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San Diego Road Trip

County Mayo, Ireland
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San Diego Road Trip

Hi,

My 6 friends and I from Ireland are planning a road trip of California/Nevada/Arizona from July 24th- 17th August 2013. We hope to hit San Diego for 3 nights around the 5th August. I'm looking for help to plan our itinerary around the San Diego area. We plan to go to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. Are there any other sights that people would recommend? Also what places are good to head out in for a lively night. Would it be feasible and worthwhile heading to Tijuana for a day? We are also looking for cheap but decent hotels in good areas, say maybe around $60 per person per night. Could you guys recommend some places that are good value or a gem of a hotel that has low prices :-) (asking a lot I Know!!!) We'd really appreciate your feedback on this.

Thanks,

Eoin.

San Diego
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1. Re: San Diego Road Trip

There's a LOT to do here besides animal parks!!

You can do all sorts of water activities(surf, swim, sea kayak etc)

You can walk/hike in scenic areas like at Torrey Pines State Reserve and at La Jolla Cove or Cabrillo National Monument.

There are ships to see /visit at our downtown bayfront that include the USS Midway aircraft carrier and our Maritime Museum which has a Russian sub and some old ships.

Balboa Park where the zoo is located is also a stop for many visitors.

Folks walk/bike/take Segway tours there as there are gardens, small museums, outdoor entertainment, shops etc.

Summer is high season so depending on how many beds you need for lodging there are some very nice hostels and some low price hotels .

You'd have to share rooms at the hotels because you cannot get one for $60!!(usually)

http://sandiegohostels.org/ The downtown one will put you in the center of our gaslamp entertainment district with tons of bars/restaurants/clubs etc.

There is also one at a beach called the Banana Bungalow.

Low priced hotels where perhaps 2 could share a bed/room would be:

Dolphin Motel,Motel 6 downtown,Maybe La Pensione.

Also low priced but a few could share a room would be Old Town Inn,Comfort Inn and Suites gaslamp.

Areas where you can just walk out for evening fun would be downtown/gaslamp or for low key beachy bars ,Pacific Beach.

I did not give you any lodging ideas for the beach(besides Banana Bungalow) because usually it is more expensive in summer. I suppose you might try the Beach Bungalows to see if you all could share and then afford it.

San Diego...
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2. Re: San Diego Road Trip

Hi Eoin - the liviest places to stay for nightlife are Downtown SD / Gaslamp Quarter & Pacific Beach. Unfortunately, they will also be most expensive because you are coming in our high season. Also, the charge a lot for the car.

Are you putting two people per room for $120 / room?

Little Italy and Old Town are also good places to stay so you could get to Gaslamp easy on public transportation for the very active nightlife.

Have a look at La Pensione and Porta Vista in Little Italy. As a matter of fact look at all the hotels in LI. Good location to get around either by car or public transp. Here's a list of hotels in LI.

http://www.littleitalysd.com/stay/

Not knowing what your interests are or if you a group of males or femals or both it is hard to say what you should do. I will say please don't go to Tijuana for such a short first time visit. It isn't worth it or recommended.

We have surfing, kayaking, jet skiing, stand up paddle board, hikig, segway tours.

Places to visit:

http://www.thebigbay.com/

http://www.midway.org/

http://www.seaportvillage.com/

Take the ferry to Coronado

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

http://www.coronadoferrylandingshops.com/

www.coronadovisitorcenter.com/CVC/index.html

http://www.hoteldel.com/

Balboa Park is on the same property as the Zoo and has museums, gardens, hiking trails, performing arts, an IMAX theater

http://www.balboapark.org/

Well, you only have 3 days so I'll stop there :)

San Diego...
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3. Re: San Diego Road Trip

BTW - I'm sure in doing your research you must realize just how hot it's going to be in Arizona & Nevada. It can be will over 100 degrees. As a matter of fact I was hearing numbers around 112 degrees a few days ago in the desert. Being from Ireland you may not realize just how hot that is ?

