C.W. asks from Burbank, CA on July 03, 2008
Where to Stay and Visit in San Diego
We're going to San Diego this weekend and would like some recommendations on hotels that are kid friendly, and not over the top expensive. We're going to Sea World, but other than that, we're really not sure what beaches to go to, or where to visit, other than the obvious places (ie the zoo, or the wild animal park, etc.)Just looking for some last minute ideas on where to go or where to book a room. If you're from San Diego or have visited recently, I'd love to hear from you!
So What Happened?™
Thank you for your insightful responses! We're off to San Diego tomorrow, and thanks to you, we have plenty of good ideas on place to visit and eat!
Happy 4th of July!
J.P. answers from Los Angeles on July 04, 2008
The zoo is amazing. (So's the wild animal park, but you're guaranteed to see more animals at the zoo--sometimes when it's hot, the wild animal park animals are "shy.") If you go to the zoo, try to get there right when it opens--the animals are most active first thing in the morning. It's worth it to splurge on lunch in Albert's restaurant--you'll feel better if you sit down for a "real" lunch. For some free fun, consider going to La Jolla Cove--the tide pools are fun for kids and sometimes there are sea lions hanging about. We always used to watch the fireworks there--and there's a little grassy park by the beach for kids to run around (that part of the beach is rocky rather than sandy). If you want "sandy" beach, go to Pacific Beach just down the way. It's often crowded, but it's nice. Other than that, if you go to the zoo, Balboa Park is lovely, and I hear the Fleet Science Center has some activities for kids (but I haven't been there myself so I don't know what age group it's targeted to). The Birch Aquarium (also in La Jolla) is inexpensive and interesting. And I highly recommend The Original Pancake House in Kearny Mesa on Convoy Street for breakfast--their omelets are the best! (Try to get there before 10am so the wait isn't too bad.) Old Town is touristy but has some good restaurants as well--we used to like Guadalajara's. Hotel Circle in Mission Valley should have some decent deals on hotels--I've stayed at the Red Lion Hanalei (very nice), the Sheraton, and the Four Points in Kearny Mesa. There's also a Holiday Inn down by Seaport Village that overlooks water. Seaport Village can be fun for walking around if you like little shops--my parents always loved it but I thought it was boring and overly touristy. They used to insist that we go to Anthony's for dinner so we could look out over the ocean, but there are a bunch of restaurants in La Jolla with a water view that are probably even better. Don't know if the Padres are in town this weekend, but Petco Park has a huge area for picnics and for kids to run around (and lots of folks bring their dogs so it's fun just to people- and dog-watch). I lived in San Diego for five years--it's really beautiful and is a weird mix of big city and small town. Have a wonderful weekend!
K.C. answers from Los Angeles on July 04, 2008
the bahia resort in mission bay is nice. i was there last summer. its walking distance to the beach/shops/rides, etc...you can even see the fireworks from sea world. the 'resort' itself has sea lions that swim around in front by the main entrance & they have a neat little night time cruise on the ferry around the bay (it's only about an hour long). i think your son will love it, i know mine did!
J.L. answers from Los Angeles on July 04, 2008
we just got back from San Diego. We stayed at the Residence in on 5400 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego - ###-###-####. We were very pleased with the hotel and accomedations. It's about 15 min. from Sea World and 15 min from the beaches. Great family beaches are on Coronado Island. We at frist went to O.B. (ocean beach) it was very crowded, NO parking and more for a younger crowed, not as family friendly. So, we called the hotel to see where the would suggest for us to go and they told us to go to Coronado Island. It was great, clean, nice, easy to find parking. We all had a blast! And it's was easy to get there too. Good luck and enjoy!
P.D. answers from Los Angeles on July 05, 2008
Hi C.... I would suggest checking out this site - www.localwally.com. This has a wealth of info on San Diego, from hotels to food to attractions. This site also has tips on how to better enjoy your stay. I would also recommend Kono's Cafe and Studio Diner (latter featured in Food Network) as great places to eat. Have fun!!!
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on July 04, 2008
Hi -- a GREAT city. If you haven't booked a room, you may want to do that before getting there as the July 4th weekend can be a sellout. There is an area in the north end of the city called "Hotel Circle" that has some reasonably priced good chains, but you'll do a bit of driving. The Mission Beach area is less expensive than other areas so you can look for places there, too.
The most beautiful beach, in my opinion, is in La Jolla, a suburb of San Diego (gorgeous shopping there, too.) Some incredible restaurants -- George's has a balcony overlooking the ocean and a homemade soup that is to die for.
The wild animal park and zoo are phenomenal. As well, the huge and famous Balboa Park has a LOT of different museums and activities. For your pleasure, the Gas Lamp district is lovely for a bit of shopping and dining.
T.B. answers from Los Angeles on July 04, 2008
There's also Seaport Village (although I haven't been there in years), you could buy a kite and spend a few hours there. Beaches are plentiful, so it'll depend on where you stay. Del Mar and La Jolla are nice.