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    Southern California trip

    Greetings! I am considering a trip to southern California next September. My plan is to fly into San Diego, and out of LAX, or vice versa. I'd like to spend a few days in the San Diego area, then take the train into the LA area. Can I get away with relying on public transportation in the San Diego area, if I wish to visit within the city? I'd prefer not to rent a van if possible. I imagine I would need to rent one in the LA area (I hope to stay in the Santa Monica area), to visit the different coastal towns. Probably also a day trip to Disneyland. I don't have much interest in Hollywood, etc.

    #2
    we did this trip. stay in lajolla(sp) beautiful area. kld is a big help in this area
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      #3
      Originally posted by landrover View Post
      Greetings! I am considering a trip to southern California next September. My plan is to fly into San Diego, and out of LAX, or vice versa. I'd like to spend a few days in the San Diego area, then take the train into the LA area. Can I get away with relying on public transportation in the San Diego area, if I wish to visit within the city? I'd prefer not to rent a van if possible. I imagine I would need to rent one in the LA area (I hope to stay in the Santa Monica area), to visit the different coastal towns. Probably also a day trip to Disneyland. I don't have much interest in Hollywood, etc.
      Your getting to be a jetsetter! That is a great trip we are doing that trip in two weeks...We are flying from Phx to SNA( Anaheim) and going to Disneyland for a few days then taking Amtrac from Anaheim to San Diego for 3 days.

      If you use Paratransit in your city you can reach out to OC Paratransit and get certified.

      Then when you fly in to San Diego or Orange County paratransit can pick you up and bring you to your hotel and then hotel to train station.

      Both cities very accessible.

      If you wanted you could do Amtrac to downtown LA too.

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            #6
            KLD is away, she'll chime in a few days.

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              #7
              We had a great trip to the LA area this summer with two teenage sons. Spent a couple of days at Universal Studios Hollywood and we did the Warner Brothers studio tour. Both were very accommodating /accessible. The Universal Studios park is relatively flat and you can download an app that will filter all the rides/shows according to level of accessibility (i.e. can transfer, manual wheelchair accessible, electric chair accessible). At Warner Brothers they have an accessible cart (ramp and tie-downs for your chair) to tour the backlot.

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                #8
                One of our favorite places to visit in Los Angeles is the Getty Museum.

                Keep in mind September in the Los Angeles/Orange County area can be pretty warm, sometimes topping 100?. Of course along the coast is usually more temperate.

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                  #9
                  A couple of years ago I drove California State Route 1, the 'Pacific Coast Highway' from San Francisco to San Diego and back via Palm Springs, with many stops for sightseeing. I enjoyed the vibe in SD, how accessible the place was and as an ex-military man I really enjoyed the USS Midway tour and watching the fighter jet taking off access the bay.

                  For LA I stayed in Marina Del Ray, close to Vince Beach & Santa Monica and took the Star Line "Grand Tour of Los Angeles". A five-and-a-half hour coach tour around the many districts of Hollywood & LA which was fantastic, they picked me up & dropped me off at my hotel too which was great and all accessible with forward notice. Like yourself I don't see the attraction of Hollywood so this tour isn't about celeb spotting, just pointing out places of interest etc and giving you taste of the districts.
                  Dots, lines and aeroplanes. my flying adventures.

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                    #10
                    Accessible public transportation (bus and light rail "Trolley") pretty good in San Diego, depending upon where you want to go. Trolley does not go to beaches or Balboa Park or the Zoo though, and bus can be slow. You might want to consider the Old Town Trolley Tours "hop-on-hop-off" tour; two day tickets are best so you have time. They can be a bit reluctant to let you on/off frequently on their accessible trolleys (not all are lift equipped) due to the time factor, so you have to be pretty firm about getting off/on where you want to.

                    https://www.trolleytours.com/san-die.../www.sdmts.com

                    You must apply in advance for MTS Access (paratransit) use: https://www.sdmts.com/rider-info-acc...ity/mts-access
                    Reservations are required, and service is not great.

