What to do in San Diego

Discussion in 'California' started by crehman, Mar 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. We've got a few days in SAn Diego. We want to make the most of our time. What do you suggest? Which Zoo is better is we're only doing one. Where do you recommend staying for a nice lower priced hotel that is in a great location.
     
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  2. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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  3. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    As for the zoo, it is a toss up for me. The traditional zoo has more animals to see; the open plain one viewed from above or by vehicle is also good. IIRC, the main zoo in the park was a favorite.
     
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  4. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Local Wally is pretty annoying, but he's spot on and covers everything San Diego from the big ticket stuff like the zoo and Sea World, to absolutely free stuff all over the city. (Link is to the budget activities which are really the local favorites, but poke around the website, you'll find everything you need.

    Not inexpensive at $149 AAA rate, the rather new Marriott Courtyard at Liberty Station is my favorite hotel in SAN. I've hosted groups there twice and they loved it. Somehow we've never paid over $126. It's in a very upscale new neighborhood, walking distance to Trader Joe's, many retaurants nearby, and close to the water. Free parking and airport shuttle also. I wouldn't recommend the Mission Valley hotel circle hotels unless you get a really good Priceline rate. Nothing wrong with them, just ugly location all facing the freeway.
     
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  5. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Is there public trans to Mission Valley? It appeared to be
    a good place for mattress runs.
     
  6. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Super Shuttle $10+.

    For the adventurous, 3 buses and a trolley Airport to MV Courtyard:

    FROM: AIRPORT - TERMINAL #1
    TO: 595 HOTEL CIRCLE SOUTH

    1. At 02:35 PM take the MTS BUS route 923 Ocean Beach via Harbor Dr / Voltaire St
    2. Get off the stop on Nimitz Bl at Rosecrans St at approximately 02:41 PM.
    3. At 02:53 PM take the MTS BUS route 28 Old Town via Rosecrans St
    4. Get off the stop at Old Town Transit Center - Bay M at approximately 03:07 PM.
    5. At 03:15 PM take the Green Line Santee
    6. Get off the stop at Fashion Valley Transit Center - South Pl at approximately 03:21 PM.
    7. At 03:35 PM take the MTS BUS route 120 Downtown Limited Stops via Fashion Vly/Hillcrest
    8. Get off the stop on Hotel Circle South at Bachman Pl at approximately 03:37 PM.
    9. walk 0.1 mile W to 595 HOTEL CIRCLE SOUTH
    .
     
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  7. Mackieman
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    Mackieman Gold Member

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    I prefer the Wild Animal Park to the zoo, which is not to say that the zoo is a drag. I also used to live in Escondido so I spent a lot of time out there. Have dinner at Croce's, too.
     
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  8. Marrriott Coronado Island great for couples and family. Water taxi walking distance from hotel takes you to city transport anywhere in San D, including Old Town. A bit pricey but depends on days and is nogotable.
     
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  9. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    I like the aerospace museum and the Midway is fun. Feel free to go up to carlsbad for the roses and legoland :)
     
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  10. Depends on what you are up for and if you have kids with or not. As for the Zoo question it is a toss up. Since you'll only be doing one, you can make a long day of it and do the San Diego Zoo (main one) and hit at least parts of Balboa Park (museums, etc). Sea World is great, but there are others around the country you may have seen and they are all the same (or close to it). The Wild Animal Park (called something different now I think) is a trek from downtown or even MV (and depending on traffic could be a bear) and is awesome, but due to location could make it be an all day even by itself.

    Legoland in Carlsbad is great for younger kids (5-12). The flower fields are in bloom starting very end of March and into April. I think they open next weekend.

    I like the Marriott Liberty Station as well as mention above. Nice central downtown location, newer, and lots of things close by. If you can or want to spend more there are a LOT of great places in downtown (W, Westin, etc) within walking distance of the Gaslamp District.

    As for public trans, San Diego is not great by any means. You can take trolley around few areas and coaster (train) to north part of country (i.e. Carlsbad) but from each of those you would need to cab/bus it. If you want to stroll a beach community you could coaster to Encinitas (Solana Beach Station), walk around, see beach, shops, bars, restaurants. Great place with many things to do, so within a couple days, just pick a few and you can't really go wrong :). Have a great time!
     
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  11. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Hit the beaches! Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are good weather permitting.

    SeaWorld is good.
     
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  12. msv
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    msv Gold Member

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  13. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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    I prefer the zoo, as you can walk and tour at your own pace. Wild animal park is a trek and although it's cool seeing animals that are not in cages, it still does not feel anywhere near seeing them in their natural habitat. It is so spread out and there is very little shade...so it gets HOT! Also, most of the animal viewing is from tour trolleys , which means you have to que up and they often have long wait times to get on and require the purchase of a separate ticket. The zoo is a lot more leisurely and you get to see a bigger variety of species.

