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San Diego help, please!

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May 7th, 2013, 11:10 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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San Diego help, please!

Greetings! I am planning a 5-day (or so) excursion for my family (2 adults, 2 boys, ages 13 and 9) to visit San Diego this August. We're hoping for a blend of beach time and non-beach stuff (SeaWorld, nosing around the Gaslight Quarter, Padres game, etc.). I think my kids have aged out of Lego Land, and, to be honest, one mega tourist spot is probably all I could handle in one trip. None of us goes in much for rides - more into animals, thus SeaWorld or maybe the zoo.

I'd love to get some advice on a couple of things:
1. Where to stay - We are bound by Starwood properties (Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, W Hotels) because that's where we've accumulated points. Which will be best, balancing proximity to non-beach stuff and easy access to a swimmable beach?
2. Which beaches are best, anyway? Our boys just love romping around in the sand and in the water - nothing special needed, but reasonable parking (or public transportation) and general ease would be nice.
3. Do you have any favorite (hidden) things to do that you'd recommend?
4. Do you have a favorite San Diego-area restaurant?
5. Depending on your answer to #1, how much do you think we'd need a car? We'll need one to get to the beach, right? But maybe not to anything else? It's not a big deal to rent one, but sometimes finding places to put it is difficult/expensive.

Many thanks for any suggestions--San Diego is totally foreign to me, and I'm just starting the research process!
miamatusow is offline  
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May 8th, 2013, 03:20 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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If you can use your points somewhere on Coronado Island, then you will be near one of the nicest beaches in the area and within easy reach into central San Diego by ferry or bus.

Though certainly not "hidden" I would highly recommend taking the boys on The Midway. Entry comes with a self paced audio tour. This, with Seaworld were the highlights of our trip.

You could spend another day in Balboa Park. The kids will love the model railway, natural history and air and space museums. There are many other galleries and museums that might be of interest.
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May 8th, 2013, 05:35 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2003
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We have used this website for all sorts of info and found it to be a great help. We have been on San Diego twice and heading there again in 2 weeks. Hope it helps you....

http://www.localwally.com/
DebitNM is online now  
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May 8th, 2013, 07:16 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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How much do you think we'd need a car?

Very much. San Diego is a sprawling place.

HTtY

PS Your family will probably enjoy visiting Old Town and having a Mexican meal there.
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May 8th, 2013, 08:12 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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You can use the Coaster train to visit some of the N county towns and beaches. Its very easy to use- Carlsbad is my favorite town- lots of little shops and restaurants and from the downtown train station you can easily walk to the beach.
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May 8th, 2013, 02:56 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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We stayed at the US Grant which is a fabulous Starwood hotel in SD. Brilliant service and an easy drive from the (MUST visit) San Diego zoo.. It's also just a couple of blocks from the gas lamp area. ( I think that was the area was called) would stay here again for sure.
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May 8th, 2013, 03:12 PM
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I would recommend trying to stay near the beach if you can - wherever you can find space. US Grant is very nice but right in the middle of downtown (not super for kids - but the Gaslamp is great for adults, college students) - as more or less is the W - which is closer to Little Italy.

And on the Midway - the lads will probably love the flight simulators, dog-fighting, etc, as well as the Zoo - and the Wild Animal Park - now called Safari Park. But Safari Park is 20 miles plus from downtown SD - so you should plan on car for at least a couple of days, and maybe get a weekly rate. I always start with www.carrentals.com, and they list most of the companies. Do see if your hotel has complimentary parking of if they charge too much - as some do.


And our favorite Old Town restaurant is now is Casa Guadalajara.

Also - walking along the Embarcadero is fun (the docks) as is having fish and chips at Anthony's fishette, sitting outside and looking across at Coronado.

Uno Mas - have a fish taco while you are here. Rubio's is the chain that started it - but there are other places to try them.
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May 8th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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BTW - SeaWorld has a new, exciting roller coaster type ride - which I have yet to try but it has received good reviews.
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