1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Gonna be in San Diego - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by StL_Don, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. I'm headed to SD next week to accompany my wife on a business trip. I'll have 3 days free to head out on adventures.

    I'd like to make a trip or two into the mountains/desert whatever it is that is out there:smile:

    Anyone have some good routes for a day trip?

    Any must see stuff in the city other than the zoo which I've visited.

    How 'bout nite time adventures that the two of us can do?

  2. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Balboa Park is beyond words...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Sunday brunch at Hotel Del Coronado is unbeatable. Expensive but well worth it. Check out Dog Beach in Coronado.
    Old Town Mexican Cafe serves up my favorite Mexican food. And gives you the chance to see Old Town.
    La Jolla. WOW! See the tide pools, and see La Jolla! It is a beautiful place.
    Point Loma Seafood is a must!! Freshest seafood in the area, reasonable prices, and Point Loma has a lighthouse to see...
    Wild Animal Park in Escondido is my favorite place to view animals - anywhere. Spring for one of the Safari photo tours.
    Seaport Village is touristy - nice stand alone shops at the water front. Crowded and "too popular" for my taste.
    There are so many wonderful places to see, we take 10 days during every visit, and going home from San Diego is always sad.

    Here is a live web cam of San Diego:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2007
  3. John gave some good advice. I love that area, really way too much to do in less than a week. I definitely second the La Jolla area... maybe even a jaunt over to Carlsbad area. If you need directions to a specific desert place, PM me, I don't live in that local area, but am just north in San Bernardino County, and know the freeways well. Oh, go over to the Mormon temple, just off the 5. Coronado, come inland about 30-45 min., if that, and go wine tasting in Temecula. Very good little wineries in that area. I'll chime in again if I think of anything else.
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    My friend spent today in Temecula!

    One thing that is really fun is to drive north from La Jolla on the historic Pacific Coast Highway. It parallels I5, but is slower and full of interesting things to photograph. Del Mar, Solano Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad and Oceanaside all have a unique character, and all are fascinating.

    Of course there is lots to do in the City of SD too! Check out Pacific Beach, with the sea-side roller coaster, Balboa Park has been mentioned - the Museum of Photographic Arts is there, as well as the fantastic Arboreal Gardens with it's outstanding orchid collection.

    In La Jolla I always go to the Museum of Contemporary Art. It's right on the sea, and has a wild garden that abuts the beach. It's right on Prospect, just south of the cove. It was designed by the 'California Look' architect, Irving Gill - I once scoured the area looking for more of his work (it's easy, the building right across the street from the museum is also a Gill.)

    Places to eat? Start with the Prado, at Balboa park, go to Charlies, and eat on the rocks with the surf in Cardiff by the Sea, or go to the Beach House in Del Mar. St. Germain's in Encinitas, or any of the Vigilucci's (the one on the PCH in Carlsbad is 'to die for'.)

    Or you can just hang out at the beach for three days, and I'm sure you will have a wonderful time Don. It's my favorite place in the continent. I'm going as soon as summer school is over!
  5. Don't forget the Gas Lamp district in downtown SD. Also go to the bar atop the Marriott next to the convention center and harbor. The glass windows provide an all encompassing view of San Diego. Its a great place to watch the sun go down. There is also a historic "tall ship" docked at the harbor.

    For visiting the mountains, I drove out I-8 up past Alpine and headed north on Rt. 79 to Lake Cuyamaca, which takes you through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. There is (or was) a little diner on the lake where you can grab a burger or sandwich. The lake and surrounding area are interesting as they are mountain plains. The state park was once part of a working ranch and is now mostly forest.
  6. I thought of one more thing, if you are into it, check out the aircraft carrier the Midway, a huge floating museum. I've been there twice in the past 5 years, and still feel I haven't seen it all, three stories of history and picture ops.
  7. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Oh yeah, you get to it by driving across that sky bridge, which is an amazing ride in itself! Don, it's just like if they put a freeway on the Gateway Arch! (Well, almost anyway.)
  8. nancyr


    Feb 14, 2006
    La Jolla, CA
    The mountains and desert are brutal this time of year, unless you're a heat freak. Look for 90s in the mountains and 110s in the deserts. Take lots of water.

    I'll second Coronado and La Jolla. Good food, good people-watching, good hanging out. Much more reasonable temps by the water, too.

    Have fun!
  9. lol, I second what Nancy said about the mountains and desert this time of year. Even the desert rats stay clear of it due to the heat. Trust me, there isn't much to see unless something is in bloom.

