Why I Love San Diego (and You Should Too): Quick Tips about What to do in San Diego
San Diego is a popular destination amongst tourists and locals alike and for good reason. With continual sunny weather and miles of magnificent coastline, there are many activities available that attract all kinds of tourists. There is surfing or gliding for those who are active, hanging out at the beach for sun seekers, shopping until you drop for fashionistas, or enjoying a lovely picnic for those who want to relax. There’s a little bit of everything for everybody!
San Diego skyline view from Coronado
Magnificient view of San Diego’s skyline
There are numerous beautiful hotels in the area. I had a hard time choosing from great options such as the Pendry Hotel, La Valencia Hotel, The Lodge at Torrey Pines, or the Loews Coronado Bay Resort to name a few. I decided to stay at the famous red-roofed Hotel Del Coronado, which is a national historic landmark in Coronado. What attracted me to this hotel was its rich heritage, location, and complimentary TRX classes! Since its existence in 1888, it has been a favorite destination among visitors including quite a few famous people. Pictures of U.S. presidents, such as Benjamin Harrison, William Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, line the hotel walls. Celebrity stars were frequent guests here like Brad Pitt, Eva Mendes, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, where her 1958 movie “Some Like It Hot” was filmed on site.
The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. Photos by Zemina Zaferakis.
The hotel architecture, a mix of the old Victorian era and the new Ocean Towers and California Cabanas, is of one of the few remaining wooden-structured beach resorts in the United States. All the rooms have modern amenities such as high-speed wi-fi and flat-screen TVs, and the resort has two swimming pools, several restaurants, and 17 shops and boutiques. The spa on site offers massage, facial, hair, nail and makeup services. The gym is open 24/7 and has cardio and weight equipment and offers free classes such as Yoga, Pilates, and TRX.
The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. Photos by Zemina Zaferakis
Ice cream parlor at the Hotel Del Coronado
Beautifully manicured lawn garden at the Hotel Del Coronado courtyard
What captivated me the most about the Del was its beachfront location. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is just within walking distance of the hotel. There is an area that includes bed rentals, food, and drink services. If you’d rather hang out at the pool, they have a pool bar and cabanas available as well. Take a leisurely walk or rent a bike – you can’t go wrong with spending a day by the water!
There is no shortage of beaches in San Diego! Go to Mission Beach for some surfing action, Scripps Beach to have a picnic, or to Coronado for a romantic seaside stroll. Be sure to take your camera with you as you’ll be sure to capture Instagram-worthy pictures!
Scripps Beach in San Diego, CA
Make time to watch the sunset over the water! With an infinite coastline, there are countless places to watch a captivating sunset. La Jolla Cove, Sunset Cliffs, South Ponto, and Scripps Beach are a few favorite spots.
Sunset at South Ponto Beach
Low tide and a beautiful sunset at South Ponto Beach
Head over to the Village in La Jolla or visit Seaport Village which overlooks the San Diego Bay. Find your favorite brands and discover local boutiques. Shop for that souvenir to bring back home or wander casually and enjoy the California sunshine.
Gracie James located in La Jolla Village
In need of some “you” time? Pamper yourself with the slew of spas and salons for your manicure, facial, or hair needs. I had my first ever blowout experience at the Blo Blow Dry Bar located in the Gaslamp Quarter. I asked for the signature service and explained to the hair stylist what I was expecting (tip: always come prepared with photos!). Service includes hair wash, scalp massage, and blow dry– all within 45 minutes. I don’t know about you, but when your hair looks fabulous, you can’t help but feel polished and pretty! Based on favorable online reviews, this salon earned their star rating!
Hair styled by Blo Blow Dry Bar in San Diego, CA
Want to try something different? Chiltonic looks to be a therapeutic experience. They offer cryotherapy which chills the skin temperature for 2-3 minutes without affecting the core body temperature. According to their website, this treatment reduces inflammation that “can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and early-onset cognitive impairment…Treatments reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and release “feel good” endorphins…can dramatically relieve pain and soreness in affected areas.” If you look at their reviews, it seems to be a hit!
Chiltonic in La Jolla, CA
Have enough relaxation time? In need of activities to work out that pent up energy? San Diego’s got you covered! Due to its diverse geography of water, mountains, and desert coupled with the fantastic weather, there are plenty of activities for that active lifestyle that is available year-round. For those comfortable in water, how about enjoying the waters of the Pacific and be among the many swimmers, snorkelers, scuba divers, kayakers, surfers, jet-skiers, sailors, and paddle boarders out there and have a great time! Not much for water activities? There are lots out there for you land lovers like golfing, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, running, paragliding and hang gliding.
Looking for something more passive? How about a visit to Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo or Sea World, take a leisurely harbor cruise, watch the whales migrate, or observe seals and sea lions resting and playing at La Jolla Cove. Visit in October, and you’ll find the San Diego International Film Festivalin full effect. Watch independent, never-seen-before films, attend glamorous parties, or run into filmmakers and actors. If interested, I know someone who can get you VIP tickets (‘coz who doesn’t want to be a VIP?)!
There are plenty of places to enjoy diverse foods in the city. You better believe some of the best Mexican fares are served here! Eat fresh seafood and taste some of California’s finest wine. My dinner recommendation came through a long-time friend who I haven’t seen since high school! We dined at the Nine Ten Restaurant in La Jolla, which prides itself in serving California cuisine and using local harvest. It’s a great meeting place: a warm and gracious atmosphere, attentive service, comfortable setting and excellent location. The restaurant is part of the Grande Colonial Hotel, so valet is available, as parking in the area can be quite challenging. The food was simply divine and amazing, and the dishes were generous portions.
Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar in La Jolla
As you can see, San Diego is a spectacular city that doesn’t disappoint and caters to every walk of life (young and old; near or far). What’s the wait? Check your calendar and book that vacation!
What activities do you like to enjoy during vacation?