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Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

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Toronto, Canada
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Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

Just to be clear, my daughters are not stereotypical "shop till we drop" types, so shopping for "brand names" will not be on our radar for this trip. That said, we will be visiting Southern California in mid-March. We want to be roughly half way between LA and San Diego. Our goals are to do some hiking in the desert, sightseeing in LA (incl. Universal), sightseeing in San Diego, cycling, walking to restaurants for dinner, maybe enjoying the odd beach fire and generally relaxing. Given that we will be there in March, we probably won't be sunbathing on the beaches and certainly not swimming. I have been trolling HomeAway trying to find a vacation rental. Is there any upside or downside to any of the following neighbourhoods: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, or Del Mar? If each of those neighbourhoods had the perfect house for you and your family, which one would you want to stay in?

Toronto, Canada
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11. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

Hi lttt. We must know the same teenagers then :) That is why I didn't say "stereotypical teenagers". I said "stereotypical shop till you drop types". There is a difference in the two phrases. I'm so sorry if my description of my family's tastes offended you. I just wanted to be clear that shopping is not going to be a focus for our family in case advice was to be given to me based on that criteria.

I appreciate all the advice I have been getting and thank you to all who have pitched in. We have never been to Southern California and it is difficult to know what neighbourhoods can offer. They can all be so different! And since we are spending a fair bit of money on this vacation, we want to do our due diligence to find the perfect place. Thanks again everyone!!

Toronto, Canada
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12. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

Thanks, Riff M. Great advice about Google streetview. I'll do a virtual tour to get a feel of the flavour of the neighbourhood. Gosh I love Google streetview. I admit being kind of creeped out by the idea when it first started but I love it now. So handy. Once I come up with some addresses, I will certainly let you know. Thank you so much for all of your advice. It is very kind and generous of you to help :)

Corona del Mar, CA
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13. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

>>> We have never been to Southern California and it is difficult to know what neighbourhoods can offer.<<<

My biggest caution is that distance does not equal time in So Cal. In other words, not all distances of 50 miles equal 1 hour of travel time. It will vary not only by where you are specifically, but time of day. A 50 mile drive could be 50 minutes at 6AM, 90 minutes at 8AM and 120 minutes at 4:30PM, all on the same day. It matters how many traffic and commuter zones you have to go through to get where you want to be and which roads you have to use to get there. That is one reason I suggest looking into Orange County and especially Newport Beach & Laguna Beach.

San Diego
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14. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

I agree with scott that you do not really understand the issue of traffic and drive times!

That is why I originally suggested that you have a 2 point vacation instead of trying to find one central spot from which to drive!! I would not stay in Orange county to visit San Diego and I would not stay in San Diego to visit LA!

Sometimes the drive is 2 hrs. and sometimes it is 4hrs. for the same distance!

Corona del Mar, CA
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15. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

Agree that if you wants see sights in LA and sights in San Diego, staying someplace mutually inconvenient to every place is not good. Split the stay.

Cardiff CA
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16. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

Del Mar is a little to stuffy for my taste. Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea and Solana Beach have a laid back vibe. Rent bikes, walk beach south from Moonlight to San Elijo State Park, see the Cardiff Kook, shop at Seaside Market for great Burgundy Beef (Tri Tip to die for), breakfast at Pipes Café, VG's donuts, walk the 101 through town, Torrey Pines State Park, all fun things to with kids.

San Diego...
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17. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

I agree with splitting your stay for the reasons that Scott and Riff have spelled out. You just never know what traffic will be like. I would stay in / around Anaheim for visiting LA and Orange County. Then move to someplace in SD County beginning Del Mar or south of it. I, too, like the Solana Beach, Encinitas area. If you do split your stay and do this I'd also add Pacific Beach. Your teens would probably like the 'surfer vibe'. There's a boardwalk for roller blading, biking, walking. You'll be close to Mission Bay for trails and biking, renting jet skis. Close to Torrey Pines for hiking trails. And close to Cabrillo Nat'l Monument for fantastic views and hiking trails.

Portland, Oregon
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18. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

I realize that this is an old post, but I see no mention of La Jolla? Any opinions?

La Jolla, California
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19. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

PDX M, because it is an old post, you may want to repost so you will get more replies to any questions you may have. However, to answer your question regarding La Jolla, there are many great rentals within La Jolla. It is a neighborhood within the city of San Diego, and has some distinct areas (with some areas farther from the beach), so if you have any particular rental in La Jolla in mind, pass it by us so we can let you know if it is suitable for your needs.

Edited: 12:00 am, September 22, 2014
Corona del Mar, CA
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20. Re: Oceanside or Encinitas for family with teen daughters

People have lots of opinions about La Jolla, but what specifically are you asking about?

La Jolla is a neighborhood of the City of San Diego so it isn't halfway between LA & SD, but it is a nice place to stay.

If you have questions, your best course is to start a new topic and give as many details as you can as to what information you are looking for.