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 Post subject: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:43 pm 
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Thinking about taking a trip to San Diego in possibly March or April. Just starting to ponder it so no firm plans yet. Also thinking about doing Yosemite so not sure which one yet.

Tell me fun things to do in San Diego at that time of year. My husband and I love food, outdoorsy stuff, hiking, my husband is super into craft beer. We will have our daughter with us who will be almost 3 then.

Is San Diego crazy expensive like I've heard San Francisco is?

I see Green Flash and Ballast Point both have breweries there and Stone has a tap room plus their brewery seems semi close (?)

We'll be leaving behind New England winter weather so 60 degrees will probably feel like beach weather to us

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:11 pm 
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I'm going to be super unhelpful because we haven't been here for the spring yet and don't drink beer. But yes, come so BabyPunk and Alice can hang out! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:56 pm 
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hey lisa-
if you post on
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sdvegans/?ref=bookmarks

you'll get plenty responses i think!
i don't think sd is as xpensive as San Fran Frisco!!

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:24 am 
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San Diego certainly isn't as expensive as SF and SF is expensive but a lot of that is for people living there. I've never stayed in a hotel in San Diego but I imagine it would be similar pricing to other cities of its size.

Stone Brewery (I've been to the San Diego restaurant) has vegan items as well. I'm not much of a beer person so can't tell you anything about the beer but I enjoyed the food at the restaurant.

There is whale watching in San Diego but you'd be at the tail end of the season for it. I saw you went on a whale watching tour with your little one and she liked it and as you know, it is cold out there. A windbreaker is usually all you need but sometimes a sweat shirt doesn't hurt.

One thing you might enjoy is hiking Catalina island. https://www.catalinaconservancy.org/ind ... t&p=hiking

I think you can get a boat from San Diego to Catalina, if not, you can get one from Orange County. The town itself at Catalina is touristy but I've known people who have gone camping at Catalina and they enjoyed it.

Another thing you might enjoy is the Palomar Mountain observatory.
http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/homepage.html

There are also hiking trails on Palomar mountain.
http://palomarsp.org/pmsp/hiking.htm

Something to also mention since your little one likes snakes, San Diego is no New Mexico/Arizona but snakes are a definite possibility on hiking trails. During the day, snakes mostly stay under rocks and off paths. In early mornings, you may see them on paths as they try to warm up. Now as a San Diego native, I've only seen a snake outdoors a few times in my life and snakes are mostly smart enough to stay away from places where there is high foot traffic. But I figured I'd mention it just so you can guide your little one.

The weather in San Diego also varies wildly during the 'cooler' months. I've ended up bringing long sleeves shirts during Christmas, only to go to Target to buy short sleeves. 80-90 degree heat is not unusual any time of the year. During March/April, the average temps are probably closer to 70 than 60 but I'd prepare for anything in the range of 60-90.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:47 am 
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And for the snakes, I should've clarified. There are lots of snakes that are natives to San Diego. You might see perfectly harmless ones like the king snake and the coral snake is the one they warned us about in school (but I've never never seen one). Rattlesnakes are the poisonous ones that are more common. As someone who brought my mom a king snake as a young child, I'm sure the rule of not touching snakes and avoiding them is just general good advice :)

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:29 am 
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awesome thanks!!

BabyPunk does love whales so a whale watch would be awesome if we didnt go too late in the season.
and if she saw a snake that might be the high point of her trip. the funny thing with her though is she's completely obsessed with snakes but when she sees a real one she doesnt react much. even when we saw a giant boa constrictor at a museum. she's just like "yeah snake"
she mainly just wants to stare at it. who knows what's going through her crazy little brain. so the moral of the story is she's not a toucher so i wouldnt have to worry too much about her digging through rocks and bushes looking for cobras or something.
though the leap between 2 and 3 years old is a big one so who knows!
it would definitely be fun to tell her we're going to go "hunting" for snakes and go hiking and see if we find any.

i wish SD and San Francisco werent so far apart. my original plan that i told my husband before i looked into it at all or bothered to look on a map was to take 2 weeks and start in San Diego and spend a few days at each place and work our way up and stop in San Francisco and eventually end up in PDX which we've both been to before and loved.

that was a pretty funny idea once i actually looked at a map.
Massachusetts you would be hard pressed to do 2 hours of driving from any end of it and still be in the state at the end of the 2 hours. im sure it's possible but generally you can get anywhere in the state with an hour or so of driving.

and a temperature range of anywhere between 60-90 will sound like heaven to us in mid March!!

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:30 am 
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sashi wrote:
I'm going to be super unhelpful because we haven't been here for the spring yet and don't drink beer. But yes, come so BabyPunk and Alice can hang out! :-)


that would be too cute! BP will be almost 3 by then so maybe she would be over her whole "all other kids are awful and must be avoided at all costs" phase. though part of me thinks that's who she is :-O

Charlotte and Alice could talk about being vegan kiddoes while Ada showed them her awesome skateboarding moves!

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:08 am 
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Stone no longer makes their vegan shepherd's pie so they are dead to me. Not really, but the menu is pretty hipster with vegan hummus being the main thing unless you hit them on Meatless Monday. BUT there are so many other options. By spring Kindred will be open and it is going to be fabulous. The guys behind it used to do vegan food and beer popup events and they are awesome.

