Words & Photos by Ashley Bowling
Settled by the Europeans in the early 1600s and named after the Spanish, this city is full of art, culture, architecture and diversity. San Diego offers an abundance of activities for all ages and has nearly perfect weather all year long.
Before checking into your resort, grab some authentic Mexican grub at Los Cuatro Milpas. Don’t be intimidated by the line out the door; it moves fast. Afterwards, settle in at Kona Kia Resort on Shelter Island, an island connected to the main land and a departure point for various sport fishing charters. Stroll down the island to Bali Hai for their world famous Mai Tai’s and indulge in ahi tuna poké and lobster tacos during happy hour from 3 to 6pm. Catch a concert on your way back at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay.
If sport fishing is your thing, start your day early with a chartered tour from Point Loma Sport Fishing. If watching the whales migrate seems to be more feasible than fishing, still early morning is the best time to spot one of these amazing mammals. Book a tour with San Diego Whale Watch, and be sure to grab a jacket before you set out. Learn about the sea life from their trained biologist while searching out sea giants. Great blue whales and mighty fin whales are most common sightings June through November; December through April, Pacific gray whales are more likely to be spotted. After a nap in the sun at the resort, grab some charcuterie and wine at the local grocer and head to Sunset Cliffs for a picnic dinner and some breathtaking views.
Indulge in some mouthwatering breakfast at Fig Tree Café. Try their specialty French toast or a savory eggs benedict. Just north of the city, explore Torrey State Natural Reserve. It’s an easy hike with multiple trails and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean including a stunning walk on Blacks Beach where the surf is excellent, and clothing is optional. If you really want to get in the water (without getting in the water), explore the caves at La Jolla Cove on kayak with La Jolla Bike & Kayak Tours. Catch the sea lions at Sea Lion Cove and Children’s Pool for a close encounter with a sea lion pup. Afterward, grab lunch at The Taco Stand and get ice cream at Mr. Frostie on your way back. If arts, culture, science, and history are more interesting than hiking and kayaking the coast, don’t miss the Balboa Park and Gardens with beautiful grounds and a plethora of museums to choose from. The San Diego Museum of Man has re-opened after an 80-year closure and has Cannibals: Myth & Reality on exhibit through 2018. At Balboa Park, one can spend all day getting lost in the rich history and marvelous arts and still not see it all.
A Family Affair
If traveling with kids in tow, bunk up at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa. It’s close to SeaWorld San Diego and still centrally located. Don’t miss the thrilling Shark Encounter and the Turtle Reef exhibition and ride at SeaWorld. If you don’t think your kids are quite ready to go surfing in the frigid water, try WaveHouse, a beachside entertainment venue where one can surf an artificial wave. Other fun and exciting places include San Diego’s world famous zoo and Lego Land San Diego.