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  1. #1

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    A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year old?

    Just brainstorming here, but if things work out financially I am leaning rather strongly towards taking my wife and two and a half year old son (by September) out to California in September. My wife and I went to Southern California last year for the first time alone and enjoyed Disneyland immensely. We did the beaches, Hollywood, studio tours, Universal and three days at Disneyland Resort. Loved the trip and loved California. I'd love to take our son there and since we only have one child as of now I think it might be easier to go to Disneyland with just one and save WDW for when the next one comes (which is my home park).

    But one thing we didn't do was anything above Hollywood. The furthest south we went was Laguna Beach. The furthest North was Malibu. I was wondering if anyone had some insight on San Fransisco. It has always looked like such a beautiful city to check out. I was thinking that flying into San Fran from home (Toronto) and staying a couple days there would be nice. The Walt Disney museum is up there and then we start driving south down to Anaheim to stay for a week or so and fly home from LAX. Or Anaheim (John Wayne?). In between San Fran and Anaheim is stuff like Hearst Castle, Yosemite and that house called the Winchester Mystery house that always seems neat.

    Anyway the trip would primarily be down in the Anaheim area and we would do the beaches again and of course Disneyland. Studio tours wouldn't work out with a two year old unless someone else came with us (parents, in-laws). But I just thought it might be neat to see San Fran for a couple days and work our way down south. How do you think this works out with a two and a half year old? Sounds alright, or is San Fran just not worth it if you have children?

    Also, what other attractions am I missing in that area and in between Anaheim? Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    There is allot to do in SF, Fisherman's Wharf,The Shopping District,Chinatown,Golden Gate park,Lombard St,pier 39, The Golden Gate Bridge,Alcatraz, The Zoo,allot of museums and of course "The Walt Disney Museum!

    If you're driving down from SF to Anaheim,its about a 6-7 hour drive,if you take I-5, but you can't really get to Hearst Castle from that interstate. If you take 101 you can get to it,but its a longer drive to get to So-Ca with that route.

    Allot of the above mentioned things are kid friendly,but it can be cold since its off the coast. Whatever you do I'm sure it'll be great! Good luck.
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  3. #3

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    I would definitely say San Francisco is worth the trip. There is so much to do in the city and surrounding area. The Zoo, Walt Disney Family Museum and really all the attractions mentioned above are great! And september is probably one of the best times of years to come weather wise, and the city is beautiful in great weather. Also this really light installation is going up on the bay bridge and will be starting in Early march and running for two years so if you come check that out (The Bay Lights). If you and your wife like Wine, head north about an hour to Sonoma/Napa counties for some of the best wineries in the world. There is just so much to do. And as for the drive, I live in Sonoma County and make the drive to Anaheim often, from San Francisco you are looking about at an easy 6 hours if you take 5, 101 takes an additional hour or two but is much more scenic.

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Yosemite is a must see for adults, it`s beautiful , but I don`t think a 2 and a half year old would get that much out of it. You need to camp out and hike from the valley floor to appreciate it. A day trip from highway 5 just to see the falls may too much driving and overnight stays are usually booked 6 months in advance.

    If you were to drive down highway 101 , a nice little side trip would be Gilroy Gardens . It`s an amusement park set up mostly for little ones just west of Gilroy. Look it up online. Gilroy Gardens | Hours & Calendar I think your little one would enjoy it and it is clean and beautiful, a kind of small version of Disneyland without the crowds and long lines . It is seasonal so research its hours and plan accordingly.

    I was born in San Francisco and could fill a thread of things to do in the Bay Area. One of my favorite day trips with my girlfriend was to ride our bikes thru the Presidio , across the Golden Gate Bridge, have lunch in Sausalito , and take the ferry back to S.F. or ferry with our bikes to Angel Island. Driving, I would suggest Golden Gate Park , the Academy of Science Let the Wonder Begin | California Academy of Sciences , or the Zoo , the Presidio if you want to see the Disney Museum, and a trip across the G.G. Bridge. Fisherman`s Wharf has alot and in Sept. they are having the Finals for the America`s Cup with the cup`s World Series in Oct.

    Bring coats and dress in layers. It can get pretty cold at times .


    Going on Highway 101, Southwest of Salinas is Monterey, you would need to leave 101 to get there, but they have a great aquarium. And further south on highway 1 is Carmel, where Clint Eastwood lives and was once mayor , and Peble Beach. The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is interesting but I wouldn`t put it near the top of things to see.except maybe for Holloween, especially if I only had two days. Better spent would be a day at Hearst Castle

    Highway 5 is quicker but it is straight and boring with alot of big rig trucks.Highway 101 is more scenic
    Last edited by Jerryp49; 02-25-2013 at 12:37 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Sounds like most of your plans could wait a little longer. Your son's schedule could determine your plans, since his day will center around eating, sleeping, having diapers changed .and, most important, being with his parents. And that's the best thing, since you'll probably have a camera and can snap a ton of pictures and movies and record your trip nicely. Load up on memories.
    That said, still you can enjoy San Francisco. It's a great city.
    As for your travel route, I'd take Highway 101, which is more scenic and slower that I-5.

