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Memorial Day 4 day trip - itinerary questions

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116 posts
Memorial Day 4 day trip - itinerary questions

My husband and I are considering flying out to LAX on a Thursday morning (arriving sometime between 10am and noon) and renting a car to drive leisurely down the PCH stopping at a couple beaches/towns to walk, eat, shop. So, that is the first question -- what stops would you recommend?

We would like to get into San Diego anywhere between 6pm and 8pm. Is that drive doable from LAX to San Diego with a couple stops without feeling too rushed?

We have never been to San Diego and were debating whether we should stay for 4 nights (3 full days) or cut it down to 3 nights (2 full days) - any suggestions? We thought we would stay at a B&B over near Balboa Park. Any suggestions? We would like to see the Zoo and Sea World definitely. Of course, would like time to relax at the beach -- any suggestions for a beach to relax at. And, in general, any other suggestions for activities -- we enjoy seeing local neighborhoods, shopping and eateries. We love the outdoors so any hiking opportunities would be great.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Andalucia, Spain
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1,984 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Memorial Day 4 day trip - itinerary questions

I think a leisurely drive starting at 10am and ending at 8pm is doable.

If you want to go to the Zoo, Sea World and have time at the beach, I definitely think you will want to be here 3 whole days. We have Annual Passes to Sea World and the Zoo and have been a few times to each and I still do not think we have seen it all, so you can easily spend an entire day at each of those destinations.

My favorite relaxing beaches are Windansea Beach in La Jolla and Coronado Beach.

Have a wonderful trip!

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
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22,219 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Memorial Day 4 day trip - itinerary questions

Hi iloveh20 - a question. Are you going back to LA after San Diego and if so for how long? If you are you can visit some of the beaches like Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, etc. from there.

Here are some ideas and you can pick which sounds good to you. Remember, anytime you decide you can get back on the Freeway and either stay on it all the way to San Diego or get off the Freeway at any of the beach cities.

If you want to see the Queen Mary, go to Long Beach. Drive South from there.

Take the 405 Freeway South until around Seal Beach or Huntington Beach and make the coast drive from there. You can have a look around HB and continue on to Newport Beach. Take Newport Blvd down to Newport Peninsula and look around. Then you can take the short Ferry ride to Balboa Peninsula. Charming village with some beautiful homes!

Drive South to Laguna Beach where you might want to have lunch and walk around all the shops and art galleries.

After Laguna is Dana Point with a very nice Harbor and free parking. You might consider getting back on the Freeway and continue to Carlsbad. Or you can drive on to see San Clemente. Nice beach & pier and a nice small downtown Village on Avenida del Mar.

After San Clemente you have to get back on the 5 Freeway through Camp Pendleton. You can get off in Carlsbad and take the Coast drive all the way to San Diego through several quaint beach towns. There are some shops & antique shops along the road.

Edited: 28 March 2012, 16:00
San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,219 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Memorial Day 4 day trip - itinerary questions

OOps -

After I said "If you want to see the Queen Mary, go to Long Beach. Drive South from there." The next line should be

"OR from LA you can take the 405 Freeway South ....."

I definitely think there is enough for you to do for 3 full days.

Once you get here, what B&B are you think about staying at? The Balboa Park Inn?

You would probably really like the beach at Coronado. It's a block from the Village and has shops and restaurants. There are still many Victorian Homes along side some quaint houses & new big beautiful homes. It also has the historic Hotel del Coronado. The beach there is beautiful & wide.




You should also spend some time in LaJolla. Another nice village with a beach down the hill. Next to La Jolla is Torrey Pines State Reserve where there are good hiking and outdoor opportunities.

Since you mentioned Balboa Park I assume you know of all the hiking trails there. Another place to consider that has a fantastic view and tidepools is Cabrillo National Monument. Easy to get to with a car. Another opportunity for hiking and outdoors.



There a lot to do here! Oh, don't miss our water / bay front in Downtown SD. A very long boardwalk to walk.



4. Re: Memorial Day 4 day trip - itinerary questions

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