Having left from my busy lifestyle back home in Australia, I was looking forward to having fun and quite relaxation somewhere. I pictured myself staying in a resort style accommodation with a gym and olympic size swimming pool, enjoying a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle holiday. I went to few places but just wasn’t right for me so I decided to visit San Diego in search of sea, sun and fun.
San Diego, a city that stands on the West Coast of United States, is situated just north of Mexico boarder and is the southern-most city of California is home to almost two million people. San Diego is a large coastal city with a small town atmosphere and today it is the mainland home to the US Navy’s Pacific fleets.
History in brief: San Diego was established as California’s first Spanish mission in 1769. Today, tourists or visitors to the area can see some of the city’s preserved buildings in the Old Town historic district.
Like any other popular tourist destination, this modern coastal city of San Diego is a great destination to visit any time of the year because of its mild southern California climate. This place ensures that many and varied activities are designed to keep visitors from getting bored and offers something for everyone, from beach combers to shoppers and party animals. San Diego has all points of interest and it has it all. It is no wonder, with San Diego’s fabulous beaches, ideal climate, low-crime rate and outstanding family attractions makes it one of the California’s popular tourist destination.
After arriving in San Diego from a short connection flight from Los Angeles without any unexpected turbulence during the flight, I made my way to downtown San Diego where I caught a trolley down to my friend’s condo where I had to call it home for the next ten days. Visiting San Diego for the first time means I have to explore more of this beautiful city. With its excellent transport network, it was so much easier to get around San Diego, especially the city’s iconic trolley. The San Diego Trolley is a light rail system operating in the metropolitan area of San Diego which is known colloquially as the The Trolley. Using the San Diego Trolley as my main form of transportation made it so much easier to get to and from many of the city’s popular tourist attraction areas. The trolley may not go everywhere you might want to visit but I found it easier and it connects quite a few of the most popular sights without any delays on the road.
The scenery in this beautiful city is absolutely lovely and what a great way to enjoy it all. No wonder many of my tours and sight-seeing end up at a local bar or cafe for lunch. I have made new friends from all over – a mix of expats and locals. I always find it fun and exciting going out to local restaurants during my travel. It is by far, the better way to learn from locals as they can advise you many things which tourists may not discover.
Visiting some of the most popular and tourist magnet attractions in San Diego like Old Town San Diego, Balbora Park, USS Midway Museum and Coronado Island not makes you explore some of this city’s hidden treasures but makes you really appreciate and love this place more.
San Diego’s Old Town is often called the “birthplace of California” since it was the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. History states that Native Americans lived in the area for thousands of years but it wasn’t discovered until 1542 by a Spanish explorer. This heritage precinct preserves and recreates life from the early Mexican and Americans period. Since the city’s development and focus shifted to the waterfront, the Old Town remains an important centre for community and cultural celebrations. This Old Town is a great place to see San Diego’s colonial roots but at the same time enjoying the houses that were built in the 19th century which are now museums, shops and restaurants. It is a great place to taste some of Mexican’s authentic cuisine while walking this vibrant and exciting place at the same time.
A few blocks inland from downtown is the largest urban parkland in the US, a place where nature, culture and fabulous architecture converge. Balbora Park isn’t just another park. The Park features over dozen museums with collection ranging from cars to aviation and from art to natural history. There are almost 20 different gardens to explore and makes it one of the few places with plenty of green space, flora and fauna, naturally. It is a massive parkland, even it also contain a carousel, miniature railroad and the renowned San Diego Zoo among many other attractions. What a thrill to visit this place and a thrill to see everything here.
Few of the gardens at the park are exclusively devoted to native plants, roses, cactus only and more. The nation’s largest urban garden right here in San Diego, also includes restaurants, and biking and hiking trails. It is laced with miles of paths and trails which connect its many treasures like the San Diego Zoo. I must say, it is one of the world’s greatest zoological parks and one of the few places outside China where you come face-to-face with giant Panda.
USS Midway Museum
To truly appreciate the San Diego’s relationship with the “seven seas”, it was time to head down to Downtown waterfront area. Here you will find the Maritime Museum and the Navy Pier where I took time to climb aboard the USS Midway to explore from stem to stern, the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. About quarter-million sailors served on the Midway from 1945 to 1992. No wonder, it has been San Diego’s major tourist attraction since 2004, making it one of the world’s most visited ship museums. It makes it even more interesting, there is even a flight simulator for more adventuresome visitors experience.
After many hectic and vibrant sightseeing in and around San Diego, it was time to go across the bridge to Coronado Island. This is where the pace slows. This quaint island community is connected to San Diego by the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Many travellers come to this island to put themselves in a relaxing mood way. It is definitely where a laid-back small-town atmosphere prevails which I am accustomed to. Here I took time strolling on the beach rather than riding a rental bike around the inland. The views of San Diego across the bay are just incredible. It is a “must” stop is the Hotel del Coronado, which is said to be the inspiration for the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz and many famous celebrities come to spent their vacation in a quite neighbourhood. Crossing the San Diego-Coronado Bridge was definitely my favourite experience. The view from the bridge was unbelievable.
I must say, San Diego is definitely a dream destination not only for adults but for children too where their imaginations can run wild in Legoland. After sightseeing around this beautiful city not only builds excitement but can build up an appetite. With Mexican influence, the ideal way to end my San Diego day, I had to have a shrimp taco with an ice cold beer at one of the local restaurants.
From personal perspective: San Diego is definitely my dream destination where I have come to find fun, where sun and sea was an icing on the cake. Travelling not only allow us to go in search for fun but way of relaxation to unwind, away from our normal chores at home.
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