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I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time there filled with things to see and do, but am mostly wondering about neighborhoods that are better than others to book hotels in (i.e. price, loudness, crime, food, public transportation). My main agenda in those cities are baseball games at LAD, LAA, SD and of course the Zoo, so getting to them is the number one consideration, but if public transportation can eventually get me there, distance is not that big of deal.

Also, advice on public transportation in those cities would be appreciated. I do have some free time one morning/early afternoon in LA, so would take suggestions on quick/easy/inexpensive/touristy things to do. Is the Walk of Fame a must see, are bus tours worth time/money, is there much along the beach or is it just another beach, any other ideas?

03/24/2013 new

(Quote) John-649827 said: I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time ...
(Quote) John-649827 said:

I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time there filled with things to see and do, but am mostly wondering about neighborhoods that are better than others to book hotels in (i.e. price, loudness, crime, food, public transportation). My main agenda in those cities are baseball games at LAD, LAA, SD and of course the Zoo, so getting to them is the number one consideration, but if public transportation can eventually get me there, distance is not that big of deal.

Also, advice on public transportation in those cities would be appreciated. I do have some free time one morning/early afternoon in LA, so would take suggestions on quick/easy/inexpensive/touristy things to do. Is the Walk of Fame a must see, are bus tours worth time/money, is there much along the beach or is it just another beach, any other ideas?

--hide--

TripAdvisor is really helpful--they give you reviews from real people who have stayed there and pictures (such as if the hotel room was clean, etc.).

03/29/2013 new

Not too sure about LA but SD I would suggest mission valley- plenty to do, lots of hotels to choose from (look up "hotel circle"), only a couple miles from the beach. I believe there are trolley stations down there too. I don't really know how good the public transportation system is there since I usually drive or have my mom's family take me places. You can rent a car for as little as $20 a day now, but I understand how that can add up quickly for long trips.

If cost isn't an issue I would highly recommend the Pacific Terrace hotel on Pacific Beach. I stayed there with a friend's family and it was the best hotel I've ever been to. Its beachfront so you're gonna pay for it, but its worth it to stay at a beachfront hotel at least once in your life ;)

03/29/2013 new
(Quote) John-649827 said: I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time there filled ...
(Quote) John-649827 said:

I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time there filled with things to see and do, but am mostly wondering about neighborhoods that are better than others to book hotels in (i.e. price, loudness, crime, food, public transportation). My main agenda in those cities are baseball games at LAD, LAA, SD and of course the Zoo, so getting to them is the number one consideration, but if public transportation can eventually get me there, distance is not that big of deal.

Also, advice on public transportation in those cities would be appreciated. I do have some free time one morning/early afternoon in LA, so would take suggestions on quick/easy/inexpensive/touristy things to do. Is the Walk of Fame a must see, are bus tours worth time/money, is there much along the beach or is it just another beach, any other ideas?

--hide--
With respect to public transportation. In 2003, I stayed in Oceanside, which is right on the coast between SD and LA. For most of the week I was there, I used a rental car; but on Saturday, the day before I flew home, I took the commuter train from Oceanside down to Old Town San Diego. I spent pretty much the entire day in Old Town, so I can't comment on other public transport in SD. But for what it's worth, I had no problems.
03/30/2013 new

Take it from a native Diegan (ahem). The suggestion to stay in Mission Valley is a good one, and one that I would also recommend. Google Hotel Circle, Mission Valley to get a list of hotels in this central part of San Diego. Be advised that Hotel Circle caters to business clients, so the amenities, accommodations, and ease of travel are intended more so for them but also for tourists. When you contact a hotel in San Diego, be sure to ask about proximity to the San Diego Trolley ( www.sdmts.com as this will be your number one mode of travel without having to rent a car. The trolley hits most of the San Diego tourist spots, including PetCo Park downtown.

Closer to the circle itself is Old Town, San Diego's historic center and home to many fine souvenir shops and restaurants (especially Mexican eateries, including the awesome Guadalajara and Casa Bandini restaurants). Other places to visit along the trolley route are Balboa Park, the largest public use park in the US outside of Central Park, and home to many cool museums and the famous San Diego Zoo. The best part is the cost: A one day, full access pass is only $5 and allows you to transfer to the city bus system.

Outside of Hotel Circle, I would recommend the downtown hotels. These are ina more scenic part of the city than the Circle, but tend to be pricier due to their proximity to, well downtown, and all of the nightlife that comes with it. Again, the trolley intersects downtown San Diego and PetCo Park in the heart of the Gaslamp District).

