Southern California trip advice

Aug 16th, 2010, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Look like I was right about photos not telling the whole story. I looked at Marriot Dana Point with Bing's birdeye view. The photos showed the hotel facing large green grounds leading to the cliff, down to the beach/ocean. The birdeye view showed that, below the grounds, there is actually a four-lane road, a huge boat lot/parking lot and a marina/harbor. The beach is actually a little to the south.

Paula1470, you are right I will have a car and wouldnt mind driving a bit to the village. I am not sure what you meant by isolated though. If you meant secluded such that the resort it there by itself near the beach within a golf course or woods, then thats ok. However, if by isolated, you meant a hotel surrounded by warehouses/commercial/industrial buildings, then I would stay from that. Staying among industrial buildings is certainly not what I had in mind

Now if I could only afford staying at Ritz/St.Regis/Montage etc They do seem to have great locations
qzseattle is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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qzseattle-Have you been on tripadvisor and read what people had to say about the two hotels in question? While you always to take tripadvisor with a grain of salt, when people talk about location, etc I usually pay attention to that.

Both of these hotels are on Torrey Pines Road and are not in the village of La Jolla. They are on a hill overlooking Torrey Pines Beach. But Torrey Pines Blvd is mostly an area of medical companies and other businesses, Scripps Medical Bldgs and some of UCSD. It looks like a nice industrial park. As I mentioned before it is much more convenient to stay in the village of La Jolla so you can walk around. Really though you just need to decide if you are coming to San Diego or not. I don't think the hotel is that important because you aren't going to be in it. But location is important especially to cut down on driving time.

Yes the resorts in South Orange County are beautiful but cetainly not worth the price for a family vacation where you are on the go 24/7. One of those resorts would be a nice special vacation for just you and your wife.

clarkgriswold-The location of the Laguna Riviera is good but the OP isn't really going to be spending time in Laguna. Since they want to go to San Diego, several of us suggested that they just stay somewhere in San Diego instead of driving back and forth from Laguna. It makes no sense to stay in Laguna and spend your time in San Diego county. San Diego has some beautiful beaches also.
paula1470 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:44 AM
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Hello again,

So here is the update. We have decided to skip downtown San Diego. We will be staying in Anaheim for 3 nights, spending 2 days at Disneyland. We have already made room reservations for our stay in Anahaeim.

We will be staying in La Jolla for the remaining 2 nights. We will not be staying in the village because the hotels we liked have restrictions with regards to children or wouldnt accomodate all four of us in a room.

So currently, our hotel choices in La Jolla are Hilton, Estancia, Sheraton, Marriot and Hyatt. Sheraton and Marriot would save us a total of about $200 over Estancia. Hilton and Hyatt would save us about $50 bucks over Estancia. The only thing about Estancia is that it gives you a little different experience.

Other open questions:

- What public options are available in La Jolla village on a Saturday? How easy/difficult is to find parking? What is the traffic situation getting into/out of the village. Is Torrey Pine blvd best way to get to the village?

- How is the Village on a weekend (friday/saturday) night? Busy and alive or all closed?

- We have a choice of visiting Disneyland either on Sunday and Monday (19th/20th sep) or Monday and Tuesday (20th/21st sep). I know Sunday would be busier but park would be open late and there would be fireworks/fantasmic show that wont happen during weekdays.

- How (less) busy is disneyland at that time? I know the attendance drops a lot after labor day. As much as I would like to avoid crowd, I am not a fan of an eerily quite, empty place either The toon town could be more like a ghost town without people (though with 40K daily attendance, that shouldnt be the case).

Thanks for all the help so far!
qzseattle is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 01:46 AM
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Correction regarding my first question: I meant to ask "what public parking options are available..."
qzseattle is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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Question: Have you narrowed your trip down to 'the main objectives are Disneyland & Legoland?'

I've never seen Disneyland 'deserted'. I go out of my way to attend during the week, since I'm not into crowds. BUT if I didn't live here- I'd go out of my way to make sure I caught the fantasmic/fireworks shows. The same would apply if I had guests visiting.

We hotel hop in San Diego and have stayed at the Hilton La Jolla. The grounds and property are lovely. However, we wouldn't stay there again due to the location. To me, it doesn't have the 'feel' or sense of 'place' of San Diego. Also, there were very few little ones there. If your main goal is to rest your head then that area will do.

If you have time, do try and visit Laguna Beach while you are here. Personally, I think it's one of the best beach towns in CA.
SOCALOC is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 07:44 PM
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I've never seen Disneyland deserted either. So it looks like you are getting in and driving to La Jolla for Friday/Sat and leaving Sunday morning to go to Disneyland. I would definitely do Disney on Mon/Tues as Sunday would be a good day to visit the beach in the morning and then head up to Anaheim. The village of La Jolla is busy on the weekends so parking can be a problem but there are always lots if you can't find a meter. You won't really be seeing anything on Friday night when you get in because it will be late. Is La Jolla the only place you are visiting in San Diego? What exactly are your plans for Saturday? If you are taking your daughters to the beach, then that would be nice day. You can walk around the shops but I can't imagine that's something children would like to do for too long. I'm not sure what you mean by public options in La Jolla?

