San Diego

San Diego, CA

San Diego, California is situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean not far from the US/Mexican border. San Diego is known as the birth place of California as this was the first place on the West Coast that the Europeans visited. When the Spanish arrived and claimed the land for Spain they established the Presidio Mission (1769). Later San Diego became part of Mexico and after the Mexican-American War (1848) San Diego finally became a part of the United States. The historic beginnings of the city can be seen when you visit San Diego’s Old Town and the Mexican and Spanish culture is still prominent in the city.

San Diego is built on several canyons separated by wide open flat areas; within the city are a number of mountains including Cowles Mountain and Black Mountain. The San Diego River runs through the city and not far from the center are forests, farms and across the mountains you can reach the desert.


Must Sees!


Beaches

SanDiegoBeaches

With a perfect beach climate of warm and dry summers as well as relatively dry and mild winters San Diego has one of the best summer climates in the USA. Together with this there are 70 miles of coastline blessed with sandy beaches, cliffs and coves. In the water there are coral reefs, and the beautiful warm water of the Pacific Ocean. The San Diego beaches come in many shapes and forms; there are family beaches, dog beaches, beaches where surfers hang-out and beaches with lots of recreational facilities. Some of San Diego’s best beaches include Coronado Beach, Del Mar Beach, Black Beach (clothing optional), Imperial Beach, La Jolla Cove and Mission Beach.


Balboa Park

1549 El Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101
619-239-0512
Hours of Operation:
Park grounds are open 24 hours daily
Museum hours vary
Entrance Cost:
Park: Free
Museums & Attractions: Vary
 

Balboa Park

This is the location of many of the city’s top attractions. The park is home to 9 performing arts venues including the Old Globe Theatre and the Starlight Theatre. There are 17 museums within the park including the San Diego Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, the Museum of Man and Air and Space Museum. Other park attractions are the carousel, miniature railway, recreational facilities and the San Diego Zoo. Of course you can also enjoy the park grounds which have playgrounds, dog parks, landscaped gardens and lush expansive lawns. With so much to see and do here it is best to start by going to the Balboa Park Visitors Center, here you can get maps, take a free tour of the park and find out all about open hours and prices. Entrance to the park is free but there are separate entrance fees to each of the individual attractions and museums. The park is located at 1549 El Prado (this is where you’ll find the Visitors Center) and the park grounds are open 24 hours a day.


San Diego Zoo

2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
619-231-1515
Hours of Operation:
Sun-Sat 9am-6pm
Entrance Cost:
$42 on-wards
 

SanDiegoZoo

Over 4,000 animals call this place home; it is one of the leading zoos in the world focused on conservation and rare and endangered animals. Some of the creatures living here are giant pandas, klipspringers, rhinoceroses, kangaroos and even a reptile and insect house.
There is an exciting Monkey Trail as well as a Kid’s Zoo within the zoo. During you’re visit you can see several shows like the sea lion show and the bird show there are also 4D cinema shows. Open hours are from 9am to 5/6pm depending on the season, and the zoo is located at 2920 Zoo Drive. There are several ticket combinations available but a 1 day ticket costs $42 and $32 for kids 3-11 years old.


Must Eats!


George’s At The Cove

1250 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-454-4244
Hours of Operation:
Sun-Sat 11am-10pm
Cost: $$$
 

George's At The Cove

This restaurant at 1250 Prospect Street makes it onto several online “best restaurant” lists. They serve seafood and traditional Californian dishes including steak frites, roasted organic chicken and spaghetti with clams. The prices are a bit high for this fine dining establishment but for your money you can also get great service and a beautiful view overlooking the cove. The restaurant is spread over three levels including roof top seating and a casual bistro. There are vegetarian dishes on the menu as well as delicious desserts. George’s has a happy hour and the place is very romantic and classy.


Cucina Urbana

505 Laurel Street
San Diego, CA 92101
619-239-2222
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tue-Fri 11.30 am – 2 pm
Dinner: Sun 4.30 – 9 pm, Mon 5 – 9 pm, Tue-Thur 5 – 10 pm, Fri-Sat 5 – 10.30 pm
Happy Hours: 5 – 7 pm Daily
Cost: $$$
 

CucinaUrbana

At 505 Laurel Street you can enjoy great Italian and Californian cuisine including rib-eye steak, sea bass, lamb Bolognese and wood fired pizzas! This is a trendy and dynamic restaurant with reasonable prices and a hip and rustic atmosphere. Within the restaurant there is a wine shop, a bar and when the restaurant gets crowded you could end up sitting at a communal table. Reviewers also rave about the friendly service and vibrant ambiance.


Phil’s BBQ

3750 Sports Arena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110
619-226-6333
Hours of Operation:
Closed Mondays
Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday 11:00 am-10:00pm
Friday-Saturday 11:00 am-11:00pm
Cost: $$
 

PhilsBBQ

This restaurant may not serve the fanciest cuisine but they are the Urbanspoon.com’s top restaurant in San Diego. For reasonable prices this is a great family restaurant serving traditional barbecue food. On the menu you can find ribs, onion rings, pulled pork, burgers and more. Vegetarians will not be disappointed as there is a range of salads and even a veggie burger. The restaurant is always buzzing and full of people eating to capacity so get their early and with an empty stomach!


Tender Greens

2400 Historic Decatur Road
San Diego, CA 92106
619-226-6254
4545 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego CA 92122
858-455-9395
Hours of Operation:
Sun-Sat 11am-9pm
Cost: $$
 

TenderGreens

There are two branches of this nationally recognized establishment in San Diego; you’ll find one at 2400 Historic Decatur Road and another in San Diego’s University City at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive. As the name suggests this restaurant is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. You can find healthy meals prepared here made with only the best ingredients and freshest vegetables. The reasonably priced restaurant tops the Trip Advisor “best San Diego restaurant” list.

Must-Sees!
Must-Eats!
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