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Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Melbourne, Australia
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Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Only staying 1 night :S I know, i know, not enough time, right? Trying to convince my bf to cut one night from our LA stay to allow more time in San Diego.

Failing that, can anyone suggest how we might see the San Diego Zoo, head over the border for a couple of hours and spend some time wandering San Diego? Arriving 10am on a Wednesday, driving to LA the next day. Want to arrive before dark, seeing as we're Aussies, and are quite intimidated by the thought of driving in the US, let alone into LA at night!!

Thanks in advance!

Nicole

hollywood
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1. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

wow....good luck with this. the zoo alone can be an all day event.

may i ask what you're expecting out of tijuana? it doesn't have the beauty of mexico, it's a border town. and i wouldn't go there at night, either. as whodini says, "the freaks come out at night".

Jupiter, Florida
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2. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Just got back last night from San Diego. I recommend Seaport Village and how about taking a ferry to Coronado? There's a nice restaurant called Peohe's. Delicious shrimp and sushi and fish!!! We did Sea World too. Had a great time there, but too many children. (Because of summer break.) I'd stay away from Tijuana. There's so many nice places in San Diego side (Old Town, Seaport Village, Balboa Park). Good luck and have fun!!!!

San Diego, CA
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3. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Currently, there are travel warnings for US to Mexico -

cnn.com/2005/… Many people cross the border every day and are fine, but I think you would probably enjoy just staying in San Diego more.

I recommend that when you arrive in San Diego, you go directly to the zoo, as it will be less crowded and more animals will be out earlier in the day. If you want to see the entire zoo, plan to spend at least 4-6 hours; as previously mentioned it is easily an all day event. www.sandiegozoo.org

After the zoo, you might enjoy going down to San Diego Bay (not far from the zoo at all - a couple miles) and wandering around there - lots to do and see - http://www.thebigbay.com/ - including Seaport Village as a previous poster mentioned

http://www.spvillage.com/ From there, you can catch the ferry over the bay to Coronado, a beautiful area as well

http://gothere.com/coronado.htm

I'm intimidated driving to LA too, there's a lot of traffic. I recently returned from the UK, I know what you mean about driving. You can take the Amtrak train up to LA from San Diego, that might be much more enjoyable for you - just a thought....

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Why Tijuana? Well I guess we (well, I in this case really!) thought it would be an interesting place to visit seeing as we're so close. It's our first trip to the US, and i guess we just want to see everything!

One thing i keep hearing/reading repeatedly is "it's a border town" to describe Tijuana. Unfortunately this means nothing to me, other than it sits near the border lol. We have only state borders here, so i'm not sure what this indicates about Tijuana!

Eek, thanks for the heads up about the travel warning chissis! Perhaps it's a good place to avoid - i'm not usually one to take risks like going against travel warnings!! Ok, cross off Tijuana, my itinerary now looks slightly less insane!

Thanks for the suggestions on where else to see localgirl and chissis - i'll definitely take them into consideration.

Hmm, a local intimidated by driving to LA, me thinks i wanna take the train now! :-) Is the route the Amtrack takes very scenic?

San Diego, CA
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5. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

The Amtrak route is really beautiful, runs up the coast right by the ocean through Del Mar, Solana Beach all of North San Diego County until it turns inland at San Clemente. The views and the stressfree drive really beat sitting in traffic, it's so worth it!

www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer…

Placerville, CA
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6. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Hi NicMelb, I guess you wouldn't be familiar with the term "border town", eh? To me, "border town" means that Tiajuana (TJ) is not representative of Mexico. If you went further down into Mexico, the villages and cities would be much different than TJ. People on the edge are living in that border town. I haven't been to TJ for about 10 years... but it is dirty, gritty, poverty-stricken, and I'm always feeling paranoid. As you cross the border, you are accosted by beggars selling gum. I worry about eating there or drinking anything, because their sanitation is very bad, and I don't want diarrhea for weeks. The border crossing coming back can take hours if you are in a car (I wouldn't take my car, I'd be afraid it would get stolen, and most rental car agencies won't allow you to take their cars into Mexico. In fact, most United States car insurance won't cover you in Mexico, you have to buy separate insurance on your car right before you go into TJ). We have an illegal immigration problem, and drugs, coming into the US, so that may be why lines at the border are so long. It just seems kind of lawless. I've had friends who have had to bribe police officers who threatened to take them to jail for a small traffic infraction.

The only thing that I personally liked about TJ was the shopping...Mexico is known for its silver jewelry...and they expect you to bargain with them. But this isn't enough to draw me back.

This is just my view of TJ, others may have had more positive experiences. I feel for the people who live there. It certainly opened up my eyes to how well we live in the United States. But on vacation? Personally, I'd pass.

Placerville, CA
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7. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

NicMelb, I just bumped the post "A Trip to Mexico - READ first"! for you. Someone's personal experience with TJ, stolen car, and corrupt police who "roll" you (demand money). Just fyi.

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

chissis - The Amtrack looks perfect - thanks so much for the rec and link :-)

justducky2 - Thanks for the explanation of 'border town' - makes sense, though it's not a concept i'm at all used to!

Tijuana is now definitely off the list, and we'll get more time to appreciate San Diego for itself, rather than it's proximity to Mexico!

San Diego, CA
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9. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

Have a great trip, and post back with further questions.

10. Re: Want to see the Zoo, Tijuana and get a feel for San...

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