Things to see/do in San Diego

  • isuflyboy

    Posts: 363

    Mar 22, 2015 4:58 AM GMT
    I'm visiting San Diego his coming Tuesday through Sunday, and I've never been to California before. Is there anything I absolutely need to see/do while I'm in the San Diego area?!
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    Mar 22, 2015 5:18 AM GMT
    To be honest, San Diego is pretty boring as a tourist. It's not too bad if you just wanna chill out, eat at restaurants, and lounge at the beach. But if you wan to go sight seeing, you might be disappointed.

    I'm pretty sure there's a gay ghetto you can check out. Maybe one of the locals can chime in.
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    Mar 22, 2015 5:30 AM GMT
    I love Carlsbad. There is a beautiful beach called Carlsbad State Beach with surfers and guys skating. Little California beach towns dot the coastline with little boutiques, restaurants, and tiny Wholefoods.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14295

    Mar 22, 2015 5:17 PM GMT
    I always wanted to visit San Diego, I have heard nothing but positive, wonderful things about this fabled, sunshine metropolis. I have been told that Balboa Park is a very interesting place along with the zoo. Also the historic Spanish mission where San Diego began in 1769. There are a lot of hot, male hunks in San Diego. One that comes to mind is neon4u, that athletic stud is super hoticon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1028

    Mar 22, 2015 6:19 PM GMT
    Head over to Coronado Island (you can drive there - it's just across the long bridge from downtown). The beach is beautiful, and you can check out the Hotel del Coronado, a magnificent old place that's been standing since the late 1800s. Many movies have been filmed there, including Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Stuntman (1980; an underrated classic).

    The Gaslamp Quarter downtown is a cool place to go out at night, with many restaurants and bars (but mostly str8 ).

    The San Diego Zoo is world renowned, and probably the best in the US. It's in the huge Mission Park area just northeast of downtown.

    The gay area, Hillcrest, is just north of the zoo. Most of the bars are scattered around University Ave, just east of the Cabrillo Freeway.

    And here's a rundown of the beaches, north to south:

    Black's Beach, near Torrey Pines, is one of the best and best known nude beaches in the US. It's long, broad, and scenic, and the surf is often good - although you'd need a wetsuit this time of year. It's most conveniently reached by walking teh steep trail that leads down the bluffs from the Torrey Pines Gliderport, where you can see people hang gliding. Traditionally the north end of the beach is more gay and the south end is more str8 but these days it's pretty mixed.

    Next is La Jolla Shores, adjacent to UCSD. It's a very well known surfing beach; the Windansea section was made famous by Tom Wolfe as the setting of his essay The Pump House Gang; it's also where Andy Warhol filmed San Diego Surf (1968, but never completed or released until recently).

    La Jolla Cove, adjacent to downtown La Jolla (an area of upscale restaurants and boutiques) is very scenic, with a rocky shore and often lots of sea lions.

    Pacific Beach is a wide sandy beach with a never-ending frat party atmosphere.

    Mission Beach is expensive, pretentious, and impossible to find parking.

    And, right on the other side of the Mission Bay channel, Ocean Beach is where the hippie-ish granola surfers hang out.

    As someone else mentioned, North San Diego County has some beautiful little beach towns too. If you have the time it might be worth a drive up the coast road (S21) to check out Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Encinitas, and Carlsbad.
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    Mar 22, 2015 6:22 PM GMT
    I still miss the greasy spoon Mexican places, Roberto's. Up here you have to remember to specify refried beans in your burrito or they'll give you whole black beans. Too chichi for me. I want the lard; I'm not there for my health.
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    Mar 22, 2015 6:41 PM GMT
    SD, "boring?" I chime, "Get real!" There's TONS of stuff to do here. To match some of your interests - as well as to help out a fellow Hoosier - there are all kinds of hiking and biking trails, from the coast beaches to the mountains; MANY places to surf for all levels of expertise, and most everything else you like to do. Just google them and be informed.

