There's No Better Combination for a Family Vacation than Disneyland and California Beaches
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is a top family vacation destination, but unlike Walt Disney World in Florida it doesn't require spending an entire week. Compared to the mind-boggling size of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort is much smaller and far more compact, meaning you can easily have a great vacation experience there in only three days.
But you don't want to go to California for only three days, so what should you do with the rest of your week's vacation?
California has some amazing beach destinations with beautiful waterfront hotels. We have two unbeatable options that can make for an exceptional seven-day California vacation when combined with three days at Disneyland Resort. We do both of these options every couple of years and we recommend either one of these as a great way to round out a week's stay in sunny Southern California.
So with that in mind here are two California itineraries that have each proven to be an excellent combination of Disney experiences and California sightseeing. The best part about these vacation options is that the seven nights end up feeling like a two-week vacation. By the end of the second leg we always feel like we've been away for longer than just a week because you cover more ground and get to see and experience two very different areas.
So consider both options and pick the one that appeals most to you. You can always try the other one on the next time around.
Disney + California Beach Itinerary Option 1:
Three Nights at Disneyland Resort and Four Nights at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego
This option begins with a three-night stay at Disneyland Resort. We recommend staying onsite at either Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa (our first and recommended choice) or the Disneyland Hotel.
Listen to the podcast for a fun discussion about what to see and do at Disneyland, but after your three nights at Disneyland, take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner from Anaheim to San Diego. It's a great scenic route of mostly California coastline. Buy first class tickets (they're not that expensive) and try to sit on the upper level on the right side of the forward motion of the train. That will give you the best view of the coastline.
In San Diego, spend four nights at the historic and stunning Hotel Del Coronado, located on the beach on Coronado Island. This hotel has an added bonus for any Disney fan: it was the design inspiration for Disney's Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. The Del opened in 1888 -- 100 years before the Grand Floridian opened in 1988 -- and has a rich history of celebrities and event a resident ghost. Listen to the podcast for all the fun details!
There is much to do at the Del, on Coronado Island and in the Greater San Diego area, so a four-night stay here is fun and entertaining for guests of all ages. Plus, the spectacular Coronado beach and California sunsets are second to none.
In this option, you will fly in to the Los Angeles area and fly out of San Diego
Disney + California Beach Itinerary Option 2:
Four Nights at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and Three Nights at Disneyland Resort
This option begins with a four-night stay at the luxurious Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. In this itinerary, you will fly in and out of the L.A. area, as Huntington Beach is located close to Disneyland in Orange County and is only an Uber or Lyft ride away from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
Huntington Beach is Surf City U.S.A. and is a fantastic spot for a true California beach vacation. The Hyatt here offers a full list of upscale amenities and is great for all ages. Plus, the beach is also very nice and the Huntington Beach Pier is a great destination and an easy walk along the water from the hotel. At night, the Huntington Beach area near the pier really comes to life and in the summer there is a night time festival hear that is great fun to adults and kids alike. Amelia and I discuss all the details in the podcast, so be sure to listen.
Following your four nights in Huntington Beach, head to Disneyland Resort for the three-night stay as we noted above.
Two Great Options to Make a Disneyland Vacation into a California Beach Vacation
If you you're thinking of planning a Disneyland vacation, we highly recommend either of these tried and true itineraries that we created. Pick the one that sounds best to you and you're sure to create a lifetime of memories. There's a reason that we go back to both of these options again and again.
For More Information, Read the Following Posts from the Luxury Disney Travel Blog
Amelia and I Thank You for Listening
Thank you very much for listening to this episode of our Disney travel podcast; Amelia and I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, we would be very grateful if you could rate, review and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, or whichever app you choose to listen. A brief review about what you liked most about an episode truly helps to keep the show going by exposing it to new listeners. We look forward to continue producing new episodes each week.
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Thank you for listening to the Daddy Daughter Disney Travel Podcast at 1923MainStreet.com. We continually strive to be one of the best Disney travel podcasts out there. As always, we love to get feedback and questions from our listeners and to hear your suggestions and ideas for future episodes.
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Thank you for listening and have a magical day!
Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
Co-Hosts, 1923 Main Street®: A Daddy Daughter Disney Travel Podcast
About the Editor
Mike Belobradic is the founder of the 1923 Main Street® Disney Travel Podcast and the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.