Just a few hours south of Los Angeles lies its chiller counterpart: San Diego. Taking a weekender here can be the equivalent of a mini vacation. Laid-back and charming, San Diego has much to offer travelers looking for a refreshing day trip.
The Waterfront Park, that is. It’s a modern open space along the shore that is a public green area dotted with sleek fountains and grassy knolls. As a civic center that also marks the heart of the city’s Downtown area, it’s beautifully clean and functional with picnic areas, gardens and playgrounds. Chances are you may even catch the weekly farmers’ markets or other festivals that are often held here.
Trendy restaurants abound in the Downtown area, so walk 10 minutes east from Waterfront Park and take your pick. From juice bars to bagels to bakeries, there are options for everyone, whether you favor healthy or indulgent fare.
Up for a little shopping and a stroll? If so, head north to North Park, San Diego’s favorite place to shop for unique items and vintage bargains. Often called the hipster central of the city, there are enough funky warehouses and quirky consignment shops here to keep you busy all day.
At one of the many breweries in the greater metropolitan area. There are many to choose from, but head to the Miramar area, where a few are clumped together to make the most of your time. Between Green Flash, Ballast Point, and AleSmith, beer seekers will be spoilt for choice.
In Pacific Beach, or PB for short. Sit at a restaurant on the waterfront and have pre-dinner drinks or walk down to the sand and watch the sun sink along this picturesque, peaceful stretch of coastline. This is an essential San Diego activity.
There’s so much to see and do in this small area: San Diego’s historic Italian district. Of course, there’s plenty of authentic cuisine available, and you can grab a filling meal after a long day. Relax at a sidewalk café to people-watch and eat pasta. It doesn’t get any better than that.
The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is a Victorian-style area reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans. It hosts some of the best bars in the city, from gastropubs to chic wine bars and even speakeasies. It also has a lively craft brewery scene, so there’s something for every kind of night owl and partygoer.
This is an updated version of an article by Mary Pettas