                    The San Diego Safari Park (formerly Wild Animal Park) is very accessible, but getting there pretty much requires a private vehicle as it is 40 miles north of downtown. At both the Zoo and Safari Park an attendant/caregiver gets in free with your full paid ticket. The Zoo offers a free private lift van to get you to the areas of the zoo that are in deep canyons. Ask for information at the entrance booth.

                    The light rail go to the Gaslamp Quarter, Petco Park (baseball), Seaport Village, the Embarcadero (USS Midway museum is accessible), Little Italy, and Old Town, as well as two big shopping centers in Mission Valley.

                    In LA, just keep in mind that it can easily take you over an hour to get from Santa Monica to Disneyland; longer if during rush hour (which in LA is pretty much 0600-1000 and 1400-1900). You might want to consider staying near Disneyland for a few days...Laguna Beach is great, as are the other Orange County beach areas such as Huntington or Seal Beach, or Newport. The Getty Museum is great, as well as the Getty Villa in Malibu. You must have reservations for the latter for parking. No street parking although the Villa Parking is free if you reserve. If you like art, in addition to the Getty, the Los Angeles County Art Museum is fantastic, and the new (modern art) Broad Museum across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown are both great. The LA County Art museum is close to Farmer's Market (great for lunch) and to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (sabre tooth cats, mammoths, etc. dug out of the tar pits). The Museum of Tolerance is also in that area. Be careful if you go into Hollywood....much of this area is pretty seedy now days.

                    Going north up the coast, I love Santa Barbara, Ojai, and San Luis Obispo. Cambria is an art colony with a lot of retirees too, and is close to Hearst Castle. Unfortunately you cannot get to Monterey along the Big Sur (Hwy 1) drive right now, and it is uncertain how soon the huge mud slide will take to clear, or if it will slide more this winter if we get a lot of rain again.




                    (KLD)
                    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                      #11
                      Thank you all for the feedback. I think the furthest north we will possibly travel is Santa Barbara. We did the Big Sur region a couple of times previously, so that will not be on our agenda this time.

                      Initially my plan was to fly into San Diego, and out of LAX. However, I am planning to fly JetBlue out of JFK in their Mint class, and leaving out of LAX doubles the price. So while inconvenient, I'll likely depart out of San Diego as well. Is there a train route that would somewhat conveniently go from the Santa Monica area to the San Diego airport? I may decide it is easier to rent a van for the entire trip, since I know I'll need one in the LA area anyway. I've yet to decide if I want to bring my travel lift (Molift 150), but if I do that will tilt me even more to renting a van for the full trip, as I don't know how easy it would be to take the lift on the train?

                      Is there a preferred area to stay in San Diego? An issue will be finding a hotel with a bed that will accommodate the lift. We really enjoy the beach area, but would also be conveniently located to restaurants, nightlife, etc. I'm not sure if the zoo will be on our list. Also, how many days in the San Diego would be sufficient?

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                        #12
                        The only practical way to travel by train (Amtrak) from Santa Monica or LAX to San Diego is to catch the Flyaway bus from LAX to the Amtrak station in downtown LA (about 20 miles; but plan for 1 hour at least for this trip). It is wheelchair accessible. http://traveltips.usatoday.com/amtrak-lax-39890.html

                        The main train station in San Diego is downtown right near the Embarcadero with several hotels within easy distance. There is accessible city bus or shuttle service from the train station and nearby hotels to the airport (about 3 miles).