So, if you do this, please please have jugs of water in your car. Do not be caught without water especially if your car should break down. I know in Vegas you can spent all your time indoors with air conditioning. But for the rest of your trip you need to be prepared for the potential for extreme heat. This is not the time of year usually recommended for sight seeing in the desert. People who live there spent most of their time going from one air conditioned bldg to another.

You will be very grateful to get to San Diego with our great weather after a trip in the desert!

San Diego...
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4. Re: San Diego Road Trip

Oh, and it's TOO early to book hotels for one year from now. All you will see are the very expensive 'rack rates' usually. BUT, it's not too early to do research on areas to stay / places to visit. So good for you on starting your research.

This might be a non-issue but just want to make sure you are all over 21 as you will need to be to do what you're planning.

Happy planning!

La Jolla, California
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5. Re: San Diego Road Trip

>>This might be a non-issue but just want to make sure you are all over 21 as you will need to be to do what you're planning.

elizzie is correct if your plans include clubbing and gambling. For renting hotel rooms you may find different minimum ages in different hotels/towns/states. Hotels tend to set 18 for a minimum age to rent a room, although more upscale hotels often require higher minimum age. Minimum age for renting a car will usually be 25, although I know some agencies have lower age requirements.

I think you could stay three to a room. Usually the third person would be an extra charge of $25 or so.

La Jolla, California
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6. Re: San Diego Road Trip

And I want to second elizzie's warning about the summer heat in Arizona and Nevada as well as in parts of California. I was in Galway one summer, and wore a thick jacket the entire time. You don't get the type of heat elizzie describes. The Southwestern heat can be a killer. Last year I was in Joshua Tree (California) on the day some Dutch tourists died because they did not carry water and their car broke down.

County Mayo, Ireland
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7. Re: San Diego Road Trip

Ya we are all in our late 20's so that shouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the advice re the heat. I can well imagine it will be something we have never experienced before but I think we will brave it anyway. We will be well prepared and make sure we are well- hydrated. I'll have the most to worry about as I'm the only fair one in the group! Oops :-)!! Had a look at the banana bungalow and looked at a few of the reviews on here which are not very complimentary to say the least. We'd like to be careful with what we spend on accom but at the same time it has to be clean and comfortable. We'll be saving a lot hopefully between now and then!! I had a look at the airbnb website for vacation rental ideas and that seems like an option. Maybe a bit cheaper too than in San fran and LA? Although I would be worried they may not rent to 6 guys and it would be a more family orientated website. Anyone any ideas on that?

Thanks,

Eoin.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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8. Re: San Diego Road Trip

Can you be a little more specific on how many rooms you are looking at?

Will you have a car while in San Diego?

Do you want 3 rooms with 2 people in a room? that would be more expensive.

You could easily put 3 of you in two rooms, with 2 queen beds so if your taking about $60 per person thats $180 a night per room which should get you somewhere pretty nice to stay at.

La Jolla, California
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9. Re: San Diego Road Trip

A vrbo is usually, as the name suggests, rented by one owner. It is up to the individual owner who they want to rent to. Last year six of my husband's high school soccer buddies came to town for an informal reunion and rented a three-bedroom house through vrbo. They were all middle-aged professionals who were able to afford the (steep) deposit and rent. It may be different for younger guys, as they have a reputation for partying hard. Also keep in mind that there usually is a minimum days requirement (like 3 or 4).

Oh, and those soccer buddies had the hardest time deciding who would sleep where, because they did not want to share beds, and each bedroom had one queen-sized bed. It was quite hilarious to watch. One ended up on the living room couch, and two others bought sleeping bags.

San Diego
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10. Re: San Diego Road Trip

As you may have noticed, I gave you a link to the hostel in downtown but NOT to Banana Bungalow. I KNOW the one downtown is a good one and just mentioned Banana because it was at the beach. The folks that hang out there often look drunk and scruffy but then I don't know you and your friends and thought perhaps you'd fit in there OK.(LOL)

IF you guys can share beds(big queen sized ones) then 3 people to a room with 2 beds or 4 people sharing and 2 people sharing might work. IF everyone needs their own bed then your $120 won't buy a lot and nothing really at the beach unless you luck out and find some great deal!

Discuss the sleeping arrangements and get back to us with the possibilities.