Car question -- San Diego

Old Feb 21st, 2006, 08:49 PM
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Car question -- San Diego

For the first four nights of our trip to San Diego this March we will be staying at the Loews Coronado. For the last, we'll be at the Marriot Marina.

Questions: Do we need to keep the car the whole week? Or, should we just keep it because returning it to the airport and coming back will be too far? Any advice would be appreciated.


misha2 is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2006, 09:06 PM
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As you probably are aware, the Loews is located several miles down the Strand from Coronado. If you're planning on seeing anything in San Diego, I'd keep the car. There is foot ferry transportaion from Coronado to San Diego and I suppose you could get a taxi from the Loews to Coronado.
je is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2006, 10:40 PM
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misha2, what are you hoping to see in San Diego?

I live here, and San Diego is all spread out. You either need a car, or else you need to book tours with transportation.

We also have lots of traffic, try to avoid driving on the freeways at peak work traffic hours in the morning and evening.

While in Coronado visit the historic Coronado hotel and wander around there. The beach by the Coronado hotel is also nice for a beach walk.

La Jolla is one of my favorite areas in San Diego county. I like the La Jolla Cove area for strolling, nearby shopping, and seeing the seals.

Have a nice trip.

If you decide to go downtown San Diego, the Horton Plaza is an interesting shopping center.

Melissa5 is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2006, 11:44 PM
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You definitely need a car while in San Diego - welcome to Southern California, sigh. Public transportation is pretty non-existent in this desert.
fishee is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:06 AM
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personally, i'd keep it the whole time. but, if cost is an issue (parking will be expensive downtown), return it 2 days in advance and just focus those days around the downtown area or places that are accessible by the trolley. however, how then do you get to the airport when you are leaving. if you have to pay for a taxi, you need to factor that into whether it's beneficial or not.
ltt is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:36 AM
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IF you plan your trip well like seeing La Jolla and other long distances with car, it might be an ok option to give up the car when transfering to the Marriot so long as you plan to walk to Ballpark, Gaslamp, or take tours etc.
Airport is not that far (maybe 10 minutes) from the Marriot and MAriott doesn't provide free shuttle. Cab would be around 15.00 each way. Express shuttle is 6.00 per person.

If you keep the car, unload at Marriot hotel entrance then park at the Convention center next door (short jog back to Marriot) for 8.00 a night rather than the Marriot at 18.00 a night or 24.00 for valet.

FYI one of the best seafood restaurants with a bay view on the water is Fishmarket walkable from Marriott. Also Gaslamp has terrific restaurants as well but not on water.

Across the road from the Marriot is the hole in the wall diner Kansas City BBQ some say and where several scenes were shot with Tom Cruise in Topgun movie..
1JAR is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Thank you all so much for your help! I will keep the car the entire time and park at the convention center.

Here's what I'm planning Please let me know what you think.

Arrive Loews hotel around 12O relax, Saturday -- get oriented, swim, relax explore Coronado and eat dinner there. Any suggestions?

Sunday -- Day at Seaworld _- Brunch at Loews(how much is this? Possibly dinner with Shamu

Monday -- La Jolla, Sea Lions etc

Tuesday -- Zoo, Japanes Peace Garden

Wednesday -- Hike/ Explore a State Beach

Thursday -- Check into Marriot Explore Old Town San Diego/ Gas Lamp District

Friday -- ???


Any suggestions/opinions? It'll be just me and the kids from Thurday on. But, they are always up to anything. Perhaps the art museum?
misha2 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:35 AM
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I was just there for business second week of Feb. Keep the car. Trust me, my taxi bills came up to $300+ ...and I stayed at the gaslamp which is central to everything but going from there to balboa park in a taxi one wasy is around $12, that's about 12 blocks away from my hotel (Hilton Gaslamp). Keep the car.
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 01:11 PM
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It's whale watching season. Should be nice. Also, we did sea kayaking in La Jolla. It was fantastic. Don't know how old the kids are but if they are old enough, it's really quite safe.
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Since you plan to do some hiking- there are some great trails at Torrey Pines and its a nice beach also.
We had a fun day at Ocean Beach, there is a very long pier to walk out on - takes you out past the surfers. There is a very cute restaurant at the end of the pier that looks to me would a fun place for breakfast- next to ocean beach is "dog beach" It was fun to see everyone out with their dogs playing in the water - had a fun day in that area.
There is a great outlet mall in Carlsbad - better shopping than Horton Plaza in my opinion
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:16 PM
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In downtown La Jolla -- Girards Bakery (close to the water) is great for a snack or inexpensive light lunch -- if you have a sarong in your bag, you can spread out and eat in the grass. For a sit-down place and an amazing ocean view and very reasonable breakfast/lunch try Brockton Villa. If you're in downtown La Jolla definitely check out the Art Museum on the water -- it's small but really beautiful. Also a really good children's bookstore on Girard Ave as well as upscale clothing boutiques.

