So far, the best thing about living in SoCal (Southern California) is when people visit, which they do with some frequency due to Nicest Weather Ever Syndrome, because then we get to go do fun things. Keep in mind, the weather is constantly amazing / perfect / drought-y, so outdoor activities are the major focus.
Here’s a partial and evolving list of thing to do / see / eat in San Diego for future visitors and / or other interested parties:
— The drive from the OC (don’t call it that) to San Diego is very nice; scenic, coastal, and passes through a sometimes-on-fire military base.
— A good Canadian friend of mine (I say that like I have any non-Canadian friends) and I went to San Diego Comic Con one year, which was definitely an experience. We stayed at the Banana Bungalow Hostel, which I would recommend for being both made out of surfboards and strategically located on the beach / next door to Trader Joe’s.
— The Gas Lamp district is touristy, since it’s beside the convention center. It’s cool to walk around. I liked Coffee & Art on 6th Street.
— Stone Brewing Tap Room, beside the PetCo Center (what an innovative name), is really nice if you like beer tastings (which autocorrected to “tastiness,” so that, too).
— Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station is also pretty great. (Hey, what can I say, I got invited to two different Stone Brewing places by two different folks!) There’s indoor and outdoor seating and some really good “slow food.” (I had the steam buns – five stars, would eat again – although the buns at Playground in Santa Ana have my heart.)
— Liberty Station in general is pretty cool. There’s a nice park area, and a bunch of cute shops, including a children’s book store, a tea shop, a paint-your-own-pottery place, the Women’s Museum, and some other restaurants and boutiques. They have an event called Friday Night Liberty on the first Friday of each month where all the shops stay open late and showcase their wares. Sounds like a fun time if your travels take you to town at the right time.
— Balboa Park is pretty huge and fantastic to walk around.
— Haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo, but if you do the zoo thing, I would recommend the San Diego Safari Park (outside of the city).
— Mexico is really close, if you want to go be a medical tourist or just get your passport stamped. (We have yet to try out either of these activities – I’ll update when we do!)
— Los Angeles.
Side note: San Diego is full of maps!