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cmcfong May 16th, 2007 04:53 PM

San Diego-January Visit
A small group of friends from the high school years plan to meet in San Diego for a long weekend in January. Nothing formal planned and we hope to be able to do without having rental cars. I assume our best bet is the Gas Light district or that general area. The Grant appears to be way out of our price range. We are hoping for $200-300 per night. It would be nice to be in a hotel with some pleasant common areas we could catch up with each other since we don't plan to arrange a hospitality suite. Any suggestions?
Since our primary goal is hanging out together would we do better at the beach? If we were there is there plenty of public transportation downtown should we want to go shop, etc?

cmcfong May 17th, 2007 07:11 AM


Barbara May 17th, 2007 07:33 AM

There are many hotels in the downtown area other than the US Grant.
Try this site:

The downtown area is probably the best for you. You'd be able to use the Trolley system to get to other areas of interest and the Zoo and Balboa Park are not very far away.

luv2plan May 17th, 2007 07:39 AM

I haven't stayed there, but there is an Embassy Suites near Seaport Village. I chceked the rates were $239. That gets you 2 dbl, and the living room. Also, they have free breakfast & evening drinks.

Happy planning!

TahitiTams May 17th, 2007 07:59 AM

I would stay in the Gaslamp area of Downtown SD or Downtown La Jolla..
Hotels in LJ that are lovely and in your price range would be either
The Grande Colonial Hotel or La Valencia..gorgeous hotels and a block from gorgeous coastline and tons of wonderful restaurants and shopping..
Gaslamp area, I would do either the Omni or the Hyatt might be able to get a deal at the
US Grant Hotel either direct or through Exedia.
Have a great time with your friends in San Diego!

yk May 17th, 2007 10:50 AM

We were very pleased with the Omni. It has quite a few sofas in the lobby, and there's a McCormick & Schmick's in the hotel (which I heard has great deals during happy hour).

We got it via Priceline, but I think the hotel rate should be w/i your budget.

It's right next to Gaslamp District with plenty of shops and restaurants within walking distance.

itsv May 17th, 2007 11:14 AM

It seems like new hotels and restaurants are opening up all the time. You might want to check out Hotel Solamar or Hotel Sofia. I think the house of blues is also opening up a hotel soon. The website that Barbara gave you is a good one for seeing what is opening up. With new hotels I find you can always get a better rate for their opening period.

FainaAgain May 17th, 2007 11:18 AM

I was there with a child about 10 years ago, we took the tram and buses everywhere we wanted to go. You should be fine without a car.

To catch up, you can do it at breakfast and dinner. In between, you can sightsee together, in groups, or individually.

dawnnoelm May 17th, 2007 11:19 AM

As usual I agree with Tams is right on.

Barbara May 17th, 2007 11:21 AM

I don't agree that La Jolla would be good unless you decide to rent cars. La Jolla is lovely, but once you're there it's difficult to get anywhere else. The Trolley doesn't go there. For your purpose, downtown would be better.

dawnnoelm May 17th, 2007 11:37 AM

I would not need to go any place else for a long weekend in La Jolla :-)

TahitiTams May 17th, 2007 12:07 PM

I beg to differ on spending a long weekend in La Jolla vs Downtown SD..
Staying in the village of LJ, you can do walks along the coastline, have fab lunches at George's on the terrace with the incredible ocean views..stroll the village for great shopping..whale watching along the coastline..take in a musuem..
Where as downtown is wonderful, it's similar to most downtown cities but there is only one La Jolla!
Hotels can be very pricey downtown since there is a lot of conventions in town during that time.
Just my two cents..

dawnnoelm May 17th, 2007 12:18 PM

Tams - you are right on the $$$ imo. A weekend at the La V - strolling on Prospect Street? I would not need a car ;-)

TahitiTams May 17th, 2007 01:27 PM have exquisite taste and La V is a fab place!

nanabee May 17th, 2007 02:03 PM

I live in La Jolla, but I would vacation in Coronado. It is perfect if you don't have a car. You can walk from one end of the island to the othere (it is only a mile or so wide). The main street is Orange Ave and has lots of great restaurants, shops, parks, tennis courts, library, public pools, etc within walking distance. The island is flat and you can rent bikes for the day. The beach is beautiful and clean and safe. There is a big range of good hotels from $300-400 per night to $100/night. The city bus is a five-ten minute ride into downtown San Diego. I love La Jolla too but it is not as easy to get around La Jolla without a car, plus La Jolla is always more crowded.
If you do decide on La Jolla, take a day trip over to Coronado and let me know what you think?

TahitiTams May 17th, 2007 02:24 PM

I live in the village and you couldn't ask for a better town to walk in than LJ..maybe you live in Birdrock or the Farms but staying at the Grande Colonial or La V is the perfect for doing it all..
Google Earth says its 1.66 miles from the Del to the Landing each way and from the LJ Cove to Vons at Prospect/Torrey Pines is .67 miles..
Don't get me wrong, I love Coronado but LJ in the village is pretty flat except coming up the hill from the cove and that is a block at the most.
January won't be that busy and the Grande is going for $225..
Usually Coronado is sold out for conventions that are close to downtown SD and much higher than $200-300 a night..
Hotel Del is a beautiful property if you can get in for a decent rate.
Best to you!

nanabee May 17th, 2007 04:57 PM

hi TahitiTams: Well actually they can't go wrong either place!!
They would want to stay in the downtown La Jolla area for sure. It is flat and walkable. But they are limited without a car. If they stay in Coronado they have the advantage that they can hop on a bus to downtown, the zoo, the baseball park, Old Town, etc. The city bus from La Jolla is not as convenient. They could take a cab (to downtown about $25.)
But, yes, either place would be a wonderful vacation.
Some La Jolla restaurant suggestions:
*George's At the Top of The Cove
for the view and great food.
*Piatti's in La Jolla Shores (my favorite)
*Brockton Villa for the view
*Harry's Coffee Shop for breakfast
*Pannikin Coffee Shop for the local flair.
*Alphonso's for great Mexican ambiance.
You may have more suggestions.
They must go to the La Jolla Cove!
Hope CMCfong will keep us posted.
P.S. Coronado does have many nice low cost hotels on Orange Ave between Third and 5th Streets.
I do live in Bird Rock!

cmcfong May 17th, 2007 05:12 PM

Thanks so much, you have really given me some great information to work with. Personally I would love to stay in La Jolla; but, the group sentiment seems to be more inclined towards the Gaslamp district. I will take the information you have so generously shared and do some narrowing down. I will be back for restaurant recommendations. Thanks!

TahitiTams May 17th, 2007 05:13 PM

Hey Nanabee..
Upper & Lower hermosa is one of my fav areas and friends have great homes on Bellevue/Avenida Cresta & stunning Camino de la Costa..
I agree with you that you can't go wrong with either place..
I picture the girls enjoying either the Grande or La V but deals could be had possibly at the Del and I love Glorietta Bay Inn too..
The added advantage to staying in Coronado is taking the water taxi to Gaslamp and having fun downtown..
I wish them all the best and I do hope they keep us informed!

dawnnoelm May 17th, 2007 05:31 PM

Tams - you LIVE in the village?? I am green with envy! I live in Southern OC now...but La Jolla remains a jewel :-)
I still come down to spend the weekend when dh and I want to get away -- It has such timeless classic appeal... I remember taking my son, who is now 18 to the children's pool... now of course it is enjoyed only by the seals! The Whaling Bar was a favorite for a "local" drink - Some great memories!

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