                        Staying in the Marina district or Gaslamp Quarter would probably be the best for easy access to restaurants and public transportation. Few hotels in that area have free parking though, and it can run as high as $25/day. Parking downtown can also be pretty expensive if you stay elsewhere. Personally I rarely drive to that area; instead parking in Mission Valley (Hazard Center or Fashion Valley) and taking the Trolley (light rail) downtown. Parking at Balboa Park and the Zoo area is free. There is a charge for parking at the Safari Park. Little Italy has few hotels, but lots of restaurants and is just north of the train station. You can take the Trolley to Old Town (the Trolley stops at the Amtrak station). Mission Valley has many more hotels, but there is not much to do right there, with limited restaurants, but many stay here ("Hotel Circle") because it is less expensive, has easy freeway access, and sometimes free parking. A few hotels are right on the Trolley Line.

                        Here are some resources for hotels. Keep in mind that you still need to call and talk to the hotel management directly about the need for a non-platform bed that can accommodate your lift.

                        https://www.sandiego.org/plan/visito...ng/hotels.aspx
                        https://accessiblego.com/articles/To...s_in_San_Diego

                        Embassy Suites downtown may be a good option as it is one block from a Trolley Station and Seaport Village and is on the western edge of the Marina district. The Manchester Grand is the hotel used by the VA's Summer Sports Clinic for disabled veterans, and the PVA usually uses the Westin Horton Plaza when they have meetings in San Diego. I know several people who recommend the fairly new SpringHill Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown/Bayfront location, which is really on the north end of the Embarcadero area and the west edge of Little Italy. Also consider the Hotel Indigo. In Mission Valley, those hotels closest to the Trolley include The Town and Country, The Marriott Mission Valley, and the Doubletree at Hazard Center. The Old Town Inn (Old Town area) is also a less expensive option, but I don't know the specifics on their wheelchair accessible accommodations. It is close to both the Trolley and city bus terminal hub in Old Town.

                        Beach area hotels are a good ways from the best restaurant locations (with the possible exception of expensive La Jolla) and not served by the San Diego Trolley, as well as with limited bus services, but you could consider the Bahia or Catamaran in Mission Beach.

                        (KLD)
                        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                          #13
                          Landrover...I think if you stick with your original plan and make the trip without a van rental its very easy to get a round and roll the rental charge of a van $110-150 a day plus miles, gas and parking in both cities can be $$$!

                          With that being said are you sold on Jetblue Mint? It's nice but that trip from NYC or Philadelphia is $$$. Plus that trip is only 6-7 hours tops. We fly Southwest Air and the air fare is 1/2 the cost in to LA or San Diego and then back home! I see fares as low as $400 round trip! Plus you would fly in the 1st row that would give you a little more leg room so you dont have as big of issue like with JAL on a longer trip.

                          Plus a short 1 hour to 2 hour layover in Den, Chicago, Dallas would get you the ability to get some air and roll around a bit.


                          Both airlines are not quoting rates for Sept but know Blue Monday and Black Friday are major days to book or rebook for air and hotel amazing rates!

                          Santa Monica is a great city but due to not having a lot of hotels it can be very expensive for room rates simply based on supply and demand.

                          I would look at staying in Hollywood and or downtown LA (LA live area) lots to see and do and you can take the expo route (light rail) to Santa Monica for a great day tip...we like walking/rolling Santa Monica to Venice, also the 3rd st Promenade is fun and the Santa Monica pier!

                          Once you are done in that area you could take a light rail to Union Square station and take Amtrak to Anaheim for Disneyland!

                          Once down you could fly out of SNA (Orange county)



                          3rd St shopping and restaurant, open air mall.
                          https://www.santamonica.com/santa-mo...eet-promenade/

                          Expo light rail line:

                          Downtown LA, Hollywood, Santa Monica
                          https://www.google.com/search?q=the+...HcE6EZh8xc86M:



                          Amtrak cost from San Diego to Anaheim $47 and that includes a free caretaker fare
                          Amtrak cost LA to Anaheim $27.

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                            #14

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                              #15
                              We stay in Coronado it's a lot nicer than San Diego and calm not the craziness of the beach area. You can take the ferry to downtown and a bus or dial a ride from a hotel in Coronado its only $4.50 each way!

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