Make sure you gas up in Monterey. After that, you'll be on the PCH for quite a while with only one gas station for hours. Beautiful drive though.
We've done the West Coast, but split it up between 2 summers. I loved California both times! Anaheim had Disney and a great ballpark very centered around Pujols, Dodger Stadium had history but is located in a bad part of town fyi, and Petco park was mellow and had a great kid friendly feel to it and San Diego Zoo!!! In case you didn't know only 2 zoos in the united states have panda bears and San diego is one. :)
Oakland is run down, but you can score great seats for cheap, and San Fran is one of my most favorite cities and ballparks EVER. Whatever free time you can muster stay there. Sit in the 3rd level, 1st base side where you can overlook the bay and watch the kayakers go for home run baseballs, permitting there are some, but still get a pretty good view of the field. There is tons of downtown shopping in San Fran too, everything from high end to Old Navy. And there are secret concrete slides in San Fran, located in the middle of neighborhood. The closest neighbor to the slides is not very friendly and likes to come out and yell at the people trying to have a good time, but it was so worth it. Lol. Oh and driving the California coast, a 2 hr drive from San Diego into Anaheim area is so so beautiful. Be sure to stop somewhere and get your feet sandy for an hour...laguna wasn't busy at all when we were there. Had the whole beach to ourselves. :) About hotels we always stay at holiday inns, they tend to be mid priced, have a pool, and walkable, but there wasn't one in LA. So we chose to stay at The Standard. It was still almost 2 miles away, pricey, and centered around age of 25, not family friendly. In fact their rooftop pool was closed to kids/families for a DJ and pool party for 21 over only. My advise is to not hang out in LA except whatever tourist things you are interested in and find a hotel outside of the city. Dodger Dogs and Garlic Fries were the recommended food I kept hearing about but I didn't try either one.
We are going to see the Dodgers, Padres, and Angels June 18, 19, and 20. We are staying in Anaheim by Disneyland, as it is a good stay for the three teams. Then, we are headed up to see the A's, Giants, and finally the Mariners. You might try Chelsea Motor Inn or one of the sister properties, or even try vacation rentals. The drive down is pretty good and some nice things to see along the way. I am not too familiar with the LA area, but I know you will have fun.
I hope to do this trip in 2015. I'd like to Amtrak down the coast as I'm a huge train fan even if it means adding an extra day or two to my normal allotment of 8 days for each summer trip. I've seen most of the tourist stuff from LA to SD so I just need good game time there. Never been to the Bay though so I'd like that to be the centerpiece of my trip. Good luck with the trip. Look forward to reading about it this summer.
San Francisco will be the centerpiece. Not only the city is so beautiful and fun but AT&T is the best. Enjoy
This past season I went on a 18 games in 16 days, 11 stadiums trip. What I used was
http://www.stadiumhotelnetwork.com/ then clicked on the Stadium that I was going to visit. Then a list of local stadiums popped up, and you could either book directly through that site, or take that information and call the hotel directly and maybe save a few bucks.. Worked for me.
I have season 2 Tickets for Dodgers, if you're interested as well.
Did a 10 Day trip last April - San Fran to LA and Back. Went to Giants, A's, Angels & Dodgers games. If possible don't rush the drive down HWY 1, fabulous drive. We stopped and stayed 2 nights along the way before LA (Monterey & Cayucus). If your looking for a cheaper hotel in San Fran "Coventry Motor Inn" - located downtown on Lombard St (Convenient to everything and Free parking included - very rare in SF - Think it only cost us $110/night - Clean and convenient - trip advisor recommends). In LA we stayed at the Ayers Hotel (Orange, Ca). Walking distance to Angels Stadium and 25 Min (no traffic to Dodgers). If going to Dodgers game get there early - parking is crazy - ony one entrance to stadium and parking. Only time I've been out there but if you have questions let me know. Have Fun!
We will be doing this trip from April 12-20. Flying into Orange county airport and driving to SD to see 2 games against Detroit. We are staying at the Hampton Inn downtown. We have stayed there before and like it. It is 2 blocks from the harbor and the metro runs behind the hotel. Walking to the park is also an option. We will then drive to Anaheim to see the Angels vs A's for 1 game. Staying at Homewood suites on Harbor. We have stayed here before also. Next day we will drive the coast to Big Sur where we will stay in a cabin at Ripplewood resort. This was one of the less expensive places to stay in that area. We will spend that day and 1/2 of the next sightseeing and then get into SF that afternoon. In SF, we are staying at the Columbus Motor inn (3 nights) which is downtown and 4-5 blocks from fishermans wharf. This seemed to be the best option for staying downtown - reasonably priced, had good ratings on TA, has free parking and WiFi. We will go to Giants / dodgers games that night and next day and then A's vs Houston on Friday night. We will then hop on the freeway Sat. morning and drive back to Orange county. We will stay at Hampton inn orange county airport and go to the Dodgers / DBacks game that evening. Flying out of OC the next day. We have been to all of these parks except for SF and Oakland, so if you have any specific questions about SD/LAA/LAD, I may be able to answer them now but will have more knowledge when we get back. I am usually partial to the Hampton / Hilton brands but I also search others to compare. You will want to book hotels early for best rates and if you can't decide between a couple, book both and cancel the one you don't want later. Trip advisor is a good tool to find places to stay and tips. We just bought most of our tickets 2 days ago off of the Seat Geek website. It is an awesome site with great deals. Most sellers are ticket brokers so you usually want too wait until closer to your game dates to get better prices. Some of our favorite places to eat are In-n-out burgers , Claimjumper , Point Loma seafood (SD), Ruby's. Lots of things to see out there in just a week. Some of my favorite places are Newport Beach / Balboa pier area, Huntington beach area , Laguna beach area. When you drive from LA to SD, take highway 1 along the coast from Huntington beach until it merges into highway 5. Let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to send me a message if you want.
I read that parking at Qualcomm is a good idea and then take the trolley to Petco and back. Does that still work?
Parking near Petco Park is only $15 and plentiful. Then you won't be limited by schedule.
For a cheap SD hotel (around $125 per night) and on the water, look at the Bay Club on Shelter Island.
I think we will park at Petco.
We will get there early enough, if not, then onto Qualcomm.
We are going to base ourselves out of Anaheim. It will be easier than moving three times.
Thank you for your help, I get a little nervous about spending a lot of money for parking when I am not sure where to go. But, it is always an adventure!