Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   More La Jolla/SD questions for the resident experts! (

ducks53 Aug 19th, 2004 02:45 PM

More La Jolla/SD questions for the resident experts!
Thanks to all who have replied to my posts.
Barbara, thank you in particular for your advice. I would love to pick your brain a bit more if I may. My plan is this: leaving Long Beach very early on Sat 9/4. Driving with friends and 4yo to Escondido for Wild ANimal Park (having 2nd thoughts based on poss. hot weather etc). Will spend night at Radisson Harbor View-Padre game at 7pm concerns me so I hope to arrive by 5pm.
Next day friends departing around 5pm; I take a 10pm plane from SD Airport. WIll have light luggage. Would love to visit Cornado Island-walk/bike aroung, visit beach for a couple of hrs, have inexp. meal at restaurant with a view (may take ferry there to avoid traffic/parking?? How far is the walk?)Would also love to see Balboa Park (highlights?) and drop in at the zoo.
Padres again--Sun at 1pm so thinking of leaving around 4pm before game breaks up.
Perhaps run down to LaJOlla--parking??--and have casual dinner (view?), take a quick look at couple of most beautiful beaches.
WIll use CLoud 9 to take me to airport.
WHEW!!! Please offer comments and advice. Many thanks, very excited about the visit.

mclaurie Aug 19th, 2004 04:00 PM

Hi Duck. I'm somewhat lost on your timing. I'm hoping you're not thinking of Coronado, Balboa Park and La Jolla all in one day. #-O

Also, people have mentioned on your other threads that the ball park is on the opposite side of town from your hotel. Did you understand that?

Okay. The Del is not near the ferry stop but I think there's a bus or trolley that goes there. I personally would just drive the car. The Del has a big parking lot. If you get your parking ticket validated (I don't know if you have to eat there or if a drink is good enough) parking is free.

The "highlights" of Balboa Park depend on what interests you. I spent an entire day going to all the museums and the gardens and never got to the zoo. But the zoo is open late now so it's certainly possible to do a few museums and the zoo.

Parking in La Jolla isn't easy. If you don't care about price, there is valet parking at a few restaurants. There are also lots where you put money in a meter and put a ticket on your windshield. For a casual dinner with a view in La Jolla check out Brockton Villa. It's more known for it's breakfast, but it's a cute, funky place across from the beach. Every table inside and out has a view. Just remember that if you go to dinner after dark at a place that's supposed to have a view, you may not get to see it 'cause it'll be like a black hole 8-)

Have a great time!!

ducks53 Aug 20th, 2004 05:30 AM

Barbara, are you there? Thanks

Barbara Aug 20th, 2004 08:53 AM

I'm here now and, like mclaurie, I'm going to recommend that you're trying to do too much in one day. It's all a bit confused from my viewpoint. Perhaps you could choose a couple of things that you really want to do/see and add another if there is time.

I suggest that you miss out the Wild Animal Park, go directly to your hotel, then go to Balboa Park and the Zoo.

The following day, you could visit Coronado in the morning, then La Jolla in the afternoon. As your hotel is not walking distance from the ferry, you may as well drive to Coronado. I'm sorry, I can't help with places to eat there.

In La Jolla, do valet park (outside George's) for $6 plus tip. What time do your friends have to check in at the airport? Are they returning the car? Is that why you will be taking a shuttle to the airport(your hotel may have one). Mclaurie's suggestion of Brockton Villa is excellent, but I don't see how you would be able t fit that in time-wise.

I do not believe that the Padre game will create a problem for you, so don't feel that you have to plan around it, other than avoid the area immediately around the ballpark.

mclaurie Aug 20th, 2004 10:37 AM

When I was preparing for my recent trip to SD, someone on this board who works at the zoo mentioned that the animals are most active when it's cooler which is first thing in the morning or later into the evening (I think the zoo is open til 9 or 10 pm now). So factor that in.

If you want to do the wild animal park for the 4 yr old, would Sea World or the zoo be an ok substitute?

For dining on Coronado, the hotel Del has several restaurants, some casual. It's quite pleasant there and I know if you eat there the parking is free (at least it was during the day).

Il Fornaio is a good Italian rest. right near the ferry landing. I believe it has an outdoor area with views of downtown. They have good pizza. It's owned by a fellow Fodorite :S-

mikemo Aug 20th, 2004 12:14 PM

Perhaps I'm confused, but I have you arriving on 4 Sept and leaving on 5 September.
I would never do that for those dates!
The following weeks would be way better: weather, crowds, access, etc.