Tiger Tiger has a great craft beer menu and vegan food as does Ritual Tavern and Blind Lady Ale House and a host of other places. The breweries themselves are fun to visit but if you each like different types of beer then it can be disappointing. Everyone has IPAs though, so if that is what you are into, you are good.

There is a ton of hiking. We have a tiny mountain right outside the city (6K elevation) Mt Laguna, with plenty of trails and views. I like it better than Palomar. Alpine Brewery is up there. They have excellent beer but the food has to be adjusted to be vegan. They are helpful about it. And then in the city itself there are lots of trails. I'm happy to help you out with this in detail face to face with maps or I can write it out here, either way. Give me some idea of what sort of miles you're looking at.

Also necessary to mention, Anza Borrego State Park, the desert, will be exceptional in the spring. I say this because I am counting on the el nino to happen which results in spectacular wildflowers. If you want to camp out there we have a ton of gear we can share. ABSP is about 90 minutes outside the city. The visitors center is quite well done with plenty of snake emphasis. the Borrego Palm Canyon area in the park has frogs that you can see and hear.

Balboa Park is fun, there's a craft beer place, Panama 66 (same folks as Tiger Tiger and Blind Lady) right in the park and there is a sculpture garden beside it so Baby P can run around (we bring the dogs). There are museums and a botanical building and you can easily spend a day there.

So, for beer and hiking, I'm your girl.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:28 am 
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Yeah San Diego to San Fran Frisco isn't an easy trip but there is lots to do in the general SoCal area. There is the San Bernadino mountains to the mountains in northern LA and Santa Barbara.

My parents also enjoy going up to Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead (which are the ski resort areas but nice to visit in summer and potentially spring?).

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:52 pm 
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thats a bummer Stone's brew pub isnt super vegan friendly but to be honest my husband is the beer person and when we go wandering around breweries and brew pubs sometimes we just hang out for a bit and maybe get an appetizer while he tries some beers. i dont even like beer so i usually dont even drink. sometimes i might try a cider if they have one but mainly i am just there for the hanging out. when we were in PDX we would wander around the city seeing the sights and maybe stop here and there at whatever breweries we came across then when it was time to actually eat a meal we would go find a vegan restaurant (or vegan friendly). we did something similar when we were in Asheville, NC except then we had an 18 month old so we didnt go to quite as many.
my husband loves super hoppy beers so mainly IPAs but will drink other types too.

im happy to know there are so many great hiking areas. i literally know almost nothing about San Diego other than the weather is supposed to be really nice year round. im right in the beginning planning phases (and havent 100% decided we're going) so i dont have any specific hiking questions but if we decide to go to San Diego im sure ill be looking for suggestions. anything we do would have to be pretty simple because we'll either have a toddler walking with us or she'll be riding on my back in a carrier.
nature trails are good right now because they are typically pretty flat.
we went to Acadia Natl Park with her this summer which is within driving distance for us from home and they have a lot of "carriage roads" there that Rockefeller built that a lot of people use to bike but we walked on those and it was really nice.
i love wildflowers so that would be awesome to see.

thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Favorite beaches-- torrey pines (parking is a pain, but probably worth it to pay around $10 for one time visit...beach in encinitas good tooo...and torrey pines has good hiking too...classic local book on hiking: afoot and afield in san digo...food: gelato vera, plumeria...farmer's markets...favorites--- hillcrest and ocean beach one's (people's food co-op in ob, too...but skip their hot food...)


For parts of san diego to walk around in besides f course balboa park-- north park, south park...also for ethnic food adventures city heights! City Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country...Get somali street food at their farmer's .arket... hope this helps!


La jolla cove might be nice for the little ones...

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:29 pm 
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Oh and ditto on Anza Borrego...pretty amazing in spring!

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:52 pm 
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i think i saw Torrey Pines and La Jolla Cove on tripadvisor when i was browsing around.
thanks for the suggestions!

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:30 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
i think i saw Torrey Pines and La Jolla Cove on tripadvisor when i was browsing around.
thanks for the suggestions!


Children's Pool at La Jolla Cove...it can be smelly bc of the seals...but still worth it...

for uncheap but worthwhile vegan casual dining-- Veggie Grill and Native Foods...both yummy...each of them worth a visit...
new italian restaurant getting good reviews with a fair number of vegan options-- 1845 Civico in Little Italy Also, I hear good stuff about Sol Cafe

i'm not a beer person, but sd is a national beer capital...
this website might give an idea of craft beer-vegan options
http://lovelikebeer.com/#works

Good vegan Mexican: Rancho's

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:51 am 
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I also like Sipz although I haven't been there since we discovered Ranchos. I'm not a fan of Veggie Grill but love Native foods.

My mom also was reading off some list of vegan friendly places recently, Cafe Gratitude was on it, I told her we would go because they liked Gracias Madre in LA.

There are also a bunch of natural food places where you could pick up stuff to eat including desserts if you didn't want to eat out every meal.

Plus like you can get 10 avocados for $1 (well maybe not in March/April) but food is much cheaper.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:53 am 
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if i can get 10 avocados for $1 ill be shoving my suitcases full of avocados.
we're lucky when they are on sale for $1 each here but $2 each is more the norm.

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 Post subject: Re: San Diego for tourists
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:20 pm 
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also,
while this isn't a total vegan space, it's a vegan-friendly space: if it works with you schedule check out
Wild Willow Farm, especially if a Saturday potluck is happening...
an educational organic farm...

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