Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Los Angeles and San Diego

This is my final post on the US destinations that I visited this year. Los Angeles is one of the go to destinations for people in the bay area. It is at a driving distance from San Jose and the surrounding places make it an ideal visit with family for long weekends. My friend got a deal to fly down to LA and since I had no plans for the long weekend, he asked me to join. There a lot of things to do in and around LA but I will focus on my itinerary.

One of the mistakes of the trip to start with was taking the bus to LA. Buses are a cheaper but inconvenient mode of transport in US. Due to the long weekend rush, the buses ended up being late and I reached LA at a very odd timing. Except for the fact that these buses have a toilet, they are not as good as the Volvos we have in India. We stayed at the Four Points at Sheraton near the Airport. Expensive but the complimentary breakfast kept us full throughout the day. 

On day 1 we went to the Universal Studios. The normal entry costs $90 but you will have an average of 30-45mins waiting time for all rides. So even if you spend the entire day there you might miss a couple of things. We took the “Front of line” pass which costed $149 but we had an average wait time of 5mins. Totally worth is when you know that you wouldn’t visit this place again. 
Also we reached the theme park at around noon and did everything that is to do by 7pm. The transformers ride and minions ride is not to be missed.
Also the Universal Studios tour takes you to various locations and sets. You also get to experience being in a flood, attacked by aliens and get to see a airplane crash site.
 You will also get to take pics with various movie characters.
On day 2 we drove to San Diego. The drive offers a view of the ocean as you approach the destination. 
Here we only visited the seaworld and it took us an entire day. We took the regular ticket here as the crowd was less. There are rides but only Manta, Journey to Atlantis and Shipwrek Rapids is worth riding. 
Among the shows the Whale and Dolphins should not be missed. You will also get to touch various sea animals here.

Heard there are good beaches to visit here but we did not get time to visit any of them.
On day 3 we visited Hollywood. The major attractions here is the walk of fame where you can find a star dedicated to your favorite actor/actress/artist. 
Apart from that you can see the Hollywood sign
There is also Madame Tussaud museum, HRC and few other places to watch plays and movies. You could also visit the Rodeo drive to do some shopping (rather window shopping). And if you are lucky you can spot celebrities in their fancy cars. There are also hourly tours but I am not sure what they will be showing you. I only see them driving around which you might as well do on your own.
We then visited the Venice canals which are like the ones in Italy. We visited the Santa Monica pier which was the only beach I visited during this trip. 
We concluded the trip by visiting the Griffith observatory which gives you a view of the entire city of LA. We had to leave this place early couldn’t get the night view.
With that I had fun long weekend in LA. If you have an extra day you can skip San Diego and head to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. Entire San Diego will need a long weekend by itself. Heard there is also the 6 flags amusement park near LA which is on my to visit list if (a big IF) I travel to California again.

Nithin and Karthik planned and booked everything for the 3 days :)

You might also be interested to read: Vancouver, San Francisco, Seattle, New York

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