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1st trip to SD!

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Atlanta, GA
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1st trip to SD!

I'll be in SD on business the week of 11/13 and then my husband will be joining me 11/15-11/18 for a mini vaca. We are staying at the US Grant, got a great deal of $139/night on Priceline and we will have a car. Any recommendations of parking outside of the US Grant or should we just bite the bullet and pay the $35/day?

My husband wants to go to the zoo and he loves sushi- I found a place called Sushi Ota on yelp that seems really good. Any other great restaurants? Preferably not seafood since we will probably do the sushi restaurant. Also, I'd love to go whale watching as I've never been of anyone has any recommendations or maybe it's kind of a rip off?

Any other places we should try for drinks, music? What about weather mid November? Thank you! So looking forward to our trip :)

Atlanta, GA
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1. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Also: would love a nice restaurant maybe on the water?

San Diego...
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2. Re: 1st trip to SD!

OK - I just typed a big answer to some of your questions and my computer shut down. So, I'm going to try again without sending you any links to the places.

Non seafood w/ a view, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Ask for a view table.

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion in the Marriott Marina has some non seafood dishes. Ask for a view and/or sit outside.

On the water in the same bldg is The Fish Market & Top of the Market which is upstairs. Generally I advise to eat in the upstairs restaurant because it's less noisy & and less touristy atmosphere. However, downstairs there's a separate room that has a Sushi Bar which I don't believe has a view (?) You might look on yelp for reviews. If you don't eat there you can always go there for a drink in the bar or on the outdoor patio and/or have apps.

For drinks with a view there's Top of the Hyatt on the Marina. If you go on a weekend go Early!

Just about every restaurant within a short walk from your hotel will have HH menus. And some will even have a late night HH. And your hotel has a good HH as well.

Chula Vista...
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3. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Hi Hannah and welcome to SD,

About 3 weeks ago there was a thread taking about sushi in the Gaslamp District:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60750-i41-k582227…

I think the restaurant you selected is in that thread, as well as a few others (with comments).

One other restaurant you may want to check out is Croce's (run by the late Jim Croce's wife, Ingrid):

http://www.croces.com/

There's no view, as it's in the middle of the Gaslamp District, but It's got a live jazz bar with music starting around 7:30 PM. It's a bit on the pricey side (plan on $40 - $60 per person), but I've always enjoyed the meal the 3 times I've been there. (Reservations are recommended and no need to dress up--casual attire is fine.)

For a view of the San Diego skyline from across the harbor, take the ferry over to Coronado (or drive over the bridge), you can check out the restaurants at the Coronado Ferry Landing: Candela's, Peohe's, or Il Fornaio.

coronadoferrylandingshops.com/index.htm

The ferry leaves from the end of Broadway St (where the US Grant is located) on the hour, is about 15 minutes across the harbor, and costs $4.25 each way. It returns to San Diego from Coronado on the half hour.

I'm not sure if you're flying out on Sunday the18th and, if so, what time, but if your schedule permits you may want to try:

- Getting to the zoo around 9 AM when it opens (better parking (free); animals more active; look for $4 discount coupons in flyers in the hotel lobby or ask the concierge),

- Leave the zoo around 12:30 (but keep your car parked in the zoo parking lot), walk the third of a mile through the Spanish Art Village in Balboa Park to The Prado restaurant,

- Have lunch at the Prado

- Enjoy the free 2 PM organ concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion (the concerts are only held on Sundays). It lasts about an hour and you can be back at your car by 3:30 PM.

http://goo.gl/maps/sKnDX

http://www.spanishvillageart.com/

cohnrestaurants.com/menu-restaurants/… (Note they stop serving lunch around 3 PM)

http://sosorgan.com/

If you can't do that on a Sunday, I'd still recommend lunch in the park after the zoo and you can check out a number of other attractions such as the Botanical Building, several of the museums, or the Japanese Friendship Garden.

http://www.balboapark.org/

Hope that gives you some ideas on a lot of things to explore in a very compact area.

Zed

San Diego
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4. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Whale watching is NOT a "rip off". Not sure why you'd think that??

I don't know when the boats start going out for the season.

I'd not make a res until you are here or right before you arrive to see the weather. There are several companies that do these trips and I have not heard any complaints about any of them.

IF you want to eat at The Prado in Balboa Park(one of my favorites) make a reservation even for lunch. You can use opentable.com to do that.

I like sitting in the indoor room near the windows with view of the garden. IF the weather is nice then the patio is also lovely!

I really enjoy the view of the downtown buildings lit up at night so I 2nd the idea of taking the ferry across the bay to the Ferry Landing for dinner one night.

Atlanta, GA
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5. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Thanks everyone so much! Unfortunately we are flying out on Sunday so we don't have much time. Planning on going to the zoo and eating lunch at the Prado on Friday. Think we will take the ferry so we don't have to pay for parking. My husband wants fish tacos so maybe that for dinner. No day plans for Saturday yet so I'll do some more research on the things you all suggested.

Thank you, again!

Chula Vista...
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6. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Hi Hannah,

A recommendation for Saturday:

Go out to Cabrillo National Monument (assuming good weather, no marine layer/fog) for an amazing view of San Diego harbor from atop Point Loma ($5 admission fee; park closes at 5 PM; really need to be there by 3:30 PM to enjoy the park before it closes.)

http://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

Then drive up the coast north through Ocean Beach (quirky, laid back tie-dyed vibe), maybe walk the boardwalk along Mission and Pacific Beaches and watch the surfers.

Then head up to La Jolla and La Jolla Cove, and perhaps up Mount Soledad or as far as Torry Pines State Reserve.

http://www.lajollabythesea.com/

http://www.lajollabythesea.com/la-jolla-cove

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32578-d59…

http://www.torreypine.org/

That would be a good, all-day scenic drive with plenty to see, do, and eat along the way.

California
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7. Re: 1st trip to SD!

You can also eat at the zoo. My mom and I frequently enjoy the cafeteria, The Treehouse, which has outside patio seating and views across the zoo to the city OR down the elevator to Albert's Restaurant. Really nice food with a little patio and waterfall at the back.

San Diego...
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8. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Candelas at the Coronado Ferry Landing has Fish Tacos. Not cheap but you are paying for the view and atmosphere. It is a nice place to sit with a view.

IF you do go to Ocean Beach (funky beachy vibe) the fish tacos at the dive South Beach Bar & Grill has GREAT fish tacos. I had the Baja (Pollock) taco a couple of weeks ago and I can't wait to go back for another one. Oh, CASH ONLY!

http://southbeachob.com/Tacos.shtml

Nanaimo, Canada
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9. Re: 1st trip to SD!

Thank you Hannah for starting this thread. My husband & I are going to have our first trip to SD in Feb. Many of the suggestions by Zed, Elizzie, Riff, & Sousin answer questions that I had. Balboa Park, the zoo, HH place, places with a great view for drinks and/or meals, fish tacos, etc. Thank you to all of you. :)

San Diego...
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10. Re: 1st trip to SD!

A lot of locals like Sushi Deli :)

I second Candela's on Coronado! Good food!