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Help me plan a trip to San Diego


Jackie
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We just realized we had a lot of airline miles that are about to expire, plus DH's work closes down for the week after Christmas. We were thinking we might fly out to San Diego for a week.

 

Where do we want to stay? Specific hotels or neighborhoods

 

What do we want to plan to do? Our 5yo daughter will be with us. She especially likes anything related to science or history, and playing in the sand at the beach.

 

Really, all I know about San Diego is that it has great weather, and there's a well-known zoo, and a bit more that a quick Google search turned up.

 

(Other possibilities for this trip include NYC and Washington DC, if anyone thinks we should head to one of those instead.)

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Check into Balboa Parks intermuseum agreement. If you already have a membership, you might get in for free. If you don't, it might be cheaper to join your local museum and then use that pass. They have specific museum agreements, it should be on their website. Balboa is amazing and you all could spend days there. Just beautiful.

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We would love to hang out with you guys when you are here. Sacha is 6. We have a kid-proofed sailboat if you guys want to go sailing. Yes, in San Diego, it's perfectly possible to go sailing in December (El Nino permitting, of course). Feel free to PM me.

 

Aside from the things recommended above, we like playing in the snow at Sea World and ice skating outdoors (which you can do in Coronado, at Horton Plaza, and soon in Liberty Station). There's something especially nasty about posting pics of playing in snow and ice skating in shorts and 70 degree weather in December. :p

 

Re Balboa Park, check to see if you will be here during December Nights. It is crowded, but so much fun.

 

Another idea is surf camp. The SD Surf School has amazing programs for both kids and adults. Sacha loved it this summer, and is going again over Thanksgiving break. They take 5 year olds.

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Adding more:

 

The Zoo, of course and/or the Wild Animal Park if you don't mind a schlep

Legoland is in Carlsbad

The Birch Aquarium and La Jolla Cove

Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach at sunset

The SD Botanical Garden is in Encinitas

The Mission San Diego de Alcala and Cabrillo Monument for history buffs

Kate Sessions Park in Pacific Beach is a lovely spot for a picnic. You get a great view of SD.

Another favorite in Pacific Beach is Fanuel Park, a playground right on Mission Bay

Panning for gold in Julian -- also a schlep

SD Junior Theatre puts on tons of plays/musicals for kids

The New Children's Museum and Seaport Village downtown

 

 

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My family is inland and I prefer north county to, say, east county. Balboa park, sea world, and the zoo or wild animal park should be on your list. Legoland is fun but overpriced.

 

If you want to be close to amenities check on hotel prices in hotel circle. Location isn't super important because just about everything is a small drive.

 

Ramona and Julian are fun this time of year. It just kind of depends.

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SeaConquest, I figured I'd PM you if you didn't stumble onto this thread :) I'd be thrilled to meet up!

 

Kerileanne, super-thrilled if all three of us (and all our kids!) can meet up!

 

Everyone else: thank you so much for all the input!

 

Any recommendations on where we should stay? Are there hotels in walking distance of Balboa Park, since it sounds like we'll spend a chunk of time there? Also, I generally prefer public transit over driving in unfamiliar cities. Would we be fine with public transit?

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SeaConquest, I figured I'd PM you if you didn't stumble onto this thread :) I'd be thrilled to meet up!

 

Kerileanne, super-thrilled if all three of us (and all our kids!) can meet up!

 

Everyone else: thank you so much for all the input!

 

Any recommendations on where we should stay? Are there hotels in walking distance of Balboa Park, since it sounds like we'll spend a chunk of time there? Also, I generally prefer public transit over driving in unfamiliar cities. Would we be fine with public transit?

 

Yay!

 

Public transit here is safe. You could stay in Hillcrest or Downtown, and have easy access to Balboa Park. There are lots of relatively inexpensive places to stay in Mission Valley (Hotel Circle area), but I don't know the transit routes well enough to speak to the ease of access. I'm an LA native, so I drive most everywhere. As the song says, "Nobody Walks In LA." :)

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SeaConquest, I figured I'd PM you if you didn't stumble onto this thread :) I'd be thrilled to meet up!

 

Kerileanne, super-thrilled if all three of us (and all our kids!) can meet up!

 

Everyone else: thank you so much for all the input!

 

Any recommendations on where we should stay? Are there hotels in walking distance of Balboa Park, since it sounds like we'll spend a chunk of time there? Also, I generally prefer public transit over driving in unfamiliar cities. Would we be fine with public transit?

Awesome:)

 

Will PM both dates and locations...

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SeaConquest, I figured I'd PM you if you didn't stumble onto this thread :) I'd be thrilled to meet up!

 

Kerileanne, super-thrilled if all three of us (and all our kids!) can meet up!

 

Everyone else: thank you so much for all the input!

 

Any recommendations on where we should stay? Are there hotels in walking distance of Balboa Park, since it sounds like we'll spend a chunk of time there? Also, I generally prefer public transit over driving in unfamiliar cities. Would we be fine with public transit?

 

There are a lot of hotel downtown, but any that I can think of super close to Balboa Park. Pubic Transportation is safe, not always convent though. San Diego is pretty big, it depends on what exactly you want to do.

 

The Bay Front Water Park is a fantastic creative playground with a huge kid friendly water feature. It's a great picnic spot, and free. 

Scripps Aquarium is a great place to see sea life without the huge expense of Sea World.

Carolines is a great breakfast-lunch restaurant at Scripps beach. Not over priced, good food, awesome ocean view. 

We like to take out of town guests to Cabrillo. The monument and lighthouse are beautiful, and the view of San Diego is breathtaking. There are also tide pools here. It's like $5 to park, other than that it's free.

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