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Thread: Southern California trip

  1. #11
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the feedback. I think the furthest north we will possibly travel is Santa Barbara. We did the Big Sur region a couple of times previously, so that will not be on our agenda this time.

    Initially my plan was to fly into San Diego, and out of LAX. However, I am planning to fly JetBlue out of JFK in their Mint class, and leaving out of LAX doubles the price. So while inconvenient, I'll likely depart out of San Diego as well. Is there a train route that would somewhat conveniently go from the Santa Monica area to the San Diego airport? I may decide it is easier to rent a van for the entire trip, since I know I'll need one in the LA area anyway. I've yet to decide if I want to bring my travel lift (Molift 150), but if I do that will tilt me even more to renting a van for the full trip, as I don't know how easy it would be to take the lift on the train?

    Is there a preferred area to stay in San Diego? An issue will be finding a hotel with a bed that will accommodate the lift. We really enjoy the beach area, but would also be conveniently located to restaurants, nightlife, etc. I'm not sure if the zoo will be on our list. Also, how many days in the San Diego would be sufficient?

  2. #12
    The only practical way to travel by train (Amtrak) from Santa Monica or LAX to San Diego is to catch the Flyaway bus from LAX to the Amtrak station in downtown LA (about 20 miles; but plan for 1 hour at least for this trip). It is wheelchair accessible. http://traveltips.usatoday.com/amtrak-lax-39890.html

    The main train station in San Diego is downtown right near the Embarcadero with several hotels within easy distance. There is accessible city bus or shuttle service from the train station and nearby hotels to the airport (about 3 miles).

    Staying in the Marina district or Gaslamp Quarter would probably be the best for easy access to restaurants and public transportation. Few hotels in that area have free parking though, and it can run as high as $25/day. Parking downtown can also be pretty expensive if you stay elsewhere. Personally I rarely drive to that area; instead parking in Mission Valley (Hazard Center or Fashion Valley) and taking the Trolley (light rail) downtown. Parking at Balboa Park and the Zoo area is free. There is a charge for parking at the Safari Park. Little Italy has few hotels, but lots of restaurants and is just north of the train station. You can take the Trolley to Old Town (the Trolley stops at the Amtrak station). Mission Valley has many more hotels, but there is not much to do right there, with limited restaurants, but many stay here ("Hotel Circle") because it is less expensive, has easy freeway access, and sometimes free parking. A few hotels are right on the Trolley Line.

    Here are some resources for hotels. Keep in mind that you still need to call and talk to the hotel management directly about the need for a non-platform bed that can accommodate your lift.

    https://www.sandiego.org/plan/visito...ng/hotels.aspx
    https://accessiblego.com/articles/To...s_in_San_Diego

    Embassy Suites downtown may be a good option as it is one block from a Trolley Station and Seaport Village and is on the western edge of the Marina district. The Manchester Grand is the hotel used by the VA's Summer Sports Clinic for disabled veterans, and the PVA usually uses the Westin Horton Plaza when they have meetings in San Diego. I know several people who recommend the fairly new SpringHill Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown/Bayfront location, which is really on the north end of the Embarcadero area and the west edge of Little Italy. Also consider the Hotel Indigo. In Mission Valley, those hotels closest to the Trolley include The Town and Country, The Marriott Mission Valley, and the Doubletree at Hazard Center. The Old Town Inn (Old Town area) is also a less expensive option, but I don't know the specifics on their wheelchair accessible accommodations. It is close to both the Trolley and city bus terminal hub in Old Town.

    Beach area hotels are a good ways from the best restaurant locations (with the possible exception of expensive La Jolla) and not served by the San Diego Trolley, as well as with limited bus services, but you could consider the Bahia or Catamaran in Mission Beach.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #13
    Landrover...I think if you stick with your original plan and make the trip without a van rental its very easy to get a round and roll the rental charge of a van $110-150 a day plus miles, gas and parking in both cities can be $$$!

    With that being said are you sold on Jetblue Mint? It's nice but that trip from NYC or Philadelphia is $$$. Plus that trip is only 6-7 hours tops. We fly Southwest Air and the air fare is 1/2 the cost in to LA or San Diego and then back home! I see fares as low as $400 round trip! Plus you would fly in the 1st row that would give you a little more leg room so you dont have as big of issue like with JAL on a longer trip.

    Plus a short 1 hour to 2 hour layover in Den, Chicago, Dallas would get you the ability to get some air and roll around a bit.


    Both airlines are not quoting rates for Sept but know Blue Monday and Black Friday are major days to book or rebook for air and hotel amazing rates!

    Santa Monica is a great city but due to not having a lot of hotels it can be very expensive for room rates simply based on supply and demand.

    I would look at staying in Hollywood and or downtown LA (LA live area) lots to see and do and you can take the expo route (light rail) to Santa Monica for a great day tip...we like walking/rolling Santa Monica to Venice, also the 3rd st Promenade is fun and the Santa Monica pier!

    Once you are done in that area you could take a light rail to Union Square station and take Amtrak to Anaheim for Disneyland!

    Once down you could fly out of SNA (Orange county)



    3rd St shopping and restaurant, open air mall.
    https://www.santamonica.com/santa-mo...eet-promenade/

    Expo light rail line:

    Downtown LA, Hollywood, Santa Monica
    https://www.google.com/search?q=the+...HcE6EZh8xc86M:



    Amtrak cost from San Diego to Anaheim $47 and that includes a free caretaker fare
    Amtrak cost LA to Anaheim $27.

  4. #14

  5. #15
    We stay in Coronado it's a lot nicer than San Diego and calm not the craziness of the beach area. You can take the ferry to downtown and a bus or dial a ride from a hotel in Coronado its only $4.50 each way!


  6. #16

  7. #17
    Thanks for the tips, I'm doing Santa Monica & San Diego (then Japan) in Feb. Hotel car parking costs are a nightmare, it's a real dilemma in SD - do you stay outside and pay $0-20 a night parking or downtown and pay up to $40.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by sarcastrix View Post
    Thanks for the tips, I'm doing Santa Monica & San Diego (then Japan) in Feb. Hotel car parking costs are a nightmare, it's a real dilemma in SD - do you stay outside and pay $0-20 a night parking or downtown and pay up to $40.
    You can find hotels/motels that don't charge for parking in places like Mission Valley or even Old Town. You don"t need to go out into the boonies to find free parking. Old Town is about 3 miles north of the Gaslamp Quarter, and Mission Valley ("Hotel Circle") is about 4 miles north. Both are also on the San Diego Trolley (light rail) line so you can use that to go downtown or to the Gaslamp Quarter.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  9. #19
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    For myself, I think I have my choices narrowed down to Manchester Grand Hyatt or Hard Rock while in San Diego, and the Loews Santa Monica (a bit pricey, but I like the location).

  10. #20
    Homewood Suites by Hilton (Liberty Station, $14 parking) is my main contender at the moment, was also looking at the Hilton Garden Inn by the Old Town & the DoubleTree at Hazard as they're both on the Green Line. Homewood Suites has the advantage as it gives us (me & my 9-year kid) a bit more space on our 5-night stay & has nearby eateries. Any disadvantages to Liberty Station? With the kid in tow, there won't be any shopping or clubbing for me - more boat trips/zoo/museums.

    Booked the DoubleTree Santa Monica for a couple of nights before we fly back to Sweden. I'm a Hilton Diamond so tend to stick that chain for the perks.

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