Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend. I just got back from a great San Diego weekend trip and had an amazing time at the world famous San Diego Zoo, so I wanted to share some tips to maximize the amount of fun you will have at the zoo too. I am no expert at seeing zoos, but I think some of these tips will help make your visit more enjoyable. For those who haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo before (or in a long time), the zoo recently celebrated its 100th birthday and made many improvements over the last few years. Without further ado, here are my 7 tips to maximize your fun at the San Diego Zoo (with 2 bonus ideas at the end).
1 – Buy discount San Diego Zoo tickets online. The normal price for tickets is $52, but if you buy them through Groupon, you can get tickets for only $39.99. This deal is only good through December 20, but I am sure the Groupon discount comes around often. To super charge your Groupon purchase, sign up for Ebates and earn cash back on your Groupon purchase.
Good morning everyone, happy Friday! I am heading up to Sacramento for a wedding this weekend (sorry, no Sacramento travel meetup like last time), but I have a quick post to share that could save you some precious(?) Hilton Honors Points. Back in August, my girlfriend and I booked a 2 night stay at the DoubleTree San Diego Downtown hotel for 39,000 Hilton Honors Points per night (78,000 points total).
Recently, I was looking through my existing Hilton reservations. I decided to see what the current paid and points rate were for the same hotel on the same dates. To my surprise, the price went down to 35,000 Hilton Honors Points per night (70,000 points total). I canceled the original reservation and 78,000 Hilton Honors Points were refunded back to my Hilton account. I then rebooked the same hotel for the same dates using only 70,000 Hilton Honors Points. I know saving 8,000 Hilton Honors Points is not a tremendous amount of points, but that is 8,000 fewer points I need to MS for my next Hilton stay.
Original Reservation – Booked on August 6, 2017
New Reservation – Booked on October 19, 2017
Have you been wondering how the Hotel Del Coronado is doing now that rooms can be booked using Hilton Honors Points? Here’s the latest update! I’ve been curious about The Del as it’s been just over a month since rooms were bookable using Hilton Honors Points. So I stopped in yesterday to talk with the front office / guest services folks who I spoke with earlier in the summer.
I appreciated their time and honesty. They said the first couple of weeks were rough. Procedures were confusing and the lines at check-in were really long. They put out a small Hilton Honors sign on the side of the check-in desk, but Hilton members weren’t sure if they were supposed to go to a separate line, or cut in line to the front, or what. Of course, no one likes to be the one to cut in line when others in line don’t know what’s going on.
Hotel del Coronado view from the beach.
Image source: http://curiocollection3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/hotel-del-coronado-curio-collection-by-hilton-SANQQQQ/index.html
When you live or visit San Diego, life’s a beach! And even though it’s obviously all one coastline, each beach is really different. Some are great for walking, some for swimming, and some for surfing. So let’s take a ride up the coast heading north and talk about the different beaches to check out. Even if you live in San Diego, I find that local people tend to have their favorite spots and forget about how many great beaches the county has.
Let’s start with Point Loma and the Cabrillo Monument. It’s San Diego’s only National Monument. The drive out to the park is beautiful, with the ocean on one side and the bay on the other. After you enter the park, take the road to your right and go down to the tide pools first. It’s usually pretty easy to get a parking spot down there so you can enjoy the tide pools. If the surfers are active, it’s fun to sit on the rocks and watch them. Next, head up to the visitor center parking lot. It’s easy to spend an hour or more here. There’s a wonderful hiking trail and lighthouse to visit. The visitor’s center and gift shop have interesting exhibits. The whole area is a fun place to bring kids, too.
Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego. Image: http://coastalsandiegorentals.com/about-san-diego/
Sure, being a travel blogger can be fun, especially when you get to go the airport and give away United Airlines Club Passes, but it also means that people who don’t even know you get to have all kinds of opinions about you! A while ago, one person left this comment, “Shelli does not know a darn thing about West Coast foods.” And a second person agreed! At least they spelled my name right :) I’m not offended by these comments. They amuse me! The people who do know me, however, would say that I DO KNOW a thing or two about West Coast foods, and I’m going to prove it to you. I’ve got a few of my favorite places to eat right here in San Diego to share with you. You be the judge!
A few years ago, a place called Underbelly opened up. They have two locations, one in Little Italy and one in North Park. I’m partial to the North Park one, though if you’re a visitor to San Diego, it’s likely the Little Italy location would work better. The local brew pub scene is crazy intense in San Diego and for a long while, I thought this place was all about drinking beer. And in a sense it is, with its huge bar and lots of beer offerings. However, Underbelly is really about the ramen! I was suspicious at first because unless ramen is really fresh and homemade, I don’t eat it. I’ve had ramen in Japan and Hawaii, so my standards are pretty high. Not only is their ramen great, but their menu is super creative and I eat here on a regular basis. I’m stuck on the Belly of the Beast Ramen. Recently, a friend had the Chicken Confit Ramen and raved about it. I think I’ll have to try it! I’ve seen their appetizers go by, and they look tempting. I like to sit at the bar because it’s a good spot from which to people watch. If you go with a bigger crowd, there are plenty of tables. The lines can get long, but I’ve always gotten a seat. Everyone I’ve taken there has raved about Underbelly. If you like ramen, or even if you’ve never had it, this is the place… ENJOY!
Belly of the Beast Ramen at Underbelly. Image source: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/underbelly-san-diego-12?select=3BS9x5KF5bMpiyDAfUHTIA