San Diego Question (for Tink33)


Aug 30, 2000
We'll be in Southern California for an two extra days in early June (after we see DL and DCA) and have settled on visiting San Diego based on your Best Beach Recommendation. So just a few questions...

1) where are some good areas to stay?
2) what is a "must see" for the first time visitor?
3) how's the traffic from San Diego to LAX on a weekday? (we have an early afternoon flight)


We spent a few days in San Diego prior to visiting DL in September. We stayed in the Mission Beach area at Bahia. Here's a link: We were happy with it - reasonable price, large rooms with kitchenettes(although the decor/furniture was dated), and beautiful grounds.

We really enjoyed the San Diego Zoo and also spent an afternoon at Balboa Park & Coronado. All places we would love to visit again.

I hope you enjoy your trip, it's a beautiful city!
Wow - I feel famous. :)

I would be happy to give you some recommendations FairyGodfriend, but I have some questions for you.

1. How many people are in your group? Ages? Children?

2. What are your interests? History? Beaches? Shopping? Relaxing? Fun? Thrills? Sealife? Nightlife? Romance?

3. What is your budget?

4. Accommodations - 5 star luxury resort? Clean room ?

Please email me. I will be happy to provide you with ALL the information you need to make your vacation to San Diego unforgettable. :)


[This message was edited by Tink33 on 04-05-01 at 02:41 PM.]
Thanks Shelly! I checked out the resort, it is beautiful :)

Tink, you can count yourself amoung the DIS California celebrities! The pictures you posted of Mission Bay were awe inspiring. This will be a Mother & Son trip (he's 15) and we'll be in Anaheim for 4 days. We'd like to head down to San Diego for a short (2 days & 2 nights) trip. We'd like spend an afternoon at the beach, see the zoo and maybe something historic? I'd like to stay somewhere nice but not necessarily pricey. We won't have a whole lot of time, but it could still be fun! Thanks for all your help, I'm sure other's are wondering about the area as well.


My all time favorite San Diego resort is the Paradise Pier. It is a little more expensive but you can probably get a standar room for $200/night. The grounds are amazing and they just got done with a remodel.
We stayed at the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay and were very pleased. They had a high-rise building, but we had 2 children (4 & 7) and stayed on the bottom floor of the 2-story "garden" area. There was a patio and a small yard where the children could play. The grounds were lush tropical, with water & ducks & parrots and a waterfall in the lobby. My grandson's comment was "Boy, this hotel is really cool". The ultimate compliment. Also easy to get downtown and to head north to Anaheim and La Jolla and LegoLand.
FairyGodfriend - I have not forgotten you.

I would highly recommend the zoo. My suggestion is to purchase the deluxe admission which includes entrance into the zoo, a bus tour and the aerial tram ride. The zoo is huge and includes many BIG hills. If you purchase the Kangaroo bus tour package, you can ride the bus around the zoo and "hop on and hop off" at 7 locations. Some areas not to be missed are the Pandas, the Koalas, Tiger River, Polar Bear Plunge, Gorilla Tropics, Hippo Beach, Ituri Forest and Sun Bear Forest.

You said you also wanted history. Next to the zoo is Balboa Park. There are some wonderful museums for every interest. The Reuben H Fleet Science Center is a favorite. The Fleet Experience package includes entrance into the Space Center and one IMAX film. Current IMAX film offerings are Michael Jordan to the Max, Amazing Caves and Wild California. (I have only seen Wild California =A) The Space Center features EXPLORAZONE. This exhibit comes from San Francisco's Exploratorium. It is an A+ for people who enjoy science.

If you have endless energy, you can see both the zoo and Balboa Park in one day. Parking is free so park and enjoy.

As far as beaches, my guess is that your son will enjoy a beach with young girls in bikinis. :eek: I am not sure if you are looking for the CA beach experience (ie Baywatch) or a quiet beach. Please advise so that I can make a recommendation. In June the mornings are usually overcast and the sun does not come out until noon. You may want to plan something for the morning and visit the beach in the afternoon.

Hotel and resort accommodations in Mission Bay are varied. Here are some resorts:

Try this web site for more ideas:

If you need any more help, just ask.



Wow! Thank You for all the fantastic info on San Diego! This has been such a great help, my son is psyched to go to San Diego. His eyes lit up when I mentioned the beaches in Southern California (Bikini patrol! LOL). But, first he'll have to humor his silly Mother and her big dream of going to Disneyland.

You really went all out! Lots of great info. I like the idea of the overcast morning, we'll plan on doing our site seeing then and relaxing on the beach later in the day. All the resorts are beautiful, I'm leaning towards Paradise Point. Being an Engineer, I just can't pass up a decent Science museum and the Fleet Science Center is a definite.

