Guide to San Diego

It's been said that San Diego has the optimum climate for human habitation. With its cool ocean breezes blowing into dry desert air, giving it a daily average tempearture of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, I'm not going to argue. You just feel good when you're there. And as you'll discover, there are so many attractions - all manner of things to see and do!

San Diego skyline at night
San Diego Skyline credit: peasap some rights reserved

In addition to San Diego's many places of interest, it has a relaxed, casual vibe which many find refreshing. Also it may be because of its Pacific Rim location, but the city has many wonderful restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines. The seafood is amazing. Finally, it's a very clean, and safe city. In fact, it was recently named the 4th safest city in the U.S. - not bad for being California's second largest.

City Attractions

Consider adding these to your "to do" list when visiting San Diego...

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. This park is a recreation of life in San Diego during the mid-nineteenth century. It combines the Old West with the city's Spanish heritage.
Whaley House
2482 San Diego Ave. This historic house, which has served as a private residence, courthouse, and theater is probably the oldest two-story brick house in California. Incidentally, it's also been called the most haunted house in America!
SeaWorld
500 SeaWorld Dr. (Mission Bay area). This major theme park offers 189 acres of marine-life shows, attractions and rides.
Belmont Park
W. Mission Bay Dr. and W. Mission Blvd. This little piece of history is a throwback to the days of oceanside amusement parks, complete with a 1925 wooden rollercoaster. The park also features a simulated wave surfing platform, a huge indoor swimming pool, a large play area, and more. Play all day for $19.95.
San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum
910 N. Harbor Dr. at Navy Pier. Home of The U.S. Navy's longest-serving aircraft carrier, the Midway. Explore the ship and selected military aircraft. Admission is $15 for adults. Guided tours are extra and require a reservation.
Maritime Museum of San Diego
the Embarcadero at 1492 N. Harbor Dr. Three historis ships on display, including the tall ship Star of India built in 1863. Admission is $12.
Balboa Park
At 1,200 acres, this is the nation's largest urban recreational and cultural center, and is a destination in its own right. With its borders are 14 major museums, performing arts theaters, all manner of gardens, and not to mention the San Diego Zoo! Stop by the Balboa Park Visitor's Center and see about getting a passport which allows admission to a wide variety of the park's attractions at a considerable savings.
San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Dr. With more that 4,000 animals, this is one of the largest zoos in the world. Exhibits include: Polar Bear Plunge, Reptile Mesa, Gorilla Tropics, Giant Panda Research Station, Tiger River, and Sun Bear Forest. There's also an aerial tramway, a children's zoo, and a variety of animal shows.
Gaslamp Quarter
If nightlife is your thing, then you'll definitely want to check out this district near the San Diego Convention Center. It boasts about 35 nightclubs and 90 restaurants!

Nearby Attractions

Legoland
Not in San Diego but in nearby Carlsbad, this amusement park features about 50 rides on 128 acres containing structures made of - you guessed it - LEGOs. Admission starts at $63 for adults and $55 for kids. Not your typical theme park.
San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, 35 miles north of the San Diego Zoo and east of Escondido. Another nearby attraction, different from the Zoo, in that the animals roam freely over large sections of land in the park's 1,800 acres which are designed to closely resemble the animals' natural habitats. Railway and walking tours are available. Tickets start at $44 for adults, and $34 for children.

Places to Eat

Arterra
11966 El Camino Real. For an upscale dining experience, you'll be hard pressed to find a better restaurant than this gem by famed chef Bradley Ogden's located in the San Diego Marriott Del Mar.
Oceanaire Seafood Room
400 J St. Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, this a great restaurant for a romantic evening. The interior is decorated like a vintage luxury liner, and the food is excellent.
Ortega's
141 University Ave. You can't visit San Diego without trying the Mexican food, and Ortega's offers some of the best, and it's a pretty good bargain for the caliber of food offered.
Celadon
540 University Ave. In short, quite possibly the best Thai food in the city.
Jack and Giulio's
Great Italian food in the middle of Old Town.