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Two full days in San Diego pre-cruise. Suggestions for activities?

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We arrive at noon on Day 1 (doesn't count, need to recover from travel, all we will do is get something to eat)

 

So we have 2 full days pre-cruise (the embarkation day doesn't count, either, because I will insist we be on the ship as soon as we can board :D )

 

We are fit, and capable walkers. Prefer public transit to car rentals (will probably try FRED while we are there (y) ) We are staying close to the Star of India.

 

How difficult would it be for us to get to the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute via public transit?

 

Does anyone have suggestions about places to go on Coronado Island, since I really want to take the ferry there?

 

Any recommendations for good restaurants where we might get fresh oysters, and some sort of shrimp? We are prepared to splurge if necessary :) Any suggestions for other good restaurants?

 

I'd love to hear suggestions about other things we could do with two full days :) We've been to SD in the past, but have never had the luxury of dayS to tour around.

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Wow there is so much to do here in San Diego, it's hard to narrow it down to just a few things...

But your ferry ride to Coronado Island idea is a good one. We live here and still enjoy doing that at least once or twice each year. We enjoy taking the ferry over, and having lunch at Peohe's (very good seafood). If you go there, do try to get over to the world famous Hotel Del Coronado. If you're staying near the Star of India (embarcadero), the Coronado Ferry tickets can be purchased right there.

 

Seaport Village is very close to the Embarcadero as well, has some nice restaurants and shopping. We like the Fish Market restaurant near the USS Midway, again, right there at the Embarcadero...outstanding seafood, including fresh shrimp and oysters. :)

 

The USS Midway museum is right there as well, and worth a visit. If you want to venture out a bit, our (world famous) San Diego Zoo is definitely worth a visit, but this would be a full day to really take it all in. Sea World is another option for most of a day, as is the SD zoo's Safari Park.

 

Just a few ideas to get your thoughts churning; enjoy your visit to our wonderful city, and most importantly, have a great cruise! ;):D

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We like to use the hop on / hop off bus to get around. It lets you see the sights, decide which ones you want to explore more & then get back on the bus. I believe the ho/ho goes by all the sites mentioned by KroozNut. Enjoy your stay. We'll be there in Mar, looking forward to it.

Allan

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Would you reccomend Balboa Park? Can you walk there from cruise port?

 

Absolutely... Balboa Park is beautiful and has so many things to see and do. If you just want to see the beautiful grounds, it's all free as well. There are a couple of nice restaurants in the park and several great museums (at additional cost).

 

I suppose you could walk to it, but it's about 3-5 miles from the port, depending on where in the park you're going.

 

Have fun whatever you decide to do! :)

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It has been quite awhile since we visited San Diego. I do recall fondly taking a harbor cruise, riding a ferry, visiting the San Diego Zoo and going to Old Town. When we went to Balboa Park we sort of wandered around and took in an arboretum. Also enjoyed the sunsets and even wandered up to La Jolla. Not sure if walking is possible for all San Diego has to offer. Had some excellent seafood meals, but can't recall the restaurant names. If I was returning I would check out the Midway. Our hotel was right across the street from the cruise pier, but by now it probably has changed hands numbers of times.:)

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Public transportation is pretty limited in San Diego. You can take the trolley up to Old Town, and the Coaster up the coast - Solana Beach would be a good spot to get off and walk down to the beach. As for walking to Balboa Park, it is certainly doable from your hotel and would take perhaps two hours - of course, that depends on how fast you walk . If you go to Balboa Park, go to the visitor center/gift shop where the Prado restaurant is - you can buy two different self guided walking tours for the park. We generally go to the Prado for Mother’s Day (excellent restaurant) and for the first time this year we bought the self guided tour. I’ve been to Balboa Park many many times and saw and learned all kinds of new things.

 

Liberty Station is another place not far from your hotel - a three to four mile walk. Ot’s a restored military base with great restaurants, shops, and all around interesting place. A wonderful fairly new restaurant is Pesco or something lime that - it’s next door to the Ralph’s supermarket. The food is a a fusion Argentina style fish restaurant, and their small plates are half off until 6:00 pm. They are so good I wouldn’t hesitate to pay full price!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Things/places I've visited in San Diego - Old Town, Zoo, USS Midway, Little Italy, Seaport Village, Gaslamp Quarter. On my last visit this past February, I Ubered around town. Very plentiful and inexpensive.

 

Roz

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Thanks for all the suggestions and info! Looks like one day will be Coronado Island, and the other day will be doing "something" in Balboa Park (which wasn't on my radar until this thread). Lunches and dinners to be determined, but EVERY restaurant suggested by each of you looks G-R-R-R-E-A-T (please read that in Tony the Tiger's voice ;) )

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We visit SD often and my mom use to live on Coronado right next to he ferry landing. We ate several times at Phoe's and Il Fornaio. I wasn't impressed with either (mom like them). I would not walk to Balboa Park parts of the walk are not in the best part of town. USS Midway is just next to the cruise pier and you can easily spend 3-4 hours on her.

