View Full Version : San Diego

07-11-2006, 10:16 AM
We are going to San Diego in Oct :banana: . We have found a rental in Ocean Beach and I was wondering if anyone can tell me about this town. It will be with my husband, three daughters, and father-in-law. Any info will be greatly appreciated.

07-11-2006, 07:57 PM
Ocean beach is a sorth of young beach community. It is not upscale by any means and it has a beach front mini-amusement areas with a roller coaster - see links and posted photo.





http://san-diego-beach-hotels.com/db2/00106/san-diego-beach-hotels.com/_uimages/2005_05_09_ocean_beach_surf_contest_Karin_beach_ph otos001-resize.JPG



Maybe some of these aerial shots will give you an impression of what the actual rentl location looks like. You never know - right?


07-11-2006, 11:16 PM

Thank you so much for the info on Ocean Beach. We have booked a condo there for the end of Oct. The pictures are wonderful, and the web sites are very helpful. Thanks again.
Debbie :thumbsup2

07-11-2006, 11:59 PM

Glad it helped. And may I ask what your condo rental cost and what size or configuration it is? IE - Bd/Baths - and distance to water - and whether it has any views. I would consider renting in SD too - but have not done so yet.

Also - I don;'t know if you saw this other posting I made for someone else on another thread asking about San Diego - and ideas on what to do. Although I am not a SD native - I do travel there often for work over the past 15 years. SO - I copied and posted it below - hope it helps your family have a little more fun and save a extra bolar or two than otherwise.

Being a SoCal native....

.... traveling to SD for decades - more so recently for business... and having just spent a week with my family - I can offer a few ideas and considerations.

Some basic info up front - our family consists of the two of us 43/42 plus daughters 5 and 2.5. We visited with family who came in from Boston (they had a 1.5 year old) - so our activities took their preferences and considerations into account.

1st) The zoo was a huge hit. If you have AAA then use it to get a good deal on the big ticket package. This includes the buided bus tour, sky tram and convenience bus access. We had a huge time there.

2nd) Lego land was a mixed bag. Buy your discount admissions from a Costco in the LA area. In San Diego all the Costcos obviously do not have the discounted tix available. And - and odd disappointment was children under a certain height were blocked from riding certain attractions that at Disneyland would have had NO restriction. So if you have young children who are slightly shorter than average - then double check their height against the web disclosures on height requirements. PLUS - Legoland closes at 6PM! So - if you're going - plan on going early. And - as for afterwards - there is a premium outlet center of some merit - if you're into that sort of thing. And as for post LEgoland dining - Downtown Carlsbad is just one exit north of Legoland. Driving down can offer sev eral packed restuarants. But - the one we tried for the 1st time was not all that bad and a sort of hole in the wall. It was a Mexican restuarant - it was located behind the Japanese restuarant on your LEFT right off the freeway. There is a supermarket in the complex too. I think it was a Vons or Albertsons. The place was cheap and pretty good. A real locals' joint judging from the crowd. It has near zero ambiance - so the lack of it was ambaince itself of a sort. On the other hand - if you're looking for a finished experience - then you'd be better off waiting for one of the packed restuarants (if your kids can stand waiting). Alternatively - just head back into San Diego.

3rd) The brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado is a really nice experience. If you want a nice brunch in a historic structure - and a near 1st class early meal - that's where you want it. I think it's $50 a head for adults. photo below:


4th) Old Town - it is half way between Fashion Valley and downtown... it's a great place for Mexican Food and decent for walking and exploring. And generally - there aqre plenty of areas where the kids can run safely. But otherwise - nothing extraordinary for the kids. If you go - try to dine at a place that makes the tortillas fresh - maybe even viewable from the front window being hand made. Nothing like fresh hand made tortillas!
Frankly, Old Town is sort of an under-rated experience - I think it's a relaxing sort of place in a modest way.

5th) Balboa Park has a charming outdoor theater - called the Starlight theater or was it the old globe. If you're into stage productions - then you might want to consider it. It is outdoors and ... jet aircraft fly right over head as they land at the airport. Making for some interesting interruptions. But - it is good clean fun at a unique venue. It is well worn and in need of refurbishment. I last bought my tickets on eBay for a song. Plus there are a dozen plus museums - of which I have only seen the photoraphy and aerospace ones. I heard there is a multi-day $30 all area pass. Don''t kno more about it though since I never bought one.

6th) I vaguely recall they have a humble little mini-amusement park at Mission Beach called Belmont Park. Mostly it's just a nice little roller coaster. I last rode it several years ago - so no idea what it's status is today. Heck - it might not even be there anymore for all i know. You do get a mixed crowd there though. I just googled it - yeah - it's still there... http://www.belmontpark.com/images/dipperlongsm.jpg

7th) Wild Animal park... bring enough water for your crowd. Stay cool. The last time we were there it was so hot that while waiting in line my spouse collapsed from heat exhaustion while we waitied in line. We were taken to their first aid area - recovered and left. Not a bad experience - but it did end our day right there.

