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What to do?

Meridian, Idaho
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What to do?

Initially we were going to do 4 days in SD sans car, but after researching places and locations, I decided to rent a car to have more freedom.

That being said, I have expanded my area and need some help deciding how to spend out time.

We have been to San Diego once before-for a quick 2 night trip. We went to the San Diego zoo and to a football game at Qualcomm.

This time we will be in town for 4 days. We are seeing another game (San Diego State vs BSU) at Qualcomm. Other than that, I have no idea what we should do-a lot of things seem geared towards families, and we are kid free. Anything goes-any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, in we went to Seattle once and did a dinner train tour. Anything similar? Maybe a cruise and dinner?

Thanks!

San Diego...
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1. Re: What to do?

There are several companies that do dinner cruises, if you do a search for "San Diego dinner cruise" you can find links to them. You can also take a deep-sea fishing cruise. It's a bit early for the whale-watching cruises though.

I'd spend an afternoon or even a whole day in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego; there is a lot to see and do there and much of it is free, and parking is free for 2 hours unless there are meters. You could take a walk along the oceanfront starting at the 300 block of Coast Boulevard and going north, passing Cuvier Park and the Children's Pool, La Jolla Cove and Goldfish Point, ending at Coast Walk, then walk back to your car, maybe stopping to eat lunch somewhere in La Jolla. If it's a clear day drive up to Soledad Mountain Park in La Jolla for sweeping views of San Diego, or Torrey Pines Glider Port for sweeping views of the ocean.

You could visit Cabrillo National Monument in the Point Loma area of San Diego for more views, or drive over to Coronado and see the historic Hotel del Coronado and the beach there. Old Town San Diego and Presidio Park above it are another possibility. If you are interested in ships you can visit the USS Midway Museum, a decommissioned aircraft carrier, or the Maritime Museum, a collection of ships including 2 submarines and the Star of India, the world's oldest working ship.

You've already been to the zoo but also in Balboa Park are about 15 museums and several gardens; if you are interested in those see http://balboapark.org for more info.

If you are interested in deserts you could drive out to the back country in eastern San Diego County and Imperial County, including driving along Sunrise Highway through Laguna Mountain Recreation Area (where there may well be snow on the ground) and past the historic mining town of Julian, formerly a gold mining town but now an apple-growing area. Then to get to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park you would go down the Banner Grade on Highway 78 and continue to Borrego Springs, about one hour past Julian. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638 and http://www.abdsp.org/ for more information.

Meridian, Idaho
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2. Re: What to do?

Wow! Thanks, BW. That was very helpful :) I will look into all of this.

Any beaches that are a don't miss? Being from Idaho, I appreciate a beautiful beach. Preferably one that "has something" to do once you're there. DH isn't too into wandering around-he likes to have something TO DO. Thanks :)

San Diego
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3. Re: What to do?

Things to "do" at a beach depend on your energy levels.

We tend to use beaches as a place to walk but you can also:

rent bikes to ride along the cement path we call a "boardwalk" at Pacific Beach

rent sea kayaks or go on a sea kayak tour or tkae surf lesson or have a drink/meal at La Jolla Shores beach

watch the seals and pelicans in their native environment at La Jolla Cove

You could also take a surf lesson at various beaches.

You can visit the historic Hotel Del Coronado and have a drink/meal at the beach there.

Meridian, Idaho
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4. Re: What to do?

Oooh I will look into the La Jolla cove-that sounds interesting.

We will be visiting in December so water sports are out. LOL. Brrrr.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: What to do?

Many people enjoy surfing, swimming, kayaking year round here.

San Diego, CA
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6. Re: What to do?

Another beach that has something "to do" is Mission Beach's Belmont Park, a small amusement park with an old fashioned wooden roller coaster.

A bit further north is Pacific Beach with a pier to walk out on. The pier also features cute little cabins that people rent. You walk right by the cabins on the way to the end of the pier. There are also many restaurants and bars along the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, so you could have a meal or drink there.

Meridian, Idaho
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7. Re: What to do?

Thanks!

San Diego...
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8. Re: What to do?

As far as "what to do," that's up to you. Most people go to the beach for sunning, swimming, water activities such as surfing, bodysurfing, boogie boarding, skim boarding, kayaking or snorkeling. Some people go to the ones with piers for fishing. Each beach seems to have its own character and activities. This is just my impression, others may see these areas differently. From south to north:

Imperial Beach - mostly for residents of that area, not remarkable enough to drive down there for, pier. Border Field State Park has fence dividing US and Mexico that goes into the water.

Silver Strand - long beach with state park, dunes, open space

Coronado - "family values" friendly area, large beach, surf lessons, bonfires.

Cabrillo National Monument - not really a "beach" but tide pool areas.

Sunset Cliffs - many people walk their dogs or go jogging along the clifftops, small pocket beaches but treacherous climb down to them.

Ocean Beach - longest pier in southern California and longest concrete pier on the west coast. Countercultural, "hippie" neighborhood. Dog Beach at north end is of course popular with dog owners

Fiesta Island - popular for bonfires in the evenings, watch fireworks from Sea World

Mission Beach - kind of a teenage vibe, skateboarders, bicycle stunts, Belmont Park amusement park

Pacific Beach - college-age vibe, drinking no longer allowed on beach, Crystal Pier, surfing at north end of beach

Windansea Beach, La Jolla - famous surfing beach described in first chapter of "The Pump House Gang," strong waves, here's a video of it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LjNLWV2F-g

Marine Street Beach - small beach visited almost entirely by locals

Coast Boulevard Park - 300-500 blocks of Coast Boulevard in La Jolla, tide pools at low tide, easy parking

Wedding Bowl - flat circular grassy area popular with weddings, beach just north of it is very nice, not sure what it is called though

Children's Pool - enclosed by sea wall, often seals sleep on the sand, so not used much by people any more

Shell Beach - small pocket beach at bottom of stairway

Boomer Beach - next to Ellen Browning Scripps Park, I think closed to swimming now

La Jolla Cove - small beach facing north, go down steps, popular with snorkeling and swimming crowd, often crowded

La Jolla Shores - large flat beach popular with families, possible surfing, location of where sea kayaking starts from

Blacks Beach - very long beach in the northern part of La Jolla, a portion of the north end was legally a nude beach for 2 years in the 1970s, nudity is still common there, very isolated, requires a long walk from La Jolla or Torrey Pines or a hike on a trail down a 300-foot bluff to get to. Glider Port above it has hang gliders, parking is free there

Torrey Pines State Beach - below Torrey Pines State Reserve, and north of the reserve - free parking on spaces along highway, paid parking lots

There are many more, I didn't list any north of Torrey Pines, but starting with Del Mar you are not in the city of San Diego any more. For a listing, see http://sdbeachguide.com/beaches_map.php

Meridian, Idaho
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9. Re: What to do?

Wow, thanks :)

10. Re: What to do?

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