Hawaii Travel Guide
 


Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the second largest city in the USA. It is located on the southern coast of California about 135 miles north of the Mexican border and 382 miles south of San Francisco. It is bounded on the west by nearly 60 miles of Pacific Coast beaches and ocean cliffs. The San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains form a 2500-meter high wall to the east. Santa Monica and Santa Anna Mountains define the north and south. Along the Pacific shore, Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and Palos Verde are high-class residential beach communities. Venice Beach, on the other hand is known for bikini clad rollerbladers, muscle-bound weight lifters and an assortment of off-beat characters. Hollywood is the historic home of the old movie studios and Universal Studios Hollywood. Beverly Hills is still the home of the movie stars and downtown is the commercial district.

Anaheim
The city of Anaheim is about 30 miles from Los Angeles in Orange County and it is one of Southern California's top tourist draws. Thirty-eight million visitors a year come to enjoy a host of attractions, including Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, one of the largest convention centers in the state, theaters, championship golf, pro-sports arenas and only a short drive to the beaches. Southern California has a near ideal climate. High temperatures range from an average 65 degrees F. in winter to 79 degrees F. in the summer with an average of 328 days of sunshine annually. Best time to go is June through September, so you can enjoy the beaches as well as Disney but if beaches don't interest you try going in the winter.

San Diego
San Diego lies along the southern coast of California near the Mexican border. It is 125 miles south of Los Angeles and about 502 miles south of San Francisco. Situated along the shores of a large bay sheltered behind several low-lying peninsulas with 70 miles of pristine beaches. San Diego is the second largest city in California with a large metropolitan area, year-round tourist resort and thriving commercial seaport with a large naval base. San Diego has a very hospitable climate with comfortable temperatures in all seasons.
During the winter, days are warm and sunny with cool nights. In the summer, a pleasant breeze moderates the heat. The average daily temperature is 70.5 degrees F. Due to the topography of the land you can enjoy coastal, mountain and desert environments all in the space of one day.
Any trip to San Diego should include a visit to the beaches on Coronado Peninsula, the historic Coronado Hotel, Balboa Park with the world-renowned San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, a boat tour around the harbor, shopping at Gas Lamp Quarter, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND California.

San Francisco
San Francisco is on the coast of California about 400 miles north of Los Angeles. It is situated along the shore of a large bay sheltered behind the California Coastal Mountains. The city is renowned for its steep streets with panoramic views of beautiful San Francisco Bay, Victorian era houses and antique cable cars. Fisherman's Wharf offers specialty shops, fish markets and seafood restaurants. It has a very moderate climate with warm summers and chilly winters but without extremes, so take a sweater as the evening breezes can be brisk all year round! Drive over the famous Golden Gate bridge, visit Sausalito, a small village on the bay shore famous for its local artists. Alcatraz Island's abandoned prison is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
Near San Francisco is the city of San Jose which lies 30 miles south, and Santa Clara which is known as "Silicon Valley", home of the largest concentration of electronics and computer firms in the USA. Other California tourist attractions include Stinson Beach, a popular ocean swimming and surfing area, Muir Woods, an impressive reserve to Giant California Redwood trees. Beautiful Monterey Bay is an hour-and-half drive south along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur is 100 miles further. Napa and Sonoma valleys, in the heart of California Wine Country are just an hour drive north of San Francisco.

Traveling to Tijuana U.S. Citizens are required to have a valid passport to enter Mexico. Be aware that U.S. insurance is typically not valid in Mexico. However, short-term insurance is available for purchase near the border. The Mexican City of Tijuana is just ten miles south of San Diego. Famous for its bargain shopping and wild nightlife you can find handcrafted jewelry, leather, cuban cigars, bargain priced alcoholic beverages and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Traffic delays across the border can be quite long so it is easier to take the tram from downtown San Diego or drive and park your car in one of the large parking lots on the US side.

  • International travelers visiting Mexico need a valid passport and a multiple entry visa, or visa waiver, to re-enter the United States. U.S. Citizens need a valid passport. U.S. citizens under the age of 18 will be required to have a birth certificate as proof of citizenship if traveling with parent(s).
  • Minors (children under 18) traveling alone should have written permission. The note must be signed by both parents (or legal guardian) and be notarized. A minor traveling with one parent must have a notarized note signed by the other parent. If one parent has sole custody, or the other parent is deceased, minor must have papers stating this.
  • Drinking on public streets is prohibited. The drinking age in Mexico is 18 years.
  • Possession/use of illicit drugs or firearms is strictly prohibited in Mexico.
  • Pets are allowed into Mexico with verification of a rabies vaccination within the past six months.
  • If driving into Mexico, purchase Mexican auto insurance on the USA side of the border.
  • Riding the trolley to the border and walking across is an alternate way to get there.
  • Each U.S. citizen may bring back Mexican purchases valued to $400 retail, duty free every 30 days.
  • Should you require legal assistance in Mexico, contact your country's consulate office.
  • Remember, you may not enjoy the same rights and privileges you have in your native country.

