A Couple of Questions about San Diego

Old Jul 28th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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A Couple of Questions about San Diego

Hi! My husband, our two sons (13 and 8), and I will be in San Diego this Saturday (July 30) until the following Saturday. I've been reading the postings about San Diego, and they have been very helpful. I have a few questions. 1) We are breakfast/brunch people and will probably want to eat within walking distance or not too far from our hotel (Sheraton on A street). Do you have have some suggestions for us? 2)Which beach is best? 3) Do we need jackets for night? That may be a silly question, but we live in north Alabama, where it is bumping 100 deg. w/ near 100% humidity. My kids are looking at me like I have horns growing out of my head because I'm suggesting they pack some jeans. All they wear is shorts from April through September. 4) The boys like Mexican and Italian food, sandwiches, pizza, and American food. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help!
lawg is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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I'll try and help you some. You and a million other people will be in SD next week. We couldn't even get a room for a couple of nights. So, plan your meals accordingly. Most places if you don't have reservations can have an hour, hour and a half waits. Don't let this scare you, just plan for it.

Sheraton on A St is downtown? There are tons of restaurants there, mostly upscale and not cheap, but very good and maybe not such a long wait, b/c most people are down by the beach.

I tell my family to always take a sweatshirt, no matter what. We have frozen at baseball games in July. So, better be safe than sorry is my motto.

Can't help too much with beaches. You have Coronado just over the bridge that has great beaches you can go to for the day. Just beware of the black jellyfish. I just heard on the news that 1400 were stung last weekend on the CA coast.

Go to this site for help with beaches:


Hope this helps. Have a wonderful time. It is a great city to play in. If you go to the zoo, go early when the animals will be out. Mid afternoon, when it is warmer, they nap and are hard to see. Take good walking shoes, lots of walking and hills...
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Yes - definitely bring light jackets and jeans. Temperatures can be cool in the evennings, and coming from Alabama, you might find it to be cool during the day as well. The average high is in the high 70s, average low is in the low 60s. Humidity is generally low unless there is fog, in which case the humidity cools things down.

For breakfast, I don't have any recommendations downtown, but there is a very popular place closer to Old Town called Perry's. It is an older coffeeshop type place, the food is good and the price is right. Expect to wait, but things move quickly.

Other restaurants - the Corvette Diner on Hillcrest is a must-eat as far as I am concerned. It is a 50s diner with all kinds of memorabilia on the walls and an actual Corvette in the restaurant. They have sandwiches, burgers, and a soda fountain. Lots of fun.

If you go to Old Town, I like the Coyote Cafe. They have really good food, an outdoor patio that is great for people-watching, and fresh made tortillas - yum.

Beaches - Mission Beach is cool for a funky California beach scene. Coronado is great. The Hotel Del Coronado is there, which is beautiful - an old-time seaside resort, so you get the feelings of nostalgia. La Jolla has some nice beaches too.

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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Hello from San Diego!

Your sons will not need jeans, unless our current lows in the mid 60s will freeze them. But I know what you mean, I lived in Louisiana for a year before moving here and I found it chilly at first.

It's a good idea to have some kind of jacket/seatshirt/whatevr for the evenings, but right now we aren't using them. If you go on a Harbor cruise, you may need something.

Your hotel is right in the business district of San Diego. It is attached to Symphony Towers, one of San Diego's biggest office buildings. I'm sorry, I don't have up-to-date info about brakfast places within walking distance. However, if you drive up to 3628 Fifth Avenue (not very far), you'll find hash House A Go-Go. Great breakfasts. Or you could drive to Hob Nob Hill on First Avenue. Your hotel does have a restaurant which does a fair breakfast-at least, it used to.

Beaches: As Heavens suggested, Coronado is a great beach. Your kids and you (?) may like Mission Beach. Here you have a huge beach, an amusement park with a wooden rollercoaster, shops where you can rent bicycles, and many inexpensive eateries. La Jolla Shores beach is a family favorite. They have just re-done the bathrooms there. Fewer places to get something to eat and no rental stuff. My kids favorite is Del Mar beach, at 15th Street. Parking is difficult. There is a lot across the road from the beach, but it fills up quickly. You could get lucky with street parking. Lots of places to eat in Del Mar, a couple right on the beach, the rest a short walk.

