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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Napa, CA, USA.

    Default Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    We're driving to LA this weekend from Napa and for those of you who know I-5 - it's a wasteland! We just don't have the time to take any of the prettier routes. Anyways, I'd love recommendations for any family-friendly places to stop along the way - restaurants in particular but also playgrounds, etc. DS is 4 and DD is 17 mos.


    WOHM to Jack, 6/4/02
    Baby Madeline 12/14/04

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    There's nothing, it is definitely the most boring ride there is. All we do is stop for food somewhere, like Denny's or something gross like that. I keep telling my dh someone needs to open up some little fun play area/tourist trap and make a killing. I hope someone else has an idea, I would love to know of anything good along the way. At least LA is fun!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    There's a cool In & Out Burger just north of L.A. on I-5. When there was a big fire on the hills back in 2004--helicopters were dumping fire retardant right next to the highway as the flames came closer to the we stopped off here for the second time until the traffic faded and the fires were under control. It was scenic, safe (good neighborhood), clean and relaxing. Of course, they have the best milkshakes, burgers and fries (which we can't get on the east coast). There is a fast food joint with a HUGE playplace just up the road on that same exit.


    Baseline appt July 25th! Tentative retrieval ~Aug 10th, transfer ~8/13 or 15

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  4. #4
    BaileyBea is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    Oh Laurel... I still remember how painful that drive on I-5 can be. Just so boring. The only thing that is worse is driving across West Texas.

    I say stop at the In & Out Burger and drive as fast as possible out-of there and over to Hwy 1 or 101. It's so much better. It may take you longer though.

    Good luck... just bring some good tunes! Maybe you can find someplace in Stockton or something.

  5. #5
    Melanie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    Blech. That's a boring drive. I preferred to do it at night so it's not so depressing. You could stop at Anderson's Pea Soup, though it's not exactly a thrilling place.

    I would guess any fast food place with a playland is as good as it's going to get until you get to Santa Clarita.
    Boy - 10 years, Girl - 6 Years Old!, (What am I still doing here?! LOL) Dog - Eternal Puppy , Me - Done .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    These 2 places are up north--maybe something to look forward to after being on the road for a long time.

    Famous pea soup: This place is off I-5 just after the place where you'd turn off to take the 101 up to San Jose.

    And once you get north of SF, maybe your DS would enjoy a visit to the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Factory: . They show you how the jelly beans are made and sorted and give you a little sample bag of beans.

    South of the Bay area, I only know of road stops. HTH

  7. #7
    DebbieJ is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    Mmmm....In & Out!! Don't forget to ask for it Animal Style!!! I love the fries animal style, otherwise they're just blah. The burgers and shakes are great, though.

    ~ deb
    DS born at home 12/03
    2 year check up: 25 lbs with clothes on and 35 inches!
    BFARed for 20 months and 6 days
    (Breastfeeding After Reduction is possible!

  8. #8
    kath68 Guest

    Default RE: Places to stop along i-5 in California?

    Ahhhh, I've done that stretch a few times. Yuck-o!

    Shoot for Harris Ranch. It's about 2 hours after you get on I-5, close to half way. Sadly, you'll know you are close when it starts reeking of cows.

    It doesn't have a play area, but it is pretty family friendly. There's a big long hallway, and I had Charlie burn some serious energy running up and down it, climbing on couches, etc. We weren't the only ones. They have crayons at the rstaurant tables, etc. We always plan an spending a couple of hours there, preferably around breakfast (we start really early so the kiddo can sleep for the first stretch).

    We've had great success stopping there, and then either at the rest stop type places before the grapevine, or Valencia a little closer to L.A. There are lots of standard chain restaurants around there.

    Good luck!

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