Life in San Diego takes place mainly out of doors – soaking up good weather, relaxing vibes, and a composition of structural buildings next to tranquil waters.
The city’s fun and dynamic atmosphere stems through interaction with its neighbour; Mexico, where a fusion between the two places can be seen in the people and experienced in the food and music. Whether you’re lapping up the sun and waves in Mission Beach, rummaging through the abundance of thrift shops, or slinging back tequila in the downtown area, San Diego is all about having fun.
As Harriet and I were only in San Diego for a few days, we didn’t get to experience everything but I’m giving you our top 5 things to see and do:
1. The Harbour
Release your inner fisherman by strolling around the seaport village to enjoy the backdrop of sailing boats and charming cafes. The Maritime Museum is also located here, and if ships ‘float your boat’ you’ll be amongst the world’s finest collection.
2. Balbao Park
This is perhaps the most beautiful park I’ve ever been to (I can’t decide between here and Singapore’s Botanical Gardens) and it is certainly the most relaxing. It contains elaborate pavilions and architecture that would not look out of place in several major European cities, which is no surprise seen as though many of the park’s buildings are in the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style.
You’ll easily be able to spend a whole day here and not want to do anything else but wander around and laze at every spot.
3. San Diego Zoo
Although technically a part of Balbao Park, I’m reviewing this as a separate entity in order to spread out the divisions of this fabulous city.
San Diego Zoo is the largest zoo in the world and is an organisation which prides itself on conservation foremost. Usually I’m not into zoos because I prefer to see animals in their natural environment but I had read a lot of positive comments about this zoo beforehand which prompted me to go. I think this place is especially good for families because it enables children to learn about animals inside a spacious setting.
I also recommend taking a ride on the cable car which overlooks the whole of the zoo and San Diego’s impressive skyline.
4. Mission Beach
Alas I became too caught up in sunbathing and strolling down the bustling sidewalk that I forgot to take any photographs! This beach attracts everyone from people seeking extreme watersports, to kids trapping their parents in a tomb of sand – don’t forget your suntan lotion!
Okay so Karaoke doesn’t really meet most people’s expectation when ‘nightlife’ comes to mind, and I for one heavily campaign against it, but a few drinks later and with little persuasion Harriet and I got on stage. I’ll give Harriet praise where praise is due, as she actually could actually hold a note in key, but my Yorkshire tones completely and utterly butchered the song. Fittingly, we sang Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin, and ‘Let’s talk about sex’ (why am I even telling you all this?).
However, (and this is most likely) if you want to leave the Karaoke alone, Diego is prefect on a warm summer evening, having cocktails and enjoying music.
In terms of accommodation, we stayed in two youth hostels, the first one was HI Hostel and the second one was called Lucky D’s. Both were great (well as great as a youth hostel can be, ahem!) but Lucky D’s has the edge because it provides a slightly better price; being around $50 a night for the both of us, and it was the privacy of 2-person room. HI Hostel was really nice inside, but only two bathrooms on each floor equates to around one bathroom per 18 people – so get up earlier to avoid the queue for the shower!
P.S. There is video footage floating around the internet of Harriet and I singing ‘Like a Virgin’, but I shall not subject you to it!