Visit San Diego: Great Tacos, Even Better Beaches
Nestled between Los Angeles and Tijuana, Mexico, San Diego hasthe best of both California culture and Mexican influences on food, art, and language. Referred to as the "birthplace of California", San Diego was one of the first Californian cities to see an influx of European settlers, and it's no wonder they were drawn to natural beauty of this coastal gem. Today, visitors pass through for the strong surf, fresh-from-the-ocean fish tacos, beautiful parks, and high-energy nightlife. Discover how you can make the most of your time in San Diego.
10 Best Places To Visit In Sunny San Diego
Palm trees, perfect weather, the Pacific Ocean and a laid back vibe—San Diego has it all. Skip the traffic jams and pollution of Los Angeles and head to California's gemstone city.
Looking for the perfect combination of work and play? Add a dash of fish tacos and wash it down with a craft beer in San Diego. Home to some of America's most beautiful beaches, plenty of fantastic nooks and crannies and Rob Burgundy.
1. Balboa Park
Filled with beautiful Spanish architecture, fantastic museums, delicious restaurants and a famous coy pond, Balboa Park is truly one of the best places to spend an afternoon. Take a dance class, hike a trail, or explore one of the 17 museums and cultural centers available.
We recommend the Museum of Man and the San Diego Air & Space Museum, but if you'd prefer photography or art, there are plenty of other museums to tickle your fancy.
2. Old Town
Considered to be the "birthplace" of California, Old Town San Diego is not to be missed. Almost every Saturday you can catch a "living history" performance and see what life was like between the 1820's and 1870's. Feast on authentic Mexican food and margaritas at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, then wander to the haunted Whaley House for a spooky tour.
Once you've had your fill, you can even take the trolley to Gaslamp and beyond to explore another neighborhood! Old Town is great for families, friends and couples alike.
Take the bridge from San Diego over to Coronado and experience life on the other side. If you're a fan of shopping at boutiques, or picking up beach house style furniture or antiques, you'll be in luck on this peninsula.
There are plenty of shops and European-style cafes. We recommend grabbing a coffee and strolling through the Hotel Del Coronado—bring your flip flops, as the hotel backs up onto a beautiful and famous beach.
4. La Jolla
You've probably seen photos of seals and sea lions soaking up the sun on a beach, right? This takes place at La Jolla Cove & the Children's Beach. You can admire these beautiful sea mammals (from a distance, of course), or head to the friendlier and swimmable waters of the tide pools.
Check out Torrey Pines State Park if you're looking for a great hike, or head up to Mount Soledad for a 360-degree view of the city and ocean. Looking to really divulge yourself in a fancy neighborhood? Grab your heels and stroll down Prospect Street for fabulous restaurants and high-end shopping.
5. Gaslamp & Petco Park
Whether you're looking to party or catch a Padres game, the Gaslamp neighborhood has it all. Check out Altitude Sky Lounge for a fantastic roof deck and view of the ball field, or (if you're in a rowdy mood) head over to Stout Public House.
The city underwent a huge renovation and the area surrounding the ballpark is trendy and worth your while. Snap a selfie with the Tony Gwynn statue before heading to one of the fine dining establishments or boutiques nearby.
6. Pacific Beach
San Diego is famous for its fish tacos and Pacific Beach is the place to go for these delicacies. There are many restaurants claiming to have the best fish tacos in town, but we'll let you decide which restaurant or corner taco shop has your vote.
If fish tacos aren't your thing, you can always take a surf lesson, rent a bike, or walk the beach. P.B. is famous for awesome waves, a cool boardwalk and a friendly beach-vibe.
Head to North County and experience another type of beach vibe. Close to Camp Pendleton, this beach town knows how to party. The Oceanside pier offers beautiful views of the sunset, and a fantastic vodka bar where you can enjoy a happy hour cocktail before trying to catch the green flash.
Explore the Mission San Luis Rey, and make sure you stop by the Thursday night street market for fantastic food and handicrafts for sale.
If you like pies and have a trip planned to San Diego, you're sure to discover Julian. Located northeast of the heart of the city, Julian is a quaint mountain town offering fantastic and famous pies—you'll regret passing up on the classic apple pie!
There's the fantastic California Wolf Center, beautiful hikes including the Cedar Creek Falls, and a handful of wineries if you need something to wash down that delicious pie.
9. Little Italy
Any great city will feature a neighborhood filled with fantastic Italian cuisine, quaint markets featuring delicacies from the homeland and tiny streets. San Diego's Little Italy is no different, and you'll find plenty of dining and craft breweries to satisfy your cravings.
If you're looking for one of the most interesting historical tours you'll ever take, head to the U.S.S. Midway and set foot on the only carrier to serve the entire duration of the Cold War. In case you were wondering where the famous kissing statue is located, it's adjacent to the U.S.S. Midway museum.
Less than 3 miles north of Balboa Park, you'll find the vibrant hub of San Diego's LGBTQ community. With its reputation for being warm and welcoming, Hillcrest is a fantastic place to spend a few hours or an evening out on the town.
There is a great variety of restaurants, whether you're looking for all-you-can-eat sushi or fancy wine bars with outdoor patios perfect for people watching. Check out the brunch scene or head to the farmer's market on Saturdays and Sundays if you're looking for interesting or artistic purchases.
by Jessica Bisesto