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2 day stay in San Diego

Chicago
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2 day stay in San Diego

We are visiting our son in LA from 3/7-3/9 and then planning a side trip to San Diego from 3/9-3/11. We are an active couple in our 60's and have never been to San Diego before. We like hiking, gardens, beaches, museums, markets, etc. Can someone give us some advise on where to stay and what to do during our brief stay? Thanks, WSZ

San Diego...
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1. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

Hiking - there is a wide variety of hiking available, from beaches to mountains to deserts. I'd recommend taking a look at the book "Afoot and Afield San Diego County" by the late Jerry Schad. Also my neighbors Bill and Nancy go on many hikes around the area, and you can see places they've been at http://travelswithbillandnancy.com/hiking.htm

Gardens - there are quite a few gardens in Balboa Park, and all of them are free except the Japanese Garden. See http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park/Gardens for details. San Diego Botanic Gardens is in Encinitas, about 29 miles north of downtown San Diego, near Interstate 5. http://www.sdbgarden.org for more information.

If you really like gardens consider visiting The Huntington while you are in the Los Angeles area. It has 120 acres of gardens in 14 themes. http://huntington.org

Beaches - there are 70 miles of beaches in San Diego County. See sandiego.org/articles/beaches/san-diego-coun… or sandiego.com/attractions/…beaches-81 for information.

Museums - many are located in Balboa Park. See http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park/museums for information. If you are interested in military history, there are the Flying Leatherneck Museum and the Marine Corps Command Museum, both of which are free, plus the USS Midway Museum which is not free. There is also the Maritime Museum on the waterfront near downtown. There are also some small museums in the Old Town section of San Diego.

Chicago
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2. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

Thank you for your reply and great advise. We have been to the Huntington gardens twice and loved it both times. Can you recommend an area to stay in San Diego or more specifically a hotel?

Thanks!

Chula Vista...
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3. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

Hi wsz1951,

Welcome to San Diego.

I'm assuming you will have a car when you come down, is that correct? Also, what is the budget (per night) for your hotel?

On your way down, you'll pass the Flower Fields at Carlsbad. March may be a little early to see the fields in full bloom, but it's just 5 minutes off the interstate and it really is quite amazing to walk through the fields when they're in bloom.

http://www.theflowerfields.com/info

You may also want to check out the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas on your way down (or back).

http://www.sdbgarden.org/

Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma has a couple of short, moderately strenuous hiking opportunities. The first is the Bayside Trail that's 1.8 miles in length, but drops about 350 feet in elevation (which means it's all uphill on the way back). The other is along the sandstone cliffs above the Pacific Ocean from the tide pools. Admission is $5 for a car, and the ticket/receipt is good for 7 days (or if you have a national parks pass, use it.)

http://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

I'd recommend staying in Little Italy or Downtown if it's within your budget. La Pensione in Little Italy is a frequently recommended hotel in the San Diego Forum. Hotels like the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the Marriott, and the Hilton near the convention center / Gaslamp Quarter are all convenient to attractions, but expect to pay for parking on top of the room fee.

Homewood Suites at Liberty Station is near the airport, but has pretty much free everything included in the room--Wifi, parking, breakfasts, and even dinners Mon. - Thurs.

You may want to hop across the bay and stay in Coronado. If your budget can handle it, there's the famous 125 year old Victorian Hotel del Coronado right on the beautiful Coronado beach. Nearby are the Glorietta Bay Inn and the 1906 Lodge. All three of those are within walking distance to the shops and restaurants in the village. Near the ferry landing on Coronado is the Marriott Resort and Spa, with some shops and restaurants nearby, too.

If you could get here on Saturday 3/8 (and every Saturday) there's a great mercato (farmer's market) in Little Italy at Date and India Streets that runs from about 8 am to 2 pm.

On Sundays at 2 PM in Balboa Park, there's a free, hour-long pipe organ concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (one of the largest (4,600 pipes) outdoor pipe organs in the world). Just wear a hat and sunscreen (or rent a beach umbrella from the Spreckels Organ Society for $2 or $3. The sun can be quite much after an hour.

http://sosorgan.com/

Hope that helps. You'll enjoy yourself here.

Zed

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4. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

Thank you, zed, for all of the great information.

WSZ

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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5. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

I think the museums of Balboa Park got skipped over rather quickly.

The park has the Timken Museum of Art, an amazing little museum with some paintings from Rembrandt, Rubens and Pieter Bruegel the Elder; a great Russian icon display and more.

The Reuben H Fleet Science Center and San Diego Air & Space Museum for the science guy,

The San Diego Art Institute (SDAI), Mingei International Museum and The San Diego Museum of Art for art lovers.

The San Diego Museum of Man and San Diego Natural History Museum for the humanities and anthropology.

And even more than that. It is one of the greatest collections of museums in one location I've ever seen in any city.

6. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

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7. Re: 2 day stay in San Diego

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