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How can I enjoy vacation in San Diego in a tight budget?

 
 
nsln99
 
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 05:20 am
How to plan for a budgeted an affordable vacation in san diego?
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 07:06 am
@nsln99,
Yeah. How? I'll be there next month.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 09:57 am
@nsln99,
1. Go to the San Diego zoo.
2. Visit the hotel on Coronado Island; that's where they shot the movie "Some Like It Hot."
3. They have some great places in Old Town to have a meal.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:30 am
I remember liking the train station, but then I like train stations. I liked the Cove beach in La Jolla, but then I lived in a tiny cottage behind a house across the street.

I liked going for breakfast in one of the then-nice hotels on Mission Bay. This was a long time ago, I don't know the area and the hotels now. At that time, the food was good and not all that expensive, the views were great.

I also visited after I moved away from San Diego - stayed in some relatively inexpensive motels, and just visited the nice hotels - as Cicerone mentioned, the del Coronado, and one on Mission Bay. There's also the Valencia in La Jolla - used to be good for lunch.

I like architecture, so I'd go look at the Salk Institute in La Jolla (Louis Kahn). I like universities, so I might walk around UCSD.

To me, the San Diego Zoo is a must. I could probably spend a day just at the aviaries. I remember Balboa Park in general as beautiful.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:36 am
I enjoy the gas light district.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 11:02 am
@nsln99,
Hi, if you have any specific questions I'd be happy to try to answer them. I lived in San Diego and have friends on this site who still do.

Hope this isn't' another attempt at San Diego motel spam.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 01:44 pm
@nsln99,
How affordable are we taking about? How many people?
San Diego is as expensive or as cheap as you want. It all depends what
you're looking for. Visiting the zoo isn't exactly cheap, especially for a family,
however the gorgeous weather (it's beautiful today) the ocean and the beaches are free to enjoy.

As far as lodging goes, motels a bit outside of the city are usually much
cheaper than in town.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 01:56 pm
@CalamityJane,
But the San Diego zoo is worth every penny spent; it's one of the best not only in the US but the world.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 02:18 pm
@CalamityJane,
we stayed for three nights in san diego before our hawaii-cruise in 2005 .
we stayed at the holiday inn that was within walking distance of the "mexican village" and the trainstation (for the local LRT) .
free breakfast , free pickup from airport and to the zoo , they finally took us to the ship .
local bus and rail transportation was really good - even took us to the coronado hotel - once for lunch , once for "second" breakfast .

cost for the hotel was $59 per night including breakfast - good housekeeping - quiet - restaurants nearby .
we bought the daypass for local transportation - $5 a day , i believe .
READY TO GO AGAIN ! (GRIN)
hbg

http://www.visitingdc.com/images/san-diego-zoo-address.jpg

YES , ZOO IS A MUST SEE !
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2008 04:25 pm
@hamburger,
I agree, the zoo is one of a kind, the best there is, but the entrance fees are quite hefty - it is $ 28.50 per adult and $ 18.50 per child, so for a family of five it's
$ 112.50 just to get into the zoo, never mind eating or drinking something
along the way. If they're on a tight budget, it might be too steep for them.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:09 pm
I am reviving this thread because the Lovely Bride, Clive, Nigel, and I will be
visiting there this May. The zoo is a definite as is Balboa Park. What's the
Gas Lamp District like?

The Bride asked me whether I wanted to take a bus tour to Mexico. I don't
know much about what cities/towns are in range or whether, with only a week
to spend, it is worth it.

We've settled on a hotel, so that part is taken care of.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:22 pm
@George,
Quote:
The Bride asked me whether I wanted to take a bus tour to Mexico. I don't
know much about what cities/towns are in range or whether, with only a week
to spend, it is worth it.


The major Mexican town within easy driving range of San Diego is Tijuana. From what I'm hearing on the news these past six months or so, I'd be awfully hesitant to go there at this point in time. Tijuana and Juarez are both border towns where the drug dealer gang wars seem to have gotten out of hand and innocent bystanders are hardly safe from random drive-by gunfire. We don't wanna lose you -- or The Bride -- from A2K, George.
George
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:40 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
. . . Tijuana and Juarez are both border towns where the drug dealer gang wars seem to have gotten out of hand and innocent bystanders are hardly safe from random drive-by gunfire . . .

Not what I was looking for this particular trip. Thanks, Merry.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:48 pm


The zoo is a definite and you should reserve a whole day for it, the place is huge. Next on my list would be the Whale Watching or Sea World if I couldn't do the zoo trip. If you'll have kids with you, Legoland, the railroad and aerospace museums are musts.

