Stop for a second and close your eyes. Feel the gentle breeze caressing your face, the warm sun tickling your skin. Focus your hearing and you’ll note voices and laughter and footsteps and seagulls. Now open your eyes. Pinch yourself and relish the fact that you’re not dreaming. You just happen to be in San Diego, California.
San Diego just may be the closest thing to a real-life fantasy you’ll ever experience: with nearly 70 miles of picture-perfect coastline coupled with an emerald ocean and an average year-round temperature of 70°, San Diego comes close to being California’s outdoor capital. You’re going to wonder not only what took you so long to visit, but what’s more, you’re not going to want to leave!
Comfortable Shoes a Must
Whether you’re coming to visit or you have more long-term plans to settle down, you can’t do San Diego without a comfortable pair of shoes! Even if all your agenda entails is sightseeing you’re going to log some miles as you take in the top locations like SeaWorld, Zoo Safari Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Zoo and Legoland to name just a few. The big ticket items are more than entertaining, but San Diego hooks people for the air of fitness and the love of the outdoors that washes over the city. People do things on foot, by bike, skateboard, kayak. If there’s a way to get around that involves the beat of your heart, it’s a sure bet someone is doing it!
Museums, Culture and Animals
San Diego is not just water sports and jogging shoes and the beach. There’s a rich culture available to anyone who searches for it. San Diego hosts museums for every interest. Anyone’s Top Five List will certainly include the San Diego Natural History Museum and Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. There is also the San Diego Museum of Art and Museum of Man. And anyone who looks past the horizon will certainly enjoy he San Diego Air & Space Museum.
Animal lovers need not look farther the San Diego Zoo. Home to nearly 4,000 animals and spread out of 100 acres, the SDZ is also where three giant pandas can be seen chewing on a stalk of bamboo and just loving life in general.
We’d also be remiss not to mention Balboa Park: site of the a near endless variety of greenery including more than 130 varieties of rose bushes. Free tours are available on Saturdays).
Pick a Neighborhood
Take away the sunshine and fun and what have you got? You’d be surprised. San Diego is sill one of the most diverse melting-pot cultures in the United States and abroad. Neighborhoods that pay homage to Little Italy and other ethic groups are bustling in the boroughs of North and South Park and East Village.
The great thing about San Diego's many neighborhoods is that they are foot-friendly. The streets are made for walking and looking and enjoying. You’ll find an array of boutiques and boutique wine shops in edition to antique book stores, progressive art and more. The vibe changes as you segue from South Park to North Park (or visa-verse) and make your way to East Village. Make a mental note: you’ve got to come back here! There’s too much to do and see. As you keep moving forward you’ll note that new meets old at San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Here is where life as you know ramps up after dark and doesn’t stop until the next morning.
Who’d have thought that a small comic book convention that took in less than 100 fans and guest-starred Marvel Comic co-creator Jack Kirby would grow into the San Diego Comics Con – the world’s largest pop culture spectacle that pulls in more than 130,000 fans of comics and media covering the span of four days. Comics are no longer the big draw but fans of graphic novels, film and television can always find something of interest.
San Diego, California. Talk a look around. Along the way you may keep asking yourself why it that there are so many smiles. Well take a step back and breath deep. Look around. If you’re here you’re living the dream. And if you’re not here then you’re just dreaming, simple as that.