    The route through the mountains that Walter suggested is a nice drive, but do it at sunrise or sunset. There are a few pull outs on that route where you can overlook the desert below. This time of year, the atmosphere makes these incredible giant clouds that look like mushrooms, at sunset the colors are amazing. Stop in Julian for the world famous "Julian Pie".

    La Jolla has nice beaches and a great spot for seals and pelicans.

    Ocean Beach Pier is excellent for sunset pics.

    Balboa is loaded with not only photographic opportunities but excellent museums. The Botanical Gardens are also a must.

    I'd most definitely do the Sunday Brunch at the Hotel Del, $30 something a person, but all you can eat of the finest foods.

    In my opinion the Wild Animal Park is the best place, less cages and wires to shoot through. The lion exhibit is excellent, again though, try it in the morning or a few hours before close, the animals are not very active this time of year when is the sun is high. Not sure if they started it back up again, but the cheetah feeding is a great photo op also.

    The USS Midway is another fine photo op and then try lunch at the Fish Market next door or a nice evening dinner at Top of the Market (above the Fish Market).

    The Turf Club is another great place if you like retro diners. Killer Martinis and Margaritas.

    More will come to me later and I'll be sure to post it.

    Shoot me an email or pm and maybe we can meet up to shoot.
  10. And we're having a mild summer so far, shorts during the day and jeans with a long sleeved shirt at night are fine.

    Crap, did I just jinx us on the mild weather comment?
  11. I hope so, so that some of it will come our way!!! :biggrin:
  12. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ya gotta love San Diagans complaining about the weather, eh?

    One SD resident: "Did you hear it's going to be 82°F?"
    Another SD res.: "Oh no!!! A heat wave!!!"

    The first one on another day: "Did ya hear it's going to be 74°F?"
    Another: "Oh no!!! Get out the winter coats!!!"
  13. DBrim


    May 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    It's in the low 80s here and I love it. It was in the lower 90s when I was in Oregon last week and I was getting a bit toasty. Hats off to you Arizona locals, though. Last time I went through Arizona it was 128 on one section of old 66.
  14. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    And that was in the shade, under misters, huh? :Wink:

    (Oh look, my car just melted.)
  15. I can't stand the heat, love summer, but I'm a cold weather person.
  16. nancyr


    Feb 14, 2006
    La Jolla, CA
    I'm worse, a Seattle native. If it's over 70, humidity had better be under 40. Not so here in SD. (Geez, our OP is from St Louis!)

    And yes, bring a sweater/fleece for evening. It gets clammy.
  17. Yes I am a hot freak, if isn't humid. A dry Arizona 100 doesn't bother me much. This time of year 70 starts to feel chilly.:smile:

  18. Wow - lots of great ideas!

    For reasons only known to my wife we are returning on Saturday afternoon (actually I think it is 'cause she's
    on a company ticket), so Sunday brunch will have to wait for a future visit.

    The Midway sounds right up my alley being a military buff, but it doesn't look like I need to cross the bridge to get there.

    Since I've been to the SD Zoo several years ago the Wild Animal Park sounds like a good critter fix.

    The drive up PCH sounds very nice too.

    I'm not much of a beach person, besides getting bored, swimming has always been "staying alive in water".
    Plus, I'm sure all the tight young things jiggling around would just make being an old-fart even harder.:biggrin:

    How long a drive is it to Chino? There's a great plane museum there.

    Nobody has said 'take a trip to Tijuana'. Good.
    Been there, done that, all my friends had their pockets picked clean.
    I only lost $2, but I still don't know how she got it even though I knew that was her goal.

    Keep the suggestions coming - I really appreciate the advice.

  19. Chino ? .. it's been a while, but I think it was about 3-4 hours ...if my memory serves me right..

    Have you try Balboa Park at night ?

    or, if you like to hike, there's the Cowless Mountain in La Mesa, the highest natural point in San Diego area, you can see 360 degree view of San Diego and surrounding mountains from the top.
    I think it was 2 miles hike to the peak (again, I'm not sure)
  20. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    It's not been dry, in fact it's been raining all week, but still over 100:

    You are correct.

    It will be hot there. Go early!

    As an alternative, consider the Batiquitos Lagoon. It's got all the stuff you think about when you think riparian ecology of Southern California. You know birds, blooms and beasts! Even I've been able to shoot birds there:

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.