I have had San Diego on my mind quite a bit lately. I spent two years of my life living there while I was getting my degree. Once I finished school, I decided to move back home to the Bay Area. Somehow it feels like just yesterday I said goodbye to the city of sunsets and tacos. Friends and family were surprised when I told them I was leaving. Even though San Diego is an amazing city, The Bay was not finished with me yet.
It might be controversial for me to say this, but I believe San Diego is a better city to vacation in than Los Angeles. At least for people flying in to see California from a different country. San Diego has better surfing, transportation, less traffic, cheaper (but still just as tasty) food, and friendlier people. The only thing that’s really missing is Disneyland and Universal Studios, but it’s only a two hour drive if they decided to visit those parks while in San Diego. Although, they may not even decide to go since San Diego has one of the best zoo’s around, Sea World, and Lego Land close by. Now, I’m not saying San Diego is an all around better place than LA. But, if I was planning a trip to California, I would rather spend a week vacationing in the San Diego area.
My first week in San Diego I walked over to Balboa Park from the house I was staying in while I figured out where I would live while attending school. I have visited the park countless times since. It was a great place to take friends and family when they came down to visit.
Balboa Park is near a lot of the action and an easy place to get to using ride sharing apps and MTS (metropolitan transit system). I usually took a bus or trolly in San Diego to save some money since it’s $2.25-2.50 per ride or $7 for a day pass. The buses in San Diego do take up a lot of your time though. I would take two buses to get to the airport from my apartment, which was about an hour and a half. If I used a ride sharing app, it would take me only 20 minutes (if there wasn’t heavy traffic on the freeways).
What’s really nice about Balboa Park is you’ll never run out of things to see there. They have lovely gardens, 17 museums, restaurants & cafés, several theaters, and events happening throughout the year. The San Diego Zoo is also located right inside!
San Diego State University
Since I told you that I attended school in San Diego, I thought I would also share some photos of the campus for people that may be interested. Whether you’re applying to colleges soon or not, stopping by the campus may be of interest to you. SDSU has great events, an outdoor food market on Thursdays, and a huge library that the bookworms and film nerds would really enjoy. Plus, the campus is beautiful!
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Sunset Cliff is a popular place to, you guessed it, watch the sun set. It’s located in a nice area with beautiful homes nearby so it’s worth walking around when it’s not too windy. I went once in April and felt like I could blow off the cliff into the ocean. When I went in July, it was a beautiful day so we ended up walking alongside the cliff. I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone because you get close to a busy road and the edge of the cliff. But there are good places to stand a safe distance from the edge of the cliff where everyone goes to take their photos.
Side note: If you keep going down Point Loma, you’ll reach a beautiful park with trails and a view of a famous lighthouse. I’ve been told Point Loma has some great places to watch the Independent Day fireworks too. If you’re in San Diego this week, or the first week of any July, it could be a fun place to go in the afternoon for a walk and stay for the fireworks! Look into Cabrillo National Monument and Above The Fireworks if you’re interested.
La Jolla Shores
If you’re dreaming of a day at the beach, I very much enjoyed La Jolla Shores. San Diego has many beaches, and all of them are pretty great, but I liked this one the most. It’s one of those beaches that has something for everyone. La Jolla is also a very nice part of San Diego to explore and dream about moving to.
San Diego has some of the best food I have ever eaten in my whole life. And I’m not just talking about Mexican Food. The food scene might not be as large as LA’s, but it is very similar. There are loads of unique, cool, tasty, and famous places to eat and drink. As a huge tea and coffee lover, I personally enjoyed trying out some incredible coffee bars while in San Diego. Depending on where you live, it’s not always common to find tea and coffee that’s almost too pretty to drink.
Coronado might be my favorite place to visit while in San Diego. Not only does it feel like you’re on vacation whenever you’re there, it has a rich film history. I’m a sucker for cult classics and famous films so when I read Some Like It Hot was filmed at the Hotel del Coronado, I thought it was the coolest thing. Even though I never stayed at the hotel, I did explore the lobby and some of the hallways that had open balconies with a view.
↑ I like how this picture looks like something the cast of The O.C. would take. ↑
I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about my favorite places in San Diego. I may do a post all about my favorite restaurants in San Diego in the future. Let me know if that’s something people would be interested in.