Wednesday, October 14, 2009

reader help: got californian travel tips?

pan am poster by peter max

as mentioned the other day, my little family and i are planning a big californian adventure for january. my boyfriend has never travelled internationally before so its extra exciting introducing him to the fun in planning an adventure all of your own. we'll be in california for 3 weeks, and though our main purpose is a music trade show, that only lasts one weekend so there is much more adventure to be had! we're planning on seeing los angeles, anaheim, san diego, and san francisco.

this is where i need your help, oh lovely knowledgeable readers! see, i'm overwhelmed. my brain is melting just working out the whole disneyland thing. so i'm looking for hot tips on groovy places to stay - hotels or even general districts that are interesting or fun. i need to know intriguing places to shop, places to eat, things to see, all of it - share your experiences with me and save me from pre-holiday brain melt!

either comment below or email me at drawpilgrim (at)

12 comments: said...

how fun! CA is great. some thoughts:

- make sure you get a car for LA and san diego. SF is easy with out a car.

- drive up the coast between santa barbara and san francisco... totally amazing and scenic.

- leave the touristy areas and explore other parts of san francisco. there is lots to do in the western parts of the city.

- manhattan beach, santa monica and venice beach are fun parts of greater LA.

- getty center in LA is great.

- much of CA is about the amazing scenery... try to get to a national park. muir woods and point reyes are really close to san francisco.


Samantha said...

In San Francisco, try to plan a dinner at Slanted Door, in the Ferry Building (must book ahead, use Amazing Vietnamese food, great setting and details (Heath Ceramics plates!) with a view of the Bay Bridge, commuter ferries and water. A little pricey, but worth it IMHO.
Enjoy your trip!
Sam in SF

Pilgrim Lee said...

good stuff people!! thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

we won't be renting a car unfortunately :( but i am surprised how much i'm looking forward to seeing californian nature.. normally i'm indoors-girl though without a car it might be nature from afar!

Sam - oh that sounds like the perfect spot for a special international edition of date night!

donna said...

Based on the beautiful colors of your website, you might enjoy staying at the Hotel Del Sol.
Their rates are very reasonable, nice part of town with plenty of access to public transport and funky, colorful decor in the rooms.

Anonymous said...

When I went to CA a few years ago I took the bus pretty much everywhere and with a little planning I didn't have much trouble :)

One place in SF you might and the boy might like is Rock Posters (1851 Powell Street) When I went I got an all access pass for an old Smashing Pumpkins tour. It has heaps of original posters, some are vintage and some are really limited editions. there site is:

I also thought the Santa Monica pier was cool. It's touristy but I thought it was worth seeing.

Have fun!

pikkujen said...

There is an amazing museum of old arcade games, which still work (some of them not very... PC!) in san francisco... it's in the touristy bit (which is yuck) but well worth a visit if you like vintage things (lots of cool old photo machines too... the photos make neat souvenirs)

We hired bikes from round the same area (Fishermans Wharf) as well and cycled over the Bridge (amazing!!), round the coast and through Golden Gate park (we liked the bikes so much we kept them for two days... so many beautiful areas to explore!!)

Have a great trip! I will post if I think of any other ace places in SF!

MKupperman said...

In 3rd and Fairfax Farmer's market there's a place now selling mint-condition stacks of all kinds of antique novelties. Really worth a look.

Baroque Pop Radio said...

love the Peter Max

Hollywood Tips:

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs
Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Griffith Observatory

Pilgrim Lee said...

donna - thank you! great recommendation: looks like a great place for us, i like that they say they treat kids as VIPs, very sweet!

danielle - oh my boyfriend is gonna LOVE that poster place! thank you :D

pikkujen - wow, bikes are a great idea! and the museum of arcade games sounds very cool. old photo machines! swoooon

mkupperman - PERFECTO! sounds like heaven!

baroque pop radio - CEMETERY + HOT DOGS! yay! hehe

*dies of excitement*

thank you all for great suggestions, you're the bestest tour guides one could ask for...

Maureen said...

Watch out for the 'Bush Man' -

strawberry lemonade girl said...

I have tons and tons to recommend!!! (and um, hello...we MUST meet up!!!)

how old is yer little one? There so many amazing things to see. And you know, I recommend a healthy balance of tourist and non-touristy. I mean, when you live in a city, of course the touristy things are annoying....but for a visit, what the heck! You have to ride a cable car and see the "twistiest street in the country"!!

I will email you sooooon!

Pilgrim Lee said...

maureen - 'the bush man'? that sounds ominous!!

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