I continue exploring California and this time tennis brought me to San Diego. Before this trip I didn’t know that this touristic place is the eighth largest city in United States and second in California after Los Angeles. It has a population of 1.3 million people and is called a “vacationer’s paradise” thanks to its beautiful beaches, Kid’s Museum, Zoo and great choice of restaurants. Actually this information is written in each and every travel guide. What they don’t tell you is how breathtaking is the view from the air plane window when you land at the local airport, where to eat the best deserts in town and what is the best place to see the sunset. But let’s start from the beginning.
I came from Florida and three-hours time difference made my day a little longer as I kept waking up early in the morning. It’s interesting that when I first looked out of my hotel window I was sure it was raining outside. “Strange, – I thought, going downstairs for breakfast – I heard that rain was quite unusual here’. When I went outside I felt that in reality it was not a rain, more like a fog with drops of moisture. They call it a marine moist. This is something you get here quite often. The closer to the ocean – the more of it you can feel. It’s enough to go couple of miles inland and climate is already different. The weather changes around noon, that’s when the sun comes out and you start to look for your sunscreen. You better find it because by 3-4pm it gets quite intense. But in general the temperature is nice and very comfortable.
The city has different faces depending on where you go. Closer to the coast you get lost in the maze of small streets, most of them leading to the beaches. Walking along the tiny one-story houses built next to each other, you’d wonder how much space do they offer. Pretty on the outside but not very solid and fundamental, they look like those cartoon houses we see on the TV. As you go towards the ocean there will be plenty of authentic cafes and restaurants offering all kinds of healthy food. Acai bowls, fruit and vegetable smoothies, organic entrees and deserts are very popular in this area.
Once you arrive to the beach, the view is just breathtaking. I love looking at the water. I could just stand for couple of minutes and stare at the calm blue sea meeting the sky at the horizon or wavy ocean throwing the white foam to the rocks. It gives me so much energy, so many emotions. If you feel like that too, San Diego is a right place to go. You may take a walk along the pierce, sit on the bench at the very end of it and embrace the incredible power of the nature.
The Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, situated just a little further down, is another spot loved by many tourists. Caves, cliffs and unique ocean views attract romantic souls from all around the world. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to go there but my friends told me that this is the place to see the most beautiful sunset. I take their word for it and when I get another chance to come back to San Diego, will definitely come to Sunset Cliffs and watch the sky change its colors in the evening.
But this time in the evenings we went to explore the local choice of restaurants. The Little Italy district, situated on the northern side of the downtown, greets you with expressive art galleries, small and yet very authentic cafes and plenty of restaurants offering great quality Italian cuisine. One night after having a meal we went for a desert to the place called Extraordinary. Apparently, it was supposed to be the best desert place in town and I can tell you it deserves this name 100%. Trust me, as much as I love sweets, it was definitely extraordinary, nothing to add. Have a quick look at what we got there. Cannot get better then that.
Another famous part of the downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter, is called a Historic Heart of San Diego. I did not get a chance to go there so it remains on my to-do list for the next visit. But from what I’ve discovered it occupies 16 ½ blocks and has an unforgettable spirit. The architecture includes high and modern skyscrapers built side to side with older houses from Victorian era. It’s a home to many attractions, museums and other places of interest as well as highly rated restaurants, rooftop lounges and bars. I’m sure it’s a cute little place with a special charisma.
So that’s pretty much what I had a chance to discover about this city. I had another great experience, going to La Jolla, the suburb situated on the Northern border of San Diego, but it deserves the separate blog post. For now, I would just give couple more tips from my own experience, so in case you are visiting, you know what to do.
- If you are renting the car and have to drop it off at the San Diego airport, make sure you leave enough time because car rental center is situated quite far from the terminals.
- Finding a parking place is not an easy task in San Diego. There are some public parkings and sometimes you can also park along the sidewalk on the street but sometimes you may need a good 10-15 minutes to find your spot.
- To get from of part of the city to another you most probably would need to take a freeway. Make sure you have good directions because some of those junctions are not easy to understand and if you take a wrong exit it may be long until you can get back on the right way.
- It gets a lot cooler in the evenings so don’t forget to take a sweater or a jacket when going for a dinner or a late walk.
- California is known to be a little ahead of the nation whether it’s about hi-tech or healthy food options. Those of you who prefer vegan or raw cuisine, or just would like the organic meal will be impressed by the wide choice of suitable restaurants. Enjoy!
There you go! I hope this post will be interesting and helpful for you. The next one is coming!
Talk to you soon!