This summer I had the opportunity to go to San Diego (one of my favorite places in the U.S.) and I never posted about it, but this is too great of an area not to share. If you’ve never visited San Diego, I would highly recommend it. The weather there is amazing, and there’s tons to do. It isn’t the cheapest place to visit, but definitely worth the time and money if you can swing it.
1.) Balboa Park – I could have easily spent a week at Balboa Park alone and still have wanted to spend more time there. The 1200-acre park includes more than a dozen museums, several performing arts venues including the Old Globe Theatre which puts on Shakespeare and other plays and a huge outdoor pavilion which offers free organ performances during the day and free concerts during some summer evenings, nearly 20 gardens and walking trails, a Spanish artist village, and the San Diego Zoo.
My first tip is to find the information center when you get there. I wondered around for a few hours before I came across it, and wished I had gotten a map to better plan my time when I first got there. Many of the museums and attractions are free, but some cost money. The information center workers are a great resource to let you know what free events are going on while you are there. There are restaurants to eat at if you want to sit down, but there are also street vendors offering food for a low-cost option. During parts of the year, the International Cottages give free cultural music and dance performances and sometimes on Sundays at noon offer free food.
2.) La Jolla – This is a beautiful area just north of the city to spend an afternoon. There are plenty of places to eat and shop, but I enjoyed just walking along the cliffs and admiring the wildlife. There are a bunch of seals and sea lions that take up habitat here, and during parts of the year even take over the swimming area that is frequented by families.
3.) USS Midway – This aircraft carrier is now permanently parked at Navy Pier in San Diego and has been transformed into a maritime museum. The ship was America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier serving the entire length of the Cold War and beyond. I did not get to explore the entire museum, but got to see some of the planes on my way up to the top deck for a party! That’s right…it’s like the biggest party barge you’ve ever been on. I was actually in San Diego for a work conference and one of our evening events was aboard this magnificent vessel. Talk about a great view.
4.) Seaport Village – If you’re staying near the marina, this quaint shopping area is within walking distance. Even if you’re not staying in that part of the city, I would recommend it for a leisurly afternoon of shopping, dining, and entertainment. During the day this is a beautiful area to stroll with a boardwalk out by the water and a village of unique shops individualized for any souvenir you could ever want. Some of my favorites include “The Mugger” coffee mug shop, the “For Bare Feet” sock shop, and the “Kite Flite” store. I was there during one of the Busker Festivals, which was so much fun! Street performers everywhere. Check their website for festival dates.
5.) Tijuana – I didn’t actually get to go to Tijuana when I was in San Diego. I had to spend countless hours in a hotel meeting room for my conference, but if I was there just for fun, this would definitely be on my top 5 list. Pack your passport, because Tijuana is just a trolley ride away. Take the blue line and hit the Mexico border in less than 45 minutes.
6.) BONUS – Fluxx – If you’re looking for some night life, I would suggest heading to the Fluxx nightclub. One of our convention sponsors held an event at this club one evening, and we had the best time! The atmosphere is very dance club, but with a cool vibe. There’s a round dance floor in the middle of the club with seating surrounding. They have lots of different entertainment there. I loved the electric violinist and trumpet players who jammed out while we were there.