Going to california on a big jet plane!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ac2102, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. ac2102 macrumors member

    ac2102

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Bristol - England
    #1
    A call to yonder fields! I am taking my first trip to the States (well, california) in about a fortnight for a friends wedding.

    I will be spending a few days in San Francisco, then flying to San Luis (further down the coast) for the wedding itself before finishing the tour in LA.

    Basically, i need to know what to miss and what not too! Can i buy a SIM card for my mobile phone which will work out there? Any advice whatsoever will be much appreciated!

    Looking forward to it immensely!

    Thanks!
    Alex
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    Randy's House
    #2
    San Luis is awesome - my dad went to school there.

    Be sure to go to Morro Bay while you are out.

    A fortnight is two weeks, yeah?
     
  3. ac2102 thread starter macrumors member

    ac2102

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Bristol - England
    #3
    Yep, a fortnight is 2 weeks. Can't wait! I get my University finals results on the friday (23rd), and i am flying out on the sunday.
     
  4. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #4
    I went to UCSB in Santa Barbara, which is just about half way between SLO and LA. You have to make time to stop here for a bit, since it's a great tourist town. Good beaches, and enjoy yourself on State Street.
     
  5. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #5
    Santa Barbara is awesome...heck California is awesome.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    SB is awesome, and not just for tourists, some other parts of California I could take or leave. ;)

    How long are you spending in each place, even two weeks is a real short time to see SF-LA... SLO is beautiful and quite relaxed compared to the two cities at your endpoints. Do visit Morro Bay and Cambria if you get a chance.

    B
     
  7. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    Location:
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    #7
    Here, here!

    If you've got time in SF, I'd recommend a short trip north to Sonoma/Napa counties to do some wine-tasting in some beautiful scenery.


    If you do end up planning on going to SB, PM me and I can give you a list of places to go while you're there. 6 years of school there ought to give me some credibility. :cool:
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    He could also get a taste for that around SLO or SB since it only sounds like he has a few days in SF. There are plenty of little wineries in SLO and North County (Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, ...), not quite as famous as Napa/Sonoma, but quite good and fun and nice scenery...

    My favorite touristy activites in SF are finding a good Dim Sum restaurant (unfortunately our favorite is gone), the Golden Gate bridge, the Exploratorium, Haight-Ashbury, Fisherman's Wharf. Plenty for 2-3 days in the city alone but I'm sure Bay Area residents can give more concrete examples.

    B
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #9
    On the SIM card issue...

    Remember we may use GSM for some providers (Cingular, T-Mobile), but your phone needs to support 850 MHz and/or 1900 MHz not the usual European 900/1800, so just a SIM may not be all that useful...

    http://www.cellularabroad.com/usppsc.html

    B
     
  10. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a

    Tanglewood

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    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #10
    Why stop in LA when can keep going and end up in beautiful San Diego!:D
    Though if you don't have time you should at least see Anaheim area, Disneyland is still doing their 50th anniversary celebration
     
  11. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #11
    There are a few threads on things to do/see in San Francisco and in the surrounding area.

    If you plan on going to Alcatraz, the evening tours are best but you'll have to book ahead of time (you can do it online). It's v touristy but quite fun. The only time you'll want to be near Fisherman's Wharf though is en route to the ferry - or if you decide to push the boat out and have dinner at Scoma's.

    Do hang off a cable car - Powell & Hyde - to give you the great pics down of Alcatraz and the Bay. California line to get the shot up the hill that's on so many prints.

    Spend a few hours wandering around one of North Beach/ Haight Ashbury/Mission - interesting little cafes/bars/shops that give you a feel of the real SF. Coit's Tower can give you awesome views but it can be pretty crowded - you might decide instead to go up the Mark Hopkins for cocktails at the rooftop bar - just as good views (although pricier by the time you add in drinks!)

    If you're not getting a car, consider hiring a bike and cycling through Fort Mason and across the Golden Gate. If you are hiring a car for the day, then go over the bridge, up to the Muir Woods to look at the redwoods and then cut across to Calistoga for lunch and drive back down towards Napa through the vineyards. To fit it in will mean an early start but it is do-able.

    Speak to your network here about adding roaming - unless you're making a lot of calls, it's probably just as easy so that you're contactable on your number. I tend to text more when I'm there.
     
  12. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    Location:
    California
    #12

    You will love it. Let me be the first to Welcome you!
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Palookaville
    #13
    By flying to San Luis from San Francisco, you are missing some of the most specular coastline anywhere, Big Sur.

    Another vote for Santa Barbara, and the wine country around Paso Robles and Santa Ynez Valley.

    I will put in a pitch for Ventura County, the next stop down the coast from Santa Barbara. The City of Ventura has turned into a bit of detached Santa Barbara, not quite as upscale but very pleasant. The Mission and County Museum are recommended. Also, if you're driving from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, get off the 101 Freeway at Ventura and take State Route 126 east through the Santa Clara Valley to Interstate 5. Not only is this this a less congested route, you'll be driving through one of Southern California's most scenic agricultural areas, mainly citrus groves. Of course, I'm biased -- I live there.
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    Amen. It's only a ~3 hour drive from SF to SLO, so you could perhaps even save time by driving and avoid the airport security delays. There are plenty of things to see along the way, particularly if you take it slower and drive down via the coast highway instead of the 101.