Thanks again!


Tink 33-

As a third generation native San Diegan (who has made a temporary move north to Murrieta), is Paradise Point the old Vacation Village? I don't recognize the name.

Hi, Fairy Godfriend!

I'm a native San Diegan myself (still living here, as a matter of fact), and I agree with all the suggestions others have given you for places to see while you're down here. I thought I'd add a couple of suggestions as well. There's an area in San Diego called Old Town, which is very quaint, as well as historic, as it is where San Diego began. It has a Spanish flair, and full of very colorful shops, museums, and some wonderful Mexican restaurants. If you and your son enjoy Mexican food, and make a trip to Old Town, I'd suggest you go to the Casa Bandini restaurant, which is in the heart of Old Town inside a historic building. Beautiful outdoor dining area and the margaritas are to die for! (if you're into that sort of thing, of course, lol) It's a good day trip and located in the Mission Valley area of San Diego, off highway 8 (Taylor Street exit). There's also a Sea World in San Diego, in the Mission Bay area- I can't recall if someone else has mentioned this or not. Also, in downtown San Diego, off Pacific Coast highway, there's another nice shopping/restaurant area called Seaport Village and it's right on the bay. It's gorgeous to go down there and eat near the water and then take a stroll along the boardwalk. If you go over the bridge to Coronado Island, be sure to visit the Hotel Del Coronado- very beautiful and a landmark here. If you have a day to kill and want to see a bit of everything famous here with tourists and locals, I'd suggest going on the Old Town Trolley tour. You pay a fee, should be under $20 a person, and you ride these red, motor-driven, trolley cars that will take you on a tour of several spots in San Diego, such as the Zoo, Balboa Park (stops in front of the famous Aerospace Museum), Coronado Island (stops by the Hotel Del Coronado), Old Town, Seaport Village and a few other places downtown as well. You can get on and off at any of these stops all day, and stay to see whichever places you're most interested in, then catch another trolley to leave and continue on your tour. The drivers are great and give a lot of interesting facts about San Diego along the way. I've taken several friends and family from out of town on these tours, and they've always enjoyed them. You can buy your ticket and catch the trolley tour at any of these stops I've mentioned. I've usually begun at the Old Town stop.

As for hotels, all the hotels suggested are great places. I've stayed at the Marriott Hotel, San Diego at the Embacadero (adjacent to SeaPort Village) and it's gorgeous with a beautiful pool area. Although, it's a bit pricey. There's also an Embassy Suites hotel downtown off Pacific Coast Highway near Seaport Village that's also lovely and has a beautiful indoor atrium. Enjoy your trip! San Diego is a beautiful town (though I am a bit biased, lol).

Oh, I forgot to add one more thing! You had asked about the drive from LAX to San Diego on a weekday afternoon. Depending on how early in the afternoon you arrive at LAX, weekdays will be a busy commute to San Diego. If you get in to LAX any time before 2 pm, you should have an easier drive, but if you arrive after 3 pm on a weekday, expect to drive at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or slightly more, to get to San Diego. However, if you have access to car pool lanes on the freeway, use them for as long as you can. They do make a lot of difference!

Hi, I'm new here, and just happened to read this thread. I wanted to add that the Balboa museums have a few that are free each Tuesday of the month.The Science Center, model railroad, and Natural History museum are all free the first Tuesday of each month.
Also, Sea World is really fun and a nice break from Disneyland.
Also, to see a beach ranked one of the 10 best in the US, take Amy's advice and go over the bridge or take the ferry over to Coronado Island. It's like a step back in time to see the original wooden Hotel Del Coronado right on that gorgeous beach. Also, a quaint little town-- If you like ice cream , try MOO Town creamery on the main drag neat the hotel. Just ask, everyone knows where it is.
Hope you have a wonderful stay!!
Hey, Thanks Amy and Druizka! We are really looking forward to visting San Diego. I was wondering what "Old Town" was all about and we definitely want to see Coronado Island! Seaport Village sound like some good shopping if the weather is uncooperative. We don't fly out until early Friday afternoon, so I'll allow plenty of time to get back to LAX. Having dealt with Boston traffic for years, I won't be inclined to take any chances. Thanks again, I have a feeling I'm going to love ;) San Diego.


Yes Kincal - Paradise Point was formerly known as Vacation Village and Princess Resort (remember when The Pricess Cruise lines used this resort?)
I have participated in a wedding here and DH has a Christmas party here every year. It is a beautiful resort.

If your flight is Friday afternoon, allow plenty of time to get from San Diego to LAX. Friday traffic going north is horrible!!



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