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    I live in San Jose and drive down to SoCal a few times a year to visit family. I usually prefer the 101 to the 5, unless we are in a hurry. We spend the night in Buellton, at the Pea Soup Andersen's Inn, and in the morning we head into Solvang (a wonderful little Danish themed town) for an aebleskiver breakfast, before continuing down to SoCal.

    If I were starting from San Francisco, I would avoid the 101 and take 280 to 85 instead. 280 is much more scenic, and 85 merges onto the 101 at the south end of San Jose, so you can avoid all the traffic going down the peninsula.

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    A great inexpensive way to see the Bay Area would be on BART , Bay Area Rapid Transit. It`s like the monorail except bigger. It covers a huge area, most of the S.F. penninsula, the East Bay from Richmond to Fremont and out to Contra Costa County. It is mostly above ground but occassionally goes underground. You could take Bart from S.F. thru the 8 mile long tube that goes under the bay to Berkeley,or thru the mountain to Contra Costa Co. to Pleasant Hill. You could ride the length of it then just get on a train coming back. Just don`t get off in Oakland.

  8. #8

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    San Luis Obispo is a great little city to check out, if you have time.

    In San Francisco, the one place I'd avoid checking out, is Union Square. While some of the shops are neat, there's a major homeless population, it's right near the Tenderloin, and you can often smell a whiff of Mary-Jane.
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  9. #9

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Quote Originally Posted by Chesire View Post
    San Luis Obispo is a great little city to check out, if you have time.

    In San Francisco, the one place I'd avoid checking out, is Union Square. While some of the shops are neat, there's a major homeless population, it's right near the Tenderloin, and you can often smell a whiff of Mary-Jane.
    It's not that bad! When we come into the city from Sacramento we stay at the St Francis which is in Union Square and not once have we ever smelt Mary Jane or had problems with the homeless.
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  10. #10

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Thanks for the advice. It is really a long ways off and I would have a better idea if this can go through by June or July. As for it being "cold" I heard a lot of that prior to going to Anaheim last year. Living in Canada we have a little different idea of cold than Californians. I'll admit the Pacific Ocean was colder than I expected but for us it was refreshing. September is still a very nice month up near Toronto, still has some warm days, even borderline swimming days.

    People don't really go out to California if they live as far east as I do so this could be the only time I see San Fran.

  11. #11

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryp49 View Post
    A great inexpensive way to see the Bay Area would be on BART , Bay Area Rapid Transit. It`s like the monorail except bigger. It covers a huge area, most of the S.F. penninsula, the East Bay from Richmond to Fremont and out to Contra Costa County. It is mostly above ground but occassionally goes underground. You could take Bart from S.F. thru the 8 mile long tube that goes under the bay to Berkeley,or thru the mountain to Contra Costa Co. to Pleasant Hill. You could ride the length of it then just get on a train coming back. Just don`t get off in Oakland.
    LA has something similar. It is known as the Freeway Area Rapid Transit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
    Thanks for the advice. It is really a long ways off and I would have a better idea if this can go through by June or July. As for it being "cold" I heard a lot of that prior to going to Anaheim last year. Living in Canada we have a little different idea of cold than Californians. I'll admit the Pacific Ocean was colder than I expected but for us it was refreshing. September is still a very nice month up near Toronto, still has some warm days, even borderline swimming days.

    People don't really go out to California if they live as far east as I do so this could be the only time I see San Fran.
    People from outside California are surprised how cold the ocean is here. Currents rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere. Cold water currents rush south from the Gulf of Alaska. That's why the water off the California coast is so cold. My brother went scuba diving off of Laguna Beach last March. The water temperature was 50 degrees. In summer the water is tolerable in So Cal although it is definitely not warm.

  12. #12

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Actually, September can be quite warm in California. In fact, September is very summer-like in San Francisco, and the weather ranges from cool to gorgeous to roasting. I consider it to be the best time to visit, really. But regardless of the weather in the daytime, SF can get quite cold at night, so bring layers.

  13. #13

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    [QUOTE=DisneyIPresume;1056925341]LA has something similar. It is known as the Freeway Area Rapid Transit.



    I like the acronym it forms , funny

  14. #14

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryp49 View Post
    F.A.R.T. funny
    This made me spit my water. I'm ridiculously immature and laugh at all things fart-related.

    As a youngish gal who has not yet had children, my ignorant input would be to consider taking this trip just the two of you and leave the kiddo at home. I wouldn't consider San Fran to be a very great child destination. Disneyland could be, but I always felt a bit of pity for the parents pushing strollers around, unable to ride the rides together, especially if it's a trip that they can't take often.

    Again, I'm saying this with no personal experience of traveling with a child, just throwing it out there for consideration.

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  15. #15

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    Re: A San Fransisco to Anaheim (Disney) trip and then home with two and a half year o

    Parking can be a nightmare, finding one and the prices are high, and with the Americas Cup being off the piers, it probably will be crowded. If you stay near BART near SFO. you could take it to the Embarcadero station and take the F trolly to the wharves. Don`t miss out on a ride on a cable car near there. If you are driving from SFO, and want to visit Golden Gate Park, the Presidio and drive across the G.G. Bridge, I would take 101 no. to 380, then 280 no. to Hy 1 which leads you to 19th Ave. which will get you to G.G. Park.

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