Top Things To Do In San Diego, California

Southern California is one of the sunniest regions of the USA. Gary and I recently returned from one of my favorite sunny cities,  San Diego. The city has an amazing laid-back beachy vibe, which I adore. San Diego is an amazing city to visit because it offers something for everyone: Delicious restaurants, fantastic shopping, water sports, and fabulous beaches.

We enjoyed exploring the upscale resort community of La Jolla – located in the northern limits of San Diego. We were attending a conference at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla so it made sense to stay there as well. It’s a gorgeous hotel and is close to everything. We discovered that if you rent a car, most attractions are a mere 10 minute drive.

We really enjoyed La Jolla Cove – an intimate beach, great for scuba diving and snorkeling as it’s a protected underwater park. You’ll easily encounter seals and sealions, and when waters are calm, the area is wonderful for kayaking and exploring sea caves. If you’re experienced, just down from the cove is a sublime location for body surfing – bring your flippers.

When you get hungry from all your beach activities, there are many great restaurants to choose from. I did some researched before our trip and Yelp gave a high rating to El Pescador Fish Market & Restaurant (a favorite of locals in La Jolla). We order their delicious tiger prawn platter with avocado, which was amazingly good. For breakfast one morning, we met friends (who drove down from Irvine and Tustin) at the award-winning Brockton Villa Restaurant, also in La Jolla. They are famous for their soufflé style French toast, which I ordered and loved. The restaurant has stunning panoramic views of La Jolla Cove viewed from both indoor and outdoor seating.

We drove south along the California coast, and to Mission & Pacific Beaches. Both fabulous spots for surfing, people watching, sun bathing and long walks on soft sand. Bikes or Segways are available to rent to ride along the boardwalk. There are loads of quaint shops and cafes to stop in along your way.

Decided it’s time to fulfill your life-long dream of becoming a world famous surfer and being BFFs with Jack Johnson? Take the first step with surf lessons at Pacific Beach Surf Shop, or Surf Diva Surf School at La Jolla Shores.

Looking for a night out on the town? San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter is the place for nightlife in the city, including premier dinning and entertainment. I enjoyed this district for picking up souvenirs, snacking on Pinkberry frozen yogurt and grabbing brunch at the Broken Yolk Cafe.

Do not miss the world famous San Diego Zoo: a non-profit organization emphasizing conservation and education. The zoo is a massive (100-acre) home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals, with more than 700,000 exotic plants. It’s daunting to see all attractions in one day – although possible. Baby pandas were a highlight for me! Check out Craigslist for locals selling inexpensive tickets ($10 vs. regular $30+).

Visit Balboa Park – the USA’s largest urban cultural park. Marvel at the intricate Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, wander through rose & exotic cactus gardens, and spend hours at numerous monumental museums. We’re definitely ooking forward to our next trip to SoCal!

About Gary & Taya

Founders of 9to5Travel, this jet-setting Canadian husband & wife team scour the globe searching for the best travel destinations the world has to offer. They provide detailed accounts of tropical beaches, gourmet cuisines, and luxury hotels. Learn more about the couple here.

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