Barbara Aug 20th, 2004 01:03 PM

mikemo, some people just don't have a choice about when they can visit.

mikemo Aug 20th, 2004 02:11 PM

I have always thought choice was what made us unique, lol.
Perhaps my 27 years of formal education and six additional years of post - doc training were wasted.

ducks53 Aug 20th, 2004 03:25 PM

Thanks for all the replies and sorry for any confusion. First, I am visiting friends in Long Beach area and have little choice of when to visit since my daughter's school schedule is dispositive. I have never seen SD and am eager to get a taste of the area, even if its just for two days. I agree that I cannot possibly do all the activities listed. I am now thinking that I will do as Barbara suggests, see Balboa and the zoo on day one and visit Coronado in the am and LaJOlla in pm. The hotel insists its only about 8 blocks from the ferry. The map makes it appear that the hotel which is right across from Horton Plaza is close enough to Petco that I need to be concerned. Will parking be impossible in LaJ those days? We probaly want to visit La J cove. Coronado-cannot afford the Del. Looking for more casual meal. Are there lesser known beaches where I can park the car even on that weekend?
The reason I am taking the shuttle is that my friends are driving back to Long Beach sunday around 5pm and I am departing on a 10pm flight so I have a couple of hours to kill. I thought maybe I would find a nice casual restaurant with a deck/terrace and have a leisurely dinner myself and then take shuttle to airport. Thanks for defending me to mikemo (see he/she recent ultra-nasty post on beautiful college campus thread. Think s/he needs a break from all that education.) ;)

Barbara Aug 20th, 2004 03:50 PM

ducks, I thought from your other posts that you'll be staying at the Radisson Harbor View. According to
Radisson's own map, that's not across the road from Horton Plaza, so now I'm confused (more than usually, that is!)Have you decided on another hotel?

Parking in La Jolla is always impossible, and will be even more so on the holiday weekend.

ducks53 Aug 20th, 2004 04:27 PM

sorry Barbara for all the confusion. I called the Radisson Harbor-yes thats the one. They say that they are a 6 block 15 min walk to the Coronado ferry, a mile from Petco and not on a direct route, and 8 blocks to the Horton Plaza.

Barbara Aug 20th, 2004 05:50 PM

That all sounds correct, and if all that walking is OK with you, who am I to argue!

Unfortunately, as far as parking near a beach goes, it will be very hard because, unless the weather is bad (very unlikely) the beaches will be packed.

My favorite place for an outside meal in La Jolla is the terrace at George's. You can check their menu online and see if it's in your price range. As mclaurie said, after it gets dark, there's not much to see anyway! You would be there before sunset, though, I think.

I hope you have a great time in San Diego.

mclaurie Aug 21st, 2004 03:59 AM

A couple more way to see a lot in a limited time is the hop on hop off tourist tram. It costs ~$25 and is good for a day although last boarding is around 4:30pm. If you just stay on it, the circuit takes 2 hrs. You could get on at Horton Plaza if it's near your hotel and get to, Balboa Park, Coronado etc. Here's a website that lists the stops. It goes to all the highlights except La Jolla. (No need IMO to buy tickets on line. Wait and get them there.)

Not sure what you would do with your luggage, but for dining options before you leave, the rest. I mentioned before, Il Fornaio, on Coronado is right next to the ferry terminal. Here's a link to their menu. A pizza or pasta isn't too pricey.

There's a restaurant called The Fish Market which is downtown (not Coronado)on the water and very near the airport. The food is good (not great) and it's very casual. From there I'd imagine you could just take a cab.

Seaport Village, a stop on that tourist tram is another possible place for dinner. There are a number of restuarants, some on the water and there are also shops that stay open late. It's also very close to the airport.

Jackie44 Aug 21st, 2004 07:07 PM

re: ferry to Coronado;
My daughter and I shopped at Horton's plaza one morning (husband dropped us off on his way to Temecula). We needed to find our own way back to Coronada, staying at La Avenida across from the Del. Asked at the front desk about taking the ferry and then the island bus. Very helpful guy just shook his head, said you don't want to do that. Seems the island bus from the ferry only runs once/hour. As it was, we took the bus right across the street from Horton's and it still took 30 min. get to our hotel. My point is public transit to Coronado can waste a lot of your time, especially when you're only allocating a morning anyway. And if you are going to Coronado, you have to go to the oceanside (Hotel Del) not because the hotel is gorgeous (which it is) but because the beach is fantastic and the whole place smells so good. While on the topic, can I just say that pretty as La Jolla is, it really doesn't smell very good. At least not when the cormorants are in residence as they were the day we were there.
Anyway, hope this helps. I would just drive to Coronado. Enjoy

moneygirl Aug 21st, 2004 09:08 PM

With your limited time, I would stay at Coronado for the day and truly enjoy! Walk all over the place, tour the Del, lay on the beach, enjoy the planes flying over, rent bikes and tour around some of the historic areas and window shop. Have a yummy fish dinner at the Brigantine, it isn;t fancy, but really good. Eat ice cream and enjoy. You won't find anything that special in LaJolla and on a holiday weekend, I'd stay put on the island.

malvado Aug 21st, 2004 09:28 PM

A previous poster or two ago gave misguided information concerning taking the "Island Bus" from the ferry landing to the Hotel del Coronado.

True, it only runs every hour. However, the ferry only departs SD every hour on the hour with a 15 minute crossing. The bus (Rt. 904) arrives on the half hour, so that would give you a 15 min cushion to catch the bus.

Same goes for the return with the bus arriving 15 minutes before the scheduled departures from Coronado (every hour on the half).

I don't see a problem at all with taking the ferry to Coronado. The hotel is right, it should be about a 15 min walk, and downhill.

Should you be tired on the way back, there are always cabs parked at the landing to zip you back. Beware of the pedicabs that congregate there as well. Though popular, they charge what they choose, and the $3 taxi fare ends up costing you a $10-$15 "tour".

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:04 PM.