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Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

Perth, Australia
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Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

Hi Guys,

My husband and I will be in LA for part of our big USA honeymoon in March/April this year. We have hired a car and will be staying in a private apartment in the Financial District of LA (already booked and paid for). We are looking at heading to San Diego for the day to go see SeaWorld & the Zoo. I was just wondering if you could help me out with travel times between the area in LA we are staying and San Deigo and the best day for us to go (to minimise traffic/lots of people). The dates we have available are; March 31st - April 6th.

Thanks so much for your help!

New York
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1. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

SD is so beautiful and scenic it's a shame you can't spend more time there...locals will help you with time

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

Yeah it is but there is so much we want to fit in. Plus I have a feeling we will be back!

Chula Vista...
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3. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

Hi,

Welcome to San Diego.

The unfortunate thing is that traffic in the greater LA area is so fickle that it's difficult to predict how long it takes to drive the 120 miles.

Obviously, the morning and evening rush hours in LA are things you want to avoid on weekdays. Yet I spent 2 hours driving the 40 miles between Anaheim to Santa Monica one Saturday afternoon.

I would plan on 3 hours and you may get lucky and get here in just over 2 hours.

Seeing SeaWorld and the Zoo in one day will be a challenge, especially if you're trying to make it back to LA that same night. You may want to check in the LA forum about its rush hour traffic, but it may make sense for you to get on the road 5:30 - 6:00 AM to get out before things really get heavy, and stop for breakfast once you're out of the city. If you wait to leave LA until 9:00 AM or so, you may not get here until noon, and at that point, I would only visit one park.

The Zoo will be on its spring hours by then and will remain open until 6 PM, and SeaWorld is open until 7:30 PM, so I would see the Zoo first.

Zed

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

I'm not local, but check out Amtrak train between LA and San Diego. It's 8 miles (12 km) driving distance between Sea World and the zoo. From Union Station in LA to the Old Town Station in San Diego, the train takes about 2h45 and is independent of traffic jams on the roads, Once arrived in Old Town, San Diego, it's 3 miles (5 km, is AUS using metric?) to sea world so hop a taxi. You'll be at sea word by 11 AM. Then take another taxi the 8 miles to the zoo. From the zoo, take a taxi or bus to the Sante Fe train station which is the train station in down town San Diego to catch an evening train back to LA. One-way fare on the train is $37, no fuss, no driving stress, and you can catch up on your sleep on the train.

Note in the above, there are 2 train stations in San Diego, Old Town nearest to Sea World, and Santa Fe closer to down town.

We did the one way trip LA to San Diego last week and the train ride was great.. We whizzed by car traffic and cruised at speeds up to 136 km/hr. The trains are very comfortable, quiet and have a cafe car. Buy tickets early for best discounts. Union Station is a gorgeous building too.

Edited: 1:20 am, January 13, 2014
Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

I should ask/clarify, which zoo in San Diego? There is one in Balboa Park and one north of San Diego. I was thinking of the one in Balboa Park closer to down town San Diego.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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6. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

I'd leave at 5AM from Los Angeles and you should miss all the rush hour traffic and get there in a bit more than 2 hours. Of course that means you will have time to kill before the SD Zoo or SeaWorld opens, but I'd rather drive someplace in two hours and have an hour to kill then spend that whole 3 hours or more in traffic.

I suppose the train is an option, but it would cost well over $200 in transportation costs alone ($148 in train fare alone + taxi costs) and why spend that when you have the car?

San Diego
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7. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

Hi,

It is hard to picture the zoo and Sea World all in one day but I suppose it can be done!

Definitely go to the zoo first as the animals are more active in the morning and at Sea World you might get wet so you'd not want to hang around in wet clothing for another activity.

As mentioned above, we do have many more things to see/do besides these animal parks so if some how you could squeeze in at least one over night it would make the whole visit more enjoyable!

Los Angeles
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8. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

Its not easy to say the best time - on weekdays you have a lot of traffic, especially during rush hour / commuting hours (figure 7-9AM and 4-7PM, but more like 2-7PM on Fridays), so if you do the drive on a weekday, plan to do it outside of those hours - I would agree to get up at 5AM and just go.

The other issue is that you'll have people getting out of town towards San Diego or places in the same direction as San Diego on Friday afternoon or Saturday morningand heading back in to LA on Sunday afternoon / evening, so that can complicate traffic on weekends, but generally driving there Saturday would probably be less traffic, at least within LA itself.

Edmonton, Canada
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9. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

i would not recommend trying to do both. in my opinion, sea world is pretty much a full day if you want to catch the shows, all the exhibits and maybe a ride. the zoo, i think you need at least 4 hours. even if you only try to see one...i'd leave la by 5:30 a.m. then you can go to a beach area and have breakfast (pacific beach is a nice area in the morning - check out kono's at the end of garnet avenue - eat on the beach). on the way back, i wouldn't leave san diego till 6:00 p.m. then drive straight back or you could stop in laguna beach for dinner.

10. Re: Day in San Deigo from LA (financial district) need some help

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