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1st trip to San Diego w/

Old Mar 27th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 32
1st trip to San Diego w/

My husband and I will be traveling with our 6 and 9 yr. old grandaughters to see the sights in Southern Calf., first San Diego for about 4 days ending up in L.A.. Any thoughts on good family hotels with restaurants close. (will have rental) Sea World, Zoo, Balboa Park are must sees, any others? Taking the train into L.A. is that a good idea with kids? It looked as if it was only about 1 1/2hrs. This will be their first vacation and new for us traveling with little ones. So any suggestions would be greatly appreicated.
Lu is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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The Wild Animal Park is an option. La Jolla beach would be a treat. I've always liked this website:
TTess is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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When are you coming?

The girls will have more fun on the beach than anywhere else probably, so be sure to include beach time. In San Diego, the best beaches with young kids, IMO, are La Jolla Shores, Torrey Pines, Del Mar and Cornonado. Parking is easiest at Torrey Pines for a low daily fee. (I think it's $6, but I haven't been for a couple of years!)But on weekends in the summer, even those huge lots fill up. Del Mar is awful for parking, but I love the beach and there are a couple of restaurants right at the beach (Jake's and Poseidon). La Jolla Shores has a big, free lot, but it's a very popular beach and it can be hard to find a space.

In San Diego, you should also go to the Star of India sailing ship and the Midway Museum (aircraft carrier) both on the Embarcadero. The Cabrillo National Monument is also a "don't miss" place.

What are you planning to do in LA?
Barbara is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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When are you coming to SD?
If it is in the summer, you need to get booked on the hotels pretty quickly.
La Jolla Shores Hotel is an oceanfront in LJ and great for kids to swim and everyone will have a blast..check direct or Expedia..
Legoland is popular with younger kids..
SD Zoo is wonderful and of course Sea World too..
I love taking the train to LA..going up, sit on the left side for the views..
Have fun!
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In addition to the suggestions so far, I bet checking out some tidepools would be a lot of fun with the kids. There are some at the shoreline at Point Loma and some in La Jolla.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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What great suggestions...we are going in July. My son lives in L.A., so going there to visit him and of course Disneyland. I know I need to book soon, was looking at the The Dana on Mission Bay because we can get a package and read a few thumbs up for the hotel. Also Bahia Resort, any feed back on these? Any suggestions in L.A.? Thanks again
Lu is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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The Dana and the Bahia are average hotels that will probably be overpriced for what you get..location wise for the bay is good but July in that area is a nightmare getting in and out of..
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
July is very busy in San Diego. Weekends are impossible. Try to do the theme parks and beaches on weekdays. You will find that sunrise through 10:30 am won't be crowded, it will be nice. Then 10:30 am through 3:00 pm will be very crowded. Then after 3:30pm it will be less crowded again. It won't get dark in the summer until maybe after 8:30 pm.

Be sure to use the free fastpasses at Disneyland. Do you know how to do that? Saves tons of time waiting in line.

Be at Seaworld as soon as it opens. Don't miss the polar bears and the penguins and the Shamu show.

The zoo will be best either as soon as it opens, or else after 3:00 pm. (But check what time it closes!) You will want to spend about 3 or 4 hours at the zoo.

Legoland is great for kids but unfortunately will be very crowded in July. Go on a weekday, and get there as soon as it opens. Ask the attendants which rides have the longest lines, which you should do first. Better yet, ask people on-line which rides have the longest lines.

I think the train would be great as you don't want to drive in LA traffic, everyone hates it.

Balboa Park has lots to do. It is so big and there are so many museums, I never find crowds to be a problem there. Again, either arrive in the morning when it first opens, or else arrive after 3:00 pm.

Because of the summer crowds, I might suggest that you do either Seaworld or Legoland, but not both. The zoo is okay with crowds as you see animals and don't have to wait in line for rides.

Disneyland and Disney's California Adventures both have free fastpasses which really shorten your time waiting in line.

Avoid Knott's Berry Farm, it is awful in the summer, too crowded, and not as good as Disneyland anyway.


