We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Not sure which area is best for us???

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
40 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Not sure which area is best for us???

Hi All, we will be is San Diego in April for 12 days - we will have our 7 year old son with us.

We will have 3 appointments in Del Mar - 2 in the first few days of our trip & 1 towards the end.

We are not looking to get a car - I know it is probably more time efficient however neither of us are confident to drive on the other side of the road even though I'm sure it just takes practice.

We want to do the touristy things - sea world, balboa park, old town, gaslamp quarter, visit beaches, legoland etc & also do some shopping.

We are not sure about the best area to stay in - I'm thinking La Jolla as it's in between downtown & Del Mar. We could taxi from there & we are also happy to use the trolley.

Would this be a good idea? Any suggestions would be great.... Thank you :)

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
1,263 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

Oh, dear. Not driving a rental car is going to be a challenge, given your appointments in Del Mar and the attractions you wish to visit. We are not known for having an efficient, comprehensive public transportation system -- especially for getting you to all the places you need/want to go.

The trolley does not to to Del Mar, Sea World, the Zoo, Balboa Park, the beaches or Legoland. it does cover the Gaslamp and Old Town. There is a train called the Coaster which does go up close to Del Mar from downtown, but I'm guessing your appointment isn't right near any of the the stations -- and there aren't usually taxis waiting up there, so like you said -- you're going to probably have to hire a taxi from wherever you're staying, and the taxi ride is going to be very expensive.

As for your idea of staying in La Jolla -- it's a really nice place to stay but geographically, it's kind of off by itself which is going to make transportation to & fro a hassle. You may be better off staying somewhere more central to San Diego such as Old Town, Mission Valley, or downtown.

I wish I had better suggestions for you. Maybe someone else has some ideas.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
40 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

Thanks so much for your reply - my partner is now thinking about the car option :)

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
61,663 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

Hi,

For a trip of 12 days you could certainly have a 2 point trip staying in 2 different hotels or vacation rentals.

Where in Del Mar are your appointments? There is no train station or lightrail(trolley) station in Del Mar at all .

You can use Google maps to pin point the locations and then use their get directions function to see if our public transit system will help you to get to them.

A car would be very helpful to you for this trip!

We have many visitors from the UK and Oz who manage on the "other "side of the road.

Legoland is located north of Del Mar in a town called Carlsbad. You might stay near there for the first part of your trip and take the train south to the Solana Beach station to get to your Del Mar appointments, depending on where exactly you need to go?

Then you could move to downtown San Diego where there are lots of hotels and easier access to public transit. It is really for those first days that a car might make life easier.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

I have to back up mf-sandiego and Riff M completely. Del Mar is not a good location at all to stay w/o a car to go to all the places you wish to go. It also helps to know the location of those appointments as Del Mar does cover a big enough area. Taking taxis everywhere will be so very, very expensive from Del Mar. Taking public transportation will take you hours from Del Mar.

Here's an example for getting to Old Town Transit Center.

http://goo.gl/maps/jM6Ou

From Old Town connections can be made to get to SeaWorld, the Zoo, Downtown.

Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
157 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

taxi's are expensive and it's a drive from San Diego to Del Mar of 25 miles...

San Diego (the City) has the sights you are mentioning...Mission Valley area is easily located and affordable.

You could then travel to North County and see Carlsbad (Legoland!) as well other popular beach cities.

With small kids, i would not choose to stay in la Jolla...but great day visit :)

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

I'm not sure if post #5 is recommending Mission Valley with or w/o a car. I would not stay there w/o a car. Even with a car I could think of better locations depending on your per night budget in USD, of course.

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
1,263 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

Glad to hear your partner is considering driving a car here. It will make your life easier, for sure. If we get a vote in the decision, I vote yes. :)

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
40 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

Thank you so much for your responses! It is very clear that we need a car so we are going to get over the fear & do it!

We are also toying with the idea of a holiday rental rather than a hotel - if La Jolla is not the right place to stay - what recommendations do you have for a nice central spot preferably near the beach?

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

Mishyels - La Jolla is fine to stay as long as you have a car. You may have misunderstood. Just keep in mind that many places use the name "La Jolla" in their advertisements but are not within walking distance to the beach or restaurants.

La Jolla would be convient to get to both Del Mar and Downtown SD in a car.

I will say that it's pretty easy to stay on the proper side of the road here. There aren't too many places that a tourist would go that it wouldn't be easy to just follow the "flow of traffic". And I have to say in all the years that I've lived here I've never heard of one traffic incident / accident involving a tourist causing one because they were driving on the wrong side of the road.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
40 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Not sure which area is best for us???

We are now tossing up between the Empress hotel in La jolla or a rental through VRBO in Mission Beach. Any suggestions as to which would be better? Or do you have a better suggestion? Our budget is approx $USD180 per night.

Thanks :)