Enjoy our city!
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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One more thing, the black jellyfish to which Heavens referred are rare in California, but have been around our eaches recently. Also be wary of stingrays. You just have to shuffle your feet as you walk in the water. If you get stung, go to the lifeguard immediately.
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Around our Beaches. I have to wake up eventually....
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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A nice place for breakfast is the Brockton Villa in LaJolla- overlooks LaJolla Cove- would need reservations I imagine- has outside dining- not close to your hotel but might be an option for a day- parking can be difficult-
I think your kids would love Mission/Pacific Beach area - it gets a bad rap but I love going there- there is a LONG boardwalk great for walking- you can rent bikes/ surfboards/ boogie boards and its great people watching.
The GreenFlash is a nice restaurant at PB- right on the water with outside dining-There are lots of little shops to browse
Try driving to some of the beachtowns north of SD- Delmar, Encinitas, Carlsbad- they all have nice beaches- however parking can be very difficult at any of the beaches this time of year-
my daughter lives in Carlsbad and sometimes we just have to circle the lot looking for a place.
Last time I was there we went to Ocean Beach which I thought was fun- its not as upscale as many of the beach towns - more like everyones vision of a California surfer town - there is a LONG pier that takes you out past the surfers and there is a restaurant at the end of it that I thought was very cute and appeared to have a great breakfast menu -

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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Sunburn1944 suggested the one restaurant that came to my mind: The Green Flash.

They have a website: greenflashrestaurant.com.

Check out the website and see if you don't dream of being there! It used to be one of my favorite beach restaurants.

Have fun and layer your clothing!
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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I enjoy Ocean Beach too.

Last fall we had a memorial service there for a family member - catered BBQ on a grassy area just off the beach, flew kites, waded in the ocean, hung out on the beach, and then had a service at the end of the pier, scattering the ashes.

It was the perfect location for a memorial service and made a nice place that much more special for us.
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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Everyone has given you great advice. I really like Brockton Villa in La Jolla for breakfast or lunch. Don't think they take reservations but you can check. Corvette Diner is fun for kids.

All the beaches mentioned are good. I particularly like Coronado because you can walk around town for lunch, etc.
Parking is difficult at most beaches so get there early. If you drive a little further south from the city of Coronado, there is Silver Strand State beach which has quite a bit of parking. However, you would have to drive back to Coronado to walk around the shops or eat.
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Also wanted to add something about jackets, sweatshirts. I don't think they will need jeans but a light jacket is good. I always have to laugh at my friends and family from Arizona when they are here in San Diego. As soon as the sun goes down and it's a little cooler they start freezing. I, on the other hand, think the temperature is just right. So if you are used to the Alabama heat and humidity, the evenings by the beach can feel cool.
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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Pack the jackets and forget about the boys' looking at you, they'll appreciate them! We were in La Jolla last July and a jacket came in handy every night especially as we walked to the beach to watch the seals. We're from the Texas coast so we know heat/humidity - you will definetly feel the change in the climate. The ocean was cold too ~70 to 75 degrees, one of my girls never went in the water! We also enjoyed Coronado and of course the Zoo and museums. Have fun!
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 11:33 AM
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J correa - Nice story about Ocean Beach. This last weekend, my friend and her family just did the same thing for her Dad only it was at Mission Beach. Not exactly sure where but they have benches that you can put names on as a memorial. They did the same thing with catered food on a grassy area. Seems like a nice way to have a memorial for someone who loved San Diego and the ocean.
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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For beaches I second the recommendations of Coronado and Del Mar.

Should you park curbside at Del Mar, make sure to feed the meters regularly (there is an exchange machine next door to Jake's Del Mar restaurant). Expired meters are regularly enforced and there is a steep fine (I believe I paid US$ 35.00).
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 07:53 PM
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I'm not exactly sure where the hotel is on A St. If you are close to the Gas Lamp there will be a ton of restaurants. I have grandsons your childrens age and I live in Mission Beach and your kids would love it here. They good take surfing lessons, rent bikes and ride on the boardwalk or roller Blade. Its really funny how temperature feels different when you go some place. Maybe sweater and sweatshirts, otherwise you'll be great.

If you are near the trolley take it to Old Town and go to Old Town Mexican Cafe. Great Mexican food. Also take the trolley to Fashion Valley in Mission Valley(great shopping center). Another trip on the trolley could be to Little Italy. I love the restaurant Boun Appetite. Also we have a beautiful new ballpark downtown.