Pre-Arrival

How to Dress: Since you probably will be sightseeing, dress casual, comfortable and climate appropriate according to the season and destination. Always wear good walking shoes for those sightseeing tours, adventure parks or self guided excursions. If you plan to visit a fine dining restaurant in the evening you may want to take it up a notch depending on your dining choice.

Packing Tips: Avoid wearing shoes, clothing, and jewelry that contain metal. Refrain from bringing wrapped presents. Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carryon baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film. Carry on baggage is limited to one carry on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. All gels and liquids must be in 3oz containers or less and placed in a clear plastic zip-top one quart bag. One zip-top bag per person. Keep the plastic zip-top baggie out of your hand carried bag, as you will need to place it in a security bin for screening. Exemptions are larger amounts of required medications, baby formula and diabetic glucose treatment, which must be declared to security officers at the entrance to the check-point for screening. Checked baggage is limited to two per passenger. Do not over pack. Each checked bag may weigh 50 pounds, if you are traveling domestically.

Security Screening Tips: Recommended times for passengers to check in before scheduled departure is 120 minutes. Only passengers holding a boarding pass will be allowed through the security checkpoint to their departure gate. All passengers will need to provide a valid state or federal government-issued picture identification at time of check in, and is required at security checkpoints. Knives and other cutting instruments, club like items such as baseball bats, golf clubs, pool cues, are prohibited beyond the security checkpoint. If your bag is selected for secondary screening, it may be opened and examined on a table in your presence. Passengers are required to take off their shoes before going through metal detector.

While in Transit

Meals on Board the Aircraft: Many airlines have done away with complimentary in-flight meals. Most, however still offer soft drinks free of charge. Many of the airlines have gone to "No Cash" policy for onboard purchases. They will only accept a Credit or Debit card. Check with your particular airline for more information.

During your flight: Chew on gum, yawn or suck on hard candies to help relieve the pressure that builds in your ears. Drink plenty of water. Do light stretching exercises. The relatively low humidity in the cabin can increase allergy or asthma symptoms. Take preventative measures as necessary.

To combat jet lag: Reset your watch to the destinations time as soon as you get on the plane. Eat before you get on the plane so hunger does not prevent you from sleeping on the flight. If you're using a blanket, buckle your seat belt over the blanket. That way, a flight attendant checking seat belts won't awaken you. If it's daytime when you arrive but nighttime at home, don't sleep. Instead, try doing some light exercise, like walking, to help revive your body and stop it from producing sleep-inducing hormones.

Flying during pregnancy: It is generally recommended that women not fly at all during their last six weeks of pregnancy. Some airlines require pregnant passengers to provide a doctor's statement and women should always consult their obstetricians before traveling.

Traveling with Children: Consider a redeye flight. This increases the chance that your youngster will be able to sleep through the majority of the trip. While any child under two is not required to have their own seat, they may be happier if they do. If you do use a car seat, make sure it has been certified for air travel. Bring toys the children have never used, the newness will hold their attention longer. Bring plenty of juice. Finger foods are a great distraction. When traveling with your baby, give him or her a bottle or pacifier to suck on during takeoff and landing. This will help normalize pressure on the ears and keep your baby comfortable.

Travelers with Special Needs: Please advise your airline in advance to arrange any special services to ensure assistance. Most airlines transport personal wheelchairs including folding, collapsible or non-folding manual wheelchairs, and electric/battery powered wheelchairs and electric powered carts.

Post Arrival

Transportation: We do offer rental cars and airport transfers at our California destinations. Cars are highly recommended if you plan to do sightseeing on your own. We do offer a large array of guided tours and transfers to and from many of the adventure parks. The Anaheim area has ART (Anaheim Resort Transit) that will, for a fee provide shuttle service to/from Disneyland Park and local hotels, as well as the Amtrak Train Station.

Returning Home

Getting to the Airport: Allow plenty of time. If you're driving a rental car be sure to leave yourself enough time to fill the gas tank, get the car turned in and transit to the departure terminal. Plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure.