Utah to San Diego Road Trip Report

solana beach, california

We just returned from a road trip traveling from Utah to San Diego.  My husband is a student and only had a one week time period off this summer.  We vacillated between staying home and going somewhere and at the last minute we decided to go to the beach for a few days. At that point a road trip was all we could afford for our entire family.

We started out mid-morning on Saturday and had no issues getting to Las Vegas.  Our first night was at the Embassy Suites Las Vegas Convention Center. This hotel is off-the-strip a few blocks. We have 7 people in my family and found that we fit nicely in the 2 room suite. The suite has 2 double beds and a pullout sofa.  One of my teens slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.  Overall, this hotel as some wear and tear, but it’s clean and works well for families. The free buffet breakfast is a bonus.

We aren’t gamblers, but we did venture over to eat Saturday night at the Seafood Buffet at Mandalay Bay.  When you have hungry 4 boys like we do, they appreciate the all-you-can-eat places.

After dinner we took the tram next door to the Luxor to view the Titanic Exhibit.  This exhibit was actually pretty impressive and I recommend you check it out.  Photos of the exhibit aren’t allowed, hence the lack of them, but wow, they have a lot of artifacts and have built a replica staircase from the original Titanic blueprints.  Our youngest is 5 and she was a little bit bored,  but the boys really enjoyed reading the stories of the people who sailed on that fateful ship.

Sunday morning we slept in, ate breakfast and started on the road to San Diego.  We quickly learned that we made a huge mistake with sleeping in.  I have experienced the road traffic from everyone leaving Vegas towards California on Sunday afternoons, but figured we were leaving early enough to avoid the traffic. WRONG!  Traffic was a complete zoo.  People drive super fast and then slam on their brakes.  It was like that the entire way with a few stops for accidents.  Our nerves were pretty shot on that drive.

Early Sunday evening we pulled into our hotel – The Holiday Inn Express at Solana Beach.  We quickly realized we were in a quieter, more upscale area than we normally stay in San Diego.  Although we have been to San Diego many times, this was the first time in the Solana Beach/Del Mar area and I must say I prefer this area over our normal places in Mission Bay or La Jolla.

The Holiday Inn is not luxurious, but it’s nice enough and it does have a pool and hot tub that we didn’t use.  Breakfast is free and has enough choices to satisfy us.  We stayed in 2 rooms and each had 2 queen beds.  It was nice to have all the boys staying in one room and my husband, daughter and I in another.  The big bonus about this hotel is that you literally walk 1 block up and then across the street and down some stairs to get the beach.  Granted there are a lot of stairs, so people with bad knees or mobility issues should avoid it.  Otherwise, this beach is perfect!  It’s not crowded and is clean and lovely.  We spent a few days boogie boarding and playing in the sand.

solana beach, california
Boogie Boarding at Solana Beach, California

One of my kids had cut his hand prior to coming which required surgery to repair a tendon, so the poor kid was stuck building sand castles and wading in the water.

We spent the majority of our 3.5 days at the beach.  One day we did venture down to the Balboa Park area to go the San Diego Air & Space Museum and the Model Railroad Museum.  Afterwards we went to Seaport Village for dinner and shopping.  It’s a fun place to spend a few hours.

san diego air & space museum
San Diego Air & Space Museum Simulators

If you are staying for several days in San Diego, I recommend you pick up one of these discount cards to save on many of the attractions in Southern California.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Solana Beach.  Other hotels close by include:

Give me a call to help you plan your next San Diego Vacation.

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