San Diego combines history with culture and incredible food. In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to sail around the west coast of America. Fast forward a few centuries and this once empty stretch of desert is now California’s second largest city. Tourists flock to the beaches and snap up the very best San Diego luxury homes while enjoying one of the most luxurious travel destinations in the state. There are hundreds of reasons to visit San Diego, here are some of the best.
After its discovery in 1542, the first Spanish settlement appeared two centuries later in 1749. Point Loma has a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo to mark the spot where he first stepped onto Californian soil. Today, several colonial and historic buildings remain in the Old Town San Diego. Missionaries followed the Spanish and established 21 missions in the city, which you can visit today. As you’re walking around, spare a thought or two for the historical importance of the city you’re visiting.
Gaslamp Quarter was once a no-go area for locals until the city cleaned up the area. As you walk down the streets, the gas lamps of the past are now electric lights that still retain a certain historic charm. This 16 block district has Victorian buildings from the Wild West days and some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. If you’re looking for a good night out, head to 5th and 6th avenues between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm for Happy Hour. Restaurants have some of the best seafood, and lots of nightclubs to keep you entertained until the early hours.
You may not associate these Chinese-native critters to be living in Southern California, and you won’t be surprised to find out that they’re not living in the wild. The giant pandas call San Diego Zoo home. The zoo itself houses thousands of animals from around the world including koala bears, snakes and a collection of birds. When you’re walking around, you’ll notice the animals seem comfortable and unexploited in the enclosures that mimic their natural habitats.
If you’re looking for a sunny getaway at any time of the year, San Diego is perfect for you. Because of its location in southern California, you can expect more than 320 sunny days each year and less than 30 centimeters of annual rainfall. This means the city is warm and comfortable all year round and becomes a favorite spot for North Americans during the winter.
Summertime temperatures often hover in the high 20s and rarely get scorching hot like other parts of the country. Winters are usually around 18°C. Combine the pleasant temperatures with the low humidity and lack of mosquitoes, and you’re sure to be in for a treat.
Every coastal town or city has terrific views. But San Diego takes this beauty to the next level. There are several spots around the city for the perfect photograph or just admire the scenery. Favorite places are the Sunset Cliffs at Point Loma some 16 kilometers from downtown or La Jolla’s Cove. Visitors can hike along the trails too and get away from the crowds or find a more secluded spot on an empty beach. Whenever you visit San Diego, amazing views will always come second nature.
Did you know that San Diego is the home to the United States’s largest urban cultural park? Balboa Park covers an incredible area of 1200 acres and has several themed gardens and no less than 17 onsite museums. Visitors can walk around and enjoy the scenery or relax in the park for a few hours in the pleasant afternoon sunshine with a good book.
If you want a cultural experience, check out the museums where you can learn about regional history and culture along with enjoying arts and crafts. Expect photography, 3D scientific exhibitions and to come away with an enlightened perspective. Search online to check out the ticket prices as a combination ticket over seven days will work out to be much better value for money.
People in San Diego love their beer. The country is home to more than 125 breweries producing an even larger number of drinks. If you’re in the city, head to one of the micro-breweries and get ready to have some of the best craft beer of your life. Perhaps this isn’t your thing. Well, don’t despair. You can find lots of places with local wine and some of the best cocktail bars in the country. Just remember non-Americans that the legal age of drinking is 21.
The coastline stretches more than 100 kilometers. You’ll find quiet spots and nudist beaches and everything in between. The more popular ones are Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, which attracts thousands of locals and tourists every day. If you’re up for some exercise, you can walk along the boardwalk that stretches five kilometers between both.
If you’re travelling with your family, visit Coronado Beach and La Jolla Shores. Both get fewer tourists and have gentle waves in a clean environment. The water is clear, and many visitors rent snorkeling equipment to experience the vast variety of marine life swimming below.
San Diego Makes a Perfect Travel Destination
When you combine San Diego’s weather, history, views and beaches together, you have a perfect spot for a vacation. Now you have the inspiration it’s time to get online and start planning your trip to sunny southern California today.