    You could even take side trips to places like Monterey and Carmel which are also very beautiful places with plenty to see and do.

    As IJ states, downtown Ventura is definitely worth a pit stop and has dramatically improved in the 10 years I've been in this neck of the woods. All the backroads in Ventura County take you through beautiful terrain and agricultural land, and if you have the time taking one of these slower roads like the 126 or the 118 can let you see the California us residents see. (OK so the same is true for most of the rest of California including SLO and SB counties, but I too am biased towards Ventura County).

    B
     
  15. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #15
    How true. I always fly into LAX and drive the coast. (Stay in Ventura one night for a break with my aunt).
     
  16. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

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    Tokyo
    #16
    If I were you, I would drive from SF to SLO, and take highway 1, you won't regret it. It will probably take about 4.5 hours, (depending on how many stops you take, or if you get stuck behind a truck). Be advised, the road is right on the edge of high cliffs most of the time, if you are afraid of heights beware.

    I live in SLO, have my whole life, in fact I am 4th generation San Luis Obispian, so if you have any questions about SLO just ask.
     
  17. pcortez macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    #17
    i live in ventura county (right in between SLO and LA). i can't give you too much advice on San Francisco, but try to see Hearst Castle in San Simeon while you are in SLO, and on the drive to LA. Take the 101 (it's beautiful from Santa Barbara to Ventura) then cut through Oxnard and take the Pacific Coast Highway to LA (it goes right through Malibu, and right along some great views of the beach, santa monica mountains and of course all the famous ppl's houses.)

    i went to uni in LA. *caution* it's not a tourist city, make sure you have a car and lots of patience.
     
  18. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #18
    Though make sure to avoid the afternoon rush hour as the 101 heading south from SB can be hellish (though not LA hellish) if you hit it at the wrong time (particularly Friday and Sunday afternoons!) . Take it near sunset and you'll get treated to a beautiful sunset over the Channel Islands. (No not those Channel Islands, our Channel Islands).

    B
     
  19. ExMachina macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    #19

    I've got a few questions if you don't mind. I want to relocate to the west coast.

    How many young people live in the area? like percentage or estimation.

    Is it a good investment right now to buy there? Is it a growing area?

    How expensive is it to live there? This one is crucial heheh.




    _______________________________________

    [[[[[[[[[[ ExMachina ]]]]]]]]]]
    [[[[[[[[[[ Listening to: Miss Murder by AFI :
    [[[[[[[[[[ http://www.napster.com/player/tracks/16623709 ]]]]]]]]]]
     
  20. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #20
    The west coast is a big place. ;)

    If you hit a college town like SLO or SB or Long Beach or San Diego or SF you'll find high concentrations of 20-somethings. Other parts less so.

    More expensive near the coast, but not totally out of whack with metropolitan East Coast cities. The RE market is slowing, but apparently still growing...

    B
     
  21. Diddiyo macrumors member

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    central jersey
    #21
    Six Flags Magic Mountain & Knott's Berry Farm
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #22
    I'm in SLO too, although I can't claim any pedigree of ancestors down here.

    However, if you do have any questions, by all means let me know. The wine tasting is excellent. I can even point you to a winery that has just released a Pinot that recieved a 96 rating from Wine Spectator. ;)

    Beyond that, there is Hearst Castle. Highly recommend that if you are going to be in the area long enough to make a half-day trip. While you're up that way, stop in Cambria, where there are several nice restraunts. Or head back to Cayucos and go to Hoppes Bistro and stop at the Riverstar winery tasting room next door.

    Make sure you also get out to Montana de Oro out in Los Osos. Morro Bay too, if you can. Further south, check out Avila Beach, and be sure to stop at the Avila Barn for some fresh fruit and vegetables. Pismo is cool, but VERY touristy and crowded during the summer months.

    Beyond that, it sort of depends on your interests. There are some amazing hikes I can point you towards, there's several downtown areas that are fun to go to (like the Arroyo Grande village, particularly if you like ice cream). There are beaches to walk on, dunes to ride on, golf to play, and all kinds of other stuff.

    Do you have anything you'd really like to see/do?
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    The west coast is a big place, so any answers to your questions are not likely to be accurate everywhere.

    Around me, not as many as in other places. Sure there's the college crowd, but they're gone right now.

    It's growing like crazy here, but I don't know about a good investment. The good time to get in here would have been pre-1998, but it's still doable. The housing market is definitely softening up though.

    Depends on what your baseline is. This area is one of the most expensive, although if you are coming from the Bay Area it's probably a bit of a reprieve. Not much though. If you're from outside CA -- it's likely very expensive by comparison. The median house price in the county is a little over $500,000.
     

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