LV, SD & what other city should we include?

Mar 10th, 2004, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 48
IMHO, I both agree and disagree with everyone ahead of me. LA is a wonderful, unique "city" that you could easily spend your entire 10 days in and enjoy. Whoever has said LA is not a real city has obviously never compared it correctly. Just as NY is composed of different bourough, neighborhoods, villiages, etc..., so is LA - Just bigger and more spread out. If I were you I would skip LA on this trip and take it on next time. In 10 days a good trip next time would be LA to SF up HWY 1.

As for this trip, I would certainly drive from LV to SD via trhe desert thru CIMA/KELSO/AMBOY/29PALMS (look on a map). It is a beautiful drive and will allow you a glimpse of the Mojave desert without billboards (I-15). Although it will be hot as hell for your trip, you should try and stop in Palm Springs and stay for 1 day and do the PS monorail. From there you could drive hwy 74 over the mountains toward SD. A couple of days in SD would not be complete with the obligatory sidetrip into Tijuana. You can get there from downtown SD via the trolley. If it were me, I would buy some extra mex. insurance and drive sraight on thru to Ensenada, but this is not to savy in a rental.
Regardless of what you decide, keep us all informed and dont forget suncreen and a bathing suit!
Lobenz is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Try the MOnte Carlo on the strip, right between New York, New York and Bellagio. Usually can get good rates there. We stay there all the time. Centrally located, nice rooms, nice low key casino, not humongous. I think of it as the middle class hotel. We also love their restaurants. The Italian place is pretty good. Plus they have a food court. At midnight that place came in pretty handy, bc casual food in Vegas can be impossible to find when you need it.
Heavens is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 05:50 PM
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Thanks all for the replies so far, we may keep it to just LV-SD this time! Besides, I'm already doing the runaround on my vacation next month, and something tells me I may not want to do it twice in one year! (Besides, I might as well save some days for extended weekend trips!)

Just a few questions and comments:

I am aware of the hotel locations. The best option on the strip I have turned up so far is the Flamingo. For some reason the Monte Carlo and the Luxor were not coming up at ALL in September or October mid week. BF has stayed in Sam's Town before and liked it. Plus, I need a place where there are other things to do, as BF is a gambler, but I am not.

As for car rentals: I remember last year someone mentioning about having to get a "california rental" if you rent out of LV and drop in California, which limits the cars. Am I better off saving the rental for just SD?

The drive through the Mojave intrigues me (after watching Queen of the Damned, and other movies..) but what areas should we stay in SD and what areas should we stay away from?

Thanks again!!
missjanna is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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You'll want to stay near the beaches, especially in Sept/Oct. We get Santa Anas in San Diego in Sept/Oct. It can get really hot. Find a hotel at near the beach.
Del Mar or Solana Beach are nice little beach towns. There is a little bar in Solana Beach called the Belly Up, that often has interesting music.
I believe many tourists stay downtown but this seems boring to me.
Stay away from Tijuana. It's not worth the time, even if you do have 5 days. In fact outside of a trip to Coronado don't go further south then downtown. As mentioned before, you can take a 15 minute ferry ride to Coronado.

A flight to SD from LV will be pretty cheap. If you really want to see the desert plan a day trip to Anza Borrego and on the way back make reservations one of the romantic little inns in Julian. The desert is just over the mountain from there. That should be enough desert for you. Believe me it's a lot prettier when you can limit your time there. If you drive from LV you might be wondering when it's going to end even with the air conditioning at full power.
mcgeezer is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 11:24 PM
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missjanna, I think you've made a wise decision. San Diego doesn't have many awful parts-- but having said that, you want to stay close to the shore. If you're classing it up, stay in beautiful La Jolla! Love that place.

curious, I know you dislike LA, but you're saying you have nothing good to say about the whole, vast LA metro area?! That "real city" crack makes me chuckle-- LA's both not a city and hundreds of cities, the whole world in one huge place. Thousands of things to do, incredible natural beauty, and the occasional freak summer days in March (like this week).... It doesn't work for some (like curious), but it works for me.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Excuse me while I go scream, as I relaized I have to change the dates since I have a wedding on 9-11. (Don't ask, the church gave her that date and she was not happy about it!)

Now it might be Sept. 3-10 or Oct. 8-17. I checked when the conventions are in Las Vegas, and the best days to be there seem to be Sept. 7-9 or Oct. 10-12.

Would it be crazy to go to San Diego first, go to LV in the middle and then back to San Diego (but a different location and hotel?) or does it make more sense to be further north first? (Long Beach, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach)

Thanks once again!
missjanna is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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missjanna, I'd stay with your original SD-LV plans. Long Beach is not a tourist destination (although it's a convenient airport, easy to get into and out of), nor is Santa Ana. Huntington Beach has the surfing and some great beaches, but there's not that much to do there other than that. Laguna Beach or Newport Beach might be better as far as that goes. But I'd still stick with San Diego-- it's a great city.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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Excuse all my damn typos...I am not usually this bad! Time to go to Starbucks for some coffee!
missjanna is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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To those folks who prefer not to spend anytime in San Diego, as a native San Diegan who has traveled all over the world, this is the place I choose to stay. Most of the other posters on here know what a great city this is to visit.
There are plenty of things to do here,
besides the usual tourist spots, museums, art galleries, outdoor sport activities (year-round), day trips - the list goes on.

The museums in Balboa Park have set a rotational plan in which every Tuesday, several of them are free. The Old Globe Theatre puts on some of the finest regional theatre in the country. They have some $19 tickets vs $45 full price.

