This week’s Destination Feature: sunny San Diego! The rumors are true, San Diego is a sunny paradise! With hardly any rainy days (you might have heard they’re in a drought currently), the sun is always shining in San Diego, which makes it a pretty perfect destination to visit any time of year.
If you like sun, beaches, museums, and lots of opportunity for hiking and other outdoor sports, San Diego is definitely for you!
Where to Stay
Depending on what you want to do most with your stay will determine where you stay. Wanting to spend lots of time around the beach, do some kayaking, and lots of shopping? Stay in La Jolla. (Word of warning though, it can get quite crowded on warm weekends.) Are museums or gardens more up your alley? Be sure to stay close to Balboa Park. Want to stay in a historic hotel out of the city? Stay in Hotel del Coronado, only a ferry’s ride into the city. If you’re staying outside of the downtown area, be sure to rent a car. San Diego is pretty sprawling.
When to Go
San Diego’s climate is pretty stable the whole year; there is no wrong time to go. If you plan on going in the ocean, summer has slightly warmer ocean water. But if you want to be there when it’s greenest (and it’s hardly ever green) and when the wildflowers are blooming, be sure to visit in the spring. (You can also check out the cherry blossoms blooming in Balboa Park in March. They are gorgeous!)
· You can experience plenty of marine life by going on a whale watching tour (December-March) instead of going to Sea World. Why see sad, exploited marine mammals, when you can see vibrant, happy ones in their natural habitat?
· If you decide to hike up Cowles Mountain (and you should, it’s very pretty), take the back way. Yes, it’s more difficult, but it’s far less crowded and it's way more lush.
· If you don’t like crowds, do not go to La Jolla on the weekend, especially if driving in a new area is stressful to you. Save your trip to La Jolla for a cloudy weekday.
· Go to a Farmer’s Market! If you’re not from a warm, stable climate like San Diego, you will be amazed at how many things are in season all at once. Plus, the oranges are amazing!
· The Tide Pools at Point Loma are well worth the visit; just make sure you’re visiting during low tide. They are inaccessible during high tide.
· Try some San Diego cuisine: burritos and fish tacos!
· The San Diego Zoo is a day unto itself. No, you can’t do the zoo properly and go somewhere else, it just won’t work.
Why You Should Go
It’s hard to go to San Diego at the wrong time. If it’s winter and you’re getting depressed from the cold and clouds, go to San Diego. If it’s summer and it’s too hot and humid for you and you just need relief from the heat, go to San Diego. San Diego’s got something for everyone, and is a really great place for families to visit. It’s got an extensive network of trails in and out of the city, as well as a huge concentration of museums and gardens at Balboa Park. You could easily spend a week in Balboa Park alone (especially since the zoo is there)! My favorite natural area was Torrey Pines State Reserve.
A Little Extra
Got some extra time and want to hit up a National Park? Joshua Tree is only three hours from San Diego. Make a day (and/or night) of it! But campsites need to be booked well in advance, especially on weekends.
Tijuana is only a half hour away. If you want to take a day trip, and I think it would be a fun experience, do so with a tour group. Day tours into Tijuana can be booked, and it’s safer to travel with a group to touristy locations in border towns in Mexico anyway. (However, you will need a passport or passport card to go.)
Several cruises depart San Diego, so consider adding a few days before or after onto your cruise to explore this unique American city.
Having recently been to San Diego, I’m super prepared (and pumped) to help you plan your trip to this beautiful Californian city! Contact me today to get started!
Now get out there and go!