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LA to San Diego - looking for non-touristy things to do - April 1-11

LA to San Diego - looking for non-touristy things to do - April 1-11

Mar 16th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 21
LA to San Diego - looking for non-touristy things to do - April 1-11

I will be in Laguna beach from 4/1-11 and am looking for fun, different things to do. Would like to know where the locals hang out and recommendations of good restaurants. Willing to go to San Diego for a day or two, as well as LA area. Any hidden treasures that are must see/do?

Thanks so much.
dorineo is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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The last issue of Saveur magazine had an interesting article about food in LA. Some of the places were outside of LA also.

vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Locals hang out on the patio of Las Brisas.
Up the road in Corona del Mar, Oysters is a local spot with a jazz combo many nights, great food from bar snacks to formal.
If you like a great view with a drink, drive up to Pelican Hill Golf Course club house and have a cocktail at a window table.
Walk the beach path along Pelican Coast park (starting just south of Corona del Mar reaching N end of Laguna.
If you've never been to the Getty, it's worth the drive up. Free admission, parking is $17. Have lunch in one of their casual restaurants.
La Jolla gets tourists, but having dinner or cocktails at one of the cove view spots is great stuff. I like Crab Catcher, most often mentioned is George's.
stumpworks73 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I went to college there, and go back several times a year.

Explore Victoria Beach and its castle turret. (you can google for images)

Heisler Park for a walk at sunset or anytime. It's fun to watch all the plein air painters as well as the engaged couples getting photographed on the beach.

Crystal Cove is fun to explore. http://www.crystalcovebeachcottages.org/ It's a national park with restored beach cottages and a restaurant, and is where the movies Beaches was filmed.

The first Thursday of the month is the gallery art walk, with lots of great snacks and chances to talk to the artists. http://www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com/content.htm

I like the Laguna Art Museum, and with my reciprocal membership I can go often.

You can go up in a big orange balloon at the new "Great Park" (free). http://www.ocgp.org/visit/balloon/

Balboa Island is pretty great http://www.balboaisland.com/, especially the ferry across to Newport Beach http://web.mac.com/caseyjones/Ferry/Welcome.html.
Have a world famous frozen banana or Balboa Bar at one of two "original" places on Main Street.

Corona Del Mar is also a very pretty place to watch the sunset at the beach.

I like to visit Dana Point, and you can catch a boat to Catalina Island, which is lots of fun.

The Laguna movie theater is good too.

For restaurants, I go to Zinc http://www.zinccafe.com/locations.htm for lunch and eat outside. The Cottage used to be so good for breakfast, and I love the atmosphere and history. http://www.thecottagerestaurant.com/

The Hortense Miller Garden http://www.hortensemillergarden.org/ is free, but you need reservations.

Laguna Beach is so beautiful to stroll and explore. There are many charming and quirky cottages along the side streets, little beaches to explore, and surfers to watch.
Kailani is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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dorineo- 'looking for non-touristy things to do'
Sorry dorineo but I am a tourist and I did most of the things kailani mentioned. Didn't know they were non-touristy things though-sorry.
coldplay is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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Well, the stuff I mentioned is touristy, but it's stuff I did when I lived there for the most part, and still enjoy doing when I visit.

The outdoor patio bar on the roof of Casa Del Camino is a place you might not normally know about. It's got a beautiful view, but it became quite touristy during the filming of Laguna Beach.
Kailani is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 330
By 'touristy' do you mean 'popular' they can be one and the same you know. Never really got my head round why people call a place that is popular or interesting 'touristy'. You infer that if an 'out of towner' (which is actually another name for a tourist), visits somewhere, it then becomes 'uncool'. BTW I agree the outdoor patio bar at Casa Del Camino is lovely, although I wasn't aware I 'might not normally know about it'.
coldplay is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 03:06 PM
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Just that it's on the roof and you have to go through the hotel to get there. It's not visible from the sidewalk.
Kailani is offline  
Mar 17th, 2010, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I think it's fair to say that something can be popular but not touristy, and it can be touristy meaning popular but only with people from out of town. In San Francisco, for example, both the Ferry Building Farmer's Market and the Exploratorium are popular, but neither would be considered "touristy" since they're both frequented by locals. However, Pier 39 would likely be considered "touristy" because although it's very very popular, most of the visitors are from out of town. No?
sf7307 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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These are all great ideas! Living in Orlando, FL - when I say touristy I'm meaning "theme parks, cheesy tourist attractions - with LONG lines" don't mean to offend anyone, just not my cup of tea - enjoy finding hidden treasures and getting in with the locals I found several other ideas: sunset horseback ride to Hollywood sign (maybe a little touristy), kayaking with the Leopard Sharks, whale watching, and a few other ideas. Thanks again everyone! Counting down the days 'till we arrive.
dorineo is offline  
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