San Diego seems to have it all. Whilst it’s known as ‘America’s finest city’ for its long stretches of white beaches, the city offers a vast array of choices to make the most of your American adventure. Not sure where to start? Fear not – we’ve put together a handy guide of what to do while you’re visiting this lively city.
1. Top of Cabrillo Monument or Mt. Soledad
Both of these places offer a 360 degree view of San Diego from different perspectives – and both can really magnify a travel experience in “America’s Finest City”. They also happen to make for the perfect backdrop for any travel photo.
2. Greenline to Gaslamp
For a true urban experience, take a trolley into the heart of the city and take in the lights and sounds of the urban-scape. The Gaslamp quarter is a vibrant neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and entertainment options to choose from. You can even catch a Padre’s baseball game while you’re at it.
3. Whale Watch on the Pacific Ocean
Whales migrate north and south throughout the year on the Western Coast of the United States. San Diego’s many waterfronts offer ample opportunity to take a small cruise out onto the Pacific Ocean to see the biggest mammals on planet earth as they swim by San Diego.
4. Surf at Tourmaline
You can’t visit California without immersing yourself in the California surf lifestyle. Ocean Beach and Pacific beach are hot spots for anyone wanting (or trying) to feel the thrill of catching a wave. Whether you want to try your hand at surfing or just watch the pros do their thing, it’s an unmissable spot.
5. Hang out at OB Market
Recently labeled the “most hippie town in America”, Ocean Beach is a world of its own. Geographically isolated by the hills of Point Loma and the Mission Bay entrance channel, Ocean Beach encapsulates the laid back California vibe with its easy going locals and beach centered lifestyle. Every Wednesday, small businesses, artists, and entertainers crowd the main street to create a sensory experience for anyone lucky to be in the vicinity.
6. Take the “trolley” to an outdoor shopping mall
“I want to go shopping” – everyone. Aptly named, Fashion Valley is 20 minutes from the center of the city via trolley and offers a shoppers delight with brand name stores in an outdoor paradise. If you want to venture to the border of Mexico, Las Americas Outlet has brand name bargains no one can resist.
7. Grab a coffee at Liberty Station
Everyone needs a little caffeinated jump start to the day. Liberty Station is a weekend retreat for anyone looking for a hip coffee shop, an excellent culinary experience, or a lazy Sunday stroll. Try delicacies made by local San Diego artisans and restaurants at the Liberty Public Market and make the most of the surrounding greenery.
8. Take a stroll through Balboa Park…
There is no better place to learn about San Diego and its culture than at Balboa Park. Boasting over 15 museums in a Spanish influenced architectural setting, this is the perfect place to learn about the rich history of San Diego, or take a best guess at the meaning of an art piece at the museum of art.
9. …and try laughter yoga
Not only does Balboa Park provide a scenic setting for a leisurely walk, you can also try the laughter yoga session that takes place every Saturday morning. Start your day chuckling in a group, while you go through various stretches and uplifting chants. The class ends in a laughter meditation circle that’ll put you in a great mood for the rest of the day.
10. Experience a drive-in movie
Ever wanted to visit a drive-in movie theatre like they do in the old-school US flicks? The South Bay Drive-in Theatre is the place for you. For a modest $9 you can watch a feature film on three 100-foot screens from the comfort of your car. There’s even a snack bar where you can stock up on popcorn to maximise the movie experience.