Taste of Some California Sunshine: San Diego Recap
If you have never been to California, you best log onto google flights and book a flight to San Diego! San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California. The city is home to what many would call 'the perfect climate' - San Diego experiences mild, sunny weather year round, similar to that in the Mediterranean. It actually has one of the top ten best climates according to the Farmers' Almanac and according to the Weather Channel it is one of two best summer climates in America. If the weather doesn’t sell you to buy a plane ticket for a weekend getaway, here is a peak into some of the great things this city has to offer!
American Pride and Culture
San Diego's largest employer is the US Navy. Needless to say this city has a lot of American Pride. With two military bases within the San Diego metro area, there is also a strong sense of gratitude toward our current and former service men and women. Also, who can ignore the fact that one of the greatest movies of all time took place in this city... TOP GUN! For all you history buffs or if you are looking for an activity for family fun day, then you need to check out the USS Midway museum. This old aircraft carrier played an important role during World War II. It is one of the longest serving aircraft carriers in the US Navy, serving from 1945 till 1992. The museum allows you to tour all quarters of the ship with a free guided audio tour explaining each area and details about the ship. You can also check out some of the Navy's aircraft, as well as fighter jet flight simulations. There is also a statue of the "Unconditional Surrender" located next to the USS Midway. The statue is based of the photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, "V-J Day in Time Square", which shows a US Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger on Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in New York City Time Square - August 14th, 1945. This is a popular spot for locals and tourist to take photographs with their significant other and recreate the pose.
If you came to San Diego to experience some "south of the boarder" culture then, Old Town San Diego is the perfect little section of the city you need to visit. The Mexican influence in present day San Diego is still prevalent but the Old Town San Diego Historic Park gives you a taste of what San Diego looked like in its early history. Filled with little shops, original infrastructure from homes to missions, and of course tons and tons of cacti!! Old Town was founded in 1769 and was the first settlement in what later became California.
San Diego is a coastal city with a lot to offer both downtown and in surrounding cities. A few spots we suggest checking out include Seaport Village, La Jolla and Del Mar, the Seaport Village is located in the city and has many little shops to check out. This village includes the largest collection mug shop in the world as well as restaurants and gelato. Looking for something for the kiddos to do or take a trip back in history? San Diego is home to one of the World's Oldest Carousel!! This beautiful crafted ride has been in the area a few years now and is a big hit. It has made its way up and down the west coast, calling different cities its home - but for $2, you can take a trip down memory lane and ride the horses.
If you head 7 miles north of the city to La Jolla, you will be met with tons of beautiful beaches and some incredible views. This is a great spot to relax by the Pacific Ocean all day and build sand castles! If you are looking to try your hand at some horse betting, then Del Mar is the place four you. This seasonal horse track is actually great for a family outing! While you go off and bet on the best horse to run the 1 1/8 mile track the park offers games for kids like face painting and inflatable rides; or events such as weekly summer concerts, meet the jockey sessions, and delicious food!
Helpful Hint: If you do not have a lot of time in San Diego, check out the Old Town Trolly Tours which run a 10 mile course around San Diego and over to Coronado swinging by the major sites of the city. Oh did we mention its hop off and hop on all day!
Places you've gotta try!
If you are looking for a bite to eat or need to grab a drink check out one (or all) of these places located throughout the city:
Civio 1845: Located in the 'Little Italy' portion of the city this restaurant is a MUST if you want authentic Italian food. The portions are large and filling and the wine list is extensive, covering every type of wine you can think of from all over the world. We suggest checking out their daily specials as you may get lucky like us and have the lobster ravioli!!
Lazy Hippo: If you want a local favorite, small business with fresh food then the Lazy Hippo needs to be a stop during your San Diego tour. The restaurant is only open for Breakfast and Lunch and is home to some of the best waffles we have had that weren't made in our own kitchen. Our two favorite dishes were the Lemon Ricotta and the Nutella Banana pancakes! This place also serves fresh squeezed orange juice (great for mimosas) and a large selection of other cafe drinks.
Broken Yoke Cafe: This cafe has a menu with a wide variety to please everyone in your party. The cafe offers your traditional breakfast and lunch items as well as some local specials and slight twist on some of our favorites. Since you can get your traditional eggs and pancakes almost anywhere in the United States, I highly suggest indulging in the Tijuana Street Tacos or Baja Breakfast Taco. For those one you who want to 'eat healthy on vacation' the Broken Yoke has a to die for Acai bowl filled with your typical fresh fruit, granola, coconut and honey. But get this, the Acai is actually created into a thicker texture and comes scooped like ice cream!!
If you are feeling adventurous, the cafe does have a food challenge which requires one to eat a dozen egg omelet filled with mushrooms, onions, cheese, chili and more cheese. And if you thought that was it.. there is more! There is also a pile of homefries and two biscuits.
Rustic Root: There is not a single bad thing we can say about this place! The interior was to die for, the food was melt in your mouth delicious, and the drinks were spot on. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp district, the hub for good food and nightlife in San Diego. We suggest grabbing a few appetizers to share and one dinner dish. Their meatball appetizer are a combo of ground bison and pork, covered with a delicious whiskey sauce and topped off with some melted parmesan. If you are a lover of seafood, you need to try the firecracker shrimp! These fried shrimp are cover in a sriracha aioli and drizzled with a spicy sweet mango sauce. For drinks, there really isn't one you could go wrong with. Their house made sangria is the perfect blend with an added kick and all their cocktails are a unique twist on some classics.
The Hopping Pig: While out visit to this small cozy dive bar only extended over two drinks, we have vowed to return. Also located in the heart of the Gasslamp district of San Diego; the bar features live music, which Sheila is a sucker for, as well as delicious cocktails like the Smoked Old Fashioned which is made with Applewood Smoked Bourbon, done in house. Or if you are looking for a sweeter lighter drink try the Playa Bamboo which is a smooth tropical tequila drink featuring coconut, pineapple, lime and lemon.