Saturday in the Nieghborhood: San Diego
Referred to as the “birthplace” of California, San Diego was the site of the first Spanish settlement on the West Coast of the United States in 1769. With a mild climate that can be enjoyed year-round, sandy beaches with surf-ready waves, and friendly-faced locals, it’s also the birthplace of laid-back Southern California living.
There’s so much to experience in San Diego, so to make your visit a little easier we’ve rounded up the top things to do over a weekend getaway.
First stop: The ocean. With 70 miles of picturesque Pacific coastline, start your weekend off in true California fashion at the beach. Take a bike ride down the paved path along Mission Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the city and smack dab in the middle of the Golden Strand. Stop to take a refreshing swim in the cool ocean waters or go for a ride on the Great Dipper, a historic wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park. Once you’ve had your thrills make your way to the seaside neighborhood of La Jolla to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife during low tide. After, head over to The Cave Store where a manmade tunnel will take you down to the famous (and secret) Sunny Jim Sea Cave.
Ready for a lunch break? San Diego was a part of Mexico for nearly 30 years following its independence from Spain. With its shared history and close proximity, the city’s cuisine is rich with influences from south of the border. Take a seat at the counter of El Indio and place an order for taquitos. Opened in 1940 and still family-run, this casual eatery is supposedly where the crispy rolled taco was invented. Later, stop by Cantina Mayahuel for a drink with some kick. With over 200 tequilas and 100 mezcals waiting for you behind the bar, it’ll be hard to choose your poison. Not to worry though, just ask one of the experienced bartenders who are well-versed in the art of agave. But before you fill up on margaritas, experience San Diego’s “grab-and-go" food scene at Nine Seas Seafood food truck. Order the shrimp tacos and find a spot on the curve to enjoy them like a local.
Now it’s time to walk off the tacos and tequila. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, Spanish Village is a dream come true for the creatives in your group. The area features almost 40 studios and galleries for visitors to enjoy as well as architecture with buildings dating back to the 1930s. After you’ve flexed your artistic muscles, find your way to the Museum of Man, also in Balboa Park, and climb the steps of the California Tower. Closed to the public for 80 years, visitors can now go all the way to the top of the tower to get 360-degree views of the city.
- Voice from the Street
- San Diego, CA