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San Diego

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Hotels & Casinos' started by thehutchuk, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. thehutchuk

    thehutchuk Tourist

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    Hi all, been a while since I've been on here, mainly due to the fact that a young family and Vegas don't really mix...

    Anyhow, the mother in law has said we can let the kids holiday with them while we come out next march. We didn't want a exclusively vegas trip (this will be my 12th or 13th trip) so we decided to combine it with a trip to San Diego as we've already been to most places in California. We're from the UK and love the west coast.

    What hotel recommendations and San Diego hints and tips has anyone got? Any locals on here? We'll be driving to vegas for four nights downtown (probably at the DTG) after staying in SD for three. Is the drive as simple as getting on the I-15 and getting comfortable for five hours or are there some tricks and tips for the journey?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. azlefty

    azlefty Low-Roller

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    You absolutely want to avoid driving north on Friday and south on Sunday. Also keep L.A. Rush hour in mind.
    If either of those is not possible, there is an alternative route through Pioneertown and Kelso. It's about 40 miles longer but worth it to avoid traffic.

    As for San Diego, I suggest a day or a couple hours at a beach - maybe just walking in March - and a day in Balboa Park. Also a few hours at the waterfront. Best restaurant scene is in Hillcrest. Or Convoy st if you like Asian food.
    My 2 favorite things you won't find in guidebooks are the maritime museum and the glider port at UCSD.
    IMHO the Gaslamp district is a tourist trap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  3. thehutchuk

    thehutchuk Tourist

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    Thanks for the info. We'll probably leave SD on Wednesday at about 10.00 so I guess traffic shouldn't be a problem. Regardless, I'm intrigued by the route via pioneer town and kelso... might be a bit more enjoyable... Is there anywhere worth stopping on route if we went this way?
     
  4. azlefty

    azlefty Low-Roller

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    Yes, a lot actually, and I recommend it, especially if you like offbeat things.
    For starters, you could stop in Palm Springs, which is a destination in itself. Mostly for golf / spa / etc.
    Along route 62, from north to south, there is Pappy and Harriet's in Pioneertown, which is a fun barbecue and music place to stop for dinner.
    Then there is Joshua Tree National Park which is probably nothing like anything you have ever seen in the UK.
    Also, in the town of Joshua Tree is the Noah Purifoy Museum which is an interesting collection of art made from household junk, created by the artist who lived there. You can walk right in - it is always open and there is no barrier. This is one of my favorite places to take visitors to who have never been to the area.
    I've also heard there is a great flea market on the weekends.
    Then in Kelso, there is the old Kelso train station, which has been restored and is now a museum and a National Forest Service ranger station. There is what may be one of the world's smallest jails outside.

    It might be better to take this route in the southbound direction so you can get to Pappy & Harriet's in time for dinner.
     
  5. justdeb

    justdeb Low-Roller

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    the only thing about the 15south or the 5 south into San Diego it gets crazy stupid congested from about 4ish to 6pm. so the stops the people are suggesting would be great
    that way you can avoid the rush hour traffic.

    Where are you staying once you get here?
     
  6. thehutchuk

    thehutchuk Tourist

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    It's only a one way trip - fly into SD, drive to vegas, fly home from vegas so we've got a one way car rental. Still undecided about where to stay in SD though - was going to pick a westin, Hilton or the omni downtown/gas lamp qrtr for predictable comfort and decent location... That is unless I should avoid it?
     
  7. thehutchuk

    thehutchuk Tourist

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    Thank you for all these excellent suggestions, I really appreciate it and was unaware that there was so much to see. Cheers
     
  8. azlefty

    azlefty Low-Roller

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    There are hundreds of hotels and you probably can't go wrong with any of those. That said, the only reason I would stay in the Gaslamp is if I were going to a Padres baseball game. I personally would rather stay in Little Italy or a little farther afield if I had a car, maybe Shelter Island, Old Town, Pacific Beach, or one of the towns up the coast like Del Mar. If you plan to have a car or don't mind using uber, you could stay just about anywhere. San Diego isn't very big; many places downtown are within walking distance or a $5 uber ride or a few stops on the trolley, and if you can avoid driving during rush hour, you can get anywhere you need to go in about 20 to 30 minutes.

    If you want to splurge, consider the Hotel del Coronado, on Coronado beach, which is an old, iconic hotel right on what is probably the nicest beach among many beautiful beaches in San Diego; or the Lodge at Torrey Pines which has classic California craftsman architecture, and is in a better location if you prefer hiking and golf to the beach (although there is also a beautiful beach just down the hill from Torrey Pines). However these places are more isolated and you will probably want a car while you are here, or you can make extensive use of uber/lyft/etc.
    There are also smaller, less expensive hotels in these areas.
    Or, you can stay someplace else and visit them. They are both lovely places to get a drink.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  9. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    I love SD! We travel there often, but still not as often as I'd like :)

    Not sure when you plan to pick up the rental car, but one thing to note is parking rates are high at gaslamp hotels $30+ per night. Hotel Circle is a good choice for central location, cheap(er) rates and free parking. I use Hotwire to snag deals. Stay above 3 stars and you'll find accommodations to be comfortable. I stay all over at various price points: Omni, Hotel Indigo and The Dana are top notch. I also enjoy the Bristol. Doubletree - Del Mar was nice. Estancia La Jolla, W, US Grant were overrated. Holiday Inn, Handlery or Best Western - Hotel Circle, were good too. I've also had success with Airbnb.

    If I only recommend one thing - that is go to Con Pane Bakery. The best sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. El Indio is always a must for us too. Point Loma Seafoods is also great. You can follow the link below I've blogged lots about San Diego and La Jolla over the years.
     
  10. justdeb

    justdeb Low-Roller

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    The Hotel Del is amazing. It's on Coronado Island which is pretty snooty. Overpriced food etc. I

    El Indio is awesome. I've been going there since i was a little girl (the 50's). There's also another mexican food place right near there, called Lucha Libre. Limited parking on weekends though.
    both of those places are right near the airport.