03/31/2013 new

I know that the transportation here in LA is good and you can go down town and up town in a short time. Sorry about places to stay, I do not know about. I think everyone likes to see Hollywood and walking the bulivard is what most like to do and see the stars. We have both metro buses, trains and Amtrack to go to San Diego.

If you want we might be able to plan a local event when you are here. Going to the new Catherdral is interesting and a blessing also. I can also let you know what areas to avoid but you will have to email privately.

04/01/2013 new

Last year I stayed at the Doubletree in downtown and aside from the small, semi-pricey parking lot it was a great location and nice hotel at a decent price.

Petco Park is downtown and there are trolley stops there so for me that was a better location than Hotel Circle. Hotel Circle is great but I'd rather be a little closer to downtown, Petco, Balboa Park, the Zoo and Seaport Village than some of the other places. It's not very far from Old Town or the beaches either.

If you're looking for something fun I would kayak in La Jolla Cove. There are plenty of companies that do this but the one I went with was San Diego Bike & Kayak Tours. There's nothing like getting right up close to wild sea lions and kayaking into sea caves.

Sea World is always fun too of course. If you're going alone and have some extra cash look into the behind the scenes stuff (you can find it on the Sea World San Diego website), if you're taking a date spring for the "Dining With Shamu." The food is pretty basic but you can't beat an upclose encounter like that, just remember to keep your food dry!

In LA there are plenty of theme parks in Disneyland & California Adventure, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios and such. I went to most of those a couple years ago and it was great but I REALLY enjoyed going to a taping of a TV show (Craig Ferguson). I wouldn't recommend waiting forever for the Price is Right unless you're a HUGE fan of the show and you have at least half a day to blow but it's an option. Check out 1iota.com for some free TV show tickets.

The one thing I'm probably going to do this summer is check out Medieval Times (located near Disneyland). I've never been and I'm such a huge nerd I feel it calling me hahaha.

If you want more specifics feel free to message me brother. I hope this helps!

04/01/2013 new

Oh, and if you're going to do Disney for more than one day and you're considering the Medieval Times suggestion you might as well stay at any of the hotels nearby. I've done the Marriot and Clarion, but the Marriot was obviously better. There is also a Hilton right there. I haven't stayed at the nearby Ramada but it's a decent hotel for a decent price (free Wi-Fi is a plus).

04/05/2013 new

Hi John,

Regarding LA, Bernadette had a good suggestion about seeing the cathedral, which is close to Dodger stadium and the Walt Disney concert hall. Also, getting to Dodger stadium in a car on gameday is a nightmare. I know there's an express bus from Union station in central LA to the stadium losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. Also, look into the Metro system for getting around LA www.metro.net and the Metrolink www.metrolinktrains.com for getting around So Cal. If you have some time in LA, you could do Olvera Street (which is basically across the street from Union station) or if you want to venture farther out the Santa Monica pier area is nice (and try to also avoid taking a car there, I know they have this -- bigbluebus.com I don't have any suggestions on hotels, sorry. I think the Walk of Fame is worth seeing. Also, if you go up to Griffith Observatory you can see the city and the Hollywood sign. And at some point while you're in So Cal you need to try In N Out Burger if at all possible -- www.in-n-out.com. I hope you have a good trip!

04/14/2013 new
(Quote) John-649827 said: I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time there filled ...
(Quote) John-649827 said:

I will be taking a vacation to LA and San Diego later this summer. I have a good chunk of my time there filled with things to see and do, but am mostly wondering about neighborhoods that are better than others to book hotels in (i.e. price, loudness, crime, food, public transportation). My main agenda in those cities are baseball games at LAD, LAA, SD and of course the Zoo, so getting to them is the number one consideration, but if public transportation can eventually get me there, distance is not that big of deal.

Also, advice on public transportation in those cities would be appreciated. I do have some free time one morning/early afternoon in LA, so would take suggestions on quick/easy/inexpensive/touristy things to do. Is the Walk of Fame a must see, are bus tours worth time/money, is there much along the beach or is it just another beach, any other ideas?

--hide--


As far as San Diego, if you want to get to Petco Park, then I would concur with staying in Mission Valley. The trolley links Mission Valley to the Downtown area, as well as the coast and other areas, and it is inexpensive compared to taking a taxi. Actually, you can link the Coaster to Amtrak and get up to L.A. by train. The trains link to other areas of the city (San Diego) by bus. There are plenty of good places to eat in Mission Valley that are not too expensive, and it is ok as far as crime.

San Diego and Los Angeles are decentralized cities.

Renting a car is a good option too, if your time is limited, as both cities have a wide span. You should know that most of Los Angeles is by far more liberal than most of San Diego.

You can easily drive from San Diego to Los Angeles, but you have to watch for the traffic jams.
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