California is one of our favorite destinations! We even have family that used to live in San Diego! It’s seriously one of my favorite places to visit. If a trip to sunny San Diego is on your horizon this year, here are a few stops you’ll want to add to your itinerary as you plan your comings and goings.
Check out these 7 places to visit while you’re in San Diego
Take a step back in time and plan an evening in Old Town San Diego. This area will completely charm you with its delicious, authentic Mexican fare, including street-style tacos and churros, to more upscale dining options. Stroll down the rugged streets and listen up for mariachi music that you can follow to see some colorful dance performances. Peek in the store windows or look to street fairs for a variety of handmade jewelry, paintings, clothing, tile work and other arts and crafts to help you commemorate your trip.
Located near Old Town is the famous Whaley House Museum. Dubbed “the most haunted house in the United States,” the structure was built in 1857 by a merchant, Thomas Whaley. It was the first site of stage plays in San Diego, and also served the surrounding area as a general store, courtroom and was an execution site for a few criminals in the late 1800s. Admission is $6 per person for a spooky tour of the historically furnished home, but the ghost finding is up to you! Photography is encouraged, but if you’re not satisfied with your findings, there is, of course, a gift store that can provide you with more story-worth souvenirs.
To get your outdoor adventures in San Diego underway, begin at the Miramar Reservoir. A paved five-mile path surrounds the lake that the whole family can enjoy for jogging, walking, rollerblading and cycling. To have fun on the water, you can fish and rent motorboats or floaters on a first come basis. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch, as there are several tables and barbeques surrounding the lake.
If getting in the water is your idea of fun, then definitely check out La Jolla. With its miles of beautiful coastline, snorkeling and tide pools, this will definitely satisfy your outdoorsy cravings. Plus, the town of La Jolla has lots of yummy restaurants and shops to cruise around in once you’re sun sapped. One shop in particular, The Sunny Jim Cave Store, leads you right into the only sea cave in California that is accessible by land. Watch your step, though, as you have to walk down 145 damp stairs into the colorful cave that promises one of the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
One of the most beautiful sites in the area, Torrey Pines needs to make your must-see list. The park includes 1,500 lush, natural coastline acres perfect for hiking, beach visits, tide pools and wild life spotting. This is an experience you won’t soon forget. If you happen to come in the winter months, you may just be lucky enough to see some whale pod migrations along the coast. Keep in mind that since this is a natural reserve there is no food or drinking allowed.
Located just one hour east of San Diego is the mountain community of Julian, which is especially fun to visit in the fall months while the leaves are changing and the air is crisp. Sample some of their famous apple pie and enjoy a stroll in the historic downtown area where you can learn about the gold rush, shop for antiques, watch holiday parades and participate in fun events throughout the year, such as grape stomping, music festivals and Apple Days.
Pack your walking shoes because you’ll definitely want to check out the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge. Built in 1912, this 375-foot long bridge sits 70 feet above the Sessions Canyon, and will make for some great photos. For a little more exercise, a 30-minute walk beyond the bridge takes you to Harper’s Topiary Garden for some more unique photo opportunities of fun-shaped shrubbery in front of a private home.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in San Diego, the Holiday Inn Express in downtown San Diego is a great option.