Chit Chat

LA/San Diego vacation tips

peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
edited July 2015 in Chit Chat
After our wedding, my FI and I have a goal of visiting major US cities, with LA and San Diego being our first stop. Neither of us have ever been to California (or the West Coast).

I'm in a bit of a lull right now with wedding stuff and work is slooooow. Any suggestions or tips for planning a trip to LA and San Diego? We are big movie fans and definitely want to be Hollywood tourists for a few days, and then I also make sure we get some beach/pool time (we'll be vacationing from Boston in winter 2016). I'm also planning on renting a car and thinking about flying to LA and leaving from San Diego.

The wine country/San Fran trip will be another visit!
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Re: LA/San Diego vacation tips

  • Just a warning on Hollywood; it's not as fun and glamorous as it looks in the movies. It's actually a pretty crappy neighborhood (or it was the last time I was there) and there's not a lot to do. You see the sign, you see the hand prints in cement, and then you're pretty much done. 

    There's some great bars and restaurants elsewhere in the city, though. (It's been a long time since I've been there, so I'm gonna leave specific places up to the more knowledgeable knotties). 
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  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    @novella1186 thanks! No, we're kind of expecting the run-down look in Hollywood. We seriously would go just to do as you said (see sign, see walk of fame, maybe take a tour, leave). 
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  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2015

    If you have a day, go to either the San Diego zoo or the Wild Animal Park. They are both amazing.

    In SD, plan to wonder around La Jolla. Go to Scripps Park. Go see Children's pool which has been over run by seals and check out the tide pools. Alfonso's is dive-y Mexican on Prospect, which is the main drive in La Jolla. If you are looking for a fancy/ nicer meal, go to George's. Also on Prospect. You will want to sit on the rooftop and when making reservation , tell tem you want a table closest to the glass windows. It has amazing views.

    Consider going to Coronado. The Hotel Del is very cool and the beaches are amazing. Also a cute little downtown.

    If you are interested take a tour on a Navy ship.

    I also like to wander Old Town San Diego. Great shops, people watching,  and food.

    I don't love LA but I would to Santa Monica Pier and then wonder 3rd Street Promenade. You can  try to celeb spot by having lunch at the Ivy. Its expensive and the food is just okay but it can be fun.

    If you are into Hiking, you can hike or horseback ride behind the Hollywood sign.

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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I recommend a day in Temecula. It is southern Cali wine country. I can pull up my old posts, or you can search "Temecula" we discussed it at length when Gauc went. It is beautiful and have some amazing wineries, very different from Northern Cali wine country.

    San Diego is way better than LA. I'm not a huge LA fan. I was out there recently and highly recommend eating at the Santa Monica Fish Market - amazing, if you love fish. Malibu Seafood was amazing as well. You eat outside on picnic table, but the food is so good that we saw people who brought table cloths, china and wine.

    In San Diego, I typically stay at Pacific Beach. It's busy but not crazy like Mission Bay, which is still near by. Eat a Fatburger. 
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • julieanne912julieanne912 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2015
    My mom grew up in SD (in Pacific Beach and La Jolla, before it was fancy) and my grandpa and aunt still live there (Mission Valley and Ocean Beach), so I've been there a million times.  Previous recommendations are all very good, and I especially second the recommendation for La Jolla.  La Jolla cove is perhaps one of my favorite places on the planet.  On weekends it can get a bit crowded with people so go there on a weekday if you can.

    I also enjoy going to Balboa Park, which is by the zoo.  It's beautiful and nice to just walk around, but there's also some museums and other gardens you can visit.  My grandmother was an artist and did a lot of her paintings at Balboa Park.  http://www.balboapark.org/in-the-park/museums  


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  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Windensea in La Jolla is one of the best beaches in the area(maybe the whoel state?). Its on Neptune street and parking can be tough but I think its worth it.

    Its a locals surfing spot, so they might not be too receptive to people swimming but the beach is unreal.

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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    It's been awhile and I can only hope this place is still there, but there was this amazing chocolate restaurant in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.  The wait for a table was as if it were for dinner, but they only do dessert and specialize in chocolate.  It was out of this world!  I can't recall the name, but maybe someone else in this post will remember?  It's been almost 10 years since I've been.

    peachy13
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    I live in San Diego! 

    I second Kat's suggestion of Wind an Sea in La Jolla. It's beautiful and parking isn't bad at all. Nautilus Street at Neptune Place.  The parking is bad at the cove where the children's pool is.

    Coronado and the Hotel Del area is stunning. It was visiting Coronado that made me want to move to San Diego. On the other side of Coronado is Glorietta Bay and there are restaurants with a beautiful skyline view of San Diego. 

    If you fly into  San Diego, sit on the left hand side of the plane. It's one of the only cities I can think of in the US where you fly through downtown at really low altitude before you land. The left side of the plane has a much prettier view. 

    I'd skip Temecula if you are going to do wine country in northern California. Temecula is pretty small in comparison.

    Check out Balboa Park. It was built for the World's Fair and has the most stunning architecture. There are lots of museums but even if you just go to walk through the park (which is free) it's a really awesome experience. 

    Eat at In-n-Out Burger. This can be done in San Diego or LA.

    Keep in mind it isn't very warm here in the winter normally. Usually 60s or 70s and very little humidity. 

    ETA: San Diego is also called the Craft Beer Capital of America. So if you're into craft beer make plans for that in SD. I'm not a beer drinker so can't give you recommendations.
    peachy13
  • I've posted all my favorite San Diego activities in the Honeymoon board--I think you can search for it.

    Jealous of @lc07 - I think about moving to SD all the time, but I haven't found any job opportunities that were the right fit (I'm in consulting--but I am in a fairly niche area, and don't want to just go work Navy contracts...)

    Second (or third) those that mentioned the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade--I'm originally from Santa Monica and I STILL enjoy the Promenade (after 30 years!)
    lc07peachy13
  • We're going to SD for our honeymoon! Lurking heavily and taking notes...
    peachy13
  • Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego.
  • We did LA and San Diego for our honeymoon.  We really loved both.  Of course driving sucks in LA, and some parts aren't so great, but overall there's a lot of fun places to see and great restaurants. 

    If you're movie fans, I'd skip Hollywood (if you really want to go, then just plan to go for like an hour, see the sign, see some famous handprints, and go).  But we did the Warner Bros. Studio tour, and it was great!  We also went to Universal studios since we're big theme park nerds, but they also have their studio tour which is cool too.  If you got lots of money, you can do the Universal VIP tour which is supposed to be even better.

    For LA, we loved the Getty Center and Getty Villa, both free art museums.  

    San Diego, the zoo is great of course, and we stayed in La Jolla.  La Jolla is so charming!  

    Go eat at Burger Lounge.  There's several locations in both LA and San Diego, but their burgers and fries are soooo good.

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