Cities such as Julian, Carlsbad, Leucadia and Del Mar offer a varity of things to do. Go to Julian a wonderful historic mountain community and have some great apple pie and apple cider. The Anza Borrego Desert is a natural wonder worth a visit. I remember a New Year's Day several years ago where we stopped in Julian and the snow was piled up along the sidewalk. 20 minutes later we were walking among the cactus in Anza Borrego.

You can go snow skiing one day and water skiing the next. There are tons of places to go hiking. There is a great book "Afoot and Afield in San Diego" by Jerry Schad that lists dozens of great hikes.

We had a panda born at the Zoo last Aug and he is becoming more independent in his travels. An orangutan was born last week. At the Wild Animal Park we have a baby elephant and after Memorial Day we will have a new lion exhibit where only a plate glass window will separate you from the lions. There is almost always something new to see.

The Gaslamp District in Downtown SD offers many good restaurants and night life. The new baseball stadium Petco Park opens tonight with a college tournament. The Padres take up residence next month.

These are just some of the activities that can keep you busy having a great time on your vacation. Many more await!
rj007 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 08:13 PM
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decided, as silly as this sounds, to do NY - SD - LV - SD - NY. This way we can get 2 round trip tickets (NY - SD and SD - LV) instead of doing a multi city run. Also we can rent the car in LV if we decide to do a day trip.

Turns out my BF has a friend in AZ, so everytime he went to Vegas, he drove back and forth from his friend's to Vegas, so he has seen the desert already!

I can also go back to my original dates, as my friend said the wedding is postponed.

Since we are starting and ending our trip in San Diego with the excursion to Vegas for a few days in between, which areas should I concentrate on to get a feel for the entire city? Maybe La Jolla for the first leg and Coronado on the second?

As always, all help is appreciated, and saying hello to my buddy RJW!! I will be in Miami next month, buddy!
missjanna is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Don't discount LA. Hollywood is fun, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica pier. Why not Santa Barbara? It is beautiful and there is the pier, take a launch to the Channel Islands, walk the streets for shopping, go to the top of the courthouse and see the whole city, there is a beautiful Mission there. We were there in November and the weather was fantastic. Also go up the mountain to Solvang, the Danish town which is a bit touristy but fun. There is a casino there and also over the hill in Santa Ynez there is a fantastic Italian restaurant called Grappalos which has wonderful food and wine. Enjoy.
dillysnana is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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missjanna: And a shout out to you, friend!! Actually, another buddy of mine is in South Beach right this minute, and his company sprang for a room at the Cardozo, so he's a happy cat! I will be going there myself to celebrate my 40th-- in August. Hot...!

Don't know when I'll be in Manhattan next. My sister and mom have been there twice this week (medical appointments), but I'm sure they've been hitting the stores around Sloane-Kettering ! And since the news on my sis' condition is much more optimistic this week, we're all breathing better.

You're going to have a fun trip. Breaking up the SD portion with the Vegas jaunt could give you an opportunity to try two separate properties in the SD area. Say, the first part in La Jolla, the second in Coronado. And maybe an overnight trip up to Laguna or Dana Point (prettiest coastline in southern CA, IMHO).

The only fly in the ointment is the rates on hotels in these areas. But there are deals to be had, if you look around and lean gently on the reservations agents at the hotels....
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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missjanna, I forget the thread but a recent poster said she got a 4 star La Jolla Hotel (Hyatt Regency) on Priceline for $55/night, I believe. May be worth a shot!

Have a great time in SD.
Jocelyn_P is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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Woohoo! Also just realized I should have enough FF miles on American to have the RT ticket from NY - SD for free by then!! So another added bonus! The money I save I can spend on hotels!

missjanna is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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But remember that, nice though it is, the La Jolla Hyatt is not really in La Jolla, although it may have the same zip code. It's in a predominantly business district just to the east of I-5. As anyone who's live in San Diego for any length of time know, there is no life east of I-5!
Barbara is online now  
Mar 13th, 2004, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 304
On a trip we took to San Diego,we did all the tourist things, zoo, Sea World ect. One of the highlights was the Dolphin encounter at Sea World.It is a little spendy, but if you haven't done anything like it before it is Great!Worth every dime.It has to be booked ahead, however.Their website would have info on it,if you are interested.
If you like Mexican food go to old town.Best mexican food I've ever had.

For Vegas have you looked at the Treasure Island website for room rates? I have picked up some good rates there.Also check the Vegas hotels websites,that you are interested in, often as the rates changes quite a lot. I have booked a room,then kept checking,if the rates drop they will credit you the difference if you call and ask for it.I saved $50,per night, doing this on my last visit in Feb.The rate dropped 3 times after I had made my reservation. Each time they changed the rate for me.

The wax museum at the Venetian is fun.Take your camera,you will want it here.Very fun photos ops.If you are looking for just good food and not so expensive the Grand Lux is good at the Venetian.We also like the Cheese Cake Factory at the forum shops between the Mirage and Caesars.
Dottie is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,660

missjanna, you could get an open-jaw round trip NYC->LAS and SAN->NYC and then get a cheap one-way ticket between LAS Vegas and SAN Diego (or Long Beach or LAX).

For the award trip, I would see if AA would route you to Las Vegas through San Diego and then make a FREE stopover in S.D.

As far as Del Mar goes, it closes on Sept. 8 this year. It is a great horse racing track. If you decide to travel in October, then you could visit Santa Anita race course, but that would up north in Pasadena. One perfect day for me was a visit to the nude beach at La Jolla from in the morning and early afternoon, then over to Del Mar for racing at 2PM, followed by a Padres night game (baseball).

I recommend playing the song that is linked on this page:
mrwunrfl is offline  
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