American Holiday Search
The fabulous Californian wonderland! It is the second biggest city California and a popular tourist destination. The city has diverse attractions catering to all age groups, making it a favoured family destination. It is a hub for technology and hosts several research and telecommunications companies.
San Diego has been ranked as one of the best American cities to live in. San Diego is also a major holiday destination attracting over 30 million visitors in 2009 alone. The city is famous for its fabulous beaches, clear blue skies, great weather and a buzzing restaurant scene. Due to its close proximity to Mexico the city has adopted a Latin flavour. San Diego is the big city with a laid-back feel.
San Diego Attractions
With soft sand and clear water; San Diego’s beaches are a major draw card. However there is more to the city’s beaches than just sunbathing. The beaches are a hive of activities; volley ball, sailing and surfing. On the other hand; if all these activities seem like too much hard work – you could always just catch up on your tan and soak up the atmosphere.
Pacific Beach is favoured by college students and young people. It is a beach full of activities; it is particularly popular for surfing and skateboarding. Families tend to prefer the northern end of the beach where it’s calmer. The beach has a long boardwalk and there are bicycles available to rent.
Coronado Beach is ranked as the 5th best beach in the US and is loved by families. This is one of the most affluent areas in California; grand mansions line the oceanfront while yacht clubs line the bay. On the other hand Ocean Beach is an authentic area that attracts funky surfers and the cool kids.
San Diego has a number of popular theme parks making this a great family destination. Lego Land (1 Legoland Drive; Carlsbad) is a theme park that features interactive educational attractions and family entertainment. Sea World (500 Sea World Drive) is an oceanerium, animal theme park and marine mammal park. The theme park features; water rides, dolphins, penguins, whales and more.
Balboa Park is major attraction that contains numerous facilities and Spanish-Baroque revival architecture. It is one of the largest urban parks in the country and gets millions of visitors each year. It contains 15 major museums, performing arts venues, shops, restaurants and the San Diego Zoo. It is free to get into the park grounds but entrance to some of the facilities in the park requires fees.
San Diego Restaurants
San Diego has literally thousands of restaurants and every type of cuisine imaginable. With breathtaking views, famous chefs and authentic ethnic cuisine from around the world; one can have the dining experience they’ve always dreamt of. Like the restaurant scene; the night life in San Diego never disappoints. There are hundreds of night spots to choose from; trendy bars, contemporary live music venues and buzzing night clubs.
The Quarter Kitchen (600 F Street) is a stylish restaurant in the Ivy Hotel with a great menu and modern décor. Casa de Reyes (2754 Calhoun Street) is an open air traditional Mexican restaurant. The atmosphere is very festive with dancers and a mariachi band. Hash House a Go Go (3628 Fifth Ave,) is funky American style diner that is the locals’ favourite.
There are several neighbourhoods in San Diego with great restaurants. La Jolla is an upscale sea side resorts with many lavish restaurants in its downtown area. There is large concentration of swanky restaurants in Prospect Street and Girard Avenue that are popular with locals and visitors alike. Another great place for neighbourhood restaurants is Little Italy. The neighbourhood is packed with fantastic Italian eateries, naturally! Downtown San Diego and Mission Beach have lively nightlife with a great selection of bars and nightclubs.
Shopping in San Diego
San Diego is truly a shopping mecca offering – world class boutiques, shopping malls and contemporary galleries. There are enough designer boutiques in San Diego to satisfy the most discerning of shoppers. San Diego is also a great place to shop for art and home décor with a lot of shops that specialise in furniture and cool art.
As it goes with most major American cities, malls are the town squares. They are the gathering spots for the locals and visitors, the main pull being the concentration of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. In San Diego the malls come in every shape and size with a lot to offer. Life is a gift, so label it!
Fashion Valley is where San Diego’s well-heeled go to collect those labels; Burberry, Hermes, Gucci, True Religion and Louis Vuitton all have boutiques here. The mall also has major department stores such as; Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. Otay Ranch (2015 Birch Road, Suite 500 Chula Vista) doesn’t consider itself to be a mall; it is a self proclaimed life style centre! It’s the newest mall in San Diego and it is open air so one can shop and soak up the sun all at once. The ‘life style centre’ houses some of the best brands including; Apple, Banana Republic, Coach, Hollister and Guess?
Outlet malls are phenomenon in the fashion world. Savvy shoppers in San Diego flock to outlet malls to get the labels of their dreams at a fraction of retail price! San Diego is the go to destination for outlet shopping; there are several of them in the city. Las Americas (4211 Camino de la Plaza) is an impressive mall with Latin architecture with 125 outlet stores. The shops include; Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors and Polo Ralph Lauren. Carlsbad Premium Outlets (5620 Paseo del Norte, Suite 100 Carlsbad) is another great outlet mall in San Diego with great stores like; Barney’s New York Outlet, Juicy Couture, Salvatore Ferragamo, True Religion and Tommy Hilfiger.
San Diego’s neighbourhoods have thriving main streets with a great selection of boutiques and galleries. Gaslamp is a vibrant district in central San Diego with stunning historic architecture. The neighbourhood has a high concentration of shops, galleries, bars and restaurants in beautiful setting.
San Diego Weather
San Diego’s climate is mostly Mediterranean, with warm summers and mild winters. The temperatures during the summer season range between 21 to 26 oC. It is a dry season and makes for great summer vacation. Winter is almost non existent with January temperature lows averaging 15 oC. The city’s fantastic weather keeps visitors coming back year round; San Diego makes a great beach holiday destination every season!
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