I wanted to write a trip report to share all of the wonderful experiences we had while vacationing in San Diego in July. It was myself, my husband and son 15 and daughter 14. We stayed at the Catamaran Resort for the week which was absolutely the best place. I loved the whole ambiance of this place. The grounds were beautiful, we had an ocean front suite with a beautiful view of the bay and just steps away from the beach. There were tons of activities for the kids and loved the patio area where you could just sit and relax at night around the fire pits. The location was awesome as we could walk one block to the Pacific. Tons of shopping, restaurants within walking distance and a great central location for all of the places that we visited. I was originally thinking of staying on the Pacific Beach side but thank you for whoever talked me out of that. While I loved spending a few hours over there, here and there, I would not want to have spent my entire vacation there. It was definitely for the 20 something crowd and would have been my place of choice 20 years ago but not now. Here is a run down of what we did.
Arrived In San Diego at 11am, picked up the car at Catamaran by noon, they allowed us to check in at that time which was great. We unpacked and then strolled around the area and came upon Rubicons where we had a fantastic lunch, sandwiches were to die for. We then hit Ralphs grocery store and picked up everything we needed for the week (decided to do breakfast in the room since we all wake up at different times) . Love that you can buy alcohol there as well, cant do that in New York State. They allowed us to use a visitors pass everytime we went so that we could take advantage of their preferred pricing. People were so helpful and friendly at this store. We ate dinner at the Catamaran, my husband and son ate at their special bbq night which they said was so so, and my daughter and I just grabbed some appetizers and ate on the patio which was nice. Went to bed early as we were beat from the long travel.
We went to the zoo which was fantastic!! Loved the koalas, pandas and giraffes, stuff you dont see in Syracuse. We bought the tickets at the Catamaran gift store which saved us $5 per person, plus we could use the Tram and Skycoaster for no additional charge. We headed over to Balboa Park and we were exhausted and hungry so ate at an outdoor cafe which was good. We probably should have done this a different day because we had already done tons of walking at the zoo. We just kind of wandered around aimlessly trying to find different things. Loved the architecture and feel of the place but ended up leaving after a few hours. Went back to hotel very late afternoon and just hung out on the beach. The kids checked out the activities they wanted to do for the week. My son really wanted to the Jet Pack in the bay, but you had to be 16 and it was $150 for a 15 minute ride!!! We went to the Green Flash for dinner, which was okay, my husband and I had the broiled scallops which were nothing special and the staff was not overly friendly. We had a laugh as the hostess was wearing a short skirt and kept showing off her bright green underwear. We wondered if that was why it was called the Green Flash, but found out later it was related to the sunset. We strolled the boardwalk and then back to the Catamaran for drinks around the fire pit and watched the fireworks.
Spent the majority of the day at the Catamaran as kids and adults wanted to hang out at the beach and relax for the day. The kids rented the stand up paddle boards which they loved and rode me and hubbs around too, fun! The kids walked up to "The Baked Bear" and ice cream place near Garnet. They had build your own ice cream sandwiches where you pick out the type of homemade cookies you want and your favorite flavor ice cream, they said it was delicious. We walked over to the Taco Stand(next to the Catamaran)for lunch. It was quite good, the Caifornia Burrito was a favorite. It was huge and had the usual taco ingredients but french fries too. The kids spent the rest of the day in the water. We went to World Famous for dinner which we thought was excellent. I had the white sea bass wrapped in a potato crust, it was to die for. We shopped in and out of the stores on the boardwalk, bought a frisbee and played on the beach, very nice.
We went to the USS midway, checked out the whole area, very cool, and took tons of pictures. We shopped at Seaport Village for a few hours, such a nice area, loved it here. We went to the Fish Market for a late lunch which was wonderful, we sat on the outer deck (just lovely) food-- the best seafood ever. Arrived back at hotel late afternoon and as we were still not real hungry for dinner, we just walked up to Garnet Ave to Ciros pizza and got some slices, very good. Back to the patio to listen to the band, there was a girl with a beautiful voice. Watched fireworks again.
Hung out at the resort again. The kids rented bikes for the day and explored everything around the area, they had a blast and my husband and I just hung out on the beach and enjoyed some cocktails and lunch. The kids took the bikes over to Rubicons and ate there again. My daughter and I walked up to Garnet Ave. and did some shopping. We ate at atolls for dinner, surprisingly it was not very good, and quite expensive. We cruised on the Bahia Belle that evening. It is such a beautiful boat but nothing going on onboard, all of the famillies were falling asleep toward the end. I think they could do some type of entertainment to make it more enjoyable.
Drove to Coronado Island and checked out the Hotel Del. Truly amazing place. We wandered through the shops and museums on the ground floor, very interesting. We spent quite awhile on the beach, just beautiful. The kids climbed along the rocks and looked for crabs. We wandered around a bit in the village and then headed to Lajolla. This was the highlight of the trip!! We spent hours in the seal cove! It is just a breathtaking area! We went to Karl Strauss for lunch. The food was absolutely dellicious!! The staff was wonderful, they brought over different samples of beer with our food choices, and they sure know what they are doing. Ive done wine and food pairings before but never beer,, really enjoyed this. We shopped a bit afterwards, just love the look and feel of this place. My son loves high end cars so we stopped at the Symbolic car dealership. We walked right in and there were bunches of boys my sons age walking around taking pictures of all the cars with their iphones. My son was in heaven. Nobody in the dealership seemed to care that we were there. This is a great experience if you are into these cars.
Last day :(((( Decided to enjoy the last day at the resort. Kids rented bikes again, they also rented the Funcat pontoon boat. It was fun but went a little slow for their liking. We ordered sandwiches from Rubicons for lunch and my son biked over and picked them up and we ate them on the beach. Had to pack later so just ordered pizza from Ciros again for dinner.
We just love San Diego. We have been to Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Cancun to name a few, and I have to say this was a favorite. We will be back to see all the things we missed and would probably stay at the Catamaran again, and maybe Lajolla for a few nights.
One troubling thing happend. We had a very tight connection from DC to Syracuse. We had 25 minutes to get to the next plane and we had to take the tram over to a different gate. We were in such a hurry that my husband forgot to grab the camera bag, he left it under the seat in front of him. It held our new camera, his wallet, firedepartment i.d and badge and my car keys not to mention all the great pictures we had taken. We realized it when we boarded the next plane. They gave us a number to call, of course automated, cant talk to a person. They tell you to file an online report on the airlines website and basically dont call us, we will call you. This was extremely frustrating, as it was impossible to find a human body. My husband was sick about it so he drove out to the Syracuse airport and came across a new employee who was very willing and able to help us. He made countless calls for us and kept in touch with my husband. He located the bag and we will have it back this Wednesday (thank god!) We will be going back to the airport to give him a very large tip.
Thanks everyone for all of the advice and help in planning our trip. I would be happy to answer any questions.