I am keen to visit LA and San Diego in the summer and maybe to visit Tijuana if i have time. Can anyone suggest good places to see in LA, San Diego ...isn't safe to visit Mexico and are there tour groups that I can join..any good hostels in LA, San Deigo Tijuana and safe. Thanks
Old San Diego
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Wild Animal Park
Huntington Library and Gardens (San Marino)—best thing in LA in my humble opinion
Universal Studios and Citywalk (in northern Hollywood—and there is also a citywalk in Irvine near Laguna Beach)
(and if you are there between mid-July and mid-August, be sure to go to the art museums in Laguna Beach—especially the Sawdust Festival, and visit the beaches—either Huntington, Newport or Santa Monica)
First, if you are going to Mexico, be sure to get Mexican insurance for the one or two days at the time that you plan to be there when you are first renting your car in San Diego. (American insurance is no good in Mexico, but you can buy Mexican insurance from the rental car companies in the US if you tell them you want it.--and it very important to do so before taking a car across the border).
If you want to go to Mexico, don't go to Tijuana--instead take the toll road and go to Rosarita Beach (15 miles south), Puerto Nuevo (a small town famous for its 17 lobster restaurants--25 miles south), or Ensenada (90 miles south--which is a large town of around 200,000, which has a unique "blowhole" created by the ocean on the south part of town, where the tides shoot water over 120 feet up into the air.
Tijuana is a town of about 1,000,000 but its mostly just a tourist trap in the tourist area--the main part of town is fine--but you'll never get there.
Rosarita Beach on the other hand is an old Hollywood hangout from the 1930s and 1940s when people like Charles Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Jean Harlow used to go there. It stayed small until 1980 or so, now its quite large with lots of hotels and bars and horseback riding on the beach.
South of town about 1 mile is FOX Studios--Mexico. This is a movie studio and amusement park (like Universal Studios in Hollywood, but much smaller). They filmed Titanic and also Master and Commander here, so don't be surprised if you see some Hollywood stars in town. The sets from Titanic and some of the special effects are one of the attractions at the amusement park that is worth seeing.
Ensenada is famous for their deep sea ocean fishing--and for their crazy bars--(1) Hussong's and (2) Papas and Beers, and (3) Carlos and Charlie's. The second one is probably the most famous one now--though the food is better at the third, and Hussong's was the famous (though rundown one) for years. You can also see real Mexican shows (and fiestas) in this town in the summertime. All three of these Mexican towns get quiet once summer is over.
Lastly, if you really want to go to Tijuana--all the action is on Revolution Blvd. There are bars and restaurants for multiple blocks--and lots of shopping--where you have to haggle over the price to get the discount you should be getting. At the end of the bars is the jai-alai place. This is a game played by 4 guys where they throw a hard ball (travelling at about 90 miles per hour) against a wall so that the next person can't get to it (if possible). You can also bet on the players--which is how they pay for the place.
Old San Diego
Point of procedure:
San Diegans refer to this as the Gaslamp District.