When it comes to fun in the sun and toes dipped in the sand, San Diego in California and Miami in Florida should top anyone’s list, especially if America is your cup of tea. Both boast beautiful beaches, plenty of sun, fabulous food and lots of things to do and see. When it comes to deciding in which one you’d like to spend a weekend/a week/a month or a whole year, it can be a pretty daunting task. But worry not – I’ve put together this quick and handy guide that gives you the lowdown on both destinations.
California is drier in general and Florida is known for its humidity. San Diego has an average temperature of 63.65 F or 18 C (although keep in mind that that includes winter temperatures as well), and Miami has 77.05 F or 25 C. Average rainfall in San Diego is 10.4 inches whereas in Miami it’s 61.93 inches. San Diego also has about 2958 annual hours of sunshine while Miami has 2903 hours.
All in all, what do you choose? Humidity and frizzy hair or cooler temperatures and smooth locks? Who cares – they both have stunning beaches.
If you were to ever cut an American, they would bleed sports; basketballs, footballs and baseballs especially. (Disclaimer: Do not actually cut an American). And no trip to US would be complete without watching a sporting event. In this regard, Miami has San Diego beat. San Diego is home to the San Diego Padres (baseball) as well as rugby and ice hockey teams. Unfortunately, they lost their Chargers (football) and Clippers (basketball) to the city of Los Angeles.
Miami is home to the Miami Dolphins (football), Miami Heat (basketball), Miami Marlins (baseball) and the Florida Panthers (hockey). Miami will also soon be home to the Major League Soccer expansion team led by David Beckham. Yes, the David Beckham.
Both San Diego and Miami are melting pots of cultures and ethnicities, but both are heavily influenced by the spiciness of Latin America. In Miami, you can find Colombian and Venezuelan arepas, Cuba cafe con leche with grilled bread, Peruvian ceviche and Mexican chicharrones – deep fried pork skin you can either eat alone or stuff in tacos. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also go for the more local gator bites and frog legs (yes, you read that right – alligators and frogs!).
In San Diego, all you have to eat are fish tacos, really. They’re just that good. But you could also have some carne asada fries, lobster rolls and Korean BBQ – just don’t tell people you’ve been to San Diego if you didn’t indulge in fish tacos. It’s just not something anyone should do.
If you need a change of scene from San Diego, you have a few options to choose from: cross the Mexican border to enjoy life at a cheaper rate in Tijuana. Or drive up north for about an hour to possibly rub your shoulder with celebrities, hike up to the famous Hollywood sign or shop at Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. You can also take a short flight over to Sin City aka Las Vegas.
In Miami, you can head up north to see Disney World, travel the world in a few hours at Epcot Center. You can also go a bit further north to Daytona Beach to watch the Daytona 500 which is an annual NASCAR motor race (it doesn’t get much more American than that). Or head down south to the Everglades National Park to spot alligators and manatees. The Bahamas are also nearby if you decide that swimming with pigs is on your bucket list.
Lastly, you have to put the right song on to get you in the right vibe. For San Diego you have Tom Waits “San Diego Serenade.” And for Miami, we have my all time personal favorite from Will Smith – “Miami.” Can y’all feel that?