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