If you have any more questions I would be hasppy to answer them.
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Old Jul 28th, 2005, 09:01 PM
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I used to live in Coronado and would say the beach is also great. Not any food places by the beach but a short walk into town for a variety of restaurants. Island Pasta is good for Italian food. Miguels and Mexican Village(if it's still there) down by the bay side(near ferry landing) good for Mexican. Il Fornaio down near the ferry landing is upscale Italian but the pizzas are excellent. The passenger ferry takes you from downtown San Diego over to Coronado.
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Old Jul 29th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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Hi, I live in San Diego and my kids are 13 and just turned 9 year old. Your hotel is more in the business section of downtown so after 5 p.m, a lot of things will be closed. But you are near two sections of town that have a lot of restaurants-you will have to just drive there but the drive is about 5 minutes. Here are some of our kids' favorites:

1. On 5th avenue in Hillcrest (just drive west from your hotel then turn right on 5th) you will hit Hash House A Go Go (good for both breakfast and dinner with really big portions), Corvette Diner (50's hamburger joint, loud music, waitresses in costume), and Pizza Nova (California style pizza with salads, pasta etc.) Note that this weekend is Gay Pride so all of Hillcrest will be jammed with people. I would wait until monday to vist that part of town.

2. Head down 6th toward the ball park and there is Cafe 222-great breakfasts but check on exact address, The Cheese Shop (breakfast and lunch located on 4th st.) and Bread on Market (located on Market between 7th and 8th)-we love this place, great sandwiches and bread-closed on monday but stays open until 7 p.m. on game days and you can take their food into the ball park. Kids also like Kansas City BBQ on Harbor (Top Gun filmed there) but Phil's BBQ in Mission Hills is better. The Gas Lamp also has a lot of chain restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe.

3. Head down A Street toward the bay and turn right on India and you will hit Little Italy. Kids like Fellipe's (old italian resturant, very casual with pizza, sandwiches), Italian Village (sandwiches) and there is a southwest restaurant but I can't think of the name.

4. Hotel is on one side of Balboa Park, if you go around or through Balboa Park you will hit Burligame/south park. Kids love the Big Kitchen (think it is located on Cedar) and Lefty's Chicago Pizza (located on 32nd st.)

5. Other restaurants in town that kids like are Hodad's in Ocean Beach on Newport. It is a funky beach place that serves great burgers and milkshakes-walls are covered with license plates from all over and kids' favorite table is the VW van cut in half. You could go to Ocean Beach Surf shop nearby and arrange a half-day surf lesson. (I do that for all our summer company and they really like it, plus they taught my kids how to surf). Also Point Loma Seafoods is a San Diego institution. they have a take-out counter open until 6:30.

For Mexican, Old Town Mexican is good in Old Town, Miguel's in Point Loma and Alfonso's in La Jolla.

As far as beaches, the jelly fish were a problem this year. Normally san diego does not get jelly fish, but we had a weird red tide this year. However on the news tonite they reported that the jelly fish were swept out to sea and that our beaches had returned to normal. Here are some beaches we like:

Del Mar (Torrey Pines State Beach) Located off the Carmel valley exit from 5 north freeway-turn left on street light (think its called mcgonigle0 before you get to 101-think its called torrey pines. You pay $5 to park, but parking is never a problem, they have good bathrooms, showers and it is very family friendly.

La Jolla Shores-though parking can be a pain.
Coronado-park on the street

Be sure to take your kids to Sea World especially at night. they have fireworks every night at 9:50 p.m. and my kids love the "journey to atlantis" ride.

Another funny suggestions of something to do (although people might jump on me for this one) is the Del Mar Races on Sunday. It is family day and for $5 you can go to the infield where they have free rock climbing, bungee jump trampoline, face painting etc. We put down $2 bets, the location is beautiful on the water and my kids get a kick out of the experience. Racing season started about 10 days ago and go for one more month.

If your kids like to skateboard, then have them bring their boards and visit the many skate parks here in san diego.

For educational, Balboa parks has a lot of museums and you can see the latest IMAX movies at the ruben fleet science center. You can pick up a sandwich at waters cafe at the musuem of art or a sit down meal at the Prado near the science center.

My kids hated the trolley tours and seal tours-they thought it was a waste of money. My kids do love Lego land which is about 35 minutes away from you hotel.

hope this is helpful, itsv
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Old Jul 29th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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itsv, did you read any of the preceding posts?
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Old Jul 29th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions! You have given us a lot of choices. We leave tomorrow!
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