Travel to Southern California

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  • Monday, 23 December 2013 09:56
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San Diego and Orange County


TJ’S hotel reviewers and their bicultural families headed out to Southern California to scope out some of the best places to stay and the fun things to do in San Diego and Orange County. After arriving at LAX, our families headed 45 minutes south on the 405 Freeway. First stop: Orange County. We stayed at many hotels and ate at many restaurants. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do and places to stay in Orange County:

What to do in the O.C.
Orange County hosts some of Southern California’s top vacation destinations:
• Disneyland
• Knott’s Berry Farm
• Newport, Balboa, Huntington and Laguna Beach
• Discovery Science Center
• Honda Center & the City National Grove of Anaheim
• Segerstrom Center for the Arts
• South Coast Plaza
• National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks
• Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
• Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Bowers Museum
• Anaheim Convention Center
• Pelican Hill Golf Club

Where to Stay
Cool and Hip Hotel Award Shorebreak Hotel is located next to the Huntington Beach Pier and among all the shops and restaurants in this beachside walking town. Huntington Beach is home to the U.S. Open of Surfing and is a favorite spot for surfers and beachgoers from around the world. The Shorebreak is elegant and sophisticated, yet young and hip.

What we love about it:
- The location is a surfer’s paradise
- Located in a shopping area near stores and restaurants
- Outstanding breakfast at a reasonable price
- Amazing view of Huntington Beach Surfboard and dog friendly

All in One Award
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach: As you walk around the property, it is hard not to feel like you are on vacation at this Southern California resort hotel that brings the party to you.
What we love about it:
• Numerous pools and a water slide
• Shares Back Bay resources for biking, jogging, canoeing, swimming, golf, tennis and more
• Sizzling Summer Concert Series in unique and elegant lawn setting with acts like the Commodores, Michael McDonald & Jeffrey Osborne
• Convenient access to the Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza shopping malls, Disneyland and the other entertainment venues listed above.

Award of Elegance and Best Dining Experience
The Balboa Bay Resort & Spa offers an elegant stay and an unparalleled dining experience in its First Cabin Restaurant. It has been the resort of choice for Hollywood’s A-listers over the years including John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, John Travolta and Jim Carey as well as presidents, politicians and business leaders.
What we love about it:
• Amazing restaurant: First Cabin
• Rooms with wonderful view of gorgeous marina
• Access to Duffy Electric Boats, paddleboards & kayaks
• Easy access to elegant dining & shopping in Newport Beach
• Historical elegance: Home of the prestigious Balboa Bay Club
• Wonderful pool What to Do in San Diego San Diego is California’s 2nd largest city and is filled with fun adventures:
• San Diego Zoo
• SeaWorld
• Safari Park
• Legoland
• Camping on the beach in Carlsbad
• Balboa Park
• Coronado Island
• Petco Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres
• National Football League’s San Diego Chargers
• Old Town Trolley Tours
• USS Midway Aircraft Museum & Maritime Museum
• La Jolla Beach

Where to Stay
Best Golf & Hotel Combo Award
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel: Located adjacent to the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, this hotel is a golfer’s paradise. Not only is Torrey Pines a world-class golf course, but it is also the nation’s foremost municipal golf course. That means you won’t need a caddy to carry your wallet as you’ll be paying public green fees.
What we love about it:
• Amazing room with a view of the ocean-side golf course
• Located near La Jolla, San Diego’s most beautiful beach
• Convenient access to San Diego’s many attractions
• Large, gorgeous property with ocean views
• In-house spa at Torrey Pines (sauna, steam room, etc.)

Historical Elegance Award
Dating back to 1888, the Hotel del Coronado is one of Southern California’s most renowned beachfront hotel resorts. This Victorian-style hotel is a National Historic Landmark that has hosted numerous presidents, royalty and celebrities through the years including Charlie Chaplin, King Kalakaua (in 1890) and Edward Prince of Wales. The hotel was the film location for numerous movies including “Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe, and the main dining room, the Crown Room, has held state dinners, royal events and even the celebration for Lindbergh’s famous flight.
What we love about it:
• Activities for kids including surfing lessons, crafts and parties
• Amazing Sunday Brunch in the Crown Room
• Beautiful beachfront property
• Notoriously haunted rooms
• Many documented stories of the hotel’s rich history to explore tj

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