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Perfect Day in San Diego

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Perfect Day in San Diego

Hi all!

I've been reading over this forum and there is great information and tips!

I am going to San Diego with my boyfriend on Memorial Day, landing at night and have the next full day and half of another day to see San Diego.

We are staying at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. Our idea is to rent bikes and go all over the city. We want to venture through Old Town and Hillcrest in the morning, explore Balboa Park and go across Coronado Bay Bridge. Going to Gaslamp Quarter at night.

My questions are:

1. Seeing San Diego in one day -- is there time to fit the zoo in this day or should we leave it for the next morning?

2. Could we manage to bike to Mission Bay Park/Mission Beach or is that too far?

Also any other "must sees" please let me know!!

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1. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

Hi Jennifer,

San Diego is quite spread out, so you'll be spending quite a bit of time going from one point to another.

Here's a Google Map showing the distances between your hotel, Old Town, Hillcrest, and Balboa Park.

http://goo.gl/maps/yLwRB

The ride from your hotel to Old Town would not be very scenic at all--along the airport and past a lot of light industrial areas. You could put your bikes on the San Diego Trolley (light rail) and take it to the Old Town Transit center and then begin your ride from there. Note the rules for bringing bikes on board, however:

http://www.sdmts.com/Bikes_onboard.asp

Also, San Diego is not flat. To go from Old Town to Hillcrest, you'll have a 240 foot or so climb in elevation over a short distance (i.e., steep hills).

You cannot ride your bike across the bridge to Coronado. You must either put the bike on a bus or, you can take a passenger ferry from either the convention center near your hotel or the Broadway St. pier to Coronado.

Getting to Mission Bay would be doable if that's the only thing that you do that day.

You're going to have to prioritize. Which is more important to you? Riding a bike everywhere or seeing the sights?

If it's more important to ride the bike, then I'd either dedicate the day to going to Mission Bay and back, swinging through Old Town along the way (and forgetting about Hillcrest and Balboa Park) OR heading to Coronado, renting a bike at the ferry landing, and riding around Coronado and perhaps even down some of the Silver Strand (the thin isthmus of land that connects Coronado to Imperial Beach at the south end of San Diego Harbor).

Another biking option that eliminates the hills is to just bike the trails along the harbor front--Harbor Island to Shelter Island. A much more scenic view.

If it's more important to see the sights, then abandon the bike idea and uses buses and the trolley to get you around faster.

As far as the zoo is concerned, you can get a good feel for it in 4-6 hours. Depending on when you have to leave on your second day, it may be best to save your visit for that day. Get there at 9 AM when it opens and the animals are most active, and leave around 1 PM.

Hope that helps.

Zed

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2. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

Hi jennifer! Welcome to San Diego.

From the Marriott you are best taking the Green Line Trolley to Old Town. You do not need a bike. Riding from downtown to Old Town isn't so straight forward for someone who hasn't been here before and may end up being more time consuming than you imagine. It's not a scenic ride and for such a short stay I wouldn't waste my time. Here's a map showing a walking route which would be the same.

http://goo.gl/maps/CQdW9

So for $2.25 you can take the Trolley and get there faster.

http://www.sdmts.com/Trolley/Trolley.asp

You can ride from Downtown to Hillcrest. Just know it is 'up hill'. Or you can take the bus. BTW, why Hillcrest? There's really nothing to 'see' there. Plenty of places to eat, etc. but not much else.

You canNOT ride your bike on the Coronado bridge. It is for cars only. No pedestrians or cyclists. You CAN take a bike on the Ferry and then ride around Coronado.

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

Trying to go to Mission Bay on a bike can and is done. But I don't think you have enough time at all. Especially with your wanting to go to Old Town and Coronado.

Also, staying at the Marriott you do not need a bike to go all over Downtown. You just need to walk. Our Downtown is very walkable and you can walk from one end to the other in 30 mins.

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3. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

Wow thank you for your responses!!!

My bike idea stemmed from reading this forum.. it seemed that taking a car everywhere would be a pain since you have to get in and out, find parking, and repeat over and over again.. And then reviews about public transportation seemed a little iffy (I'm live in NYC and take buses and subways everything! I love public transportation, but only when it gets from point A to point B).

The places I named were based on the forum as well as itineraries I found online.

So if I get rid of Hillcrest.. what would be suggested to see? Balboa, Coronado and Gaslamp?

I also saw this online.

http://www.trolleytours.com/san-diego/

Anyone think this would be a good idea to do for a day to see as much as possible? I wasn't sure if it would be worth doing the hop on hop off trolley or to just walk/public transit everything?

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4. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

I definitely think the Old Town Trolley Tour is worth it for not having a car. It will take you to Old Town, Balboa Park, Little Italy, Coronado. You can get out and walk around in these areas. And the added benefit of not having to find and pay for parking.

I will add, though, that getting from the Marriott to Old Town and Little Italy is very easy on the lightrail Trolley. Getting to Coronado is very easy on the Ferry. And, as I said in Downtown you don't need a car because it's small and walkable.

The only downside I've heard about the Trolley Tour is that when you Hop Off in a neighborhood and it's a busy day (like a weekend or a holiday) and you go to catch another one when you're ready to leave the next one might be full and you have to wait for another.

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5. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

Seems the way to get in as much as possible in one day is Old Town Trolley Tour. Thanks for your help!!

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6. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

Don't forget about the water! San Diego's coastal communities deserve a day. I took a guided kayak tour out of Ocean Beach with Ocean Experience. Was amazing. After, my bf & I laid out out on the sand, pure relaxation. No shortage of entertainment options up the main street in OB. A great place to spend a day.

San Diego...
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7. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

MelLouis - they are only here for 1 day and do not have a car so your suggestion doesn't really work for jennifer1088.

I hope your first time post isn't an advertisement for the Ocean Experience.

Edited: 21 May 2013, 05:12
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8. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

Thanks Mel Louis - unfortunately we do only have one full day in San Diego. After San Diego we are traveling through Arizona and to Vegas and then back to San Diego. We may come back from Vegas sooner to have some ocean/beachtime but its not first thing on our agenda -- more important to see San Diego.

elizzie - thanks again for your suggestions - we are excited to see the city with the trolley tour! definitely the way to go!

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9. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

I hope you are able to see La Jolla. This is one of our favorite areas of San Diego. :)

10. Re: Perfect Day in San Diego

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