Road Trip Recommendations?!?! (Grand Canyon, San Diego, San Fran, Las Vegas)

posted 3 years ago in San Diego
Post # 3
Member
2486 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Wellll, theres always the zoo, Sea World, and Legoland. I’m not sure if you’re looking for less touristy things to do. The zoo is a definite must though. It’s a little pricey (42 bucks per ticket I think) but SO worth it. There is also the Safari Park, but it’s a bit of a drive from the city of San Diego, not as big, and just as expensive. 

If you’re looking for more local things to do, My favorite beach community here is Ocean Beach. It is home to the hippie/surfers. Newport is the main street that has a lot of cool shopping. Antique shops, tourist shops, you name it they have it. There is a lot of super yum restuarants too! 

OH gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t mention this first. Balboa Park is full of amazingly beautiful histoical buildings that are home to a bazillion different museums. Here’s a link to the park website to give you a better idea of what they have.

http://www.balboapark.org/

 

Hope my suggestions helped!

Post # 4
Member
1881 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@bmo88:  You know that the drive from SF to Vegas will be 8.5 hours right? I would rearrange your trip like so:

 

  • Albuquerque, NM (1 day)

  • Flagstaff, AZ to see the Grand Canyon (1 day)
  • Las Vegas, NV (2 days)

  • San Diego, CA (3 days)

  • Fresno, CA (where my family lives–8 days)

  • San Francisco, CA (1.5 days)

 
 

Post # 6
Member
289 posts
Helper bee

@bmo88:  I second Balboa Park. Also I love Seaport Village. Very touristy but so cute. Lots of little shops right on the water. Also a good place for lunch right on the water. There are a couple restaurants there. Coronado is definitely another place to go. You can either drive over the bridge or there is a ferry too. Some great restaurants with views of the city skyline. I have a special place in my heart for Coronado because that’s where we got engaged <3

Post # 7
Member
3989 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

If you can make a drive through Sedona, AZ I highly recommend it.  It’s absolutely stunning.

Post # 9
Hostess
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Places to check out in SF:

Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Berkeley, Golden Gate Bridge, Half Moon Bay, Sausalito,the food scene is great in SF. Stop by the Ferry Building on Saturday to see the great Farmer’s Market, shop in Union Square, if you have time to squeeze in a museum, the CA Academy of Sciences is awesome! Drive across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island to take photos of the SF skyline. You can find free 4 hour parking at the end of Van Ness past Beach and then walk the 1/8 mile over the Pier 39 and also walk down the pier near the parking area to get a gorgeous view of Ghiradelli Square and the skyline. Food wise, if you eat pork, the pork chops at Nopa ARE TO DIE FOR!!! Same with the garlic roasted crab at Crabhouse. If you can squeeze in a fancy dinner, Gary Danko’s is fantastic.

Don’t forget to stop by the Paragon or Gilroy outlets depending on if you’re driving in from 152 or 580!

SD: Dont’ miss out on La Jolla! Definitely recommend walking around La Jolla downtown and La Jolla Shores. You can go up to Mt. Soledad to get a 360 view of SD and its surrounding areas. Definitely recommend Balboa Park/Zoo/Seaport Viillage/Coronado like the other Bees have posted about. Check out Extraordinary Desserts and stop by Alberto’s Taqueria (locations everywhere!) for carne asada fries! If you’re a Dr. Seuss fan, you can check out UCSD campus for the Geisel Library which has a cute Cat in the Hat statue in the front if you’re into that type of thing. I’d also recommend driving up and down PCH. View wise, if you go down to Pt Loma you can see a gorgeous skyline of SD.

Post # 10
Member
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

OMG- take the PCH (highway 1) northbound from San Diego up to SLO, Moro Bay, San Simeon, Big Sur, Carmel, and Monterey! It’s the best ever! 

Big Sur is so flipping amazing and it’s by far the best road trip I have ever done! The whole drive is so scenic…and rather romantic. 

Post # 11
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

+1 on Sedona, Arizona.  While you’re there take a “gulch tour” – it’s basically like a 4 wheel adventure through the gulches.  An absolutely unbelievably fun experience, surrounded by some of the most beautiful geography in America.

Also, although Albuquerque is a great town, truly Santa Fe is the real gem.  Instead of going to Alq, go to Santa Fe (not far from each other at all), then take the “High Road” from Santa Fe to Taos.  It is an incredible drive.  And be sure to visit the Palace of Governors in Santa Fe — you’ll learn more about the history of the southwest there than anywhere else.  Fascinating stuff.

Finally, if you’re in the region, you may really want to check out some of the national parks in Utah.  Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon.   Wow.  Just wow.

Post # 12
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Okay, I’ll add more.  I agree that the PCH is an incredible drive.  I once drove the entire length of it, starting in San Diego.  The thing is, the lower part (from San Diego to LA) is all stop and go city-ish driving and not pretty at all.  About the time you hit Malibu is when it starts to get good.  Save yourself some time and get on it just north of LA.  

I’ll probably come back and chime in some more once others come up with other suggestions.  I’ve take 4 cross-country road trips (by myself) totaling about 18 months all together.  I haven’t traveled much internationally, but I’ve been to 46 states, and 25+ national parks.  I know this country pretty damn well.  

Post # 13
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Okay – just thought of more.  A PP mentioned Balboa Park, and yes, it’s impressive.  It includes a wide range of activities, including the zoo (I wasn’t as impressed as others seem to be, but whatever) and several museums.  But there is also an artist community area where each artist (jewelers, painters, scultures, etc. – all kinds of artists) each have a little cabin type room and you can go in and look at their stuff and talk to them.  That was my favorite part of Balboa Park.

BUT, also in San Diego, and better than Balboa Park IMO, is Old Town.  It’s the “original” San Diego and has all kinds of great shops, exhibits, etc.  I’d go there first (and it’s free!).

Also, as long as you’re in San Francisco, not too far away is Yosemite, Sequoia National Park and Death Valley.  I’m not sure when you’re going, but if it’s summer time I’d obviously avoid Death Valley.  But Yosemite is about the most beautiful place on Earth.  And Sequoia is impressive too……

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