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First trip to San Diego

Old Jan 29th, 2001, 01:16 PM
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First trip to San Diego

We're visiting San Diego during spring break in mid-March. It's our first trip to California. We'll be traveling with 2 kids, ages 13 and 9, and staying at the Embassy Suites downtown. Several things:
Is it beach swimming weather at this time of year? Which beach would you suggest for families? Are there any good pizza places, excluding Pizza Hut, Dominos, etc? Will be able to do any whale-watching? Are there any good hiking areas in the La Jolla area? We'll be visiting for 4 days-what should we not miss? Thanks for any and all advice!
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 01:48 PM
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The Pacific Ocean along Southern California is never warm, and cold in March. The water temperature even in July barely gets over 70 degrees F. On the other hand, March weather is often warm and sunny, so you can at least enjoy the beach. On our visits, we like Coronado the best for walking and playing.

What not to miss? The never-ending debate on this site is Zoo vs. Wild Animal Park. Do a search on San Diego to read the myriad opinions. And don't miss the Del Coronado (hotel)--spectacular. Another: Pt. Loma, the oceanfront below Cabrillo National Monument. It's a rocky beach with tidepools--my kids love exploring there. Lots of strange-looking sea life. Others: I've taken my parents and other visitors on the Harbor Cruise, which is pretty cool--I haven't taken the kids, so I don't know how quickly the boredom factor would set in. There used to be a Navy-ship open house on weekends, but the last time I went the line was ridiculous; I don't know if they still have it.

As for pizza, wait for one of the locals to respond. You'll be right next to Gaslamp Quarter, and I'd bet there are a few good places there. You're staying at the perfect place--huge rooms and walking distance to so many things.

Go to the bookstore and get a travel guide. I used the Froemmer's guide on my last visit and found it very helpful.
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 02:40 PM
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Try Sammy's Woodfired Pizza on 4th Ave. It's very good. If you are anywhere near a California Pizza Kitchen it's also very good, even though it's now a big chain with restaurants all over the country. We go there often - it's inexpensive and my kids love just about everything on the menu! March is not really beach weather here, unless we have unusually warm weather. Gary is absolutely right when he says the water will be cold!! Walking on the beach would be fine though. It might be a little late in the season for whale watching, I'm not very sure, but if not,you can see them from the Cabrillo National Monument which Gary also mentioned. There are also boat trips to get closer. Have a great time!
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 03:43 PM
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For great pizza, try BJ's for deep dish pizza. Much better than Sammy's in my opinion. You might also want to check out the Little Italy section of town. It's become quite popular.
Old Feb 1st, 2001, 05:25 PM
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A favorite for children (and myself) is the Spaghetti Factory in the Gaslamp area.
One of my favorite spots is the La Jolla cove area. There's a park and walkway along a rocky coastline, with lots of seals and sea lions close to shore. There's a woodfire pizza place with views of the ocean on the main drag at the top of the hill, but I don't remember the name. I also like Scripps aquarium in La Jolla.
The zoo is great, but should be avoided on weekends. Old Town is nice for the Mexican atmosphere, but service can be very slow in the restaurants.
Old Feb 2nd, 2001, 06:01 AM
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Best beaches for families? Coronado for its sheer size, Torrey Pines for its scenery, La Jolla Shores for its family atmosphere and ample facilities.

Pizza Places? Sammy's is a decent high end chain, but Mona Lisa's near Little Italy is fanastic! Their deli next doot will pack a picnic lunch to die for.

Hiking near La Jolla? Torrey Pines state reserve has easy to moderate trails with spectacular scenery.

I wouldn't miss Old Town and/or Balboa Park.
Old Feb 2nd, 2001, 08:08 AM
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Karen: You really need to think about what your kids like to do. If they're impatient, whale-watching may not produce enough continous excitement. If they love animals -- there's the zoo, wild animal park, Sea World -- you can't go wrong with any or all of those.


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