california trip accommodation

(16 Posts)
applegate Thu 13-Mar-14 13:20:55

We are heading to california in October, dh myself and 3dc, 13,7 and 5.
We have a week in la with family and then up highway 1 to san Francisco before heading to yosemite and sequoia and back to la. I wondered if anyone had any recommendations for accommodation, I was wondering if there was a chain of motels/hotels anyone felt was particularly good for families...... not quite sure where to start with picking places to stay and am aware that 5 is not a perfect number for motel rooms!

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Thu 13-Mar-14 13:24:26

Lots of the budget chains have large rooms and small kitchenettes for making breakfast and basic meals. Try Days Inn, Super 8 and Motel 6 etc. They are all franchised and owned/run by local managers so the quality varies, but we used some really good ones a few years. Best thing to do is to look on Tripadvisor and check out the reviews - rooms are generally large and Americans are pretty demanding about their hotels so the standard is quite high for the price.

applegate Thu 13-Mar-14 13:35:40

Thanks so much for the reply, a kitchenette would be great as well, I will have a look at those chains.....

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Thu 13-Mar-14 13:38:49

We did a similar trip in reverse 2 years ago, stopping in Monterey, Santa Barbara and a University town I avnt remember the name of. Pm me if you want any more tips.

applegate Thu 13-Mar-14 13:48:29

Any tips welcome, we are thinking roughly a week to get to sf, but haven't got a particularly firm itinerary yet so would love recommendations!

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Thu 13-Mar-14 13:55:44

Monterey aquarium is fabulous - even with no kids in tow we really enjoyed it. SF is just wonderful. The trolleys, cable cars are great. Book for Alcatraz. If you like seafood there is a place called Phil's Fish market (I think) near Santa Cruz which is really good.

In LA the Warner Studios tour is good, but might be a bit boring for your 5 year old. Universal Studios (more a theme park than a proper studio tour) might be better.

California pizza kitchen is a chain a bit like Zizzi and is good for families.

Sorry, I've got exhausted baby brain today but feel free to ask for more advice as you get planning.

I would also look at chains also like the Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites. Not all that dear per night and have overall better facilities.

Re Yosemite what are you planning to do there, have you got accommodation booked?. Its a fair old hike driving from SF.

BTW the lower age limit for Warner Brothers tour is 8.

applegate Thu 13-Mar-14 17:27:33

Thanks for the other accommodation suggestions... in yosemite we want to do some walking and a half day rafting trip. Not booked accommodation yet but it is available although I am aware it is the one that needs booking asap. It is a long way but while we are there we really want to go if we can. Kids are really good in the car.... drove to spain in a day last year so hoping (crosses fingers) that the trend continues!!

applegate Thu 13-Mar-14 17:29:15

Although I am aware the weather will not necessarily be that great in Oct there..... but desperately want to go.Ahh decisions decisions!

mrswobblebottom Thu 13-Mar-14 19:31:08

I recommend you search back on previous California threads as there is loads of useful info to be had from them and everyones experiences. When we went last year it was invaluable with loads of tips about places to visit and stay. We are a party of 5 too but with older children, we stayed in different accomodation on our road trip, using homeaway house/apartments for stays in SF, Yosemite and LA. Hotels in Monterey and Pismo. Have fun planning!

Homebird11 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:15:15

I would second using homeaway, you often get more space for your money.

One of the nicest places we stayed was pismo lighthouse suites. It was quite expensive, but there were other hotels near by that might have been cheaper.
San Luis obispo is near by and a lovely place to visit.

RedNats5 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:36:48

We did SF to Yosemite to Monterey and down pch to la, Anaheim and Huntington Beach last year also a family of 5.
My brief recs are

SF - we had a family room at HI express this was adequate but I really did not like fishermans what where we stayed would far prefer to be in other districts. Union square would have been better.
Yosemite - lodge at the fall was basic but fantastic being in the lark was invaluable and would recommend
Monterey - had family room at downtown travelodge which has cheap and cheerful and did the job
Pismo beach - liked this place but we stayed in Oxford suites. The suite itself was good and would be perfect for your family but it was noisy and lots of late night drinkers we may have been unlucky.
Santa Monica - doubletree suite was great

I'm assuming you don't need Anaheim/Huntington Beach.

It was and amazing trip and to will have an amazing time

applegate Fri 14-Mar-14 12:49:59

Thanks all, have got lots of useful info from the earlier threads too
red how long did you taketo do all of that?

zanz1bar Fri 14-Mar-14 21:06:08

Try airbnb for SF.

We did the coastal trip last July as a family of 5.
So much easier to book an apartment or house with space for everyone and a separate bedroom for the parents!
We found the flexibility of self catering and the space in SF well worth it and cheaper. We stayed in a house near Filmore for 4 days and travelled all around SF by bus, trolley or on foot.
And it worked out cheaper than a hotel on the hell hole that is fishermans wharf.

Loved Cambria on the coastal highway, lots of independent motel style places that would suit rooms next to each other.

We tended to put the kids in one room and adults in a room next door. I resent spending all that money getting to the USA to have the kids sleeping in the same room.

Work out where you want to stop, check out tripadvisor for what they call speciality lodging and rentals( top bar along the top of hotels ) and think about other options not just the big motel chains with 2x kingsize beds in one room...... Hell after travelling all day.

Bunbaker Fri 14-Mar-14 22:14:42

Take plenty of warm clothes for Yosemite. It was quite chilly when we went in July (many years ago)

RedNats5 Sat 15-Mar-14 08:25:43

3 nights in SF, 3 nights Yosemite, 2 Monterey, 1 Pismo beach, 2 Santa Monica, 3 Anaheim, 7 Huntington Beach (DH was at a conference for 4 of these)

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