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Old 30 Sep 11, 05:40 PM  
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#31
Aims
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Join Date: Nov 09
Location: San Diego, CA USA
I've updated the first post with just a little more general facts and information.
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Old 2 Oct 11, 03:22 PM  
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#32
Cantcook
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Originally Posted by Aims View Post
I've updated the first post with just a little more general facts and information.
Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for the brilliant information! Where would you recommend staying if you were going to do San Diego without car hire? Just an area would be great but if you have any hotel recommendations such as "reasonable" and if "money's no problem"? Also, would you hotel it or find a villa in the area?

Thanks
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Old 2 Oct 11, 04:27 PM  
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#33
Aims
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Originally Posted by Cantcook View Post
Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for the brilliant information! Where would you recommend staying if you were going to do San Diego without car hire? Just an area would be great but if you have any hotel recommendations such as "reasonable" and if "money's no problem"? Also, would you hotel it or find a villa in the area?

Thanks
Hi Cantcook

If you are without a car, I would recommend staying in the downtown area as it is close to all the public transportation options and central to most of the big attractions. I would probably stay at a hotel over a villa, at least in this area, as most of the villa options you'll find around downtown will be condos and very expensive.

Recommended reasonable hotels:

1. Humphrey's Half Moon Inn
halfmooninn/

2. Best Western Island Palms
islandpalms/

Both of these hotels are located right next to each other on Shelter Island, a very lovely marina area off San Diego bay near the airport and just a couple of miles from the heart of downtown.

If money were no object, the two hotels I would recommend:

1. Hotel Del Coronado (just over the Coronado bridge from downtown, it's a historic, beachside Victorian era hotel)
hoteldel/

2. San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina (beautiful location downtown on the bay, next to the convention center- has a fantastic pool area)
sandiegomarriottmarquisandmarina/

For fare rates on the public transporation options:

MTS (Metropolitan Transit System- for buses and the trolley):
sdmts/fares.asp You can buy day passes which will give you unlimited use of both buses and the trolley.

Amtrak (for the trains, if you want to take a ride up the coast):
amtrak/servlet/Conten...mtrak/HomePage

You can also find a trip planner on San Diego's public transportation website which will give you recommended route options to get where you're going:

transit.511sd/TripPlanner/index.asp

Hope this all helps!
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Old 3 Oct 11, 10:33 PM  
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#34
Cantcook
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Amy, that's amazing. Thank you so much.

I actually prefer the look of the Grand Marina suite at Humphrey's compared to the pricier hotels. And still a reasonable price!

Thanks for your help - really appreciated.
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Old 3 Oct 11, 11:24 PM  
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#35
Aims
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You're very welcome. Humphrey's is lovely, it is the quintessential San Diego hotel. I know several Dibbers have stayed here as well and really loved it.

If I can ever help with any other questions, feel free to ask.
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Old 17 Oct 11, 11:27 AM  
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Diamonddog2801
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A wonderfully informative post and thread Amy - a real delight to read, from someone that actually lives there.

Two things - I heartily endorse "Humphrey's Half Moon". A brilliant hotel, we had three fabulous nights there a couple of years back and I would love to return (and so would the kids).

Secondly, arethere any "Must do's" from a locals point of view, that generally get missed off of the 'tourist trail'? Places like really good 'locals' restauarants etc?


Lastly - and this is a third thing- how does one award thread stars?! I really want this to be a 5 star thread, but don't know how to do it?
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Read the Las Vegas 'All You Need To Know' thread:
http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=249670
I'm no expert, but I've visited Las Vegas 14 times since 1989 - if you want some advice, feel free to pm me!
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Old 17 Oct 11, 05:01 PM  
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#37
Aims
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Join Date: Nov 09
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Thank you, Diamonddog! I am extremely flattered by your post. I am so glad to know this thread is so informative. I try to keep it updated with info and local recommendations as often as I remember (and discover!) more things to add. I don't know how the star rating works for sure, but I think you have to be a passholder to do that? I really am flattered that you want to give this thread a rating. Thank you again for the kind feedback!