Calamity Jane lives there so she'll have lots of advice for you too.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60750-Activities-San_Diego_California.html

Has photos and info on 263 sightseeing attractions including:

Whale Watching San Diego
San Diego Aerospace Museum
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Mission San Diego de Alcala
House of Blues San Diego
Legoland, California
SeaWorld San Diego
Winston's Beach Club
Spruce Street Footbridge
Snorkeling and Shopping La Jolla Cove
Seaport Village
San Diego Zoo
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:56 pm
@Butrflynet,
Here are a couple more sites to check out:

http://www.san-diego-family-vacation-deals.com/

http://www.budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2007/06/04/AR2007060401024.html
25 Reasons We Love San Diego
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:24 pm
@George,
George wrote:
I am reviving this thread because the Lovely Bride, Clive, Nigel, and I will be
visiting there this May. The zoo is a definite as is Balboa Park. What's the
Gas Lamp District like?


Well you can take a walk around using various local maps to see for yourself.

It's an area of bars and restaurants. It's nothing to write home about but can be a good spot for a night out, you can pay for parking somewhere and just walk around pub crawling, checking out restaurants etc.

Little Italy is smaller and less famous, but it's also a nice spot to get something to eat and you can walk down to Harbor Drive.

Quote:
The Bride asked me whether I wanted to take a bus tour to Mexico. I don't
know much about what cities/towns are in range or whether, with only a week
to spend, it is worth it.


You can be in Mexico in half an hour, so it really matters what you are interested in doing. But do note that the border crossing to return can be a pain. I had some friends who would love to go eat tacos, or seafood (there's a great and cheap lobster place they loved) but I never thought it was worth the hassle and there are much better places to see in Mexico than what's near the border.

Some other recommendations:

Of all the tourist traps, I think Sea World is the most fun. I've been to amusement parks and tourist attractions around the world and I still remember the Sea World trips the most fondly.

Not cheap (I think it's over 30 or 40 bucks) but it's better than the zoo IMO.

I also think La Jolla cove is a must visit. There are some great restaurants with great ocean views there, and you can walk along the cliffs over the water. It's one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego. Here's what I used to do (any time other than weekends it's great, on weekends it's going to be crowded with no parking).

I'd turn into this parking area (center of the map) right after turning on to prospect. It's just a little spot with about 5 parking spaces, but it's empty almost anytime but weekends.

There are some stairs leading toward the water, on the map it's labeled park row, and leads to what they are calling "coastal walk", hang a left at the bottom of the stairs and you will be walking along a cliff over the ocean behind some cliff-side mansions. There are some benches and it's usually very peaceful and calm.

If you keep walking a few minutes you'll end up here, at Coast Blvd. I used to work in in that park as you can see from these horrible blue photos.

One block inland, and you are on prospect, where there are a lot of nice restaurants and art galleries, and this area is, in my opinion, the most beautiful spot in San Diego bar none.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:26 pm
@George,
Stay away from the border towns; they're full of killings from drug gangs.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:32 pm
@George,
"hotel coronado" is a must !!!
even if you just have breakfast there or a drink at night looking out over the ocean .
we used public transport : light rail and busses - even took us to the hotel coronado and to the mexican border - you can walk across the bridge mexico , say : "i've been to mexico " and walk back .
a daypass is inexpensive .
we stayed at "holiday inn select " near the (fake) mexican village - a lot of fun at night .
hotel provided limousine to the zoo and dropped us at the cruise-ship terminal at no charge (except a tip) .
we enjoyed just sitting on the waterfront and having our meals in the fressh air - beautiful place and friendly people !
hbg

we didn't stay at the coronado but had b'fast and lunch there .

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/SSPOD/SuperStock_442-4085~Hotel-Del-Coronado-San-Diego-California-USA-Posters.jpg
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:40 pm
@hamburger,
hbg, Do they still have those photos in the hallways from the move, "Some Like It Hot?" My wife and I had lunch in that huge dining room, but that was about 30+ years ago.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:53 pm
@cicerone imposter,
hi , c.i. !
we were there about 5 years ago annd i seem to recall that there were a lot of movie posters .
we visited in early december and the hotel was already decorated for christmas - quite fab hotel interior !
take care !
hbg

b'fast on the veranda - such show-offs <GRIN> .
(wasn't there "someone" who doesn't approve of such "lifestyle" <GRIN> )

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/930/coronadozh5.jpg


 

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