San Diego is a great destination anytime of the year, mainly because of its incredible mild year-round climate. It also has an impressive naturally deep-water harbor and a long association with the United States Navy and Marines, plus miles of beautiful beaches. San Diego is on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles. Honestly, every time I go to San Diego I want to move there. The weather, the water and countless things to do are all fantastic! Here are my top 3 favorites:
BALBOA PARK: When visiting San Diego, start in beautiful Balboa Park. It is an urban cultural park in the heart of the city. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and is home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park is 1,200 acres, and is the largest urban cultural park in North America. It’s a must see on any visit to San Diego. Located just blocks from downtown, the park has a rich history reflected through its stunning architecture, art installations, and cultural events throughout the year. In 1868 the city leaders had a vision and desire to create this iconic park. In fact, San Diego was the second city to dedicate a large urban park behind only New York City’s Central Park. In 1870, the state legislature passed a law stating that the lands would be held in trust for a park forever. Take a step back in time with Architectural Heritage Tours that are offered on the first Friday of each month at 10:00am.
LA JOLLA: There is a reason why this area is so popular. It is ideally situated on a seven-mile stretch along the coast. There is hardly a more picturesque location than La Jolla. There are incredible beaches, seaside dining, art galleries, posh boutiques, and panoramic ocean views. It has a rich history steeped in the fantastical tales of Dr. Seuss and old Hollywood. This small coastal town is absolutely a jewel!
The simple beauty of La Jolla’s natural landscape is one of its main attractions, but there are countless other outdoor adventures and things to do. Start at La Jolla Cove then walk to the Seven Sea Caves Lookout for a great view. This walk takes you on a winding adventure past local wildlife, including seals and sea lions. On the way, stop by the Cave Store and descend the steps of the manmade tunnel for a fun adventure.
Kayaking tours are an excellent way to understand the beauty of the La Jolla ecosystem. Guides add extra fun when they explain the types of treasures found in the caves. We loved seeing the beauty of La Jolla and the seven sea caves, watching sea lions playing and sunbathing on the rocks, and seeing the bright orange Garibaldi, swimming under our kayak. On the way back we surfed our kayak back to shore…it was exhilarating!
CORONADO ISLAND: This resort city is just across the San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. Most people go to Coronado for the white, sandy beaches. Visitors also like Coronado Island for its quiet, laid-back simplicity and for its beautiful views of the downtown San Diego skyline. And my favorite – the entire city of Coronado is smoke free!
Everyone needs to see the iconic Hotel del Coronado: The “Hotel Del” is a sprawling, rust-red-and-white, Victorian-style seaside hotel that opened in 1888 and is a National Historic Landmark. Even if you’re not staying there, you can browse through the history exhibits and photographs downstairs, or enjoy a meal on the terrace.
Part of the fun of going to the island is getting there. If you’re driving, take the Coronado Bay Bridge. It’s extraordinarily tall to allow the largest military ships to pass below. Or take the Coronado Ferry from the San Diego waterfront to Ferry Landing. Both are fun!
In San Diego, the people are friendly, the food is delicious, the activities are endless, the weather is perfect and the scenery is breathtaking. It just doesn’t get any better than this!