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Not familiar with San Diego: Where to stay

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Feb 3rd, 2014, 07:31 PM
  #1
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Not familiar with San Diego: Where to stay

We'll be in San Diego in March and would appreciate hotel suggestions.

Staying 3 nights. Of course we want to see zoo and Balboa Park. Perhaps Gaslamp area if you think it's worth it.

I love to walk, but DH is limited in how far he can walk. Also wondering if we should/could take public transportation and rent a car before we leave the city as we're not big city drivers.

So now, the question of where to stay. Had looked at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach and thought the location may be nice, but what are the logistics of getting to the areas we want to see. Is Hotel Circle an easier place to be?

Would love to be on water if it's practical to get into the city.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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Feb 3rd, 2014, 08:00 PM
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If you stayed in Coronado you could take a foot ferry back and forth to Downtown where you could catch buses (as downtown is the hub for outgoing buses) to Balboa Park & all the museums, the SD Zoo, La Jolla, Point Loma (the Cabrillo monument), Old Town, etc.

There are also lots of things to do in the Downtown SD area like the Embarcadero (the Star of India sailing ship, harbor cruises, the Midway Aircraft Carrier & Museum).

I think that location would be much easier than staying in La Jolla, Sunset Cliffs, Del Mar, or other beach towns which are hard to get in and out of and buses from those areas are slow and times between them are long and transfers are sometimes time consuming as well.

Coronado is a wonderful (almost island) that is primarily residential but has a wonderful little downtown with great shops, a wonderful bay for sailing, a great public golf course & tennis courts, beautiful parks, and lots of flat biking paths. The beach is spectacular and clean. I think you'd really enjoy it - as it's only about a mile by a mile and easily walkable as well.
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Feb 3rd, 2014, 08:19 PM
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We love staying at Humphrey's Half Moon Hotel
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Feb 3rd, 2014, 09:52 PM
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I was looking at Coronado and the Glorietta Inn. It does look like a very nice area. Is there public transportation from the airport to Coronado? If we did rent a car, would Harborway be a better route than I 5 to get there?
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Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:53 PM
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If you rent a car then Coronado would be a good option. It's not ideal w/o a car to get around for 4 days of sightseeing. Taking the Ferry to and from can add up depending on how many people are in your party. I worked on Coronado for 6 yrs and I worked for the owner of the Ferry.

The 901 Bus goes from Coronado to Downtown and takes about a half hour. It goes direct to the Village right near Glorietta Bay Inn. Which I think is a great location and I really like the Village and that it's only a block from the beach
http://www.sdmts.com/mtscr/Route.aspx?r=901

The best route to from the airport to Coronado IMO depends on the time of day and day of the week. I used to make that drive a lot. Taking Harbor Drive is great and takes you through downtown right in front of the Convention Ctr and then you get on the bridge in Logan Heights. However, if it's a weekend it gets really crowded around USS Midway / Seaport Village / Convention Ctr and traffic can backup because the street narrows down to 2 lanes. So the freeway is a better option.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 12:04 AM
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Sorry, it's Barrio Logan not Logan Heights.

Here is a link that shows options for taking public transportation from the airport to the Glorietta Bay Inn. The quickest is about an hour
http://goo.gl/maps/9EPyp

A taxi would cost approx $30 one-way
http://tinyurl.com/lnb7alf

Re: your original post - no I would not recommend staying at Sunset Cliffs w/o a car. My sister lives a few blocks away and it's very residential. Hotel Circle is not at all scenic because the hotels are just lined up on the side of a busy freeway. There are only a few that would be convenient to public transportation to get around to sightsee.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 02:32 AM
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Sunset Cliffs is a bit out of the way - but the most spectacular setting - IMO - is at the two star Inn at Sunset Cliffs - where the deck is literally built on top of the cliffs - and you can sun on a deck chair while watching the surfers/ships go by.

