‘West-coast best coast’ they say. San Diego has it ALL. Sunny, welcoming, multicultural and vibrant. If you head to California you cannot miss out on visiting this city at the border with Mexico and just 2.5 hour drive from LA.
TOP 3 Beaches
Mission/Pacific Beach: for spectacular sunset
La Jolla: embrace nature!
Short drive from San Diego Downtown, La Jolla beach is the place where you can encounter some wild life by coming across both seals and sea-lions living in their natural habitat. If you are a sporty person, La Jolla beach is your call for surfing!
above all getting this close to these creatures was just a unique experience on its own. Best period to spot newly born seals is beginning of March.
Golden Beach – Coronado
gold looking sand: just SURREAL! try not to roll if you don’t want to be covered in glittery sand for the day 😛
VISIT THE LARGEST URBAN PARKLAND (in the US)
Balboa Park in San Diego is simply more than just a park. A place where nature, culture and fabulous architecture converge. Explore the 20+ parks inside to experience a variety of natural habitat to the city’s flora and faunas.
VISIT THE Birthplace of California
San Diego – Old Town: this is California’s birthplace, founded back in 1769. Your visit to California will never be completed until you visit this. It looks like going back in time. The atmosphere and the vibe you get there is surreal and unique in its genre. Far away from technology and modern times, enjoy yourself in old San Diego streets surrounded by Mexican looking bars and restaurants.
Cafe Coyote – feels just like being in Mexico. Best Mexican dishes in Old town San Diego. Try their delicious tacos – special offers every Tuesdays! whilst enjoying their Happy Hours Monday-Friday from 3:30pm to 6pm
Be brave and explore Tijuana (Mexican city across the border from San Diego). However please be careful as it can be quite intimidating as a city (not one of the safest). Many hostels or city agencies do organised day trips there which are strongly advised. View activities here ran by this hostel (best hostel in town!) and tag along with them.
FEEL THE VIBE
Rising straight from the water edge is the Gas Lamp quarter. A historical neighborhood is the core of a vibrant nightlife and fashionable dining area. I also strongly recommend looking for accommodation in this area as you are steps away from the sea-side and at the heart of downtown San Diego for bars, restaurants, clubs and shopping centers.
A LIVE MUSIC JOINT BAR: Tin Roof
A nightly Live Music venue from local San Diego musicians from acoustic duo’s on weeknights to high-energy, full bands on weekends. Wide selections of tap beers to be enjoyed whilst playing bar games including shuffleboard, cornhole & beer pong.
Happy Hour: 50% off all drinks Monday – Friday 3pm-7pm.
Go for the Spicy Margarita cocktail (brave it!) and dixi briskets.
How to get around
Rent a car and EXPLORE! Generally I felt like impossible to go from A to Z in California without a car. Petrol is cheap and car rentals are quite cheap too. Alternatively you can use the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) website to plan your trips by tram, bus and trolley lines.
Use Uber or Lyft (cheap taxi service)
Get your FREE ride with Uber here.
Get your FREE ride with Lyft here.
Where to stay
I pretty much stayed in every single USA hostel in California. Best hostel chain ever and this specific one in downtown San Diego has been one of the best. This chain characterises itself for their central location, cleanliness, events and friendly and highly professional staff. If you are planning to go to California and staying in hostels, USA Hostel is your best call.
Watch why you should stay there.