View Full Version : What else to do in San Diego?

08-30-2006, 09:10 AM
I am planning our third trip to San Diego in late March. Me and dd almost 7. We are planning sea world, the zoo and legoland. We have done the wild animal park and we have been do DL twice.

What else should we do in the San Diego area? Are the harbour cruises any good for kids this age? Just wanted to show her something new..... :rotfl: :Pinkbounc

08-30-2006, 01:34 PM
There's the tidepools down near Cabrillo Monument if she likes ocean critters...There's still some pretty good low tides at that time of year.

Have you taken the ferry from the embarcadero (near the Star of India) to Coronado? It's a nice ride. Once you get to the other side there's a small shopping/dining area to wander around before taking the ferry back.

How about touring the Midway aircraft carrier? It's a pretty cool museum. Or the Star of India. I believe you can also take a harbor tour on the "HMS Surprize" - it's the ship that was used in the film "Master and Commander". All of that is down at the embarcadero.

Or there's LOTS of museums and stuff in Balboa Park. The Science Center at the Reuben Fleet Space Theater has lots of interactive exhibits - you can just do the science center without seeing the movie. I think the Natural History Museum has some kid-type exhibits, too.

09-09-2006, 09:12 AM
I agree with ScooterL, Balboa Park is a must see.

09-10-2006, 01:51 AM
Copied from one of my prior postings on San DIego...


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....

09-11-2006, 10:01 PM
My partner and I moved here a little over a month ago after numerous visits and the area constantly amazes us with the multitude of things to do. Here's a brief list of our favorites.

1) Balboa Park - there's the Zoo, many museums and on Sundays there is a free organ concert at the Spreckel's Organ Pavillion. Also the Japanese Tea Garden is great for a snack.

2) Coronado Beach - The Hotel Del Coronado. You can stroll the grounds and enjoy the beach WITHOUT being a registered guest. Also the Moo Time Creamery Ice Cream Store in the hotel is great, grab a sundae (enough to shar) and head to the benches along the beach!

3) Embarcadero - Anthony's Fish Grotto, a great piece of San Diego history and the prices aren't too bad. Lines can be long so call ahead for priority seating - (619) 232-5103. The meters are free if you go after 6pm, good luck finding an empty one Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Star of India a great tall ship and the USS Midway an historic aircraft carrier are both fun.

4) Lindburgh Field - If anyone in your group likes planes, drive over to the intersection of the PCH and Laurel, park where you can and just wait. The planes come right over you, very low, very loud and a lot of fun, if you dig planes.

Steamboat Bill
09-16-2006, 12:46 AM
Check out www.wavehouse.com and try the Flowrider...a complete BLAST.

09-16-2006, 02:42 PM
4) Lindburgh Field - If anyone in your group likes planes, drive over to the intersection of the PCH and Laurel, park where you can and just wait. The planes come right over you, very low, very loud and a lot of fun, if you dig planes.

Unfortunately, there's no real place to park at the corner of PCH and Laurel. A great alternative is to grab a sandwich (the grilled cheese feta is my personal fave) at Grab n' Go, at the corner of India St. and Hawthorne. They have a lovely outdoor patio with an excellent view of landing aircraft. Also, there's a lot at the corner of North Harbor Dr and Laurel where you can park your car nose to nose with the airfield perimeter fence. Aircraft taxiing for takeoff head right towards you as they hold short of the runway as they line up for take off. While you won't be located right UNDER the flight path, it's a great place to watch them take off and land.

There used to be a great second story restaurant located at the private jet facility at the corner of Laurel and PCH called the Windsock. It was featured a couple of times in the movie Top Gun (not the bar where they played the piano) but it was scrapped a few years ago.


09-16-2006, 04:40 PM
You might want to check out the San Diego GO Card (http://www.gosandiegocard.com/)

It would include your admission to Legoland and the Zoo. You could also take a whale watching trip, visit the museums at Balboa Park and the Birch Aquarium.