8th) My FAVORITE restuarant (decent food - great location) is the FISH MARKET. This is just a block away from Seaport village or so - bring quarters for the meters or simply Valet park it. BEST DEAL is the yummy white clam chowder in to go pints for $6.95 with a mess of sour dough bread (included) with salty butter. At least - I enjoy it. It's slightly better then buying in the resturant on a $ per ounce basis. Alternatively, I really enjoy the deck. http://www.localwally.com/fishmarketpatio.jpg Get there by walking behind the oyster/liquor bar and going through the door to the exterior patio. Just go and help yourself... and on the right hand bar deck you can order light fare - clam chowder soup and beverages and soak up the multi-million dollar views. If you prefer a nicer sit down experince - then right upstairs is the top of the market. It is OK for the $ - but not entirely necessary.

9th) A local (dated) dining experince not to be missed is Anthony's. The original is about 2-3 blocks distant from the Fish Market..... next to the docked sailing ship - called the star of siam I think. Anthony's can have an insultingly long wait to get in - and it is definately dated in appearance - but it offers decent views if you get aa window table or something sort of close. http://www.thispointer.com/images/sanlightsthumb.jpg Plus the food is fair to good for the money. If you want the food but can't really wait - then try the grotto on the exterior patio. That is faster but mostly suitable for outdoor dining right there or take out.

10th) Nothing special in this but a reliable dining choice - is across from Anthony's .... and that's Ruth Chris's steck house. If not for steaks then the bar is a nice place to "hang".

11th) An alternative "hanging joint" is at the end of the gas lamp district.... and that's Dicks' last REsort. Decent snacks and tolerable food - and a hoppin crowd late nites. http://images.wcities.com/www.wcities.com/cityrecords/23700.jpghttp://vuduberi.com/journal/sdcc05_dicks_01.jpg

12th) If you find yourself at Horton Plaza power shopping - and not had dinner with the stores ready to close - then guess what - about 1/3rd of the food level restuarants will run last minute specials to clear out their food. You'll hear of 2 for 1 pizza, free drinks with a meal, or if you feel like horse trading - then you can engage some places to buy their entire trays of food for a fraction of what a plate would cost. Just be nice about it. For $15 we got 2 banquet trays of indian food - desserts thrown in plus 1 large beverage! The Banquet trays had the entire portions of 2 dishes plus smaller samplings of other dishes we were interested in.

13th) How about getting Padre tickets? I got some great DOdger tickets on eBay a couple of weeks ago - and I dont't know whether this makes any sense - but when we went to see the Dodgers it was free T-shirt nite. That was planned! So - perhaps when you're in San Diego they might have a home game where something special is going on. Consider it. I used to run incentive gatherings for my business folks there.

14th) You might want to plan on taking the red train that runs from Mission Valley to down town San Diego (Gas Lamp District). Althought it runs to the Mexican border - I would not recommend going into mexico... or near it. http://images.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_SM2/0037-0509-0219-0500_SM2.jpg

15th) Final recommendation - well - actually it's a warning. The traffic is far WORSE then LA traffic IMHO. SO - you really should plan around traffic hours - especially on Fridays and Sundays. Going south on a friday between 2:45PM and 7PM or north from 4PM ~ 7PM can be awful to the 9th degree. So please try to plan around it - or be prepared to get off and make the best of it while you comfortably wait it out.

I hope these ideas and info help! Let me know if I was wrong about anything. Plus I posted a few pix from our SD visit a few weeks ago:

LegoLand on top here....

Zoo shots below....

07-13-2006, 08:23 AM
Captaincrash Sorry I didn't respond earlier, our computer was down :badpc: We are staying in a condo with three bedrooms and two baths for $1925.00 a week. It is right on the water, looks beautiful. The place is called On the beach. I guess I am not allowed to post web sites yet because I haven't been on long enough. The way I found it was I went to san diego web site and looked for vacation rentals. I believe it is the second one down. Hope this helps.

Thanks again for all the info. Our daughters are 14, 12,12 and the brunch etc.. looks fun to them!


07-13-2006, 03:17 PM
Hey Captaincrash! I am the daughter of MomofTwingles3. She hasn't posted enough, so i get to do the honors :thumbsup2 . Here is a website my mom wants to send you to look at:


07-14-2006, 12:11 AM
This place has a nice site... Sound WAV and all.... ooooHHHH. :lmao:

Seriously, it looks like a nice place. And if it's rentable for $6K a month then that's a good rate. I didn't look too closely - but the pix look gorgeous. Which reminds me of something - plus a mild cautionary note - that they always show their very best pictures.

My story... we once saw a web liting on Go-today.com for a hotel in Paris. SO - we booked airfare for $0 using frequent flyer miles and booked the hotel directly. WHen we got there we got the exact same room as was shown in the photos... but the room was terrible! It had beds that were seriously worn out with broken springs and collapsed frames; the bathroom photo did not show the exposed plumbing and 3rd world quality to the entire appearance. Plus numerous other things we were mildly disappointed by. HOWEVER, being our 1st time in Paris it was very romantic and memorable - more so since it was with a funny (moderately expensive) hotel that was a dump in disguise.

