San Diego(Ocean Beach) in July?

Jan 18th, 2009, 02:12 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
San Diego(Ocean Beach) in July?

Hi, We have rented an Ocean Beach house from in July. After reading some of the posts, I am a little worried about our choice of Ocean Beach. The house looks very nice and is very reasonably priced. We,(Dad,Mom,daughters,19&23,+friends) have never been to San Diego, are from central Penna and are used to Maryland beaches. Was Ocean Beach a bad choice?
Also, are passports needed for visits to Tijuana?
We are definitely going to a Padres game, possibly the zoo. We mostly want to enjoy some relaxation on the beach and visit some good restaurants and/or bars. I would appreciate any advice.
brenda50s is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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Advice? Dump the place in Ocean Beach & get a place between Carlsbad and La Jolla. Forget Tijuana, and take in Sea World and the Wild Animal Park. You can buy one pass that will give you admission to all 3(Zoo too). Restaurants, you will be in restaurant heaven.
FrankS is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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OB is watch your valuables tho.
DO NOT go to Tijuana. The US military specifically teh Mrines have placed it off limits..noting teh violence and drug war lack of safety.
If the Marines are prohibited..DON't even think of it.
San Diego Resturants:
Phils BBQ
Point Loma Seafoods
Umi Sushi
1JAR is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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oh I agree. DO NOT go to TJ. San Diego has so much to offer and much safer.

Since you have older daughters, you might look at the The Beach Cottages in Pacific Beach. Its by no means a 5 star hotel, but its right on Mission Beach and our college age son and his cousins loved it when we stayed there last summer. Its a family owned and operated hotel and reasonably priced for being ocean front. We walked to every restaurants/bar. They have little cottages that could accommodate your size family and come with kitchenettes.

However, it is right on Mission Beach and the beach/boardwalk is crowded..but every beach in San Diego is crowded during July. We've also stayed at the La Jolla Shores Hotel (next to La Jolla Beach and Tennis club). A bit nicer, no kitchenettes, but more of a "family oriented beach." You'll definitely pay more in La Jolla.

FrankS is right...take in Sea World, Wild Animal Park (a bit of a drive from San Diego) Balboa park. Try the Gas Lamp district, take the girls shopping at Horton Plaza, maybe a boat tour of the harbor, etc. Lots of fun restaurants in San Diego as IJar said.

tennislvr1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Don't even think about Tijuana unless you take armed guards with you.

Agree with Frank.
GoTravel is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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OB is a quaint beach town that is in somewhat of a 60's time warp and the beaches are nice.
I wouldn't go near Mission Beach in July..lots of party college students and a real zoo.
LJ and up the coast is nice but pricey and Del Mar Race track starts up, so everything goes way up in price.
TJ is the biggest dump..they had almost 1,000 homicides and most were beheadings..extremely dangerous.
Padre game, SD Zoo, Sea World would be my choices and enjoying the beaches.
ksucat is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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brenda50s, your link doesn't work. It says that page is no longer available.

The Ocean Beach area is fine, but not the best beach in San Diego. Lots of character, though, and some good places to eat close by and fun little shops for browsing. Be sure to visit the South Beach Bar & Grill on Newport Avenue for great fish tacos, amongst other things.

I'll join with everyone else and caution you in the strongest possible terms not to visit Tijuana.

Here's a link to a list of the beaches in San Diego county:
Barbara is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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South Beach is a 21 and older bar..even if you only want the fish tacos.
ksucat is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Gosh, you're right. I didn't even think about that, but you can't go in at all if you're under 21, even just to eat.
Barbara is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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Please come back with a link that works to your beach house. Please tell us what 'very reasonably priced' means.

Go to for good local information. The official tourist information for San Diego is - lots of wonderful information and you have time to send for a free brochure.

Our son has lived in Ocean Beach for the last 8 years. It does appear to be in a time warp. You will see some homeless people around. We have enjoyed all of our visits and felt completely safe.


SandyBrit is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 02:02 PM
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While we too are partial to North County (north of La Jolla and up to Carlsbad) with the kids, you want to be closer to the action. Ocean Beach can be a bit scary, everyone on skateboards since they dont own cars apparently. Check out the Catamaran on Mission Bay, technically in Pacific Beach, but such a great location for ocean access and every watersport at your doorstep. To drop TJ is my recommendation too and your rental will not be insured there. My favorite and hip restaurant in the city is Kemosabe up in Hillcrest section. Chef also has seafood place near airport; Asian/southwestern/fusion but her dishes never disappoint and are just so out of the ordinary, the menu is probably online. In La Jolla don't miss the Cottage for brfst or lunch, sit outside and have the white chocolate bread pudding for dessert, it's to die for. And you're dining in a real southern CA bungalow-turned-restaurant on a pretty little corner. Find Wind 'n Sea beach in La Jolla, hopefully the seals will still be "allowed" at Seal Beach also in La Jolla, kayaking in LaJolla Shores including a walk-down-thru cave; take the tour of the Del Coronado over there, pack beach apparel for their splendid wide beach; Sea World; zoo. Back down in Pacific Beach head over to Kono's on the oceanfront walk for breakfast, the line moves really fast, what a great value for huge breakfast. Great shopping on South Cedros in Solana; one block from beach, lunch at Zinc or Blue Note there. Jumping bar scene always at Poseidon in DelMar right down at the beach (plan for sunset) or Jake's nextdoor, crowd older but always hopping. Downtown SD in Gaslamp area there are many, many bars from which to pick. I'm rambling I know, but you'll have a wonderful time. My strong advice is if going to LaJolla, travel up along the 101/PCH and not the 5, it's always hard to enter/exit the freeway from this town, and at least this way, it's scenic and less frustrating.
aliced is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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brenda50s, I live in San Diego and have raised my kids here, and worried about them all through their teen years (which they have survived! They are in their 20's now.)

