San Diego is California’s answer to the oft-asked question: “What’s a typical SoCal destination that’s not just another trendy, pricey beach town?” Founded in 1769, “America’s Finest City”, combines the heart and soul of an established city with its Mexican-American heritage, Coronado’s military influence, and the surf culture. This easy blend of features set against an upscale, high-rise skyline is maybe why San Diego is a favorite getaway choice.
Since 1915, visitors have been able to ease into San Diego’s historic downtown by way of train. The Santa Fe Depot is worth a visit, regardless of your mode of transportation. It is a stunning example of Spanish Revival architecture and is festooned with lovely fountains, mosaics, and palm trees. The depot’s former baggage handling building is now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art and has an ever-changing calendar of events and exhibits.
Head north a bit to take in the sights along the San Diego bay. It’s the ideal spot to see downtown from a distance, the Maritime Museum’s tall ships, and maybe take a ride on the famous old wooden roller coaster in Mission Bay. While here, you’ll no doubt be enticed by some of the waterfront restaurants and pubs. San Diego’s culinary offerings are unique and not to be missed! Be on the lookout for pork carnitas, fish tacos, craft beers, Mexican chocolate, and frozen temptations such as salted caramel or mango chile popsicles.
While exploring the coastal side of town, a scenic drive by the Sunset Cliffs to the Cabrillo National Monument is well worth it. Nature lovers enjoy the 2-mile trek along Bayside Trail. It’s close to where in 1542; Juan Rodriguez led the first European expedition to explore the area. Farther up the coast around La Jolla, are some favorite surf spots and the 2000-acre Torrey Pines State National Reserve. The nearby lagoon area, framed by majestic sandstone cliffs is an awesome place to picnic and bird watch. (While in San Diego, be sure and make plans to visit a few of its 15 museums and outstanding zoos.)
It is definitely worth your time to venture inland, towards the westerly areas of San Diego. The Mission Basilica was founded in 1769 and was the first mission in the state. Today it is still an active parish and an excellent place to buy Mexican folk art and pottery.
Of course the only real way to get to know a place is with an extended visit. At Masterpiece Rentals, we have a number of choice accommodations in the San Diego area.