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San Diego - No Car?

Old May 14th, 2003, 06:50 AM
  #1  
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San Diego - No Car?

I will be hopefully going to San Diego in September and doing all the 'normal' San Diego Attractions. I was thinking of staying at the Pacific Terrace on Pacific Beach or The Bristol hotel in Downtown.

First question is, do I really need a car to get round to do these attractions, or will a taxi get me to most for about $15 per journey.

Second question is, what is the Pacific Beach area like, is it quiet or rowdy?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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My husband and I spent 4 days in San Diego and stayed downtown. We were going to a wedding for which we really needed a car, so we considered whether or not to get a car just for the day of the wedding or for the whole time. We opted for the whole time, on the advice of people on this board, and were really glad that we did. Having a car made seeing the sights so much easier.

There is the red trolley which seemed convinient, but it doesn't go out to the Mission Bay/Beach area, Coronado Island, or Point Loma. We also didn't see many cabs around outside of the downtown area.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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StuartM, We vacationed in San Diego a couple of years ago with our family of 4 - and without a car (we stayed 7 days and 6 nights). For us, we did not have any problems at all. Let me tell you it worked for us. We stayed Downtown at the Embassy Suites. One day we used the hop/on hop/off Trolley tour to get all around town. That was fun! At the Seaport Village there is a ferry to Coronado that runs very frequently. We took the bus to the Zoo (it also can be taken to the beautiful Balboa Park and all its attractions) and it was very convenient and did not take long at all. The bus stop was right in front of our house and ran frequently. We also took the bus to Pacific Beach for the day we spent there. We used the Trolley to transport us to Old Town, the mall outside of town (sorry, can't remember the name) and to Qualcomm Stadium to see the Padres. We never had to use a cab, so I can't comment on that. We used a transportion van (Concierge at the hotel helped us with this )to take us to La Jolla for the day. The driver was fantastic and gave us the ins-and outs of San Diego on our trip to/from La Jolla. We started to rent a car just for the day to go to La Jolla, however, with the horrors I had heard about parking in La Jolla, and the cost of the car for the day (plus the parking cost), the van transportation worked out much better. For US (everyone is different) we did not have a problem. We were able to then use the money we would have had to spend on a car rental for lots of other fun stuff. Just my thoughts! Vacationmom
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Old May 14th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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We went to San Diego last summer and stayed in Pacific Beach. We stayed on the Ocean side and thought it would be fun for our 16 year old son. We were there from Friday - Tuesday. Friday and Saturday night were very rowdy. There were many groups of people that were partying on the beach (kegs and all). Of course, my son loved watch everyone surf and loved the surf shops but I don't think I would stay in that area again. I really liked La Jolla and would stay in that area next time.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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We stayed in Little Italy (near downtown) and we did not have a car. I had read on here that people recommended it so I was prepared to rent one if we found it difficult to get around. Our hotel did have a shuttle to the major sights we wanted to go to. From Old Town we did take the trolley, to the Gaslamp and back too. We also walked lots.

So I think the question to ask yourself is 1. do you like to walk and how much 2. how much effort (and waiting time) are you willing to put into transportation.

Reading vacationmom's message there was lots of coordination required and some people like to work that out - others would just rather drive.

If we didn't have the shuttle I would probably have rented a car, but then I don't like to ride in taxis very much. It is possible but not as easy as other big cities to go without a car.

Enjoy!
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Old May 14th, 2003, 04:10 PM
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Thanks everyone for your help. I think we will hopefully stay in Downtown. We enjoy walking and using public transport so it should suit us. Also Downtown is cheaper. Any public transport should be better than in the UK!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 06:41 AM
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ltt
 
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if you stay in downtown, getting around by public transport shouldn't be too much of a problem. if you like to bike, take the ferry from downtown over to coronado and rent bikes. it's a great place to bike around. personally, if it's in your budget (downtown hotels will charge for parking at night), i'd rent a car for 2 days to see the sights outside of the city. go out to point loma, drive up the coast and see the towns up there - laguna beach is about 1 1/4 hours north and a great place to go for lunch.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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Although I love Laguna Beach (repeat: LOVE Laguna Beach!!), I think that spending a nice leisurely day up in La Jolla would be better on this trip, especially if you aren't renting a car.

Don't get me wrong: Laguna is lovely, special, unique (an artists' community on the Coast with rich history and vibrant arts scene)-- but I'd save it for either a long LA area holiday or an actual escape to Laguna vacation. La Jolla is quite charming, a sweet little walking town with great restaurants and a small-town feel-- and it's a San Diego neighborhood just 20 minutes north of downtown!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:59 PM
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StuartM: My advice would be NOT to stay downtown - Pacific Beach would be a great area to stay. I would also get a car (cars are inexpensive to rent and driving is pretty easy here - nothing like London!) I grew up in the U.K. and they have great public transportation but U.S. cities are not big on public transportation - including San Diego.

I live in Santa Monica and go to San Diego a lot and the things I like are:

- the drive down the coast - La Jolla, Laguna, Newport Beach, Balboa Island etc.
- Balboa Park museums and architecture
- San Diego Zoo and S.D. Wild Animal Park
- Old Town
- Gaslight District at night (bit depressing during the day - in fact, I find downtown S.D. pretty depressing during the day)
- Trip to Tijuana (for that you could use the shuttle)
- Coronado Island - very pretty

Veronica
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