Melissa5 is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Wonderful inside info, thank you. Perhaps we can get our act together and try for last week in June. Looking at hotels and location. Now if you can advise how to keep up with the kids. thanks again...
Lu is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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Pretty much June/July/August/September are very busy here in SD..the first week of June isn't so bad or the later half of September too..keep in mind that 4th of July is beyond crazy.
The Zoo, Sea World and Legoland are usually an all day event..
Keep us posted.
Old Mar 28th, 2007, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 108
We have stayed at the BW Inn by the Sea in LaJolla. Is within walking distance of the cove area, and the village shopping and dining. Reasonably priced for the Lajolla, but worth it for the location.
taratravels is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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For kids these would be good hotels:

La Jolla area: La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, Sea Lodge (both are right on the water and you could walk to the little restaurants nearby). La Valencia hotel on prospect.

Mission Beach: Paradise Point Resort (we stayed there last year when our house was being remodeled and really liked it. very kid friendly. Hilton Resort (not near restaurants but near a lot of parks).

Coronado: The Hotel Del, Glorietta Inn

There are also a lot of hotels in Hotel Circle and we stayed at the Residence Inn which would give you a lot of space, have a pool and easy access to both Sea World and Balboa Park.

My kids are 10 and 15 here in San Diego so we have have tried just about everything in town that is kid oriented. Do a search for restaurants because Tahiti Tams, Barbara and I have posted a lot since the question has been asked before.

When you go to Sea World I suggest you go early then get your hand stamped for a return. Go back to the hotel to chill out and then return around 6 p.m. The fireworks at night are great and the evening shows such as Shamu are really liked by children.

If your granddaughters are into sports then try to take them to Petco Park for a padre game. Its a lot of fun and for $5 you can have access to Park at the Park and sit on a blanket and see the game.

My kids like the Harbor Excursion tours that are at the base of the broadway pier. Also take them to 15th st. at Delmar. There is a really wonderful park at the beach, they can see the trains speeding by, go the beach and their are a lot of wonderful shops and restaurants nearby.

Take them for Mexican Food in Old Town. With Bazar Del Mundo closed, i would visit old town mexican cafe. They can watch the ladies making tortillas.

The train to LA is fun and it takes about 2 1/2 hours to go from San Diego to LA. We have family in OC and now use the train to get up there since it is so relaxing. Be sure to sit on the left side going up since the train goes right along the beach. When you get to the train station, go across the street to Phillippe's (check spelling). My grandfather used to take me there before Dodger games. It is around 80-90 years old, the french dip was discovered there and it is a LA institution.

Have fun. itsv

itsv is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Thank you again...there is so much to do there and we will have about 5 to 7 days to fill. I am just now getting back to the commputer to get this booked and I ran across someone talking about The Grand Colonial in La Jolla, kid friendly? A bit pricey $245 but is it worth it? I will check out your suggestions at once before I book. This is a great location but now looking at a lot of drive time, a 10 miles drive into San Diego is what 45 minute drive or a 1 1/2hr? Probally time of day. Sounds like fun things to do close but maybe to much road time to do the Sea World, Zoo things that the kids want to do. Once again wonderful info and this Grandma thanks you.
Lu is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:26 AM
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It depends where exactly you're going to, but La Jolla Village to downtown San Diego is about 20 minutes. Less to Sea World.
Barbara is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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Lu - not sure if you booked your hotel - but my Mom loves the La Valencia but not the prices so she often stays at the La Jolla Colonial which is right next door (just about) and enjoys it. I am not sure if it is kid "friendly".
We recently went down with the kids and stayed at the Paradise Point Resort due to a function being held there - and frankly it was still very "tired" imo - I would not stay there - but I am more fond of the downtown area or La Jolla.
Downtown has the Marriott Residence Inn which I will be at for 2 nights this week - happy to report back.
I have stayed at the Hyatt downtown and my daughter loved it as well as the Marriot Harbor. Both very LARGE properties though.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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I love the Grande Colonial Hotel and as far as kid friendly, it doesn't have water slides and that kind of stuff but you can't beat the location and $245 a night is right for July..things are usually double so for this hotel at that price is outstanding!
The Marriott Residence Inn by UCSD is in a terribly weird location and unless the whole town is sold-out, I would not recommend this place... I prefer the Hyatt across from Highway 5 for it has nice rooms and fab restaurants..
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