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SFMM to the Coast


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Hi All,

 

I'm heading out to SFMM for a long weekend in two weeks, July 15-18, planning on getting to the hotel around 3 or 4 pm, 5 miles from the park, on Friday and possibly head to the coast afterwards. My question is, do any of you have suggestions or tips on a) whether or not it's worth it to make an evening trip to the ocean and b) if so where would you go to have a nice meal overlooking the water? I'm assuming that this "Carmageddon" I've been hearing about will be a factor and might make my decision for me, but my girlfriend has never seen the Pacific and I saw it once when I was younger and both of us would like to try and make our way over there.

 

Thanks in advance, Harper

Edited by robbalvey
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a. What beach city are you thinking of going to? I would personally avoid it on a Friday evening, as many of the beach cities are crowded and parking is difficult. You would probably have better luck with traffic on a Saturday.

 

b. Most of the beach cities (Santa Monica, Long Beach, Newport, etc.) have nice restaurants overlooking the water. Just keep in mind though that some may be on the pricey side.

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That's the thing, I'm clueless. I've been to the LA area once when I was younger and don't remember much of it. After picking a random state park area on the coast and googling the drive I'm not sure we'll even bother, it came up as an hour drive one way with no traffic. After a 6+ hour drive from Phoenix that's not really what I want to do

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I'm going to move this into the main forum as I'm not the biggest fan of the Los Angeles area, especially the beaches! You'll probably have better luck with people who are more into this kind of thing.

 

I will say this, though, be prepared for at least a 90 minute drive getting from SFMM to someplace like Santa Monica.

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Avoid Santa Monica at all costs. The freeway going from the valley (which is on the way from SFMM) to Los Angeles will be completely closed off that weekend, so access to L.A. will be extremely limited and tedious. You'd be better off going to Ventura and going to the beach there. I'm not certain which freeways you'd need to take, but I know that it's possible, not ridiculously far away, and will save you time since you wont have to deal with the major freeway closure.

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Getting from SFMM to Ventura Harbor is as simple and stress-free as you can get. It's a VERY easy drive from SFMM west on the 126 ... and you will bypass ALL of Carmageddon.

 

There are some very nice restaurants at Ventura Harbor, you can check them all out here on their site. It's much less touristy than Santa Monica or Venice.

 

http://www.venturaharborvillage.com/

 

You could even take another 25 minutes and go up to Santa Barbara. Just keep going north on the 101, it's about 25-30 minutes from Ventura (depending on traffic).

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With the 405 shut down, the freeways will be a disaster around LA. I would not even attempt to head south down the 5 or 405, or PCH. Santa Barbara is a good option. Or, one thought would be on the drive over from AZ, to detour during the day over to one of the beach communities on the way to LA. Maybe have lunch by the ocean?The weekend you are arriving is the same weekend as the OC fair in Costa Mesa, so there might be a traffic impact from that as well.

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Ventura is probably the quickest beach to get to from SFMM/Valencia in terms of driving time. I've driven the 101 down to Ventura and then Hwy 126 to Valencia many times and from Ventura to SFMM it usually takes me about 35-40 minutes, though it is early in the morning. Driving the 126 west to Ventura, you will bypass LA traffic COMPLETELY and drive through some orange groves similar to the ones featured in Soarin' Over California. It should take you 30-40 minutes to get to Ventura. If you have the time, I would recommend driving the extra half hour NW on the 101 to Santa Barbara. SB has really nice beaches and is a really nice city (its a bit upscale though). I live about 2 hours north of Santa Barbara and I really like going there. If you don't have time for Santa Barbara, Ventura will do (its less expensive than Santa Monica or Santa Barbara). Hopefully this helps.

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Getting from SFMM to Ventura Harbor is as simple and stress-free as you can get. It's a VERY easy drive from SFMM west on the 126 ... and you will bypass ALL of Carmageddon.

 

There are some very nice restaurants at Ventura Harbor, you can check them all out here on their site. It's much less touristy than Santa Monica or Venice.

 

http://www.venturaharborvillage.com/

 

You could even take another 25 minutes and go up to Santa Barbara. Just keep going north on the 101, it's about 25-30 minutes from Ventura (depending on traffic).

 

As somebody that LOVES Los Angeles, I 2nd this notion. Stay away from LA that weekend! That 126 really is as easy as it gets as far as the ocean is concerned. Plenty of places there too to dine on the beach! We have a few members here from Camarillo and the surrounding area so perhaps they can chime in with a romantic by-the-sea restaurant

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Driving the 126 west to Ventura, you will bypass LA traffic COMPLETELY and drive through some orange groves similar to the ones featured in Soarin' Over California.

 

Fun fact...if you exit the 126 at Wells Rd., take it south to CA 118, make a left on that & drive about 5-10mins, you will pass the actual orange groves featured in Soarin' Over California.

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I found Seal Beach to be completely charming. I don't know about places overlooking the water, but the beach there, the pier, and the downtown is really awesome and there's a bunch of cool places to trot around at. It's got the small feel vibe that a lot of other beaches in LA lack. Only thing is I think it would be considerably further than a lot of the other places. Another huge plus if you like beer would be Beachwood BBQ in the Seal Beach downtown, TERRIFIC bbq food with great great beer. Anyhow, my biased input resides here, because I loved my experience there...

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Driving the 126 west to Ventura, you will bypass LA traffic COMPLETELY and drive through some orange groves similar to the ones featured in Soarin' Over California.

 

Fun fact...if you exit the 126 at Wells Rd., take it south to CA 118, make a left on that & drive about 5-10mins, you will pass the actual orange groves featured in Soarin' Over California.

 

Every time I ride Soarin' Over California at DCA and it goes by the orange groves it reminds me of my road trips to SFMM. A Disney ride reminding me of Six Flags

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