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San Diego Attractions

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May 25th, 2014, 06:43 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 123
San Diego Attractions

Appreciate feedback and other suggestions on my initial list of attractions found below. We like to walk and will have five days to visit. Intested in art, history, gardens, and photography.

Should we devote one full day to Balboa Park or two half days?
Would the Old Town Trolley Tour provide a good first day city overview?
Would the Midway, Seaport Village and a harbor cruise take a half day?

VERY INTERESTED
BALBOA PARK
SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
SAN DIEGO HISTORY CENTER
SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF MAN
TIMKEN MUSEUM OF ART
SAN DIEGO ZOO
JAPANESE AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
MARSTON HOUSE
ALCAZAR GARDEN
PALM CANYON
SEA WORLD
MIDWAY AIRCRAFT CARRIER
FLAGSHIP HARBOR CRUISE
TORRAY PINES NATURE RESERVE
PETCO PARK: PADRES BASEBALL GAME

SOMEWHAT INTERESTED
GASLIGHT DISTRICT WALKING TOUR & NIGHTLIFE
LITTLE ITALY MERCATO - SATURDAY MORNING MARKET
CORONADO: HOTEL DEL CORONADO
OLD TOWN TROLLEY TOUR OF SAN DIEGO
SEAPORT VILLAGE
SAN DIEGO WILD ANIMAL PARK

POSSIBLY INTERESTED
SPANISH MISSIONSAN DIEGO DE ALCALA
BIRCH AQUARIUM
MISSION BEACH
BELMONT PARK
LA JOLLA COVE
TIJUANA, MEXCIO
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May 25th, 2014, 07:49 PM
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We spent 2 full days exploring Balboa Park and its museums--didn't go to the zoo.
We spent ~4 hours on the Midway.
I think the harbor cruise was 1-1 1/2 hours.
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May 26th, 2014, 06:15 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Get the passport ( or whatever it's called ) for Balboa Park. We love it there.

We used this on our first trip; lots of good suggestions.
http://www.localwally.com

I personally would NOT to Tijuana - nothing worthwhile and coming back across the border was time consuming and a terrible experience (by car).

We did a seway tour on Coranado island which was fun and a great way to see the island.
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May 26th, 2014, 07:21 AM
  #4
mms
 
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We have spent a lot of time in San Diego over the years (family lived there, and DH was stationed there). That said, we were back recently for a week and did the Old Town Trolley Tour for the first time. I thought it would be kind of cheesy, but it was really good! I think your idea of doing that the first day is good as you will get your bearings a bit.

The market in Little Italy was something I knew I wanted to go to, but it was much better than I anticipated as well. It was huge and had a good variety of items. Well worth it!

I really disliked Seaport Village, but that is just my own personal taste.

Coronado is a wonderful way to spend a day. We have stayed at the Del numerous times, but this last trip we did not, so we did a day trip there to just enjoy the area. You can take the foot ferry over if you do not have a car. Very easy to walk from the ferry landing to the Del.

The zoo is always a lot of fun, for all ages.

The Gaslamp area did not do anything for me. We stayed in this area for a few nights as DH was there for a conference, but as soon as that was over we moved locations.
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May 26th, 2014, 08:10 AM
  #5
 
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If you want to see the Zoo in Balboa Park - go early - maybe even before it opens at 9 AM and walk through the beautiful Inez Parker Memorial Rose garden - across the street.

Another reason to go early is to see the animals when they are most active, before it gets crowded and also before it gets warmer.

Then you can take in a museum or two - and go spend the afternoon by the beach - La Jolla Cove is pristine or go hiking, whatever - and come back the next day when the museums open and stay as long as you like.

Would also bag going to TJ - unless you plan to go beyond it to Rosarito Beach or Puerto Neuvo for lobster.

Sea World is also a favorite of ours - as is the USS Midway - and you could take the ferry over to Coronado - in lieu of a Harbor Cruise and still get most of the effect.

If you really want to do something nautical - see if the Whales are spouting offshore and take a whale watching cruise.

And walking around the gaslamp at night is fun - and if you haven't been to Petco Park - it's worth a visit - but not so much for the Madres.
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May 27th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #6
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Thank you all for the great feedback and insight. Based on it, I have struck quite a few items off our list and am getting a much better feel for how to do a daily plan.
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May 28th, 2014, 12:19 PM
  #7
 
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Tijuana. Bah. Don't waste your time......

I had the same experience mms did~ho hum on Seaport Village and the Gaslamp, mostly just shops and restaurants.

My favorites were the Midway, the zoo, and Balboa Park.
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May 28th, 2014, 01:48 PM
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Another thumbs down for Seaport Village and Gaslamp. I like the beach towns in N County-
you can easily do a day trip taking the train from SD to Carlsbad ( my favorite) or several others.

The train stop in Carlsbad is in the middle of town, you can walk to the beach, some nice restaurants and shops.
If you are driving you could stop in LaJolla or Delmar and walk on the beach- but I would make an effort to get out of SD for a day- and not to Tijuana.
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Jun 4th, 2014, 07:55 AM
  #9
 
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You have a lot of good options on your list. My favorites are Balboa Park, the Midway, the zoo, and the Wild Animal Park (called Safari Park now, I think). Tomsd's advice on going early applies to the Safari Park as well. It gets hot during the day. Torrey Pines is a great place to walk and the Coronado/Hotel Del is a nice place to have lunch and relax. As others have said, I would leave off TJ for sure. I am also not that crazy about Seaport Village. I do not go to Seaworld anymore, but that is a personal choice.
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Jun 4th, 2014, 10:04 AM
  #10
 
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I love Balboa Park; the Zoo is a treasure, and the numerous museums are a treat. One special thing: Weekly concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during the summer. Look here:

http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-par...organ-pavilion

The Gaslamp isn't bad in the evening (lots of bars and restaurants); it's not a daytime must-see, however. Old Town is a hoot for a few hours; don't miss the certified-haunted Whaley House!

Coronado and the Del are absolute must-sees, as is La Jolla (which is lovely). In general, San Diego is beautiful and quite a bit lower-key than frantic LA (which is why I live outside of LA in gritty ol' Long Beach). It can be savored at your own pace, which I always appreciate. Enjoy!
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