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Ozzie coming to West USA


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My wife and I are going to California in August. We will be there for about 3 weeks. We are planning to do all the touristy thing - Disney Land, Universal Studios, Tijuana, Los Vegas, Grand Canyon, San Francisco. Then we are flying up to Alaska, cruising to Vancouver, spending a few days in Vancouver and maybe down to Seattle.

We are looking for some recommendations for accommodation at all those locations. We don't want to spend too much as we will only be sleeping there, as long as it is safe, clean and friendly.

We are also looking for advice on reasonably priced car rental.

More importantly, we are looking for recommendations for the best caches to go for while we are there - best quality and most interesting caches and cache locations.

Any recommendations would be most appreciated.

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If you are visiting the Grand Canyon I suggest that you stop at Williams AZ and take the tourist train to the canyon. Williams is an old rail road town that was the start of a spur line to the Grand Canyon. Interstate 40 runs through Williams. August is prime tourist season and parking fills up. It is not unusual to wait several hours on the road in to the park for a parking space.


The Grand Canyon Railroad runs from Williams to Grand Canyon Village. Besides avoiding a parking space wait, you are saving 2-2.5 hours driving. Williams has several historic virtuals in town and a couple of dozen traditionals. Here is the URL for the Grand Canyon RR. http://www.thetrain.com/index.html


If you are going to drive I recommend staying in Flagstaff AZ. You will drive through it anyway to get to the Canyon. Ramada Inn is as good as any hotel. From Flagstaff you go North to the Grand Canyon, South to Sedona, or East to some interesting Indian ruins. Flagstaff is a cache friendly, college town. Try the Lumberyard Brewery!


Hope this helps!

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For Los Angeles:


Hopefully, you'll be flying into LAX - you should be able to rent a car for a reasonable rate. Rentals are more expensive at SNA (Orange County). I worked for the Mouse for 6 years back in the late 80s/early 90s. Things have changed since then... if you want to stay next to Disneyland, go for walking distance to the Park - it'll save you $15.00 in parking... just don't stay _too_ far away down Harbor Blvd - back when I worked in the Park, it was noted for 'interesting' nightime sidewalk activity. If you don't mind driving a bit to get to Disneyland, Irvine has some nice hotels around the OC Airport.


San Francisco:


San Francisco is like New York City - don't get a car! Free parking is very hard to find - but expensive pay parking is everywhere. Unlike Los Angeles, it is a very pedestrian-friendly city. From the airport, you have the BART that'll get you into the city. An epic place to eat is the "House of Prime Rib" on Van Ness. They have only one thing on their menu. Also, be sure to check out "Sounds of the Bay" (GC30CB).


Las Vegas:


Unless you plan on going outside of the city, skip the rental car. Cab fare from the airport to "The Strip" is a good deal. Most of the hotels on the strip are nice - it just depends on the tackiness level you require (New York/New York, the Luxor, etc.) The Bellagio (a very nice and expensive hotel) has an outside water show at night. Downtown ("Old Vegas") has been turned into a tourist destination over the past decade or so. Here you'll find all the classic hotels on Fremont Street (the Golden Nugget, etc.) Fremont is now an enclosed pedestrian area... and in Vegas style, they project a huge light show on the dome above the street. If you want to treat yourself to a show you'll never forget - book tickets to see Cirque du Soleil. My favorite show is "Mystere" which is shown at Treasure Island.


Hope that helps!

- Steve

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I had to overnight in Vancouver a few months ago and stayed at the Rosedale on Robson. I found it nice, clean, friendly and a bit cheaper than other hotels in the area. Very centrally located, and it seemed to be in a fairly reputable area. Have you checked with the cruise line? They may have some arrangements for hotel rooms at the ënd of the line" which might be quite good. My favoured method of getting around Vancouver is to buy a one day transit pass. Costs around $10 and lets you travel anywhere all day long. I like it - if I'm going somewhere and I see something or somwhere that looks interesting, I just get off and look at it and then hop back on the next bus. no pain!


No suggestions for caches in Vancouver as I've never cached there. I've read there's some good ones in Stanley Park.


That's quite the trip you're going to have...enjoy!

Edited by Qbar
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Thanks for the replies so far. This is exactly what we were looking for. Any more suggestions of places to go, caches to retrieve, places to stay, restaurants to visit and other activities are most appreciated.

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I'll echo the San Francisco statements. Stay on your own feet to get around, or take Bart or the Muni. Trolleys are fun too, don't miss out on those. There's a stellar seafood place on pier.... 31 I think? Scomas. Pricey but absolutely delicious. Yummy Italian at a place called Bucca de Beppos (spelling?) I think it's on howard street. Family style place. Don't remember how costly it is.


Sounds of the Bay is an awesome cache, and there are some good ones in Golden Gate park I've been told. If you're traveling up the California coast in a fashion other than air travel, send me a message and I can give you some more suggestions. Enjoy your trip!

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Over the years we have gone to the Marriot Fairfield Inn on Harbor Drive (or Blvd) when we visit Disneyland. It is a 5 minute walk to the main entrance which saves you parking fees. The 3 day Park Hopper lets you visit CA Adventure and Disneyland at your convenience. Unless you do a one marathon day at Disney you will appreciate being able to walk back to your hotel for a mid day break. A marathon day will wipe you out the next day.

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