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Good places in San Diego
#1
I've spent about a month and a half down here, and am liking it more all the time. Spent some time here last winter too. I drive the typical white Ford cargo van and practice stealth parking techniques to lessen my chances of being bothered by police, nearby residents, or criminals. I know some of you say stealth is unnecessary but it eases my mind to do it.
I like the Poway area. It's ritzy, has great hiking at the reservoir, has an Anytime Fitness for showers, and I found a couple great places to overnight.
Imperial Beach is upscale too and easy to find parking near the beach during the week. No other vandwellers there or much for homeless folk either. Best to be quite discrete, the people and police don't want freeloaders in their neighborhood. But seems friendly otherwise.
San Ysidero , by the border, has plenty of places to park next to motels and apartments. But it is more of a poor area, so crime is something to be aware of. I had no problems and like it there. It's real handy if you are going to Tijuana for the day. But I wouldn't leave my van unattended in some spots. I park at a paid parking lot when walking across the border. $7 is worth the peace of mind.
My favorite area of San Diego is Ocean Beach. It's grungy, lots of homeless, and crowded. But it is a laid back neighborhood with many people living in their vehicles openly. The police don't ticket you for overnight camping, even if you are driving a filthy old motorhome or sleeping in the back of your pickup. Parking can be difficult to find at times, especially weekends or late in the evenings. I find it easiest to park in the streets next to Dog Beach Park and just stay put for several days. I can walk everywhere that I want to go.
The Episcopal Church has free showers and suppers on Wednesdays. Several other churches have free meals too if you are in need. They have food pantries too.
I love the weather here! I'm making friends. My expenses are minimal. And it's on the beach. As long as the Big Quake doesn't hit, this is paradise to me!
I love a broad margin to my life- Henry David Thoreau
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The following 7 users say Thank You to Iggy for this post:
becida (03-16-2017), (12-11-2016), Theadyn (04-12-2016), gsfish (04-08-2015), flying kurbmaster (04-08-2015), Nana4Twins (04-08-2015), akrvbob (04-07-2015)
#2
Sounds like a wide variety. Something for everyone.

Be safe.
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Iggy (04-08-2015)
#3
I'm going to be down that way in a few weeks, so thanks for the tips!
Think "Fearless"
http://ttpadilla.blogspot.com/
Full-timing since April 15, 2015
Fleetwood Bounder 28T + Toad, One 100w Solar Suitcase
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Iggy (04-08-2015)
#4
I lived in San Diego for many years and I'm back there right now, renting space on a ranch out in east county.

Don't miss the Zoo and Balboa Park while you're there.


Corky
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#5
I've been to both. That zoo is some major exercise! All those hills to walk up and down. But worth it. I love Balboa Park, especially the botanical gardens. Nice that the parking is free and many of the things to see are free also.
But hanging at the beach is my favorite thing to do. I never get bored there. Each wave is different and just people watching is worth the time. I'll be back again next winter. I gotta head back to Oregon soon for work reasons.
I love a broad margin to my life- Henry David Thoreau
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#6
thanks for the positive feedback, glad you are enjoying yourself, I enjoyed San Diego when I was there, a few years back now, the weather was always great, people were nice, so nice they invited me for dinner and film night, then to their camp up some mountain, they wanted me to stay longer but I got tired of hearing about Rev. Moon so I left.
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Iggy (04-08-2015)
#7
My favorite thing at the SD Zoo was the hummingbird house. It was full of birds and you walked around inside with them instead of looking at them through glass or a screen. That was years ago though. Another was a big enclosure on a hill that was like a jungle with plants, flowing streams and more birds. There was a winding path you could follow through the jungle. I wanted to see a Cassowary but they were in hiding, the only bird known to kill man as I understand it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassowary

Guy
"We're all bozos on the bus, so might as well sit back and enjoy the ride."

Wavy Gravy

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#8
I just landed in San Diego an hour ago. I'll be feeling out the parking situation since my rig is not at all stealthy.

Iggy, from your recommendation towards the end I take it you're talking about "Coronado Dog Beach"? I'll head that way and check it out. Good meeting you at RTR.

Pictures are of the bay right now.


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#9
If you want to be bold you can join the 20-30 vehicle dwellers who stay on far west beach on fiesta island every night.  Technically the island closes at 10 but there is no enforcement at all.  You get to park on the sand right next to the water, they have fire pits, plenty of trash cans and porta potys.  This has been my goto for the past 3 weeks. The cops do sweep right before events though.  I was there one night and I guess a bike event of some sort was happening so in the morning the cop went around on a loudspeaker telling everyone to leave.  Ever since I kept an eye on the event calendar. My backup for when they habe an event is the old road by the river in front of SeaWorld.  There are 

3-4 regular dwellers that are on that street every night.  I never had a problem there however I did notice that the regulars come and go a lot so I did the same.  Some huge rv from Texas came and parked for about a week straight on that road and he eventually got a parking ticket.  I was parked right behind him and I did not got a ticket so I do think they keep some sort of tabs on how long ppl are staying put.  Some city's have a 72hr rule not sure if that's what got him or not.
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RV-Hopeful (04-12-2016)
#10
Dang, it really has been two months today since I arrived in SD! Never expected to stay half this long but I've found the area very accommodating. If anyone is interested I can enumerate some of the choice parking I've found in my stay.
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