San Diego is worth a short weekend getaway. Its old-town, Southern California charm and serene beaches make the perfect blend between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, making it worth the four-hour drive.
Its blend of historical architecture and modern attractions make it suitable for a family friendly vacation or a getaway with friends. The Gaslamp Quarter is almost as bustling as Bourbon Street in New Orleans, truly coming alive at night with bicycle cabs decked out in neon lights. There are plenty of restaurants here, each more eclectic than the last.
The Gaslamp Quarter isn’t dead during the daytime. There are plenty of pleasant shopping excursions and walkable streets that capture the San Diegan experience. The Horton Plaza, San Diego’s version of LA’s The Grove, is a great way to get your shopping fix.
If you’re not feeling the city life, check out San Diego’s crown jewel, Coronado. Zip across the inimitable San Diego-Coronado Bridge, Southern California’s Golden Gate Bridge, and you’re there.
Coronado is a quaint beach city with plenty of eclectic boutiques and cafés to choose from. Shopping isn’t the only attraction in Coronado; one could not pass up the impeccable beaches that Coronado has to offer. Spend some time doing water sports like kayaking or standup paddleboarding or stay sandside by bicycling up and down the pristine waters of the San Diego Bay.
If you’re not feeling any of the fare offered at Coronado’s many restaurants, maybe take the ferry to the mainland, arriving in the Gaslamp Quarter, near sunset.
Another great section of San Diego chock-full of food and boutiques is Little Italy. These boutiques are geared toward those who want more artisanal and panache pieces. Just walking up and down India Street, one of the main streets of Little Italy, enticing smells of all sorts of cuisines will waft your way. But if you’re a seafood lover check out Ironside Oyster & Fish Bar.
Reserve a day to visit the immense Balboa Park before you leave the birthplace of California, San Diego. Balboa Park has got it all: a natural history museum, miles of walking and biking trails, and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo.
Spend some time leisurely walking around the park and you might stumble upon a local artist fair, where you can buy authentic San Diegan art to bring back as a souvenir. If you’re really up for walking, check out the San Diego Zoo. This zoo is so enveloped by lush flora and giant trees that it gives an expeditious effect, similar to Jurassic Park, minus the dinosaurs.
The San Diego Zoo offers many interactive elements to its animal exhibits, like feeding polar bears and rhinoceroses. A behemoth of a zoo, it can be intimidating to trek the entirety of it, so by taking the kangaroo bus, a double-decker bus or the park’s Skyfari, an aerial tram, you can see the zoo without breaking a sweat.
San Diego is impossible to conquer in one go, but by visiting these sections you’ll be able to get a taste of what one of California’s oldest cities has to offer. ￼