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SI Vacation and travel expertise needed!

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yewtree posted 8/11/2013 13:48 PM

I would like to take a short trip to San Diego or Los Angeles. It's the closest beach to me, being in the southwest.

I have questions:
s it cheaper to stay in San Diego or Los Angeles?

If San Diego, what part?
Los Angeles?

I am not interested in any of the tourist attractions. I want beach time, walking time, down time.

I am thinking late August to Mid-September. Is it better to travel mid-week as opposed to Monday or weekends?

Obviously I don't get out a lot!

Should I look for a bed and breakfast instead of a hotel?

What else am I missing?

I've been on the internet some, but can't decide about La Jolla vs Chula Vista vs Mission Bay vs Downtown or old town. And Los Angeles seems just as confusing.

I will be traveling alone, so I want it to be reasonably inexpensive and oh so tranquil.

Sad in AZ posted 8/11/2013 14:33 PM

The Californians should be along momentarily. I only have experience with LA Beaches and I was underwhelmed, but it was probably where I visited. I stayed with friends in Venice Beach-the boardwalk was a trip, the beach--meh. I also went to Santa Monica; once again, the pier was fun but the beach, less than average. Of course, there's always Malibu...

I've never been to San Diego, but I hear it's much nicer. If it were me and I were flying, I'd go to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

monarchwings posted 8/11/2013 14:34 PM

San Diego specifically the Catamaran Hotel in Pacific Beach. I was there last month and the grounds are beautiful. You can rent bikes on the board walk. There is lots of people watching.

Amazonia posted 8/11/2013 15:40 PM

Go to San Diego. LA, for as much as I loved living there, is a nightmare. Or to to Orange County, much nicer than LA (and more $$$, although the cost of living difference might not affect vacation prices).

yewtree posted 8/11/2013 15:42 PM

Sad, I thought I needed a passport to go to Mexico? I let it expire a few years ago... you know, when I was crazy..

Sad in AZ posted 8/11/2013 16:01 PM

You need the passport to get back into the US. Check online; they should have info on how long the wait is at this time (probably not as bad as before the summer) and you can expedite it for a small fee.

Amazonia posted 8/11/2013 16:08 PM

Yes, you need a passport to get to/from Mexico. I just had mine renewed and it only took about 2 weeks processing time (I've always been told give it up to six weeks). I got it back this week.

yewtree posted 8/11/2013 16:19 PM

Well that isn't too bad. I just want to get my toes in the sand. No frills necessary.

Must Survive posted 8/12/2013 00:23 AM


I also vote for San Diego. I have spent a few vacations down there. I stayed at Catamaran once and it was nice. Old town would be nice to visit for an afternoon, but I wouldn't want to stay there. Boring. The beach has lots of walkways and lots of people watching.

LisaP posted 8/12/2013 11:45 AM

Hands down, San Diego! San Diego is my favorite place to go when I get back to my home state! I too stayed at the Catameran. It's right on the Bay (direct access), but cross the road and your on the beach.

FaithFool posted 8/12/2013 11:51 AM

San Diego is on my bucket list. :)

MissesJai posted 8/12/2013 11:52 AM

I stay the hell away from LA beaches - they are dirty and too crowded. Blech. Malibu is one of the dirtiest beaches in the state. There is more to LA than the West Side (Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, etc.). I recommend you steer clear of these parts. They are everything you DON'T want. That said, southern LA County, closer to Orange County, has a really nice beach community that I absolutely adore. It's called Seal Beach. It's small, quaint, and should fit your criteria. I'm not sure about lodging as I live about 15 miles away so we just go for the day and come back. I don't get to SD too much so all I am useful for is LA stuff

ETA: re: weather, for most of LA, beaches included, we haven't yet had summer. From what I'm hearing, it'll likely arrive in September or October.

[This message edited by MissesJai at 11:54 AM, August 12th (Monday)]

Rebreather posted 8/12/2013 11:53 AM

Yeah, San Diego. And if you aren angling for beach, no need to stay downtown. The Gaslamp area is fun, but not beachy by any means. If you have the funds or can find a deal, I'd stay at the Hotel del Coronado on Coronado island. Otherwise I'd probably look for something on Mission Bay.

Crescita posted 8/12/2013 12:16 PM

I adore San Diego. If you can't find anything in your budget, nearby Encinitas has some nice vacation rentals right on the beach, and you will certainly save on food.

yewtree posted 8/12/2013 14:12 PM

Thanks everyone!
What about La Jolla? It seems reasonable to stay, with a good beach?

sullymeishadomi posted 8/12/2013 19:39 PM

Up til recently, I was a passport acceptance agent at work

Land travel btw mx and ca (canada not california) you can get a passport card. Its the size of a drivers license. Costs $40 (or is it $30...I did a few in conjunction with the passport book) plus $25 acceptance fee. It takes 4 to 6 wks to receive.

I grew up in los angeles. I vote for San Diego. I love and miss santa monica, but if youre gonna chill go to san diego

Eta if youre flying...I love s.w. airlines. I havent flown home since I was 6 wks prego with ddwho will be 8 Iin april...I love s.w.. yes said it 2x. Its a flying comedy show

[This message edited by sullymeishadomi at 7:42 PM, August 12th (Monday)]

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