Hear about things to do in San Diego, California when the Hobbyist Traveler from SanDiegoExplorer.com talks to Maria Hasse about her adopted hometown.
Why should you go to San Diego?
Maria says: “Because it’s the best city in the world. No, seriously. The weather is always perfect. It doesn’t get much colder than 55 degrees in the winter. And it’s not so hot in the summer. Typically, it stays around 75 to 85 degrees depending on where you are in the county. And the sun always shines, except this winter, of course. And there’s plenty to do. There is so much variety. You can literally go surfing and skiing in one day, and that’s something not many places offer. It’s one of my favorite places and I travel a lot, so that means something.”
Maria recommends splitting up the week-long itinerary, spending part of the time in the city center and part at the beach. Families traveling with kids should consider kid-friendly destinations like LEGOLAND California and Sesame Place San Diego, but people of all ages should check out the San Diego Zoo and/or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. You’ll want to get a rental car to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is just north of Escondido, but Maria advises that the rest of your route can be done by public transportation or Uber.
The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, not far from downtown. Balboa Park includes attractions, but also includes 18 world-class museums, including museums of science, art, space, automobiles, model railroads, history, and natural history. Maria recommends the new Comic-Con Museum to fans of Comic Art.
Downtown, Maria informs us that Little Italy has gotten a makeover. It has a new square and a food hall. It has great events and a farmer’s market. There are a number of great restaurants in Little Italy, but some of Maria’s favorites are…not Italian.
On the waterfront, Maria recommends visiting the Star of India sailing ship, which is part of the Maritime Museum, and the USS Midway aircraft carrier. He also recommends taking a tour of the bay in an amphibious vehicle with San Diego Seal Tours.
To get some shore time, Maria sends us north to La Jolla. Here you can enjoy shopping as well as their coastal walks where you are likely to see sea otters, seals or sea lions. He recommends a tour to some of the sea caves there.
Across the coast you can visit Oceanside with its surfing museum and the home of Top Gun, now a pie shop. You can also hike the bluffs at Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve. Don’t miss Carlsbad’s flower fields in the spring. Seafood lovers can visit the Aquatic Farm, also located in Carlsbad.
Take in a concert at the Rady Shell or a baseball game at Petco Park, then dine in the Gaslamp District downtown. The Gaslamp comes alive in the evening with a variety of bars and upscale restaurants.
Barrio Logan is a great neighborhood to connect with San Diego’s Hispanic roots. Grab a hot dog at Barrio Dogg or street tacos at Salud Tacos, then explore Chicano Park under the 5 freeway.
Maria describes her favorite restaurants in all of these neighborhoods, including North and South Park, where you can also find several craft breweries.
For side trips, Maria recommends a visit to Tijuana, and then wine lovers should consider heading south to Baja to Valle de Guadalupe, where they can find the Baja wine region.
He also recommends visiting Julian and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for a wilderness hike. Anza-Borrego also has a large collection of large metal sculptures. In Julien’s area you can also find the Endangered Wolf Center and a number of competing pie shops. See if you can pick a favorite apple pie!
A week-long itinerary won’t give you time to see everything in San Diego, but it might give you enough time to fall in love with the “best city in the world.”
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San Diego Explorer
Europe up close
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo vs San Diego Safari Park
Sesame Place San Diego
San Diego Little Italy Association
San Diego Maritime Museum
USS Midway Museum
Piazza della Famiglia
Little Italy food hall
Philippis Pizza Grotto
Monello Italian Restaurant
Queenstown Public House
Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market
La Jolla by the Sea
Best La Jolla Kayaking Tours
Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve
La Jolla Kayak
San Diego Bay Amphibious Vehicle Seal Tour
Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego
Lou and Mickey (Gaslamp Quarter)
Lavo Italian Restaurant (Gaslamp Quarter)
Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant (Gaslamp Quarter)
Lumi (Gaslamp Quarter)
Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop (Gaslamp Quarter)
Barrio Logan, San Diego – Food and art with Mexican roots
Las Cuatro Milpas (Barrio Logan)
Ciccia Osteria (Barrio Logan)
Barrio Dog (Barrio Logan)
Salud Tacos (Barrio Logan)
North Park, San Diego
Louisiana Shopping (North Park)
Soi 30th (North Park)
The Friendly (North Park)
The Smoking Goat (North Park)
Mike Hess Brewing (North Park)
Modern Times (North Park)
The Original 40 (North Park)
Rip Current (North Park)
Oceanside CA Things to Do. surfing, shopping, history and food – California travel
Farmers Market (Oceanside)
California Surf Museum
“Top Gun” House / Famous High Pie (Oceanside)
Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen (Oceanside)
Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub (Oceanside)
Mission Pacific Hotel (Oceanside)
The Seabird Resort (Oceanside)
Carlsbad Flower Fields
Carlsbad Premium Outlets
Tijuana Taco Tour
Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley)
Valle de Guadalupe
Casa Pedro Domecq (Valle de Guadalupe)
El Cielo Winery and Resort (Valle de Guadalupe)
Casa Frida (Valle de Guadalupe)
Endangered Wolf Center
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Exploring Metal Sculptures by Anza Borrego and Galleta Meadows – California Through My Lens
Apple Alley Bakery (Julian)
Mom’s Pie House (Julian)
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