24 Hours in (always sunny) San Diego
It pretty much never rains in San Diego – it’s sunny 266 days a year — and the sun kind of defines the place. First off, locals barely wear anything but sandals, shorts and tank-tops. Even commuters on their way to work look like they’re heading for the beach. Secondly, pretty much everything worth doing in this city takes place outdoors. Which is just fine by us.
So drop the top on your convertible, slather on some sunscreen and pop on your Ray Bans.
You’re in San Diego.
9:00: ICED COFFEE TO GO
Many San Diegans have been up for a few hours already – catching a morning wave before heading to work – but we just rolled out of bed. Head to Lestat’s Coffee House in the Normal Heights neighborhood and grab a coffee to go – and get it on ice, it’s already hot out.
9:10: THE NEW NORMAL
Gulp your iced coffee while walking under the palm trees of Normal Heights. Browse the cool antique shops, record stores and music venues that make this San Diego’s hipster central.
10:00: MILITARY MIGHT AT THE PIER
San Diego’s not just a beach town – it’s also home to some of America’s biggest Pacific military bases. Take a cab to the USS Midway Museum at the Navy Pier. Here you can hop aboard one of the country’s most storied aircraft carriers and walk right up to F-14 Tomcat and F-4 jet fighters. It’s pretty darn impressive.
You’ll also have some of the city’s best views of downtown and the harbor from atop the aircraft carrier.
12:00: FISH TACOS FROM A TRUCK
Central San Diego is only about 30 minutes from the Mexican border – and Mexican influences are found everywhere in the city, especially the cuisine. Fish tacos are a Californian invention that are a twist on the traditional Mexican dish. This being Southern California, you’ll find dozens of food trucks specializing in fish tacos – and they’re pretty much all delicious.
13:00: SURF LESSONS ON MISSION BEACH
Mission Beach is the heart of SoCal beach culture. Sign up for a lesson in one of the many surf shops that line the boardwalk, and spend a few hours trying to catch a wave. It looks A LOT easier than it is – but standing up on a surfboard is one of the most satisfying things on earth.
16:00: POWER NAP ON THE BEACH
Surfing is exhausting. You’ll need this.
17:00: HANG WITH THE SEA LIONS IN LA JOLLA
La Jolla is one of the most beautiful – and expensive – neighborhoods in the whole city. Spend an hour or two at the Children’s Pool cove, this is where seals and sea lions come to hang out. Take a selfie with a seal. Hashtag it #sealfie.
19:00: SUSHI BY THE SEA
Grab a table at the Yumeya Sake House where you’ll enjoy authentic tapas-style Japanese food to the sound of Reggae. San Diego is a cultural melting pot. And the Yumeya Sake House is delicious proof.
21:00 CLUB HOPPING IN THE GASLAMP
You’ll have your hands full choosing between the hundreds of bars, nightclubs and art galleries in the historic Gaslamp neighborhood – but that’s a good thing. Find some live jazz or dance the night away at a Latino club. You might want to finally take off those flip-flops, by the way – some of these places have dress codes.
1:00: ADMIRE YOUR TAN WHILE BRUSHING YOUR TEETH BEFORE BED