Suggestions: Family Vacay to SoCal - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-31-2016, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Suggestions: Family Vacay to SoCal

Hey guys we're planning a family road trip out to Southern California (somewhere in the San Diego region) in August and I was wondering if I might solicit some suggestions from y'all for things we should see, do or even where to stay. Though we do like to do normal touristy stuff we also like things that might be offbeat or even off the beaten path. We'll be driving out there from Chicago, though we haven't decided if we're taking my Jeep or my wife's Ram (though obviously the Jeep would be preferred).

To start we have not pinned down accommodations for the week we'll be there so we're open to suggestions. A co-worker that lives out that way suggested a few towns north of San Diego and advised against looking more inland as they can sometimes be less than desirable. Not sure if the same thoughts would hold true from you guys so let me know. Mainly we're looking for an affordable vacation rental that's in a decent area and not excessively far from things to see and do.

With that said, we're trying to incorporate a little something for everyone into the trip. A beach day, Legoland (for our kids 15 & 4), SD Zoo (maybe), outdoorsy stuff (hiking, exploring, 4yo friendly though), off-roading (Ocotillo Wells, any other suggestions?), exploring for ghost towns, driving the coast and maybe visiting Old Town in San Diego. Anything we do it's got to be kid friendly with bonus points if it is engaging for her.

Thanks in advance for any help with planning.

Kevin

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-31-2016, 10:16 AM
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Are you camping, wanting to stay in a hotel, or renting a condo?
First, with the planned kid activities, I would stay in the North county, Carlsbad, San elijo, Oceanside area. Not as busy as the areas in San Diego proper, and very convenient to Legoland. Just a more relaxed atmosphere in my opinion.
If you want to camp, depending on when you go, there are beach campgrounds that are pretty nice, and right next to the ocean. South Carlsbad State beach and San Elijo beach are both popular, and difficult to get reservations at, but cost about $35 a night to stay at. There are also commercial campgrounds in San Diego, but they are way more expensive, very crowded, and just as hard to get reservations for. To get campground reservations go to www.reserveamerica.com
For a hotel, there are a couple of really nice Hiltons in Carlsbad that we have used, even when we were camping, for a comfortable bed and a place for visitors to crash. This far out it is usually fairly easy to get Hilton reservations, and they run about $200 a night.
You can also get a condo a week at a time. They run about $2500 a week for a decent one. Different condos supply different amenities. There are real estate agents that specialize in Cobdo rentals. You will need to look them up.
Just a side note, Disneyland is about two hours away, and may be worth the visit. Universal studios is about three hours away. Both are fun if you are into that sort of thing. My family is, so we go quite often.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-31-2016, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Camping was on our radar, but the wife said it we're doing it has to have some amenities like a real bathroom, shower and laundry facilities. Mainly my search for accommodations has been for for a vacation rental (condo/townhouse/house) in the $100-$150 a night range. We've found some that in that range that didn't look too bad, though we need to start digging in our heals and get serious with looking before they get booked up. I've mostly been scoping out vrbo.com so far. A co-worker recommended Airbnb, but so far haven't been too overly impressed with the site.

Disney is loosely on the radar but not really a gotta do it sort of thing since we're planning on doing Florida and Disney World next year. Of course we might change our tune if her cousins are able to come through with a purported deal on Disney tickets so we'll see.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-31-2016, 06:01 PM
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Well, if you want to go to the campground, they do have flush toilets, showers cost $.50 and there is a laundromat on site. When we go, my wife showers in the motor home, because she thinks she is a princess. (She knows, so I can't get in trouble for that) the kids and I don't care if we use the public showers, but if they are too busy, I take a shower in the motor home, too.
$150 a night for a condo is cheap. I think that is the same rate as the Hilton. I forgot there is also a Ramada Inn that has a three room suite, so the kids can sleep in their own room if you want to watch TV or engage in other marital activities.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-31-2016, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up on the facilities at the campgrounds. I had checked out a different campground on state property that only offered primitve facilities and assumed that was the case for all the of the. I'll look into those and run them by the wife. If we do that, it rules out taking the Jeep unless we tow it so we'll have things to stew on.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-01-2016, 04:44 AM
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My jeep is my DD, but if I am going somewhere more than a couple of hours, I flat tow it. The ride in my truck, and the available power is so much better. Plus my truck is just less fatiguing. Plus, someway, some how, I also get the same mileage as when I tow my jeep.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-04-2016, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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We're no strangers to long trips in the JK having done trips to Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Moab. The only real problem would be the logistics of trying manage two weeks worth of stuff if we're renting/hoteling it there and back. Kinda kicking myself for selling my Gobi last month...

Anyways the more I ponder it the more I think about it, the more sense it makes to just either just take the Ram or trailer the Jeep behind the Ram. In either situation we'll hopefully get a chance to see what the Ram can do off road after I get the lift on it. Dying for the weather to get better so I can install the Pure Performance 3" Triple Threat lift.

As far as camping goes, I'm getting the impression from the wife that it may be off the table since she has concerns about more or less security at those campgrounds you mentioned. Her concern is that it looks like just about anyone could come waltzing into the campground from the residential area across the street and walk away with our stuff while we're gone during the day or at night. Is that kind of concern mostly unfounded?

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-04-2016, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkuntz01 View Post
We're no strangers to long trips in the JK having done trips to Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Moab. The only real problem would be the logistics of trying manage two weeks worth of stuff if we're renting/hoteling it there and back. Kinda kicking myself for selling my Gobi last month...

Anyways the more I ponder it the more I think about it, the more sense it makes to just either just take the Ram or trailer the Jeep behind the Ram. In either situation we'll hopefully get a chance to see what the Ram can do off road after I get the lift on it. Dying for the weather to get better so I can install the Pure Performance 3" Triple Threat lift.

As far as camping goes, I'm getting the impression from the wife that it may be off the table since she has concerns about more or less security at those campgrounds you mentioned. Her concern is that it looks like just about anyone could come waltzing into the campground from the residential area across the street and walk away with our stuff while we're gone during the day or at night. Is that kind of concern mostly unfounded?
The only problem that I have ever had was someone came in and stole our generator. It was locked to our trailer, and they cut the cable. This was on a trip that was off season, so that there were not nearly as many people, and not nearly as many cops patrolling the campground. So yes, it is a concern, but in my opinion, not a huge concern. There is a fence that runs the length of the campground, with only one vehicle access point, and a couple of gates that are usually locked.
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