‘America’s Finest City’ is rich, ritzy, and amiable. The hometown of Cameron Diaz, noted for its perfect weather, offers endless possibilities. It’s a land of sunny beaches, underwater mysteries, antiques, theme parks, and many firsts in the US. This coastal city in California is nonchalant and unpretentious. Add a few dollops of Spanish influence and Mexican culture and the collage of San Diego looks complete. Bask in the gentle sun, challenge yourself to adventure sports, sing a song with the locals, and drink to your health, because the city likes to have fun.
San Diego is a city in the western American state of California. It is situated on the southern coast of the state facing the Pacific Ocean and bordering Mexico. Los Angeles is located 120 miles (193 km) from here.
Facts about San Diego
- The total area of the city is 372.39 sq mi.
- The locals call San Diego ‘America’s finest city.’
- The 40th US President Ronald Reagan (1981-89) was the first person to drive on the iconic Coronado Bridge in San Diego in 1969.
- The San Diego County is home to around 7,000 farms.
- It is also the biggest producer of Avocados in the country.
- Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Balboa Park’ and Eric Clapton’s ‘The Road to Escondido’ are some of the songs about San Diego.
San Diego Attractions
Beaches – Some of the most spectacular beaches in California belong to San Diego. The La Jolla chain of beaches and the beaches at the Mission Bay are quite a draw for travelers. Carlsbad Beaches, Cardiff by the Sea, and the Coronado Beach are also favorite among the beach-goers.
San Diego Zoo – Home to more than 3,000 animals of around 650 species, the San Diego Zoo is no less than a natural habitat to these creatures. Early morning is the best time of the day to visit the inhabitants and a zoo map might prove handy.
Hillcrest – This upscale neighborhood is where all the actions happen. This is the place to find the best of San Diego’s restaurants, bars, cafes, boutiques, shopping outlets, and much more.
New Children’s Museum – Opened in 2008, this museum is not only chronologically new but conceptually, too. This arts-based museum, only for kids, hosts thematic exhibitions. The on-site artworks are changed every year and a half to keep the novelty factor intact.
Cave Store – Towards the eastern side of the La Jolla Cove lies the Cave Store – a series of caves carved by the sea waves. The Sunny Jim’s Cave is very large and the only cave accessible by land. The name of the cave was given by Frank Baum, the creator of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’
The Maritime Museum – You’ve got to visit this floating museum housed inside the Berkeley ferryboat. It has one of the largest collections of historic sea vessels in the US.
Balboa Park Gardens – It is the largest urban cultural park in North America, even larger than the Central Park in New York. From Spanish-style garden to Australian Garden, Balboa Park houses these natural attractions that reflect different horticultural styles.
Museum of Man – This anthropology museum is known for housing a rare collection of Ancient Egyptian antiques, mummies, and painted wooden coffins.
Other Local Attractions – Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark, LEGOLAND California, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Living Coast Discovery Center, USS Midway Museum, and SeaWorld San Diego are some of the other attractions you must visit.
Things to Do in San Diego
There is a whole lot of activities you can indulge in when you are in San Diego.
Arts & Culture – The theaters, as well as the streets, play round-the-year hosts to various cultural performances. The Culinary Festivals, Film Festivals, Visual Art Festivals, Seasonal Festivals, theatrical performances, and concerts held in the city are not to be missed.
Sports & Recreation – Learn surfing at La Jolla Shores, arguably the best surf beach in San Diego.
Diving at San Diego – La Jolla Underwater Park is a memorable experience as you explore the underwater treasures and California’s official state fish – Golden trout. You can also try your hands at hiking, scuba diving, fishing, boating, kayaking, and golfing.
Parks – San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Torrey Pines State Natural State Reserve Park, and Mission Bay Aquatic Park, are popular names preferably included in travel itineraries.
Nightlife – Make the most of your time in the city, especially at night. Hit the local pubs; listen to live music, and opt for wine tastings at wine bars.
San Diego Accommodations
For a luxurious stay in the city, you can try The US Grant, Hotel Del Coronado, and Pantai Inn. The Tower 23 Hotel, La Valencia Hotel, Estancia La Jolla Hotel, The Sofia Hotel, and the Cosmopolitan Hotel are not far behind when it comes to offering luxury. For mid-range stays, head to La Pensione Hotel, Les Artistes Inn, or Horton Grand Hotel. Budget travelers can check in at a few 2-star hotels, hostels, guest houses, and apartments housed.
San Diego Restaurants
For best local dishes, you can book a table at 1500 Ocean, Urban Solace, Cucina Urbana, George’s At The Cove, or Prado. Try the most sumptuous of dishes from Mexico at Las Olas and Puesto at the Headquarters. Caesar’s and Trattoria I Trulli specialize in Italian, while Tapénade is known for serving delicious French cuisines. You can get the best seafood in the city at Point Loma Seafoods, Fish 101, and Jake’s Del Mar.
Best Time to Visit San Diego
The best time to visit the city is either Spring season or Autumn which fall during March-May and September-October respectively.
How to Reach?
By Air – The San Diego International Airport is just 3.3 miles from the downtown. It is just a 13-minute drive from the city.
By Train – San Diego Santa Fe Depot is the main railway station serving the city. It is well connected to other major cities of California.
By Road – National Highways no. 5, 8, 15, and 805 pass through San Diego and connect it with neighboring states and cities.