San Diego – Too many glorious beaches and not enough flip flops

La Jolla

San Diego has the perfect climate, but you may find the locals reaching for a sweater if the temperature gets down to 60 degrees. We have been to San Diego in January, during the summer months and in October, the weather has always been sunny and warm. San Diego is very spread out and it’s difficult to recommend one area to stay for your first visit so I will just list a few of our favourite places.

Downtown and the Gaslamp district is home to many hotels to suit every budget, numerous restaurants, bars and rooftop bars. It’s a great place to spend an evening, we enjoyed Shout House and Moonshine Flats but there are many more to try out. We have stayed downtown a few times over the years and always enjoy being close to the entertainment. Within a few minutes walk of the Gaslamp is the waterfront Embarcadero, this is a great place to go for a run or to walk around the bay. You can explore the former battle ship the USS Midway or spend an afternoon browsing the cute little shops at Seaport Village. Movie fans will love the Kanas City BBQ Grill which was used for some of the bar scenes in the movie Top Gun, sit in the corner at the same table where Meg Ryan and Tom Cruise sat. Balboa Park is also close by and is home to the San Diego Zoo, museums and beautiful gardens.

Just a few minutes from downtown are Mission Bay, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. One of our favourite things to do is to run along the 3 mile boardwalk by Mission and Pacific Beaches; you might see dolphins playing in the waves. It’s also a great place to go for weekend brunch (try World Famous, good food and nice view of the ocean) or try one of the rooftop bars to watch the sunset. We would like to stay at Crystal Pier next time we visit, you have amazing ocean views but you have to make reservations at least 6 months ahead.

You have to spend at least one afternoon in La Jolla, the coastline is made up of small rocky coves and un-spoilt beaches and the area has been used as a backdrop for many weddings. It is also a good place to watch seals relaxing in the sun and swimming in the waves. La Jolla village is home to art galleries, shops, hotels and good restaurants. We would recommend Brockton Villa for breakfast and George’s for lunch/dinner or a sunset cocktail.

Coronado Island is situated across the bay from downtown; it is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado. The hotel was built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark; the hotel was featured in the movie Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe and has hosted a number of celebrities over the years. If this is out of your price range, you can still walk around and even go for brunch.

I don’t think that we need to tell you that we love San Diego, it is a destination that we will always return to in the future and I already have our next trip planned out in my mind. We never seem to have enough time here as we are always sad to leave this special place.

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