As the home of eternal sunshine and countless beaches, San Diego holds endless possibilities for activities including bonfires, shopping, hikes, concerts, you name it. While it’s hard to narrow down the best reasons to set up permanent residency in California’s south most city, there are a few notable excuses to never leave the home of the Padres. Here are ten of those reasons to never want to leave San Diego.
1. Balboa Park
Serving as a home to botanical gardens, artisan shops, museums, the San Diego Zoo, several theaters, and beautiful outdoor areas, Balboa Park offers a wonderful combination of art and relaxation. From the Japanese Friendship Garden to the Museum of Man, Balboa Park has something for everyone, especially on Tuesdays, when residents of San Diego attend select museums for free. Bonus: The Timken Museum of Art is donation based and free everyday!
2. Birch Aquarium
The Birch Aquarium is located right across the road from UC San Diego. You’ll know it by the three acrobatic whale sculptures out front. Once inside, guests are greeted by an amazing view of the coast, dreamy hallways filled with tanks of countless sea creatures, and interactive tide pools. The aquarium is also equipped with a gigantic, floor to ceiling tank where guests can imagine what it might be like to inhabit the ocean themselves.
Looking for a great burger, but not feeling In N’ Out? Hodad’s is the perfect spot. Although it may not be as quick as California’s favorite fast food restaurant, the taste of it’s burgers and the interior decoration are well worth the wait. It’s coated in vintage license plates and filled with communal tables where friends share giant milkshakes and greasily delicious onion rings.
4. Gaslamp Quarter
For those of us of drinking age, the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to be after dark. Good vibes, good bars, and good brews greet the wanderers of downtown San Diego on the streets of the Gaslamp. However, if the main scene isn’t your vibe SD has plenty of local breweries to browse as your evening takes flight.
5. Petco Park
Petco Park was built in 2004 as the new home of the San Diego Padres. Nothing beats a nice game at the stadium. The construction is centered around around the old Western Metal Supply Company, where, for those of us lucky enough to grow up in San Diego, we had our prom. The contrast between the modern stadium and the aged building gives the atmosphere a nice vintage vibe. Petco was a great place to grow up near and it remains timeless. For the older kids, there are even college nights for all baseball and socialization needs.
6. Pacific Beach
Not only does it live up to its name with chill beaches, it also has great shopping and night life. Pacific Beach is basically rows of shops, restaurants, and piercing/tattoo parlors. There is a great Buffalo Exchange, a Brandy Melville, and an Urban Outfitters all within walking distance. There is also the oh so delicious Baked Bear right next door to the shops. It’s definitely the place to be on a Saturday afternoon and even more so after hours when the night life comes alive.
Of course Coronado is home to the famous Hotel Del, but it holds many other gems as well. If you are feeling bougie and want to spend a bit more moola than you would in Pacific Beach, Coronado is the place to go. It’s covered in great shops, cafes, and restaurants. The thing is also an island, so hello beaches. One of the best things about Coronado, in addition to its ability to make you feel rich for a day, has to be the view of downtown San Diego from its sandy shores.
8. Mexican Food
From North County’s Encinitas to El Cajon, anywhere in San Diego will provide delicious Mexican food. It doesn’t require much explanation. It’s just perfect.
9. La Jolla Beaches
La Jolla beaches provide sun, snorkeling, and sea lions. A summer is not complete without a sunset at Windansea Beach, a snorkel in La Jolla cove, and a look at the sun bathing sea lions along the coast.
10. Del Mar Fair
Every summer, North County welcomes the Del Mar Fair. Although traffic piles up from this event, it’s always a good time. There are carnival games, rides, shows, and a great line up of concerts. Anyone from San Diego probably has a picture of the iconic ferris wheel on their Instagram.
The combination of sun, food, and fun guarantee that there is always something to do in San Diego. So, really, who could ever leave?