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Location Advice please - Southern California

Discussion in 'Photography Chat Forum' started by Talen, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Talen

    Talen Member

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    A possible upcoming work trip to Claremont, California should give me the oppourtunity to have a few cheap days out there on my own money after the training course.

    So I'm wondering where I should look at going when I'm out there. If things pan out as planned I should have 6 days at the end of July to do my own thing.

    Any suggestions please?

    One day is going to be spent at Planes of Fame in Chino, but beyond that there is so much choice I'm struggling a bit to work out the best way to spend the remaining 5 days. I'm looking at museums (mainly railway or military history) and landscapes. I know there are quite a few national parks nearby, but nothing about them as to which are worth visiting. Equally I'm open to any other suggestions if there are "must do" things out there.

    I'm not too sure about driving into LA though as this will be my first visit to the US and my first time driving abroad as well, so staying out of the big cities appeals.
     
  2. RyanB

    RyanB Always on Premium Member

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    Not sure how far afield you want to go but the Sequoia National forest isn't that far and is probably one of my top 5 California spots. Monterey is also a great place to visit if you have the time to go that far north.
     
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  3. Talen

    Talen Member

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    Sequoia is a bit further afield than I had originally been planning (200 miles is a long way to a Brit, or at least this Brit.) However I could turn it into a bit of a road trip and head up that way. I don't want to spend too many whole days driving, but I don't object to driving a couple of hours in the evening after visiting somewhere; I'm not much of one for nightlife so I would only waste most evenings reading in whatever hotel room I end up at, with the odd exception for some sunset photography maybe in the right locations.

    A bit of a Road trip could be a good plan actually rather than staying in the same area, I'll do some digging into that idea.
     
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  4. RyanB

    RyanB Always on Premium Member

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    Sequoia is about as far south as I have ever ventured, I know plenty of places in Northern CA having lived in the Bay area for quite a while in my youth but most of them would require a huge(by British Standards) chunk of driving from where you will be. Frankly I can't say I have ever been disappointed by a national park in CA and I suspect there are probably quite a few great spots in the national forest just to the North of you, I don't know of them mind but I bet they are there if a road trip isn't on the cards.
     
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  5. Mike Singh

    Mike Singh Always on Premium Member

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    Santa Barbara is beautiful with its Old Spanish Mission.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Always on

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    It really depends on what you want to see out here. I'm told the wide open spaces between everything puts the zap in many peoples heads, to us 200 miles is across the street... I have to drive into LA twice a week, ugh, 200 mile round trip...

    The Getty is just outside West LA and is pretty cool to see. By the way I'm in Santa Barbara, wish I had space...

    I avoid East LA as it's deeper into LA than I like to be.... Of course ALaska is also to close to LA for my liking :p
     
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  7. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    I'd avoid LA like the plague, it's a soulless concrete jungle with no aesthetic appeal whatsoever in my humble opinion.
     
  8. gaelldew

    gaelldew Always on

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    Military wise, great day out.
    California Science Center
    4.7 (9,085) ยท Science museum
    Los Angeles, CA, United States
     
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  9. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    Joshua Tree National Park is about 100 miles west of Claremont. Excellent photo opprotunities. It is a great place for night sky photography. Be mindful of the weather conditions for the specific times you will be there. It is a desert environment and some preparation may be required, depending on what you plan to do.

    https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/photography.htm
    https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm

    Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Death Valley and Pinnacles National Parks are about 200 miles north. If you're adventurous Channel Islands National Park is just off the Pacific coast.

    While Los Angeles may not hold any interest for you, the road along the ocean to Oxnard makes for a beautiful drive.
     
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  10. Talen

    Talen Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions all, I shall have a look at them and see what I can fit into my road trip.

    The cities themselves hold no real attraction, I'd only be going into them for specific attractions, but I do like a good coast road...

    In related news it looks like work might be changing their minds on me and I might end up in the San Francisco area as they want me to have look at something up that way too. So that would probably give me the weekend near LA and then a few days further north. I'm not sure if I'd then be flying home from LA or SF if the former it could be a good way to do a road trip down through the parks and forests, but I'd also likely lose a couple of days to what work are asking of me (unless I can then extend the trip out a bit further, but I might be pushing my luck there. Will have to wait and see.)
     
  11. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    Many tourists have difficulty coming to grips with the scale of the U.S. thinking they can visit several National Parks in an afternoon. Use Google Maps and pay attention to the timeframes given as they take into consideration distance and traffic. Pay particular attention to time when traveling around Los Angeles and San Francisco, rush hour traffic is the worst in the world and can waste several hours getting through it. Pick one park that you want to go to and plan your visit around the locations that you want to photograph. Use www/nps.gov to get particular info on each park, review their photos for promising locations, then search the web for additional info on those locations. California is larger than most euro countries, so choose your park(s) and directions carefully.
     
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  12. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Always on

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    Yea, What Mike Said :p

    Traffic in both LA and SF are the pure pits, and don't even get close to the 405 (parking lot) freeway... 7 lanes to a side (14 from side to side) and moving about 20 miles an hour....

    SF and the surrounding areas are a bit less mind numbing and MANY great places with in a 4 hour drive. I used to live between Yosemite and Sequoia parks, its a good 4 hour drive to San Jose and 5 to SF.

    Hitting the coast roads from SF or LA is extremely pleasing as long as the road is not falling into the ocean at the time...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019 at 7:27 AM
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  13. Grumpy John

    Grumpy John Here a lot

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    I really don't have much to offer in the way of must visit destinations in California. My only input is speaking as an Aussie the distances in America don't intimidate me. I did a road trip with a friend back in '99 and we covered over 2,000 miles in 20 days. L.A. - Grand Canyon - Vegas - San Francisco - L.A. fly to Dallas then drive to Memphis - New Orleans - Austin - Dallas, fly home. Easy peasy.
     
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  14. Talen

    Talen Member

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    Yeah I've picked up on that looking at Google Maps; it is deceptive, I find myself looking at the map thinking at that looks like it should be just down the road, click directions, time needed 1.5hours. Careful planning will indeed be carried out as soon as work confirm details of the additional trips they're thinking of tacking on (and confirming the whole thing for that matter, Boss' Boss still has to sign off on it.)

    Long distances don't intimidate me per se, I just find myself tired, I've done ~600 miles (~11hours driving) in two days this weekend to go to an airshow. I was noticably flagging by hour 9 of driving on day 2.

    If I end up in SF then Yosemite will definetely be on my list to visit. I'll work out where exactly and plan around that I suspect. My other thought is that if they want me to go to SF I will put that off to the end of the week and make it a road trip from LA to SF via some of the parks, but I'm not sure if work would go for that.
     
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  15. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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  16. Talen

    Talen Member

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    Blimey! I'm going in just over a month, but I won't be going (to any national parks) at the weekend looking at that video.

    Work still haven't decided if I'm going on to the lab near SF yet, so I'm working on a couple of different itineraries which I can pick from and book hotels/motels for once they decide.
     

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