Updated: Feb 27
San Diego, the land of fish tacos, fine surfing and beaches that leave you breathless. Many of you may know that this lovely city was California’s birthplace and has a long rich military heritage that spans back to World War I and II. There are so many incredible things to do in this modern and compact city, from exploring the city via scooter at Balboa Park to surfing along the beaches including Mission beach and Coronado Beach. One of my favourite things about San Diego was the cleanliness and modernity of its downtown streets and savoury fish tacos at the Waterfront Marina. Known to be America’s finest city because of the proximity of high real estate value, the presence of the US military and gorgeous sunshine beaches, San Diego is definitely one of my top highlights to explore again after the pandemic. I loved strolling down the waterfront promenade near the Hyatt and the oceanside market that had the most savoury fish tacos that I have ever tasted.
1.Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument
Located on the west side of San Diego Bay, this key historical attraction is a testament to the history of San Diego and California as it was here that the Spanish explorer Cabrillo first landed in San Diego in 1542 and initiated the beginning of a host of european expeditions to North America. As you drive up to Point Loma, you will notice the 77.5 acre Fort Rosecranes National Cemetery that pays tribute to military veterans. At its highest point, Point Loma offers outstanding views of San Diego Bay, the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding region from high up; however the climb up does require several ascending stairs to reach Cabrillo Monument.
2. USS Midway Museum
USS Midway is the longest severing airport carrier of the 20th century and is known for several prominent humanitarian missions including its role in the Cold War.It is located along the popular San Diego Embarcadero, within a walking distance from several key attractions and hotels. This museum also houses an extensive collection of aircraft built locally in Southern California and offers a exciting choice for the whole family. If you enjoy naval museums or want to take the whole family along for a history tour, then USS Midway is a great choice.
3. Coronado Beach
Known for its gorgeous and laid-back beaches across the Coronado Bridge from San Diego, it is a nice getaway from the city and overs white sand havens to explore. When in Coronado, be sure to also tour the Hotel del Coronado and view the tide pools reveal themselves; make sure to also view the hermit crabs, small fish and other hidden treasure tucked along the shoreline. There is also a golf course located here, Coronado Golf Course, that offers superb views of the Bayfront area.
4. San Diego Safari Park
Separate from San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, this safari park is one of the largest in the United States and encompasses several wildlife safaris for you to get up close and personal with the animals including lions, cheetahs, and rhinos. With over 300 species of asian and african animals, there are tours and trams of each region, exposing you to the animal’s natural habitat.There are also many events occurring throughout the day including a cheetah race and a hot ballon ride, so be sure to research in advance your liking of the various tours.
5. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
If you are ever renting or driving a car throughout San Diego, be sure to check out Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.This reserve contains over 2000 acres of rugged coastline and offers opportunities to see blue whales other marine wildlife. There are also many hiking trails available at this location as the coastline occurs many opportunities to explore. Further north driving along the Torrey Pine State Natural Preserve, you will find the city of Oceanside, a nice harbourside city with plenty of seagulls and natural animals.
6. Balboa Park
This 1,200 acre historic urban cultural park has many open space areas, gardens and contains museums, theatres and San Diego Zoo that all can be explored buy foot or by electric scooter. With buildings inspired by Spanish and European architecture that span many streets along with secret gardens and bridges, Balboa Park is a must see for explorers wanting to see a different side of San Diego. With the San Diego Natural History Museum, Museum of Us, The San Diego Museum of Art all located at this location, you are bound to be inspired by history and what San Diego can offer.
This neighbourhood is located in the Point Loma district and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and Ocean Beach on the north, known for its cliffs that border the ocean. Be sure to watch out for people dare diving out the cliffs as it can be a thrill-seeking experience for many. Coming here during the sunset can be a exciting experience as you may see views of the the sun changing colours along the ocean.
2. Potato Chip Hike
If you enjoy hiking, then be sure to check out the famous Potato Chip Hike, located on the Mount Woodson Summit and famous for resembling a potato chip. Taking only around 3-4 hours to complete, it is a nice half day hike to reenergize yourself. If you are familiar with Pacific Northwest hikes, this hike in Southern California doesn’t have many trees and contains more rock formations when compared to hikes on the Pacific Northwest so pack sunscreen and be sure to wear a hat.
3. Fashion Valley Mall
Located in Mission Valley, this upscale open air shopping mall also has a open air dining option on the rooftop, allowing you to experience the California sun while dining on exotic Mexican tortillas, tacos and nachos. Located on 2 stories, luxury shopping dominates the first floor while the second floor has a diversity of clothing and apparel shops.
4. Mexican-San Diego Cuisine
If you have ever been to Mexico and enjoyed the tacos there, then you will be amazed at the tacos, enchiladas and other Mexican cuisine options here in San Diego that leave you speechless. All of the districts in San Diego serve a combination of tacos and Mexican cuisine, so you will be sure to pick your liking of your favourite tacos and burritos whenever your in town next.
Chelsea Reviews: 4/5
San Diego is a great city for families and single travellers alike, with world-class dining, lodging and attractions. It is no wonder that San Diego is consistently rated one of the the finest cities in the world because of it’s low poverty rate, modern and spacious decor and design, and exciting culinary options with a Mexican influence. Come to San Diego to leave the rainy skies of your home city and explore the unique city known for its spectacular views, California skies and sunsets, and culinary delights.