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Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

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Cranbrook, Canada
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Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

I am looking at a road trip in Late October or early November. I have lots of Alaska Airlines Mastercard points and plan to use a combination of points and cash to book return flights. Alaska Airlines flies to many locations in California (fly out of Seattle). I would rent a car and do a loop. Pick up and return at the same location (cheapest). Hope to do a 8 or 9 night trip and stay at hotels or bed and breakfeasts. We are fair weather travellers, enjoy seeing different sites (we are from British Columbia), like beaches and the ocean but are not overly interested in large congested centers or nightlife. Anyone have any ideas out there?

So Cal
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1. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

This is a little perplexing, as Long Beach and San Diego are only about 2 hours or so apart. Sure, there are places to stay, but it doesn't really qualify as a road trip. Perhaps you were thinking of driving between Long Beach and San Francisco? Now that's a real road trip, with one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the country.

Or were you wanting to fly to one of those two cities and drive somewhere else from there?

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

I would look into maybe flying into San Diego, then maybe do a loop like SD->Palm Springs->Santa Barbara->San Francisco (via Highway 1 with a stopover or two along the way - Cambria and/or Monterey/Carmel) - maybe if time permits head up to Napa. Head back to SD via I-5 from SF, which should be do-able in 8-9 hours or so which would take up the last day of the trip, or look to fly SF-> SD perhaps as part of a separate ticket and not necessarily on Alaska - Southwest.com ought to have this flight for $60-70.

Cranbrook, Canada
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3. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

I would like to minimize the amount of driving involved and stay 2 days at one location to explore local sites. Say 3 - 2 day stays at a modestly priced hotel with a day each end for arrival and departure from fly in location (San Diego or Palm Springs?)

Long Beach...
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4. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

You could fly into Long Beach or John Wayne (SNA--Santa Ana). Based on your original post, Ii don't think you are interested in seeing LA attractions. How about Disneyland? There are many reasonable places to stay around Disneyland. Or you could stay around John Wayne Airport and check out the beaches in the area--Huntington, Newport, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beaches for their beach scene and quaint shops/cafes/restaurants. Next stop would be San Diego--I prefer La Jolla, but not sure if it would have something in your price target. The zoo and Balboa Park is almost a full day. I think another two to three days in San Diego would be good. Then--drive to the Palm Springs area. Our favorite is La Quinta Resort and Spa. Lots of things to see and do in the greater Palm Springs area. Each drive should take about two hours. You could start this loop in any of the three locations. With a bit more detail of what you want to see, we could provide more info.

Cranbrook, Canada
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5. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

Wife's cousin has a condo in Indio, friends and family deal for about $70/night on a golf course. Thinking about 3 or 4 days in Indio and 3 or 4 days at Oceanside in a modestly priced hotel. That way I get a "desert" like experience and a pacific coast beach like experience and could do Seaworld and/or the San Diego zoo. Ultimately doing some kind of driving loop, flying in and out of Palm Springs from Seattle. Flights paid with airmiles points. Rental 8 was suggested as a descent rental car company?

Long Beach...
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6. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

Sounds like you have a plan. I have never heard of Rental 8. I would use Kayak to check out car rental prices.

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

Instead of Oceanside, I'd stay in Carlsbad. It's nicer and closer to the sights in San Diego.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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8. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

I would avoid Rental 8 like the plague. They will put you with some of the worst rental agencies the U.S. has. See if CarHire3000 works for you from BC, if not I'd just go to Expedia or other travel sites and rent from the U.S. majors, Hertz, Avis, National and Alamo.

Oceanside would not be my top pick of places to stay in SD County. You can find reasonable hotels in La Jolla, Pacific Beach and even Coronado. What is your nightly budget?

Cranbrook, Canada
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9. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

great info, good start for my planning.

Cranbrook, Canada
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10. Re: Road trip between Long Beach and San Diego

I understand that La Jolla is pricey and Pacific beach might be in my price range. I think I would be capped out at $120.00/night. I have had pretty good luck with Hotwire and Priceline for booking hotels. Expedia has worked well but seems alitlle pricier. I will check out Kayak and Carhire3000 for car rentals. What would be the best and most interesting route, as a tourist to drive from:

1) Palm Springs/Indio to San Diego (or just North of San Diego).

2) San Diego to Palm Springs.