encinitas/ Leukadia for a
solid taste of socal beach community.

If you are into cycling check out the SanDiego Bicycle Club (SDBC.org). Large membership and good group rides.
If you are more cycle racing inclined try to hang with the Swami’s (they as a group ride are faster than SDBC.

Hiking you have the Cuyamaca’s and Palomar. Julian for Apple Pie.
Diving you have LaJolla cove and off of scripps pier/ la jolla shores park.

Overall, I am looking at moving back to either Mammoth or San Diego once done with Nursing school.


#20

CA lifer here. Here is my breakdown of the big cities:

San Francisco: great food, bad weather, expensive, easy to walk, not a lot of hot chicks
Los Angeles: smoggy, dirty, horrible traffic, no public transportation, don’t try to walk or you’ll be run over, insane hotties everywhere
San Diego: great weather, great food, minimal traffic, no public transport, plenty of hotties of all types (but very few black people if that’s what you are looking for. Lots of Hispanics and Asians)

From the coast south of Santa Cruz, and inland from Los Angeles, there are so many fine looking ladies it will blow your mind. Many people here care how they look, and it shows. Of course, like anywhere there are plenty of fatties too.