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1st time in San Diego...

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1st time in San Diego...

planning my 1st trip to San Diego in early Feb. I've been looking at the Trip Advisor's "things to do" guide and it looks like quite of few of the attractions I would like to take in are within a mile or 2 of "the city center" but I don't really know what that means. When I look at hotels none has referenced a distance to city center. Ideally, I would like a hotel that will allow some sort of ocean access/ views - but since I don't really want to rent a car does that put me at a disadvantage for sightseeing and restaurants? (walking a couple of miles is not a problem for me). Can anyone tell me how far from water the city center is...and the names of a couple of hotels in/near city center...and or the water so I can compare known locations to others on a map. I've been disappointed in the past relying on the location of a pin on a travel site map - just because it looks like it's close to water doesn't make it so. Thanks

Berkeley, California
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1. Re: 1st time in San Diego...

I'm not sure which attractions specifically you are interested in, as the list I see in the "Things to Do" section has a very broad geographic spread.

Have you studied a map of San Diego yet? That should help immensely. Downtown San Diego is right on the bay front. The main street is Broadway (east-west), and Fourth and Fifth Avenues are the main north-south streets. The Gaslamp Quarter runs for several blocks along Fourth and Fifth Avenues, from Broadway south towards the Convention Center.

Many hotels are located in the Gaslamp Quarter, and a few are located off of Broadway just to the northwest. There are a few hotels directly on the bay front, too, and these have rooms with water views and offer easy waterside access. These include the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Marriott Marquis, and Hilton Bayfront.

Oregon
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2. Re: 1st time in San Diego...

We just spent a week first of Dec in Carlsbad. Took the Coaster train into San Diego. 4th or so time we have been in San Diego area. Our daughter lived there. But the Dec trip sort of updated us.

We got off Coaster at Santa Fe Sta near Broadway and walked to the water and the US Midway, then to Seaport Village, then through Gaslight District and back to train sta, Think if I was picking place to stay it would be in Seaport area, Marriott or Hyatt. They are real close to water and assume some rooms have views. not sure of cost. Several places to eat in Seaport Village and a lot with water views.

There is a trolley to get a few places like old town. Not sure best way to get to Balboa Park. we used hop-on hop-off, but that is costly way to just get there.

And we have never been in San Diego area without a car, but you can visit without one.

Edited: 31 December 2011, 03:58
Berkeley, Ca.
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3. Re: 1st time in San Diego...

What's your hotel budget? As folks have said above, there are lots of hotels near the Harbor in and around Downtown San Diego, but you'll probably have to pay more for a room with a view.

If you're comfortable walking a couple of miles, you could walk from a downtown hotel to Balboa Park and the zoo. From downtown to Old Town is a bit over 3 miles, though it's not the most scenic walk--you could take the Trolley. The lively Hillcrest neighborhood is a bit closer. And there's a lot within the downtown itself--no worries about the lack of a car if you stay in the right location.

There are numerous restaurants in Downtown San Diego, adjacent neighborhoods, and places that are an easy Trolley/bus ride from Downtown.

San Diego...
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4. Re: 1st time in San Diego...

If you want easy ocean access and ocean views, then the hotel you stay at can't be in the downtown "city center" of San Diego. The body of water that is next to the city center is San Diego Bay. If you want an ocean view from your room, or be able to walk to an oceanfront beach, you will need to get a hotel in Coronado, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach or La Jolla. Any other neighborhood within the city limits of San Diego is not going to be oceanfront. It may be waterfront or close to water, if it is in downtown San Diego, Gaslamp or Little Italy, but that water would be the bay, not the ocean. It could be bayfront in Mission Bay, but again not oceanfront. You can still get around most of San Diego using the bus/trolley system (http://sdmts.com) and the 4-day pass is only $15, a great bargain for transportation around town. But it will take longer than if you had a car and you will have to plan your trips carefully. If you list the sights and attractions you want to see and do in San Diego, that may help to pinpoint the right location for a hotel for you to stay at.

San Diego...
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5. Re: 1st time in San Diego...

If you stay anywhere Downtown or Little Italy you can walk many places. They are also well placed for public transportation. The closest 'beach' is Coronado and you can get there by Ferry and take the 901 bus or a taxi to the actual beach (or walk ). You can also take the bus the whole way.

http://www.sdmts.com/mtscr/BusRoutes.aspx

http://www.sdcommute.com/

http://www.sdhe.com/san-diego-bay-ferry.html

6. Re: 1st time in San Diego...

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