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mainetoday Jul 8th, 2004 08:06 PM

Las Vegas to San Diego - Short Trip
Well, we are going out to Vegas in mid-October, staying there from theh 17th to the 20th. Then, we were thinking about heading out of town about noon on the 20th and heading to CA, as we have never driven west, nor seen the Pacific. I've been looking around and the San Diego area seemed appealling. Is it a nice area to visit in mid-October?? Are the beach resorts still open??? If not any suggestions?? We will have the afternoon of the 20th, 21st and must head back on the 22nd as we are flying out of Vegas on the 23rd. I know this is a short trip, but we were trying to figure out the best route with scenary, any suggestions?? We like site seeing, checking out the country, stopping at interesting places, etc. I know it's about 300+ miles one way, but we don't mind driving. Anything new is interesting. I know one of the things we are looking to do is go to the San Diego Zoo on the one full day. All I have is airfare right now, but any lodging, route or scenic ideas on the way to CA would be great. Thanks

tommyd Jul 9th, 2004 02:37 AM

If it were me, I'd consider the Grand Canyon instead. SD is nice, but unless you have more time, it might be kind of a wasted trip. GC is about 250 miles, but the place is incredible!!

walkabout Jul 9th, 2004 02:46 AM

With such a short timeframe, I don't think lodging on the way to California should be a consideration. It will take you at least 5 hours to drive from Vegas to San Diego, probably more because if you leave at noon you will be entering San Diego County at rush hour. I suggest you drive straight through from Vegas (no overnight stay), arriving here in San Diego in the late evening.

When I have driven to and from Vegas I have simply taken I-15. It's a straight shot, but it's not particularly scenic--you'll be crossing the desert. But again, since time is of the essence, it is probably your best bet.

Beaches and resorts are open year-round in San Diego.

ltt Jul 9th, 2004 06:34 AM

as long as you like driving, it's doable. if you leave vegas at noon you'll get into san diego around 5:30-6:00. i wouldn't worry about rush hour too much. for the most part, you'll be going against the rush. since you are only there for 2 nights, i'd get a nice hotel on/by the beach (pacific terrace inn or catamaran) or downtown so you can walk to the gaslamp district for nightlife. most people say the drive is boring but if you've never seen desert before you won't mind it. just to confirm though, you are only going to have about 48 hours in san diego and 11-13 hours of driving.

Barbara Jul 9th, 2004 08:27 AM

The drive from Vegas to San Diego is not one of the more scenic drives in California. If you want to visit San Diego with such a short time avilable, I suggest you fly. This far in advance, you will get pretty cheap flights on Southwest. Depending on what you want to do here (in SD), you may not even need a car, though you'd have much more flexibility with one.

ltt Jul 9th, 2004 01:40 PM

everyone says that the drive is boring but i've never minded it. it is a flat straight road so you can drive pretty fast. and part of the desert are very nice.
now a days i personally wouldn't consider flying for a location that is only 6 hours drive. consider that you need to have time to get to and from the airport (1 hr maybe). each flight you have to be there an hour in advance and when you get to your destination, you don't have a vehicle. so a one way flight is going to take about 3 hours with all things considered compared to a six hour drive. all personal preference. (and god forbid should the flight be late!)

rj007 Jul 9th, 2004 05:44 PM

Nobody has touched on the weather yet. It will be fine. I work at the Zoo and October is Free Kids month so be prepared for large groups of kids. That said, as I have mentioned in previous posts, if you can, get to the Zoo at 9 AM when we open. The weather is cooler and the animals tend to be more active in cooler weather. Take the Guided Bus Tour and get your hand stamped and then you can ride the Express Bus for free the rest of the day. We have a lot of steep hills at the zoo and you can let the Express Bus take you up the hills and then you can walk down. Makes for a more enjoyable visit.

mainetoday Jul 10th, 2004 05:36 PM

Wow, thanks for the great posts so far. I still really want to get to San Diego, but not sure if we will have time. My girlfriend really wants to see the zoo. I'd love to see the Pacific!! Anyways, I'll keep looking into this. Does anyone have an idea on a nice hotel, close to the zoo?? Also, any hotel ideas near the Gaslamp District??

mainetoday Jul 16th, 2004 05:34 PM

Anyone have recommendations on a decent resort on the ocean to stay at in October?? Any specific section of San Diego that you would recommend?? Young couple in their late 20's, not much into clubs, but like restaurants and the ocean.

malvado Jul 16th, 2004 06:56 PM

6 hours from sd to vegas?

get outta my way!!!

4.5 - flat. like ltt said, it's a long straight road.


SandyBrit Jul 17th, 2004 06:10 AM


Hello - try The Ocean Park Inn - get a second or third floor room with balcony facing the ocean. Breakfast and free parking included. Lots of reviews on this hotel at If you don't know about it take a look at - lots of good information here and sometimes offers/coupons etc.

We love San Diego and can not wait to go back.

Best wishes.


mainetoday Jul 17th, 2004 01:15 PM

Ok, thanks, I guess we're going to change out plans and increase the time that we'll be out in San Diego area. Thinking of leaving from Vegas on Oct. 20th and staying in San Diego from the night of the 20th to the 23rd. That's a Wed. to a Sat. Anyone else have any good recommendations or hotel ideas???

mainetoday Jul 17th, 2004 02:00 PM

Ok, I guess I'm still looking and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I thought Vegas had a lot of hotels. Ok, here's the scoop, have never been to San Diego, want to stay on or within walking distance to the ocean per my previous post. Will spend around $100/or so per night. We want to go to the San Diego Zoo properties, walk the beaches, walk downtown. We will have 3 days to do this stuff. Which region should we stay in?? There are so many... Could I please get some recommendations from people, on places that they've stayed in the San Diego area??? I would highly appreciate this. Thanks

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