We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Critique this itinerary please!

Which San Diego hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Alabama
posts: 80
reviews: 1
Critique this itinerary please!

Hi one again! I have been working hard to help piece together this bcs trip for 4 college kids. From the great info and advice I have gathered on this forum and the Anaheim forum, I think we have been able to piece together an itinerary that covers everything and gets rid of the rental car. (Expensive due to underage surcharges, insurance, etc...). I would ideally like to find suite hotels as mentioned before but the location off old town just seems too convenient since the train leaves from here, as well as bcs bus to game and trolly tour. But I need advice of the experts to tell us if we have overlooked anything. Thanks once agin for your help! Here is the itinerary:

Day 1 - arrive San Diego, take free airport shuttle bus provided by hotel in old town

Day 2 check out with luggage, walk or take taxi to train station, take train to Anaheim (station less than 4 miles from Disney), take taxi to hotel (across Street from Disney), store luggage, walk to Disneyland and walk back.

Day 3 - take train (amtrak) or shuttle (starline) to LA. Sightsee on hop on hop off bus, return to Anaheim.

Day 4 - return on train to San Diego. My suggestion is to do the hop on hop off trolly

Day 5 - take bowlbus to game and back. Watch auburn win :)

Day 6 - take free airport shuttle to airport. Fly home.

Once again, thanks in advance for your advice.

Chula Vista...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 2,576
reviews: 102
1. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

Hi Supermom,

Staying in Old Town will be fine for the reasons you mentioned--connections to transportation.

For getting around San Diego on Day 4, I can understand wanting to use the Old Town Trolley hop-on, hop-off tour bus for a one-day visit. It gives a good overview of the attractions along the route.

But I have to admit that, as a frugal fuddy-duddy, I have a hard time shelling out $34 per person just to get around the city, when a $7 day pass ($2 one-time fee for a reusable Compass card + $5 day pass) on the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System's Green Line light rail route will get them to many of the same locations for a fraction of the cost. (The day pass is good for unlimited rides on trolleys and buses for the day it was purchased.)

http://www.sdmts.com/fares.asp#daypass

When you look at the trolley tour map:

trolleytours.com/san-diego/location-map.asp

You'll see that destinations B, C, D, E, F, G, and K are all within 1.7 miles of each other. The Green Line gets you within a few blocks of each of those destinations:

- County Center/Little Italy Station gets you within 3 blocks of Little Italy (K) and the Maritime Museum (B)

- Santa Fe Depot Station gets you within 6 blocks of Horton Plaza (E) and 4 blocks of the USS Midway.

- Seaport Village Station gets you within a block of Seaport Village (C).

- Convention Center Station drops you at the Convention Center (BTW, the San Diego International Auto Show is at the Convention Center 1-5 January http://www.sdautoshow.com/ )

- Gaslamp Quarter Station drops you right at the base of 5th Avenue, the entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter (F)

Stops D and G on the route are stops at the Marriott and Hilton hotels.

Old Town Trolley Tour buses run about every 30 minutes from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

trolleytours.com/san-diego/tour-schedules.asp

The Green Line trolley runs every 15 minutes from 4 AM to 11:30 PM.

If the boys wanted to hit the Zoo or Balboa Park, they could hop on the #7 bus with their day pass.

www.sdmts.com/RouteFiles/routes/pdf/7.pdf

Heck, with our major attractions downtown as dense as they are they can walk between many of these places. In October, I had some 60-something friends visit, and we walked from the Little Italy Farmer's market at India and Date Streets to the Maritime Museum to the USS Midway (1 mile) without a problem. I'm sure your boys could handle that if we could. :-)

Granted, by doing it themselves, they won't have the narration that comes along with the $34 Old Town Trolley Tour, plus they'll miss out on Coronado (unless they take the ferry over ($8.50 round trip). But, honestly, I don't see Coronado as being a primary draw for 20-something football fans despite its nice beach and upscale small town feel.