    Balboa park is cool to visit as it has many museums . if you like Modern art, the Museum of contempoary art has a downtown and a la jolla branch. Definetly check out the beaches in La Jolla and see the sea lions! If you like beer, San Diego is a brewery capital and you can make a day of visiting microbreweries. The Salk institute is La jolla is an architectural gem by Louis Kahn. Hiking Torrey pines is gorgeous and takes you to Blacks beach.


    Downtown has a plethora of bars, clubs, and restaurants....good fun for people watching and partying.
    What kind of activities are you interested in?
     
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  14. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Don't forget Coronado Island.
     
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  15. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    The prof that employs me can't say enough about the microbreweries!
    You may want to avoid a certian part of Black's Beach however....much NSFW action to be had. :oops:
    Yup, not to bad of a place to be.
     
  16. If you like a nice walk along the beautiful beach, try the Torrey Pines. For parking, you have option for road side free parking and also paid parking. It would take good 2~3 hours at this place.

    There is lot's of fun activities to do at "Sea Port Village" in the Harbor (waterfront). It's a nice place to relax and spend a good half a day.
     
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  17. TennisPro
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    TennisPro Silver Member

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    You could just lounge around, and bask in the awesomeness of San Diego. :)
     
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  18. jwsky
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    jwsky Silver Member

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    There are many many golf courses in San Diego.

    If you have wheels (you really need them) drive out to the desert if you have never seen one. The spring time flower bloom out there is beautiful.
     
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  19. slice19
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    slice19 Silver Member

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    I spent 2 days in SD last Feb. Day 1 was spent at the SD Zoo. I was alone and still enjoyed the zoo. It's large so you will need about 4 or so hours but there is a tour bus, I took that first and had a great idea of the layout to begin my day. On day 2, I went with a friend to Pacific Beach and had lunch at a cafe a few blocks from the beach, there were several lunch spots that looked amazing. We then headed to balboa park for a wander. We didn't really have time for the museums but the outdoor organ was being tested which made for a great atmosphere to walk around and enjoy the fauna. I would highly recommend the SD zoo.
     
  20. Balboa Park is definitely the way to go. I go to UCSD and I'd say it's the coolest thing in the area. On tuesdays they open up one of the museums for free too ;)
     
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  21. anng3
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    anng3 Silver Member

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    I like the Best Western Inn by the Sea in downtown La Jolla. I've gotten it for $89-$99 dollars. You don't need a car to stay in downtown La Jolla. You can walk everywhere and the hotel includes free breakfast. I've also done priceline and stayed in Mission Beach. I'd avoid staying at Hotel Circle. It's more fun to stay in an area you can walk around in both for shopping, people watching and beach walking. Plus you can ditch your car and not have to look or pay for parking.
    Go to Old Town for shopping, Mexican food and margaritas.
    Go to Mount Solidad for a wonderful view.
    We used to day trip to Tijuiana but with crime not sure how it is now.
    Go check out the seals in La Jolla Cove.
    Walk and people watch at Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.
    There is an amusement park at Mission Beach.
    If you are there on a Sunday. There is a great Kobeys swap meet- flea market at the Sports Arena. There are less vendors on Fri and Sat.
    For a break from Mexican food Bully's restaurant between Downtown La Jolla and Pacific Beach has
    great burgers and salads.
    Go to Konos in Pacific Beach for best breakfast and view. Always long lines but they move fast. Portions are huge and can be shared. Very casual.
    Eat seafood at Anthonys close to the airport. Walk up and order seafood, great clam chowder then sit on the water. I like the casual side but there is a higher price restaurant attached.
     
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  22. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    This. ;)

    Old Town also has an old Taco Bell that's now a real Mexican food place. Margaritas and beer on the patio for happy hour :D, and the food ain't bad.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Tell us more about what you like and don't like, constraints and desires. We'll recommend your socks off.
     
  24. MarshKing

    MarshKing Silver Member

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    So many great things to do in San Diego. It's tough to add to the excellent list of suggestions that have already been provided.

    If you're interested in sailing, then San Diego is a great place for it. They have some of the country's top schools if you want to learn, or it's pretty easy to charter a boat with a skipper who'll take you around.
     
  25. sdcarver
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    sdcarver Silver Member

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    There are many great things to do in San Diego! In the evening you can walk around Gaslamp Area, There are some nice places to catch music (Croce's already mentioned) You can walk over to Sea Port Village from there as well and The Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum is close by as well. The whole area of downtown is great for people watching.

    Some of the Great Micro Breweries are Pizza Port (any of them) Lost Abbey (connected with Pizza Port) Green Flash, Lightning Brewery, Stone Brewery to name a few.

    sdcarver
     
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