    But, to answer your question, I think you'd really like the Air & Space and Automobile Museums in Balboa Pk., which is itself just a nice place to check out, and is just south of our justly world famous zoo and Hillcrest, the gay 'hood. If you're so inclined, check out Sea World for the marine mammal shows, and Safari Pk., and its zip line for a good intro to Africa. Mexican restaurants abound, as Yelp will confirm and you've got to have a fish taco or burrito. If you want a nice drive, head east on I-8 to Mt. Laguna, and work your way back on the byroads; you'll see some spectacular country and great views, especially now, with spring flowers in bloom. If you want to go further, check out Anza Borrego Desert, and its parks. In the opposite direction, drive PCH - Old US 101 - north from Torrey Pines to Oceanside, which is crawling w/ Marines. (BTW, use gasbuddy.com and the local paper's traffic site - http://www.utsandiego.com/mytraffic/ - to monitor gas prices and traffic, both of which can be aggravating at times.) You might also like the aircraft museum at Miramar NAS, where both the planes and les militaires will leave you wowed. Safe travels and have a great time!
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    Mar 22, 2015 7:47 PM GMT
    bro4bro saidHead over to Coronado Island (you can drive there - it's just across the long bridge from downtown). The beach is beautiful, and you can check out the Hotel del Coronado, a magnificent old place that's been standing since the late 1800s. Many movies have been filmed there, including Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Stuntman (1980; an underrated classic).

    The Gaslamp Quarter downtown is a cool place to go out at night, with many restaurants and bars (but mostly str8 ).

    The San Diego Zoo is world renowned, and probably the best in the US. It's in the huge Mission Park area just northeast of downtown.

    The gay area, Hillcrest, is just north of the zoo. Most of the bars are scattered around University Ave, just east of the Cabrillo Freeway.

    And here's a rundown of the beaches, north to south:

    Black's Beach, near Torrey Pines, is one of the best and best known nude beaches in the US. It's long, broad, and scenic, and the surf is often good - although you'd need a wetsuit this time of year. It's most conveniently reached by walking teh steep trail that leads down the bluffs from the Torrey Pines Gliderport, where you can see people hang gliding. Traditionally the north end of the beach is more gay and the south end is more str8 but these days it's pretty mixed.

    Next is La Jolla Shores, adjacent to UCSD. It's a very well known surfing beach; the Windansea section was made famous by Tom Wolfe as the setting of his essay The Pump House Gang; it's also where Andy Warhol filmed San Diego Surf (1968, but never completed or released until recently).

    La Jolla Cove, adjacent to downtown La Jolla (an area of upscale restaurants and boutiques) is very scenic, with a rocky shore and often lots of sea lions.

    Pacific Beach is a wide sandy beach with a never-ending frat party atmosphere.

    Mission Beach is expensive, pretentious, and impossible to find parking.

    And, right on the other side of the Mission Bay channel, Ocean Beach is where the hippie-ish granola surfers hang out.

    As someone else mentioned, North San Diego County has some beautiful little beach towns too. If you have the time it might be worth a drive up the coast road (S21) to check out Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Encinitas, and Carlsbad.


    "Black's Beach, near Torrey Pines, is one of the best and best known nude beaches in the US. It's long, broad, and scenic, and the surf is often good - although you'd need a wetsuit this time of year. It's most conveniently reached by walking teh steep trail that leads down the bluffs from the Torrey Pines Gliderport, where you can see people hang gliding. Traditionally the north end of the beach is more gay and the south end is more str8 but these days it's pretty mixed."

    Go north or south on the 5 then get off on Del Mar Heights Rd exit and go west to Camino Del Mar (PCH) and head south and just before the bridge turn left on Carmel Valley rd. Park in that beach lot or if it's full just park in front of the condos along Carmel Valley Rd. It's a long walk south to get to where you can go neeeked but well worth it.

    I have a problem with coming over the cliffs because I lost my footing, fell and knocked a kidney stone loose. NOT exactly what I had planned for that day. Didn't mind the fall, but the kidney stone was no fun 160 miles south of home.

    And then if you want to get cleaned up and go out that night in San Diego, there's a 24 hr Fitness on campus right off of Carmel Valley rd a couple miles inland from where you'd be parked.
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    Mar 22, 2015 8:23 PM GMT
    Well, nobody has mentioned getting out on the water. Rent a boat or take a harbor tour. I went on a dive charter out to the Coronado Islands (The ones in Mexico) once that was pretty fun. And the Navy is always staging some sort of exercise for your entertainment.