At any rate - your property looked to be beach front with views. If so then it is probably 1.25 million up through potentially 2 million. No less than 1 million. And if it is set back then it is no less then 800,000 as it is very nice looking. SO - just mortgage payments on the jumbo with 25% equity in would be sizable. No to mention taxes, insurance, upkeep and routine repairs - plus cleaning between guest visits. We have rental properties - so we know what everything costs to keep it up... plus property management if the owners are out of town or lazy like my spouse and I. SO - the rates seem quite tolerable - if not a fair deal... for a HOUSE at/on or near the beach!

:thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2


When you get back post a report/comment on how it was - and whether you tried any of the ideas I posted up above.

Oh yeah - the traffic at GRAND by the freeway can be nasty. Try taking the 8 as much as you can. Better than taking surface if you ask me - but taking surface will expose you to community conveniences - like super markets. OH YEAH... I bet there is an OPEN AIR Farmers' Market near by on one of the days a week. You might consider emailing the property manager or owners to ask about that. THe fruits and veggies are fresher there - and SOMETIMES cheaper and sometimes slightly more then the markets. AND the organic produce is usually cheaper. Plus the ubiquious kettle corn, mexican food, and probably some swap meet merchants.

With a place like the one ya got - I would consider cooking in! You like live crab or lobster, or live fish? Look for a 99 ranch market and their mean and seafood department has it all. I am Chinese so I know about these things. Live dungeness crab is about $3.50-4.99 a pound not ... not those tiny reddish (junky) rock crabs. Live maine lobster is 7.99-9.99 for the small through monster ones - that is if you're lucky enough to get the monster ones. Live fish - they will FRY IT UP for you on the spot. Be warned though - if you go near 4-6PM when everyone whats their dinner goods - then it will be crowded and buying a live fish for them to fry it up right there can be tedius - and annoying as they get BUSY.

Do yourselves a favor... try to stay out of Mexico unless you absolutely must go in for some reason. Even if you want to step foot out of the USA... then just watch yourselves - as it IS a 3rd world country. BEaqutiful friendly people otherwise - and they are by and large simply wonderful. But in TJ there can be many shady sorts who haunt such places. OK - maybe I'm paranoid - but lets just say I've heasrd of ... things.

Aside from that - if you have any questions or thoughts to aire - post here or private message me as your preferences suit you. I am happy to do what ever seems reasonable to help out! :dance3:

07-25-2006, 05:25 AM
http://san-diego-beach-hotels.com/db2/00106/san-diego-beach-hotels.com/_uimages/2005_05_09_ocean_beach_surf_contest_Karin_beach_ph otos001-resize.JPG

Does this picture look familar to anyone? This is the street that was used for the opening scene in the film Almost famous hehehe :)

Mined you, I am 24 years-old, lived in SD all my life and a history teacher (my reasoning for adding in "worthless" facts below along with cheese ball humor lol ;) ) ...

Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach all flow into each other ... as you move through each community from OB to PB you will see increases in the college lifestyle

OB used to have a crazy homeless man running around town ... the city actually banned him from re-entering the town about 1-2 years ago, there was a lot of local news coverage on the topic lol ...

Beach life in Southern Cali is very different from North Cali and I will leave it at that ...

I do feel OB is better of the three, although I do not have a relaxing feeling walking through some parts of that neighborhood at night (mainly the areas around the picture above lol) ... Sunset Cliffs is wonderful very very $$$$ ... Janet Jackson used to have a home on Sunset Cliffs back in the late 80s/early 90s

Jewel and Jason Mraz were discovered in OB at Java Joe's which has relocated and under a new name ... the further south you are in OB the nicer it is ... but every community has its less attractive areas

07-25-2006, 09:16 AM
Hey guys,

Another SD native here. Welcome to the city. The way I describe SD to newcomers is its like a very laid back version of LA. Not as hectic, really friendly, easy going!

I'm not sure what your agenda is but here are some some points of interest in SD (aside from the beaches).

San Diego Zoo
located just north of downtown off the 5, 163, or 94 freeways

Wild Animal Park (SD Zoo's sister park)
located in Escondido (North SD) off the 15 freeway

Sea World
located in Mission Beach just off the 5 or 8 freeways

Legoland (don't bother if you don't have little kids)
located in Carlsbad (Northern SD) just off the 5 freeway

located off the 163, 94, and 5 freeways
Home of the Gaslamp District, Petco Park, and Horton Plaza Shopping Center
I wouldn't recommend going anywhere but these three places at night. Not to try to scare you but it isn't the best place for a mom and daughter to be late at night and not knowing where you are or what to do. The three above is PLENTY safe with lots of friendly people to help you out.

Balboa Park
located just North of Downtown (right next to SD Zoo)
Plenty of scenery and museums (natural history, art, model railroad, sports, botanical gardens, etc.). I would leave the area by nighttime (if you aren't with someone who knows what they are doing).

I would only do this with someone that again knows what they are doing. You have to remember that it is indeed a different country so some of the rules are a bit different. There are really two parts of Mexico in MY mind: Tijuana and non-Tijuana. Both have there pro's and con's but again if you are with someone that knows what they are doing then he/she can explain.

On any account hope that you enjoy your stay in our little town.