As far as restaurants that are favorites of the locals, I'd say the best would be:

Hash House a Go Go hashhouseagogo/
This place is American cooking with a creative twist. The chef is very innovative and likes to mix flavors that you wouldn't think of as going together but really do work and everything I've tried has been amazing. The portions are GINORMOUS, so go hungry lol. Their signature dish is the waffle and sage fried chicken tower- you have to see it to believe it. Oh, and btw...this place also has a few locations in Las Vegas.

Cucina Urbana cucinaurbana/about-2
Creative Italian food in a kitschy, rustic farmhouse setting. They always use local produce and organic food, great wines and local beers too.

Old Town Mexican Cafe oldtownmexcafe/
This place has been in business since my childhood, they make their own tortillas on site (you can watch the tortillas being made through a window from the outside too).

Phil's BBQ philsbbq/
Seriously, this is the best place in town for BBQ. Man vs. Food visited here on one of the episodes. Lines are always long at the height of the dining hours, so go early if possible or call ahead to order take away and pick it up at the restaurant at a separate window. This is a casual, counter-service style restaurant and they give large portions. There are two locations- the Point Loma address is the location closest to the airport and downtown. The San Marcos address is in the north county and not far from Legoland. Both locations are closed on Mondays.

The Mission themissionsd/
Simple food done artistically, mainly American and Mexican food. The breakfasts here are my favorite, try the Mission French Toast. There are three locations- the North Park address is closest to the zoo, the East Village location is downtown close to the convention center and the Padres ballpark, and there is a location in Mission Beach which would also be closest to Sea World.

I have so many local favorites, if anyone wants to ask about a specific type of place like a steakhouse or fine dining, let me know.

A few local favorite places to visit that visitors aren't always aware of would be:

Point Loma Lighthouse (aka Cabrillo National Monument)
nps.gov/cabr/index.htm
This is a state park in the Point Loma area which is a close drive from the airport and also not too far from downtown. This is the site where San Diego was first discovered, when Cabrillo set foot on land here. The views of the ocean and the city from the top of the hill where the lighthouse is are stunning. You also drive past Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on the way up to the state park. There is a tidepool area at a turnoff just before you reach the state park, a great place to stop and bring kids when the tides are low.

Torrey Pines State Reserve torreypine/
Beautiful, large natural reserve on the top of the cliffs above Torrey Pines State Beach. This place is dedicated to the preservation of the Torrey Pine tree, which only grows in this one location in the world. There are hiking trails and lookout points from the cliffs, with amazing views of the ocean. Torrey Pines is located just to the north of La Jolla.

Mission San Diego de Alcala missionsandiego/
This was the first in a chain of 21 missions that were established across California in the 1700's. They still hold services here, but you can also go and just take a tour of the mission.

Edited at 06:55 PM.
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Old 17 Oct 11, 05:23 PM  
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#38
Diamonddog2801
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Amy, having written the Las Vegas equivalent, I know how much work it takes - it's a fabulous thread and, if and when I make it back out to SD, this will be my first point of reference. It's those types of tips in the post above this that are absolutely invaluable - you cannot replace locals inside info.

Take a bow - and keep updating it and keeping us informed of local knowledge!

How about this deal - some nights $105, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego :

sniqueaway/hotel/Manc...1&event_id=518

?
__________________
Read the Las Vegas 'All You Need To Know' thread:
http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=249670
I'm no expert, but I've visited Las Vegas 14 times since 1989 - if you want some advice, feel free to pm me!
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Old 17 Oct 11, 05:36 PM  
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#39
Aims
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Join Date: Nov 09
Location: San Diego, CA USA
*taking bow* I thank you.

If you can get the Manchester Grand Hyatt for $105 on some nights, I would say you got a great deal. That's about half the price of the average room there and it's a fantastic hotel in an ideal location.
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Old 6 Nov 11, 08:14 PM  
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Thanks for this, we've been before, but reading your link is making me really wish I was there already. As I get closer to going will come back with some questions
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