For some facts on san diego crime statistics by neighborhoods, go to

If you want a mother's viewpoint...I always worried if my teens wanted to attend a party in Ocean Beach at night. It's known for drugs and some crime. I always felt safer if they were headed for La Jolla. This is a generalization, of course.

My husband and I love walking on the beach at all times of the year. We prefer walking on the beaches and in the shopping areas of La has a nice feeling.

Pacific Beach is a popular area for young folks to hang out...we like to eat at restaurants in P.B.

Statistics don't tell the whole story. As with anywhere on the planet, you have to be smart and hope your sons and daughters are smart. Even then...a woman I know was the victim of date rape in Pacific Beach, where her drink was drugged and unfortunately her "friends" deserted her there. Does this mean P.B. isn't safe? No, it doesn't mean means you have to be careful everywhere. You have to watch our for yourself and for each other, no matter where you go.

My personal preferences would be La Jolla as #1...probably Pacific Beach as my #2 favorite. I don't feel comfortable in Mission Beach or Ocean Beach at night. I also like Del Mar and Coronado.

Hope this helps. Our beaches are all crowded in the summer, of course, but you probably know that. Plan to arrive early or later in the afternoon as the beaches are most crowded from about 11:00 am til 3:00 pm.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 01:24 AM
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Thank you for all of the advice (sorry I haven't replied faster, I've been having some technical difficulties)
I will send the link to the house, but I made a mistake when I posted, I should have said "Pacific Beach", hope that is a better beach choice?
Also, reasonably priced is $1250 for a week. Compared to my east coast prices, that is reasonable.
Also, would it be safer to go on a bus trip to Tijuana? We really wanted to go, but I will ultimately go with your advice.
Thanks everyone, keep it coming.
brenda50s is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 05:06 AM
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Yes, Pacific Beach is fine. If you are determined to go to TJ, you dont need a bus. You can park on the US side and walk across the border. After you cross you can walk to town, just follow all the Americans(a taxi wont be faster as they will just drive you in circles and drop you off a few hundred yds from where they picked you up) The path to town is marked by foul odors,chicklet sales & beggars. If you want to go to Rosarito Beach, then take a bus.

1) $20 is enough to 'settle' any altercation involving the policia($100 asking price). $40 is enough to get a police escort to the US border(its an unadvertised service)
2) Most merchants have the same markup
3) Dont eat the chicklets, but you should buy them from someone who needs the business(you will know what I mean when you get there)
4) Dont leave your daughters alone
FrankS is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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If you are still considering going to Tijuana here is the link to the Dept of State travel warning regarding that region:

I hope you will decide not to go.
luvtravl is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 01:51 AM
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Wow FrankS! I think you talked me out of TJ! That really sounds pretty scary. Have you been there?
Thanks so much.
brenda50s is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 04:01 AM
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During the 80's when we lived in Southern California trips to Tijuana were common. Family and friends who came to visit often wanted to go and we'd cross the border on foot and wander around all day, being sure to make the return trip before dark. We never had a single problem. The ages ranged from pre-teens to seniors. All enjoyed being invited to "take a look," the phrase repeated at the front of every store, encouraging us to come in and hopefully buy something.
We bought wonderful fake watches, jewelry, purses, etc. Some lasted years and years.
But, gradually things changed. DD and DSIL went to a beach house that belonged to a friend's grandmother. Backing our of the driveway SIL accidentally drove over a small plant, a very small plant, and immediately was confronted and surrounded by the owners demanding payment for it or the police would be called. Realizing it was basically a rip-off, he did pay something and got out of there as fast as possible.
In the ensuing years much worse things have been occurring, including kidnapppings, murders, hostage taking, etc.
There's also the terrible poverty. Many times we'd see women with babies sitting on nasty blankets and begging for money, or people with real or fake disabilities begging. It was very upsetting.
So, I'd say skip TJ and enjoy so many other places in that area. So much to see and do.
As for Ocean Beach, a friend's son lives there and has no big problems, though he doesn't recommend being out during the wee hours or leaving valuables in plain sight. Just common sense traveling precautions would work fine.
Challiman is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 04:25 AM
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I used to surf Baja(mainly a break called Baja Malibu) often and really never felt unsafe. We would pick up marble & custom iron work in TJ on the way home so our surfing weekend paid for itself. Even when the bandidos robbed us, they accepted a few boxes of Kelloggs cereal and left us with our case of Tecate(back then even the crooks had heart).
Things have changed over the years, and I really dont even like going. Like luv said, Americans are more of a target now than valued customers. The marble, leather and iron dealers no longer have a price advantage. The city is mainly a party place for underage drinking where young American girls disappear too often.
FrankS is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 04:34 AM
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You all have sufficiently talked me out of a visit to TJ. I don't want to go anywhere near the place!
Thanks for all of the advice.
Any more San Diego, Pacific beach recommendations you have will be appreciated.
Thanks again, I feel well taken care of.
brenda50s is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 04:52 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
As for San Diego, go to the visitors bureau website. longer trips: Palm Springs is a long daytrip possibility. Elsinore mud baths for you and the girls is closer. Trabuco Canyon, a ferry to Catalina, Getty Museum are possible
FrankS is offline  

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