    Other than that - I've mostly been busy working and/or had the flu while I was in SD. Something about being crammed into tin cans full of snot-nosed kids headed for Disneyland. Get a flu shot, avoid children, wash your hands frequently...
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    Mar 22, 2015 8:41 PM GMT
    I lived in SD for 30 years.

    There are TWO zoos the one in town and the Wild Animal Park in North County.

    The lighthouse(s) at Pt. Loma are a must see. The old light house is historic, there are also bunkers from WW II. The view is breathtaking. Truly panoramic. The new light house is still in use, it's by the tide pools.

    You'll be reminded that SD is a military town on the way there. The miles of white crosses in the grave yards always gave me pause.

    Take the ferry from Seaport Village to Coronado....it's a cheap way to cruise the bay!

    Sea World? I hadn't been in a while.

    Tour the Midway!

    There are so many great places to eat, from the Gas Lamp downtown to Hillcrest (the Gay area)....100s. Croce's is a Jazz dinner spot, owned by Ingrid Croce, was married to the the late Jim Croce....to Hash House A go-go. Have a cocktail at the Loft next door.

    I like the beach at Coronado, north of the Del. I don't stay that long (I burn) and Blacks is an all day adventure.

    The Museums in Balboa Park (from the 1915 Pan Pacific Expo): History of Man, Modern Art, Aerospace, Automotive, etc. is a BIG draw.


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    Mar 23, 2015 1:01 AM GMT
    Forgot to mention: Air & Space Museum in Balboa Pk. is FREE the 4th Tuesday of each month! You'd probably like the USS MIDWAY, too, and the nearby Maritime Museum, both on Harbor Drive downtown.
  • isuflyboy

    Posts: 363

    Mar 23, 2015 3:43 AM GMT
    I'm going for a fraternity conference, and our formal dinner is on the USS Midway! Were also visiting the Top Gun facility
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    Mar 23, 2015 2:17 PM GMT
    Go for a hike at Torrey Pines. It's beautiful!

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    Mar 23, 2015 9:09 PM GMT
    Go to Hillcrest in San Diego. (Richs and Flicks are pretty good bars, BLacks Torrey Pines beach is nude gay beach). icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 24, 2015 12:13 AM GMT
    As a UK citizen, backpacking the USA was a great joy. Although I traveled across the continent in 1977, 1978, 1995 1997 and finally 1998, the two locations I have always rated tops were the Grand Canyon National Park, and San Diego.

    Many of the places I have visited in the city are already mentioned above, but I particularly liked the Gaslamp district, Balboa Park with its zoo, Sea World, Mission Beach, and the neighbouring district of La Jolla with its cove and spectacular cliffs. I even took a trolley tram to San Ysidro, from where I crossed the border into Tijuana in Mexico.

    But much to my surprise, so far no one has mentioned the Old Town and Heritage Park, probably the original San Diego with a strong Old West feel to the area. It is a couple of miles north of the modern city.
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    Mar 24, 2015 12:35 AM GMT
    One word....

    LEGOLAND

    icon_cool.gif
  • isuflyboy

    Posts: 363

    Mar 24, 2015 1:37 AM GMT
    JonSpringon saidOne word....

    LEGOLAND

    icon_cool.gif


    I want to go! Haha I've been to the one in Germany!
  • wesv

    Posts: 907

    Mar 27, 2015 3:07 PM GMT
    There's Coronado and the [spooky] hotel. The SD Zoo. Old town. If you like the gay scene there's Hillcrest.

    I believe there's a restaurant and bar called the Regal Beagle, named after Three's Company.
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    Mar 29, 2015 4:48 AM GMT
    isuflyboy said
    JonSpringon saidOne word....

    LEGOLAND

    icon_cool.gif


    I want to go! Haha I've been to the one in Germany!
    I fly over Legoland every day.

    I'll get an aerial pic tomorrow and upload it.
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    Mar 29, 2015 5:15 AM GMT
    We have a home in So Cal. I love Blacks Beach!! GO THERE