Why Visit San Diego?

I suspect most of you aren’t really looking for a reason to visit San Diego. Sun and surf is probably all you need to entice you to check out southern California. It certainly was all I needed to hear.

Of course, because it’s me, it rained. It RAINED. In San Diego. As one local told me, perplexedly, “it never rains in July!” I just smiled sadly because, it’s me so of course it was going to be cloudy and rainy almost all weekend.

It didn’t really matter though because, even though I never set foot on a beach, I still really, REALLY liked San Diego. That was in part thanks to your suggestions and part serendipity, but here are some non-sun related reasons to visit San Diego:

Mexican Food

I mean duh right? At first I wasn’t too concerned about the mexican food due to the fact that I am literally moving to Mexico in two months. But I couldn’t resist and then I couldn’t resist some more and then I ended up eating something like 4 mexican meals in three days. No regrets!

Balboa Park and The Zoo

We weren’t planning to go to the San Diego Zoo as it didn’t really fit in at all with our budget sightseeing plan. Then one of my fabulous readers was able to get us complimentary tickets (Thanks Holly!) and I couldn’t really say no to that!

It is a great zoo, with so many animals and really unique viewing platforms. Because it doesn’t get super hot most of the time, all of the animals were actually out and about playing (or at least napping) in plain view. Although has a DC native I’m generally opposed to paying for zoos, this one is worth visiting at least once.

After we got sick of the crowds we walked back through the beautiful Balboa Park, which was really a highlight of the trip. Walking down the avenue feels like you’re no longer in San Diego at all, but maybe in Spain, thanks to the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition which left behind numerous buildings.

 To Zip Across the Border

We didn’t do this because Mexico is waiting for us shortly anyways, but I kind of wish we had. The border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana is the busiest in the world. Locals told me that San Diegans head south to go to the dentist and Tijuanans head north to go to IKEA.

Microbrews

 

I never knew this before I scheduled my trip, but San Diego is one of the great hot spots for beer brewing in the United States. Unlike Denver or Milwaukee, there are no major mainstream beer companies here, but there are dozens of breweries in San Diego county. I’ll be writing a separate article about this but rest assured, the beers are really, really awesome.

Pretty Awesome Views

The sun never made it out long enough for me to make it to the beach, but we did drive by Sunset Cliff Natural Park and gaze whistfully into the ocean. It wasn’t much but it was a teaser for the many beautiful beaches and vistas that line the coast in this area of the world. Next time I’ll go check them out.

If it’s sunny that is.

I was in San Diego as a guest of HI USA. All opinions are my own.

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19 thoughts on “Why Visit San Diego?”

  1. +1 for the awesome Mexican food! Another reason to visit, for those looking for an underwater thrill, is diving with the great white sharks.

  2. The weather has been SO mild this time of year. I apologize on behalf of southern California. I live an hour and a half from San Diego so this was fun to read. So glad you took advantage of all the Mexican food, it’s just too good. I’ve never walked through Balboa Park before so I’ll add that to my list for next time! Happy travels 🙂

  3. This post really makes me want to go back to San Diego – more than I did already of course! I was in San Diego as part of a Trek America tour in 2008 so was only able to spend 1.5 days in this amazing city. What little I saw, I loved. It would be awesome to go back. I’m really glad you had a good time.

  4. Like these ideas for SD! We may be visiting a friend there soon. Haven’t been in years. Agree with you about not wanting to pay for zoos after being spoiled with DC’s free National Zoo.

  5. The Wild Animal Park is so much better than the zoo! And all of the proceeds go to research and investigation to protect endangered species so you don’t have to feel guilty for paying!

  6. I’ve got total bad luck with weather too! These suggestions are really awesome though. That Mexican food looks worth it, sun or not! Also, I think it’s pretty humorous that IKEA is that big of a draw to America. I didn’t know that!

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