You can also BBQ there and it's a short ride to Ocean Beach restaurants - and there is bus service to downtown SD but a cab would probably be easier.

While I too love Coronado - and there is plenty to see/do there - you are a ways away from the city, even to the ferry ride -which is a great way to "commute".
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Feb 4th, 2014, 02:37 AM
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Another option is to stay at the Victorian B & B in Heritage Park by Old Town. If your husband can walk a few blocks - the trolley goes to and connects at nearby Old Town.

Personally - if you can handle driving for short distances on a freeway - I don't think driving in/around San Diego is that big of a problem, at least outside of the busier morning and evening commute hours.

Actually - if you got a good map - you could get around mostly on surface streets.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 08:25 AM
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Coronado is really lovely and I can recommend the Glorietta Bay Inn, having stayed there several times. It is very easy getting to downtown SD on the ferry or by driving.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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I'm bookmarking because I'm interested too.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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I'm bookmarking because I'm interested too.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 10:39 AM
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No idea why that posted twice!
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Feb 4th, 2014, 12:28 PM
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You might consider staying near one of the trolley stops and renting a car for a day or two for easier access to alternate areas.

It has been a while since I visited San Diego, but I went on my own and did not want to rent a car. I found staying in the Old Town area to be very convenient, but not the most scenic. Everything I needed within a few blocks. I used the hop on hop off trolley by day to see the sites, such as Coronado and the Marina and spent the evenings wandering the Old Town Historic Park. It had history, restaurants, a good theater and great people watching.

I managed to cover a lot of ground in a few days by adding a taxi trip to visit the zoo and a couple of city buses to visit Mission Beach and the adjoining amusement park (about a half hour bus ride) and La Jolla (a fairly pleasant, but hour long trip). While using public transportation was fine, if I were doing this again, I would rent a car for side trips.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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If you have a choice of Coronado or Old Town I would definitely pick Coronado - head and shoulders above Old Town. The Hop On Hop Off tour that was mentioned stops in Coronado almost in front of the Glorietta Bay Inn so you can Hop On it there and Hop Off there at the end of the day.
http://www.trolleytours.com/san-diego/

You can use it to visit Old Town, Little Italy, Downtown, Balboa Park. Whether you just stay on and do the full loop in approx 2 hrs or Hop Off in different neighborhoods.
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Feb 4th, 2014, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for your comments. From what you've said, driving in San Diego doesn't sound too bad as compared to some other cities.

The Glorietta Bay Inn seems quite appealing and surrounding area sounds nice. Are there any particular places in SD to avoid?

Some people mentioned La Jolla. After being in SD, we're making a loop inland through the deserts and then back down the coast. There seem to be quite a few things we'd like to see there. Planning to spend out last 3 nights around Torrey Pines, probably the Hilton, since we don't want to pay the price of the Lodge. Think that should be close enough to the airport for an early, 6 AM, flight without traffic.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 03:42 AM
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San Diego - downtown and most elsewhere that has been discussed is pretty safe.

You have some higher crime rates in an area known as "Southeast" but no reason to head there.

Again - love Coronado - but if you want to see more of San Diego - stay on the city side.

And while I have been to just about every hotel/inn over the years - and there are some great ones - nothing - and I mean nothing - IMO - compares to standing on the deck at the Inn at Sunset Cliffs - while the breakers roll in and bounce off the small cliff below you.

And from the Torrey Pines Hilton to the airport - at 6 AM - straight shot - maybe 15? minutes, or a little more.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 03:48 AM
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And downtown La Jolla - aka - The Village - is lovely. If you want to be right there - two old Grand Dames come to mind - La Valencia and The Grand Colonial come to mind.

There are others - less expensive too (just google away) - and I would stay in the village rather than out at the Torrey Pines Hilton - which is nice but out of the way unless you want to golf.

Plenty of things to see/do in the village - all within easy walking distance of most of the village hotels, and I know - as I had an office in the village for years. Loved it there.
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