Ocean Beach is a great departure from the rest of SD which can be pretty uptight and conservative for a coastal area. OB has a mellow biker/hippie/college kid/surfer dude crowd. Inexpensive and trendy clothing shops, decent but cheap food. Another young beach area is Garnet Ave on Mission Beach -- lots of San Diego State and U of San Diego kids. OB has more character and wider demographic range.

If you love seafood (particularly lobster and king crab), sushi and a bargain, (and there's not already one in your area) go to Todai buffet. After dinner, drop in at Extraordinary Desserts for great atmosphere and... dessert, high quality tea and coffee --a real indulgence. If you like to window shop, check out the trendy boutiques down the street on 5th Ave, University, in Hillcrest -- SD's upscalish gay neighborhood.

Best beaches in San Diego for NON-Springbreakers are
1. Black's Beach (famous surfing spot -- it's a steep hike to get down there and sections of beach are clothing optional) Might be hard to get down with very small children.

2. WindandSea Beach (off La Jolla Blvd, go down Nautilus Ave or Playa del Norte for parking) is gorgeous and totally different from most S.Cal beaches which tend to be wide, long, and monotonous. It's a mile or two south of the La Jolla Coves/downtown La Jolla area. If you go to WindandSea there's a great dive of a taco stand on La Jolla Blvd, a block or two from the beach called Dos Pedros. The rolled tacos with guac are amazing and probably the cheapest thing you'll eat in SD.

Balboa Park is also worth checking out.
fishee is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:00 PM
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So you have chosen on the rental car for the whole trip..Great idea..
Second, Loew's is out at the end of Coronado..wonderful but isolated.. I like to go to the (best happy hour everyday with fish tacos,margs,clam chowder) across the street from the Del... of course the Del for drinks and cruise around the hotel.. they also have a segway tour for $59 pp that goes around the Coronado and the bay and that looks like a blast..Water taxis to and from Coronado to downtown SD is a great way to see the bay and the city..
here is the link to the Segway tour
[email protected]
La Jolla is a must!! Birch Aquarium and downtown LJ..Great restaurants and beaches and of course, shopping..
George's at the Cove for lunch and Marine Room for drinks/lunch.
State Beach to hike would be:
Torrey Pines State Beach...Stunning!
Pretty much any place in Gaslamp in downtown SD for drinks and dinner is great. Fish Market at the bay for seafood..go upstairs to the Top of the Market or oyster bar downstairs.
Del Mar and up the coast on PCH is the way to go and just cruise and stop along the way..
Cardiff and Encinitas are great coastal towns on PCH..Love the Self Realization Temple right on the cliff..
Jake's Del Mar to eat or Beach House or Charlie's in Cardiff..oceanfront..
I wouldn't go east of HI-5.. stay west Misha..
Have blast and you are going to love our city!!

Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:18 AM
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If your kids are young, I just wanted to point out that Georges on the Cove and Marine Room are both quite formal and romantic. Have fun.
fishee is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Thanks for the great advice! Now, I'm getting excited.
misha2 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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One more question, since all of you have been so helpful -- any idea if the go san diego card is helpful?
misha2 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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I just replied to your go san diego question on your other post. - and yes, depending on what you are going to see, it can save you money on sites, attractions, restaurants, shopping, etc -
they have these go(nameofcity) card for many cities, you just need to look at the site and be sure of what it includes or not that interests you - and read the faq's b/c sometimes they give entry to something but it may or may not include everything.

the site is still a useful site, whether you buy it or not, for planning what to do.
escargot is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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Posts: 39
I live in La Jolla but, took my parents and two Grandma's to the Loews in Coronado for Mother's Day. Coronado is someplace special even to the locals... Pioeh's in Coronado for dinner is awesome (spelling not sure of but, phoeneticaly it is P-O-EEs)-food is great, view is amazing, and it is romantic (moderately priced). Old Town is fun but, good only for a long lunch b/c there is not much to do there-lots of great Mexican restaurants though. When in La Jolla-George's (on top patio) is amazing on a sunny day (I often go on weekdays and I am tempted not to go back to work on a beautiful day). Balboa Park with the Air and Space Museum or the Car Museum by the Zoo is definitely great for kids. I personally prefer the Wild Animal Park in Escondido over the Zoo-but, that is just an opinion. IT is different from Zoos that can be found in every major city (only rec if you keep the car! which, I agree, you should keep). Legoland in Carlsbad is supposed to be great for small kids. When in the gaslamp- Top of the Hyatt is great for a drink at sunset or after dinner (the view is unbeatable). If you are looking for a more kid friendly restaurant in Gaslamp-Rockin' Baja Lobster is kind of fun-they serve your dinner in a pail family style...the food is good and atmosphere casual.
kari92037 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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Fishee...Isn't Blacks Beach clothing optional?
donnae_b is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2006, 11:03 PM
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yes, Black's is clothing optional although when I've been there, the area immediately below the steep hike was generally populated by people in swimsuits. The nudists ( I think they were nude) seemed to be further down the beach where it was remote and so I didn't run into them.

Windansea will always be my favorite beach in San Diego, lived there for a couple of years... gorgeous and very easy access.
fishee is offline  
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