California … the golden state. Home to mountains, beaches, the Redwoods, deserts, and unique small towns and world-class cities, two of those being Los Angeles; “the City of Angels” and San Diego “America’s Finest City”. There is no wonder why California does not struggle to inspire year-round travel, one visitor at a time. But what city to visit out of these two top Cali contenders? If you're looking for nightlife, excitement, glamour, culture and the chance to bump into one of your favourite celebs, Los Angeles would be the better choice. However, this article will discuss the brilliance of San Diego and why you should go there instead!
So, Why San Diego? 🏖 🌇
Located in Southern Califonia, USA, San Diego boasts some of the world’s most pristine beaches and top tourist attractions that are perfect for the entire family to experience. If you're looking for relaxation, nature, leisure and recreation, San Diego is probably the better choice compared to that LA. Even though both the cities have vibrant cultures, savoury food, and beautiful beaches, there is a distinct difference in vibes and experiences. LA may be seen as the city that is more focused on the glitz and glam of Hollywood, as well as the top spots for vibrant nightlife in which the top celebs come out to play and party! San Diego, on the other hand, offers tourists the best of both worlds.
With its sun-soaked atmosphere, buzzing city life, and good food, San Diego is an exciting place to spend your days touring as well as getting some well-deserved relaxation time in. To begin, the weather in San Diego is a massive pull factor. With warm summers and mild winters, San Diego runs a bit cooler than Los Angeles despite only being 120 miles south of LA. This is an essential factor to consider as touring around different sites and attractions in the heat isn’t always the most comfortable experience!
Planning a trip? Skratch has partnered with Sherpa to offer simple, trusted visa applications. Get your USA ESTA here.
Another massive appealing feature of San Diego is the beaches. This city’s stunning beaches paired with the beautiful weather makes for a very pleasant Summer holiday, we can assure you! You can’t visit a coastal city as vast and as brilliant as San Diego without actually spending a few days on the soft white sand or catching some waves in the bright blue waters. There are a number of beaches on offer in SD, each offering a different vibe and atmosphere. Black’s Beach is most popular with surfers and, in more secluded areas, achievable by a significant hike. So for those in touch with nature, this beach is definitely for you! If you’re with family, then the popular Mission Beach would be a top pick for you. With brilliant family-friendly activities, a lovely long stretch of beach to take romantic strolls along as well as causal bars and restaurants running parallel to the waves, this beach has something for everyone.
San Diego’s History
San Diego is considered the birthplace of California, as Old Town San Diego is where the first Spanish settlement was established in 1769. The history of this city is a reason to visit. Those who love history should consider touring some historical hotspots in San Diego. Starting with the Old Town State Park. Known as the birthplace of California, Old Town features 17 museums and historical sites where visitors can learn about the first settlements in California and explore original structures built in the 1800s. In addition to this, for a comprehensive look at San Diego's history, head over to Balboa Park and the San Diego History Center located along the Prado.
In addition to traditional historical culture, Surf fanatics can experience the golden age of California's surf and car culture. Take a nostalgic car ride with the top down along the coast on Historic Highway 101, and be sure to stop by the California Surf Museum in Oceanside to learn about how the sport transformed the Southern California lifestyle and continues to shape and influence the region's culture today.
What Is The Food Like In San Diego?🍴
Access to some of the freshest seafood, fruits, and vegetables in the country makes finding a great culinary experience easier than ever in San Diego. San Diego’s culinary scene has been picking up in the last couple of years, with many restaurants taking advantage of this fresh produce. From burgers, pizza, cocktails, and craft beers to, of course, more traditional Mexican dishes. Enjoy authentic cuisine from small, independently owned eateries or innovative dishes from some of the top chefs in the USA.
Some top spots to consider:
Wrench & Rodent - This sushi spot showcases chef/owner Davin Waite’s unique skills with foraging and far-out flavour innovations. A mix of traditional sushi as well as some unique rolls with creative sauces to pair up with. Perfect spot for any sushi lover who wants to be extra adventurous.
Addison Restaurant - The only spot in San Diego with two Michelin Stars. Here, diners will eat their way through elaborate nine-course chef’s tasting dinners of contemporary California cuisine that revolves around the seasons.
The Fishery - A family-run eatery that makes the most of San Diego's great fresh produce.
Tuetano Taqueria - A small taco shop in the town of San Ysidro, near the U.S.-Mexico border. Specializes in birria de res—a rich Mexican beef stew slow-cooked in dried chiles, spices, and herbs with a flavorful broth—served in tacos, quesadillas, or tortas. You may have seen this delicacy go viral on TikTok!
Where To Stay In San Diego? 🏨
Whether you want a luxurious resort for the trip or an affordable hostel as a stop over on your American road trip, San Diego has ideal accommodations. The city has a wide diversity of hotels and resorts, ranging from award-winning resorts to household name motels.
Hostel - HI San Diego, Downtown - Perfect for any traveller who wants a clean and trustworthy hostel. Good for those travelling on a budget. Freshly renovated with an excellent design. HI San Diego has a relaxed vibe and can be found in a great location – downtown! The staff are friendly and ready to help you enjoy the city; the hostel also offers weekly free (or almost free) tours and activities. This central location means that you can discover loads by foot!
Hotel - Hotel Republic, Downtown - Fancy splashing the cash on somewhere a little bit more upmarket? Then theRepublic is for you. With a handy location Downtown, the Republic makes a fine base for exploring. A light and airy interior featuring stunning artwork everywhere. Brilliant amenities to enjoy as well as brilliant service staff.
Starting from Skratch? Here are a few tips to get you started: