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?