 

Hornblower does several different bay cruises that are pretty cool. During the summer they do a happy hour cruise that's lots of fun. We usually stay in Gaslamp at the Hilton. There is a cool walking tour "Brothels, Bites, and Booze" that gives you a little history, food, and cocktails around Gaslamp. It's a great way to kill a couple of hours. They also have one called "Tombstones, Tacos, and Tequila" that walks around Old Town. I haven't done that one.

 

As for places to eat there are way to many. But, we had a fantastic oyster sampler tower at Lou & Mickey's in Gaslamp. It's right next to the Hilton (not the tall one on the water) and the convention center trolley stop. A little more informal spot for lunch right in that same area is Tin Fish. They do a squid burrito that's very tasty. I would UBER or taxi. Avoid the pedi-cabs they will rip you off.

Edited by ATSEAMYLIFE

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Please translate FRED?? I have no idea what that is and I live in San Diego??

The Birch Aquarium is very small and I'd only go there if you were planning to explore the rest of the La Jolla neighborhood nearby. It would take an hour by bus to get there although driving would be about 20min.

Not sure why you'd not want to do something on your arrival day since you'll be walking distance to the bayfront? At least a lovely walk would be nice after your traveling. You haven't said what days of the week you'll be here?? There are local street fair/farmer's markets in different neighborhoods on different days of the week.

You'll be near Little Italy which now has a wide range of popular local restaurants.Ironside Fish and Oyster is a good spot and has $1 oysters during happy hour daily!

You haven't mentioned where you've already visited during previous trips so hard to make new suggestions without knowing your other experiences here?? On Coronado in addition to what has been mentioned we like Leroys, no view , just some decent food.

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I would not walk to Balboa Park parts of the walk are not in the best part of town.

Thank you for that information (y) :)

 

The Birch Aquarium is very small and I'd only go there if you were planning to explore the rest of the La Jolla neighborhood nearby. It would take an hour by bus to get there although driving would be about 20min.

Thanks :) From what I've seen online it looked bigger than you describe. We visited La Jolla once, so will probably give the aquarium a miss. That was a long bus ride, you're right!

 

 

You'll be near Little Italy which now has a wide range of popular local restaurants.Ironside Fish and Oyster is a good spot and has $1 oysters during happy hour daily!

Oooh awesome. :D Thanks again!

 

As to what we've done in SD in the past -- scurried around purchasing replacements for clothing we'd forgotten to pack, acquired OTC meds for the crud that hit me en route to SD, spent close to an entire day trying to locate one of our travel companions, Horton Plaza, ferry to Coronado Island, the market in Little Italy. So .... some of our previous visits have been interesting, in various ways ;)

 

oyster sampler tower at Lou & Mickey's in Gaslamp

Thanks! Will check it out!

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Downtown is quite small. You could easily walk from one end to the other without FRED so that is why I have never used it or realized it was operating in the day time. I thought it was a night time service to prevent people from drinking and driving.

Balboa Park is a major stop on anyone's visit to San Diego. Even if you don't visit any of the small museums, the gardens, artisan shops, walking trails and of course our world famous zoo is right there. It also has an outdoor beer garden restaurant and the lovely Prado restaurant which make nice breaks from walking around. I like it best on weekends when the outdoor performers are doing their thing and the international cottages are open with music and food from around the world.

BTW it also has a professional theater, called the Old Globe , which has sent shows to Broadway.

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Downtown is quite small. You could easily walk from one end to the other

 

 

Not sure I totally agree with that. But we usually center our activities in an area near where we stay. If we stay in Gaslamp then we tend to stay around there. If we stay up by Seaport then we tend to do activities up there. But, it's a pretty good walk from USS Midway to Petco.

 

I forgot to mention Buster's Beach House for a meal. The sampler is huge. Mostly fried pub stuff but very good. We get a table outside, do the sampler, cocktails, people watch, and walk back to the hotel. What could be better?

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I am almost 70 years old. Walking from Little Italy to Petco is not difficult for me. It is about 1 1/2 miles which compared to other cities and their "downtown" areas is quite small. I would not just hang out in the 6 blocks of the gaslamp when the rest of downtown is just a few blocks away . One does not have to walk there is the lightrail we call "the trolley" and there is FRED(free downtown transport) and there are pedicabs too(which I don't use).

My point is that the area is small.

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Appreciate your opinion. But walking along the waterfront from cruise port is more like 2.5 miles. But, plenty of nice places to stop and window shop or eat along the way. Granted not that far and we have done it. We have also done "smaller" downtown San Francisco and NYC.

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