I'll take my chances on a big jet plane, don't tell me that they're all the same.
Anyways, there's been some decent traveling advice dished out around here, over the years. So I was hoping you guys could provide a few pointers for an upcoming trip I'm taking to Southern California at the end of July.
Recommended stuff to see. Helpful tips to get around. Obscure cool junk that you can't find on tourism sites. Yummy restaurants. Where to stay and where not to stay, etc.
I'll be there over the last weekend in July. Flying into Orange County and renting a car. I'm planning to see an Angels game (and take a dump, obviously), then hop down to San Diego for the Nerd, err, San Diego Comic-con. I went to San Diego (and Comic-con) back in 1995 and had an easy time of getting around. So what's new and/or changed since?
I'll preface this with one disclaimer - I haven't lived in Orange County in 10 years, and although I did continually go back to see my family until they moved last summer, I haven't seen a lot of what I am about to recommend since I initially moved away.
If you're spending any time in The O.C., I would really recommend places like Balboa Island (Newport Beach), Laguna Beach, and Dana Point for the good restaurants. Those areas are bit far from Angel's Stadium, but not too far from John Wayne Airport.
If you want to experience The O.C. in all it's excess (i.e. shopping), hit up the Irvine Spectrum or Fashion Island. Both those places are everything I grew to despise about living in Orange County. The Spectrum is HUGE. Insanely huge.
There's also the Orange County Performing Arts Center. And the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach will be happening while you are there. That's DEFINITELY worth checking out.
Your main highways will be the 5FWY and the 405FWY. Unless you like traffic, avoid both of them during rush hour.
As far as places to stay, my advice would be to try to find someplace close to where you will be spending most of your time (if it is affordable to do so). Driving around O.C. is a big-ass hassle, and public transportation is virtually non-existent.
"Oh my God! They have a shit-load of Cockapoo stuff!" -Jennifer's greatest quote... ever.
I believe there are only two drive-ins left in San Diego County. It kinda cool in a “vintage movie-going experience” way. Other than that though, there is no need to go to Santee.
As Guru mentioned, Taco Fiesta is a must for lunch.
Visit one of San Diego County's best kept secrets if you have enough time. Take a drive out to Julian and stop at the Julian Pie Shop for some fresh baked apple pie. It'll take roughly an hour from the down town area but it is a nice scenic drive.
In La Jolla visit The Cave Store. There is a natural cave/tunnel that takes you to the bottom of the ocean...well maybe not that far down but it's cool for a one stop visit. http://www.cavestore.com/