Riding the Green Line from Old Town to Gaslamp Quarter is quite safe, passing through popular neighborhoods.

If the boys are interested in a more structured tour, then the Old Town Trolley is definitely worth it. But if they're willing to walk a little and explore on their own (which is what they'll do once the bus drops them off in a neighborhood anyway), then I'd encourage them to give the SDMTS a try. (And, no, I don't work for SDMTS--just someone who's been finding out its value as I use it more and more.)

Zed

Edited: 12:47 am, December 19, 2013
Alabama
posts: 80
reviews: 1
2. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

Zed,

Wow! This is terrific idea. I sometime shy away from public transprortation because it confuses me although we used the subway in NYC with only a few hiccups. Excuse my ignorance but the green line rail is actually a trolley correct? And it shows a stop from the old town transportation station where the amtrak trains come in? This would surely be convenient and save some money. Plus, I don't think they necessarily want to see all the attractions, just get a feel for San Diego. They may be happy just hanging out in gaslamp area for the day. Or going to the bay front. I don't think they want to tour museums or the zoo.

Thanks for the tip.

As for old town, is it possible to walk from train depot to Fairfield inn or courtyard or the hotels in that location. We haven't chosen one yet.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,099
3. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

Old Town - yes, they can easily walk from the Fairfield Inn to the station.

http://goo.gl/maps/FpIvV

Alabama
posts: 80
reviews: 1
4. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

Haha. I knew it wasn't far but just wondered about the terrain, roads etc. I learned this in San Fran after learning my walking route to Coit Tower included a walk up nob hill and the numerous hills of San Fran. :)

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,099
5. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

The walk is very direct and right through Old Town (safe). It's slightly downhill at the start.

You can see the street view if you move the little yellow man to Congress St.

Chula Vista...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 2,576
reviews: 102
6. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

HI Supermom,

It took a little digging on the SDMTS website, but this document has a photo of the light rail trolleys:

sdmts.com/documents/8thstreetConstruction11-…

(There is no construction on the Green Line between Old Town and the Gaslamp Quarter, so no worries there.)

Have the guys watch this video on how to purchase a Compass Card / Day Pass before they go:

http://youtu.be/39368D0rpSU

One last thing... Make sure the guys hang onto their passes while on board or waiting at a station. I've had transit police check to make sure I had paid to ride.

Zed

Edited: 1:53 pm, December 19, 2013
Alabama
posts: 80
reviews: 1
7. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

One last question - we are still trying to make the suite hotel work. Would taxis be easy to catch around San Diego if they need to get to and from the bowl bus. Would they be able to find taxi after the bus returns to old town late after the game?

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,099
8. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

Wow you really are a Supermom to plan so much for male college students:)

The bus, as said, is in Old Town which is a transit hub. I believe we've pointed this out. If not, apologies. If they do end up staying in Old Town they can pretty much walk to any hotel. If they don't then it depends on where they end up staying if they should take a taxi or hop on the lightrail Trolley. Taxis wait for other transportation to arrive in Old Town. They know the timetable.

So, once you figure out where they are staying the decision will be easily made.

San Diego, CA
posts: 413
reviews: 42
9. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

IMO You will spend WAY more money using public transportation than renting a car. The haul from LA to SD with multiple people will alone cost more than your rental car. Trust me save money and many headaches and rent a car!!!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 37,313
reviews: 348
10. Re: Critique this itinerary please!

Assuming you are still looking at the Fairfield and the Courtyard Old Town AND assuming you are using this bowl bus:

national.bowlbus.com/Travel/From/SanDiego

Then that bus leaves from the Old Town Transit Center where Amtrak, the trolley and major bus lines converge in San Diego.

So they could walk back to the hotel in Old Town.

If they are not going to stay in Old Town then I think it would be easy to either get a cab there, or walk up to San Diego Ave where the restaurants and bars are and find a cab, or just call one.