We just spent 6 days and 5 nights in San Diego. The part I was looking forward to most with this trip was watching the ocean waves crash into the cliffs. So if you like that kind of thing, La Jolla and Sunset Cliffs Natural Park are excellent places to visit.
We stayed at the Homewood Suites Liberty Station, which is centrally located near the airport and offers free breakfast every day and free dinner Mon-Thurs. A great deal. We also thought about staying part of the time at the Grand Colonial in La Jolla but ended up staying the whole 5 nights at the HS instead. When we visited La Jolla we saw the GC and it looked very nice and is within walking distance to the cliffs, Scripps Park, La Jolla Cove, and Seal Rock. Looks like it would be a good place to stay if you want to be in that area.
La Jolla was my favorite for most beautiful on the trip. In addition to the cliffs and seals in the La Jolla Cove area there is a beach (La Jolla Shores) a little further north that is good for families. You can see the gliders at Torrey Pines from the beach at La Jolla Shores. We arrived in La Jolla around 9am and found parking along Prospect Street since parking along Coast Blvd. was already filling up. Explored Seal Rock, Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla Cove, and did the Sunny Jim cave tour. The cave tour wasn’t much, just a lot of steps that ended in a cave. Watching the seals and enjoying the view was fun. We had lunch at Burger Lounge, which was good, then headed to the beach at La Jolla Shores.
Sunset Cliffs was good for watching the sunset (of course) and for light hiking.
Coronado Island has a wonderful beach and is a cute town. The La Avenida in Coronado was a lodging option for us when we were planning the trip. When we were there it looked like a good location for visiting the beach and exploring the town. We arrived around 9:30am and found parking on Ocean Blvd. near the lifeguard station. We had a tasty lunch at Delux Dogs.
I enjoyed the San Diego Whale Watch tour. As long as you don't get seasick easily I highly recommend it. I loved being out on the water. I bought discounted tickets for it on Groupon. Check out Groupon, Living Social, and places like that for discounts.
We also visited the San Diego Zoo, which was fun. We spent several hours but still didn’t see everything because it’s so big. We walked around Balboa Park a little bit and saw the Spreckels Organ Pavillion, which was nice. Then we spent a couple of hours at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
The Cabrillo National Monument is nice and good for light hiking and we saw the Old Point Loma Lighthouse during the visit.
We wanted to go hiking at Torrey Pines State Reserve and visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps but ran out of time. We also wanted to tour the USS Midway but didn’t have enough time (a good tour takes about 3 hours) when we were there. Instead we walked around the outside area, saw the “Kiss Statue” and the Bob Hope tribute before having drinks on the deck at the Fish Market during happy hour.
The Homewood Suites worked out well and we were happy with it but I think if we went again I’d want to stay either in Coronado or at the Grand Colonial in La Jolla since those were my favorite areas that we visited.
Thank you to everyone on Trip Advisor for advice and recommendations!Edited: 12:29 pm, June 28, 2014