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where should i go in california?


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i'm following the thread trend!

anyway i am going to california on 25th of june for a month backpacker style, and i was wondering for those of you that have been there or live there what's worth visiting. i am starting out and leaving from san fran. also if anyone's interested in meeting up for a beer, let me know.

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hey its the benefits of an international community

Ive only been to San Fransisco which was awesome. Walk around downtown, embarcadero etc.

Walk (or drive) down this thing: (my pic)


Walk onto the golden gate bridge, you don't have to walk across the whole thing because there is not much on the other side, just out to the center and back.

Coit tower was fun, the hilly streets are fun too:


Come to NY and then I can really tell you what to do

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Well I can tell you where not to go in California:

San Francisco at night - as soon as darkness begins, bums crawl out of every hole. If you have dinner and it happens to be dark when you leave the restaurant, remember that the cable cars don't run at that time anymore. Oh and don't be a fool and take a shortcut through an area you don't know, because before you know you see gang members everywhere and end up in someone's "hood" (especially avoid this when you are a skinny 15 years old eherm....).

Don't take just tshirts with you. I can hear you say "But it's San Francisco, it's in California and it's summer LOL :v", well I can tell you I was glad I followed my host dad's advise and took a jacket with me because it was really chilly, wheras in LA it was super hot.

If you go to LA, do what everyone else does - drive a car. Rent one, it will pay off immediately. Don't be a dumbass and listen to bad advice from UPS van drivers, they misestimate distances easily and you know why? Because nobody ever walks in LA! Everyone drives a car. Public transportation? The underground system is nothing like a European one and if you take the bus make sure you got the exact change with you (and a kevlar vest). The bus driver won't exchange any money and if you don't have the exact amount of coins he won't let you ride the bus. During summer around noon, this kind of shit can cost you a lot of nerves and a lot of sweat. In retrospective I'm still amazed that the friendly artist whose house we passed gave us drinks and drove us home in his car but didn't turn out to be a psycho and skinned us alive in his basement.

If you go out to a bar/club, go out early. The places close down at 2 (or 3? don't exactly remember, but still quite early).

On the positive side 'cisco is a pretty cool city, more European than many other American cities. Drive around in a cable car, visit alcatraz, see the golden gate bridge, the docks maybe - but this is the regular tourist program I guess. If I went again I would love to visit that diner just outside SF where venture capitalists meet innovators. Forogt the name sadly...then I'd get a car and drive down to LA, but try to get a nice route somewhere close to the coast instead of getting to LA asap. Drive through Orange County and maybe make a stop in Laguna Beach! :v

In LA I liked the mexican food, the hollywood sign and observatory in the hills, Universal Studios....and all the other stuff I did with the group and the host families when I was there, BBQs etc. I think visiting LA when you hang with residents is a completely different thing than when you don't, but I guess that applies to any city.

Maybe the Americans could give you some insider tips, I was just a tourist the first time anyway and the 2nd time there was little time for sight seeing :)

Zaphod probably knows San Diego best, all I remember is a big mall and Sea World :D

But maybe cities aren't your thing to begin with and you wanna hike a national park? It's a big state :D

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sweet info dude. yeah i am definitely going to la, but i dont plan too much on before hand. i usually visit places in weeks, i.e. i spend 1 week visiting one place then move on, etc. i really wanted to see if i could make a trip all the way down to arizona and the superstitions, but i doubt that will be possible.. it is quite a distance. hows the security over there? do you get robbed on the streets and do the gangs beat you up at night?

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LA can be a dangerous place, no doubt about that, especially by foot at night, but that also depends on which part of town you are moving through. I wouldn't want to be on the street in Compton, at any time of day actually. Then again I walked home on sunset and through Hollywood (trust me, both strips aren't as pretty and glamorous as they might sound like) and only encountered 2 persons who even told me "hey, don't be afraid of black dudes!". Maybe because they looked like homeless people and my collegues and me looked like we were in a hurry hehe...we tried to catch some food on the way home by the way, but no fast food joint would serve us, because we were not in a car. I shit you not, the restaurants were closed, except for the drive through counter, but since we were not "sitting in a vehicle" they didn't sell us anything. :banjo:

But this is the thing, there are just some things you do not do in the US, or such cities in particular, which might sound unusual for a German. You don't just walk down the hill, through the neighboring quarter and pick up food from the supermarket there! "What - are you nuts? The crazy mexican people live down there!" This might sound paranoid and in some cases it is, but there are simply certain neighbourhoods and streets you want to avoid, which doesn't mean that you can't just as well get robbed in beverly hills by some thug. The risk just might be lower.

Talking about Mexicans, on our way to the convention center we left the car in a part of town which was completely hispanic. Like from one side of a crossing to the other, every sign, ad, all writings were in Spanish. You didn't even know you were still in the states :) But that shouldn't be too concerning for you, I just found it funny...

How will you move in Cali anyway? I take it you will rent a car or..? Will you go on your own or in a group? SF - Phoenix looks like quite a distance but considering you will have a month time, it's definitely possible :) We went to Vegas for 3 days, drove from LA and back just before E3. It's like 5 hours by car, not bad at all. The town itself is like disney land for adults, but worth seeing I'd say. The casinos are tremendous and the trip itself, through the desert (especially if you drive off the highway) is really cool.

Anyway it depends on what you want to do on this trip, I'm not sure what you imagined. I'd probably make a list of things I definitely wanna see/go to and then spread the time at each station accordingly. If you want to chill out and walk around in beautiful landscapes - one week in LA would be too long/wasted time. If spending the day at the beach to get a tan or riding rollercoasters in an amusement park and then hit the bars at night to party sounds like a good idea for you (probably my set of priorities), the time would be well spent there or in Vegas (pool instead of beach then). This also depends on the cash you will have at your disposal obviously....all for now, toodles!

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