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Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

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Minneapolis...
posts: 5
reviews: 15
Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

Traveling to San Diego area in mid- to late- May for ~5 days with 4-year-old son and husband for family vacation. Main attraction is a day trip to Cars Land for my son, but we also want to spend lots of time exploring the outdoors (beaches, parks, etc.). We like to get off the beaten path and avoid the real touristy stuff (with the exception of Cars Land of course ;-) ). We will rent a car.

We are considering staying in northern SD (Carlsbad maybe?) and want to avoid SD proper (although I'm sure we'll venture into SD a bit just to see it - but we certainly don't want to stay in the middle of the city). (We are flying into SAN by the way.) While we're low-key and easygoing about our activities & schedule, we are particular about accommodations. We need a separate sleeping space for our son if anyone is going to get a decent night's sleep, and we prefer a quiet setting. We prefer above-average accommodations and are willing to allocate a good portion of our budget to ensure a comfortable stay and to feel like we're being treated to a nice, relaxing vacation. (And we'll just try to save $ in other areas (e.g., make our own breakfasts & lunches).) We can spend $200-275/night, maybe more if the place has a lot to offer. We're open to hotels, condos, cottages, etc. We prefer to be in a more scenic place than surrounded by strip malls & highways, etc., so something on or near the beach would be good. Parks or interesting places to explore on foot within a short walk or drive would be a plus. Any suggestions?

I would also be interested in your thoughts on nearby places to explore off the beaten path - parks, secret coves, hikes & climbs, outlooks, etc.!

Thank you!

Edited: 6:02 pm, February 02, 2013
San Diego...
posts: 16,765
1. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

I think you probably are going to need to up your budget or lower you expectations to get a room with a separate sleeping area.

For $200-$275 night that probably puts you in an Embassy Suite, Marriottt Residence Inn or Homewood Suites by Hilton, but probably not in even a regular room at a higher end property like Grand Del Mar, L'Auberge, etc, let alone a suite.

Minneapolis...
posts: 5
reviews: 15
2. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

Good point. Budget aside, what northern SD town would be the best fit for the type of vacation I described? It sounds like Carlsbad, Encinitas, or Del Mar - what do you think?

Thanks!

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 44,068
reviews: 60
3. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

I think you probably have a very different idea of what staying in the city of San Diego means! We have beach neighborhoods where one can stay and wonder if they are actually IN a city at all.

Our beach neighborhoods AND The towns you have mentioned have a suburban feeling. Our beaches are very developed and so they won't be far from strip malls or from the highway.

I am not sure any of the places here would fit your expectations!

In any case "Carsland" is somewhere up at Disneyland which is in Anaheim and a good 1 hr. drive from the northern part of our county.

When you said you wanted "above average" accommodation I immediately though of the Grande Colonial but it is WAAAY above your budget!!

<sigh> I will have to think a little more because right now I have no ideas that match what you wish.

San Diego...
posts: 14,040
4. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

I read this earlier and didn't reply because I could think of anything that fits all the requirements as well.

There are hotels but they don't fit with the 'above average' accommodation category.

http://beachviewlodge.com/family/

…hilton.com/gwproxy/…index.html

posts: 2
reviews: 2
5. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

Suggest you might want to consider Tamarack Beach Resort or the Carlsbad Inn where you can rent a timeshare unit. Although neither of these are new properties, they are well-maintained and have the multi-bedroom accommodations it sounds like you need. Both are very close to the beach & are in walking distance of the village of Carlsbad. Suggest you check out the descriptions & reviews of these properties on TripAdvisor to see if they meet your needs.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 35,111
reviews: 343
6. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

I am kind of in Riff's camp. I am not sure you have a good grasp of what the "city" of San Diego is like, what Carlsbad is like and where Cars Land is in relation to it all.

Below is a map showing a hotel in the middle of the city of San Diego, that other than not being in North County seems to fit your description of what you want. The hotel is the Catmaran Resort.

http://goo.gl/maps/llQkj

Here is a similar map of the Tamarack Beach Resort in Carlsbad.

http://goo.gl/maps/gkvIo

I think the Tamarack is a great place, but it terms of neighborhood, setting, etc it isn't that different than from the Catamaran and I think the Catamaran has more to offer.

But the big question is if the "main attraction is a day trip to Cars Land for my son", why are you wanting to stay in North County San Diego? Where are you flying into and out of? Cars Land, a section of Disney's California Adventure is in Anaheim in Orange County. John Wayne Airport (SNA) is more convenient than Lindbergh Field (SAN) for that.

You also said you want "to spend lots of time exploring the outdoors (beaches, parks, etc.). We like to get off the beaten path and avoid the real touristy stuff." You can do all that in Orange County too in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and Capistrano Beach and be a lot closer to the Disneyland Resort.

San Diego...
posts: 748
reviews: 27
7. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

The new Legoland Resort offers separate sleeping areas and is brand new. I just checked a random weekday night in June and the rate was $250 for the night.

From the Legoland website:

Opening April 5, 2013, treat your family to the ultimate LEGO® experience – a day at LEGOLAND® California Resort and a night at the all-new LEGOLAND Hotel! LEGOLAND Hotel will immerse your family in the creative world of LEGO®, for a truly unforgettable experience. From the moment you arrive at the spectacular dragon-guarded entrance, you’ll be delighted by interactive LEGO features, themed play areas, family pool and kid’s entertainment!

Located right at the main entrance of LEGOLAND California, a stay at our new LEGO themed hotel will turn a day you’ll always remember into a night you’ll never forget! All 250 guest rooms are themed, so your family can choose from one of three popular LEGO lines – Pirate, Kingdom or Adventure. Rooms include two separate sleeping areas, with a queen-size bed for grown-ups, and a separate area for up to three little ones, complete with a bunk bed, pull-out trundle bed and their very own TV! As a special privilege, LEGOLAND Hotel guests will get entry to select LEGOLAND rides and attractions before the Park officially opens. Please see the Hotel concierge for details.

Minneapolis...
posts: 5
reviews: 15
8. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

Thank you, all, for your thoughtful comments. You've given me a lot to think about. I appreciate you taking the time to respond and make suggestions!

9. Re: Quiet, above-avg, relaxing place to stay in Northern SD?

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