As far as the hotels, the Marriot, Hyatt and Sheraton are more business hotels and are not in the village. The Hyatt and the Sheraton are close by Interstate 5, one on the east side and the other on the west. The Marriot is in more of a business district across from a mall. I can't really recommend any of them because when I am in a beach city, I prefer to stay as close to the ocean as possible.

I am going to be very honest here. Since you aren't going to San Diego (which is only about 15 minutes south if you are staying close to the freeway) and you aren't doing Legoland, I am not sure why you are driving to La Jolla. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love La Jolla. But as others have said, Laguna Beach is beautiful and does have some of the best beaches around. It also has shops if that's what you want to do. You will save driving time when you arrive and also heading to Orange County on Sunday. There's nothing you can do in La Jolla that you can't do in Laguna Beach unless you are going to San Diego or Legoland.

Looks like the Holiday Inn Laguna Beach has either a room with 2 double beds or a suite with king bed and sleeper sofa. It gets good reviews on tripadvisor.
paula1470 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 08:42 PM
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I would definitely go to Disneyland when the Fantasmic and Fireworks shows are being shown. Since you don't live in the LA Area it is not something you will see over and over again or have lots of opportunities to go see. Disneyland is always pretty busy and the weekends are busier than weekdays, but I would still go there on Sunday to make sure you see those shows. I also agree if you are not going to Legoland or to San Diego, I would not even go down to La Jolla. I would stay in the Orange County Area and agree the Laguna Beach Area is beautiful.
Cali is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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Cali is right about the fireworks. I was just trying to make it easier for driving time if you stay in La Jolla. But if you skip La Jolla and stay in Laguna Beach, then you could get up on Sunday morning, spend a little more time at the beach, and then drive to Anaheim and go to Disneyland for the afternoon/evening. Your second day at Disney would be Monday. That leaves Tuesday open for another beach day which you could do even staying in Anaheim. I think you will enjoy your trip alot more if you spend less time on the road.
paula1470 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 11:06 PM
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Since we will be staying at Disney Grand californian hotel, I called and asked the hotel and disney reservation if they could allow us enter the park Sunday night after 9.00PM to watch just the fireworks/fantasmic. However, they said if we entered the park, our tickets would be counted as used for the whole day. Of course, if we dont want to pay the priec of the whole day if we are only going to be in the park for a couple of hours. In a way, it seems unfair that the ticket price is same for Sunday and Monday even though the park closes sealier on Monday and has no fireworks/fantasmic shows. I wish Disney had hourly-based tickets instead of only the full-day passes.

Laguna Beach is certainly a place we would visit. My plan was to leave La Jolla Sunday morning, go north on I-5 upto Stonehill drive, then drive west to Monarch beach. From there, we could head north to Laguna beach which isnt very far. We could stay in the area for the whole day before heading to Anaheim in the evening. Please suggest good beach between Monarch beach and Laguna beach. How is the drive from Monarch beach to Laguna beach? I expect it to be scenic.

Saturday is still open. We could still do SeaWorld or visit San Diego as we would be in La Jolla area for the whole day.

paula1470, I corrected my post earlier. By "public option", I meant public parking options in La Jolla village. You are right about Hyatt/Marriot being business hotels. That is why I am inclined towards staying in Estancia; its mission style architecture should give us at least some of the San Diego's feel
qzseattle is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 07:34 AM
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You can see the fireworks from the rooms at the Disney Grand Hotel so maybe just do that Sunday night. The park is definitely less crowded on Mon/Tue.

If you think you are going to do Seaworld (which takes a whole day IMO) or San Diego, I would just stay at one of the hotels close to I5. Saves you a little driving time.

Sept is usually one of our warmest and nicest months. So beach traffic could get heavy. If you are going to stay in La Jolla, I would do the beach with your kids Sunday morning and go back to the room to shower off before heading to Orange County. When my kids were little, they would drag so much sand into my car.

I had to look up Stonehill Drive because I didn't know where that was. Stonehill Drive is a residential street with no freeway exit. You want to get off at Camino Ramblas/Beach Cities/Hwy 1 exit. This turns into PCH and in fact you will drive right by the Marriott you were talking about earlier. You can take this road all the way into Laguna Beach. As far as scenic, it isn't really. You can see the ocean but only at a few places can you see the beach. The area is a combination of businesses/residential that line PCH. Can't really help you with which beach is best in Laguna. Again if it's a really nice day, parking can be a challenge.
paula1470 is offline  
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