Hit up beaches for sunset treks, head to mindful cafes with healthy menus and dial down the pace with spa treatments in this laid-back California city.
With yoga studios on practically every corner, thousands of bike routes and an abundance of beaches, San Diego is one of the most liveable cities in the United States. All you need to experience the benefits that living here can bring is a can-do attitude, a pair of yoga pants and, perhaps, a floaty kaftan. Ready to soak up some of that SoCal sunshine and unwind? Here are the best ways to go slow in San Diego.
This Spanish-style hotel near Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve – stitched with 3,000 rare trees – is spread over 10 acres (4ha) of succulent-studded gardens and home to one of the best spas in Southern California. Book a whole day to enjoy a tension-busting CBD-oil massage, relax in the eucalyptus-scented steam room and swim in the saltwater pool (reserve a cabana in advance for the ultimate shady lounging spot). There’s also a meditation garden and private yoga classes on request.
Fans of Marilyn Monroe may recognize this grand beachfront resort as the Seminole Ritz – the ‘Miami’ hotel from the classic romantic comedy Some Like it Hot (1959). In reality, it’s a true California dream, with Pacific Ocean views, mermaid-themed water-aerobics classes and ocean-inspired spa treatments (try the algae-infused facial). Swing by the watersports center to hire an SUP board or book a surf lesson.
You could spend a week in Balboa Park and still not see it all. Its sprawling 1,200 acres include art galleries, cultural centers, the Natural History Museum and San Diego Zoo. But those seeking a chance to immerse themselves in nature will have ample opportunity. Take your pick of the many gardens – Palm Canyon hosts 50 different species, while the Desert Garden is packed with drought-resistant plants – or follow one of the challenging, tree-lined hiking trails.
Head to the quirky, LGBT-friendly neighborhood of Hillcrest for a sweaty workout at Salt Pilates. Classes engage both body and mind and focus on firing up your core. Some sessions are heated to between 85F (29C) and 95F (35C), which is said to help your body flush out toxins, improve muscle recovery and promote relaxation. Choose between HIIT-style sets, sequences backtracked by upbeat tunes, and slow-paced, stretchy flows.
Want a lazy beach day with a casual, hippy vibe? Head to the boho neighborhood of Ocean Beach, where you can browse artists’ stalls and second-hand record shops and sip organic smoothies on the sand before heading into the waves for a surf lesson. For a life-affirming finale, head south along the Sunset Cliffs Coastal Trail to soak in the epic sunset views.
For more information and to start planning your own trip, visit sandiego.org
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.