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If you’re looking for a low-key, West Coast getaway, San Diego has you covered! I recently spent 8 days in the sun taking in the tourist attractions, museums and cultural experiences, food, and fabulous spring vibes of this SoCal locale, and it was everything I hoped for and more. Here are five of the best reasons to hit this West Coast paradise:

The food. You know your girl could have every single one of the five reasons be a cuisine experience and not be mad about it, but I’m going to cover them all in one. The food in San Diego is next-level delish! Of course, being a coastal city, the seafood is a key feature, but what the talented local chefs do with it is extra special. Choi’s Korean Restaurant is a whole experience. The ultra-talented 23-year-old owner and head chef is also ultra-nice (check my reels for the down-low on my experience here), and the food and drink are on point. Inside Out is another winner, with delicious food, delectable drinks, and absolutely incredible decor. Their spring decor was magical, but regardless of when you travel, this restaurant promises a full experience you won’t forget. Kingfisher offers French-Vietnamese cuisine, Cocina De Barrio makes the most of being super close to the Mexican border, and Hinar Cafe will take care of any sweet cravings you might have. For a family and dog-friendly eatery, try Barbarella Restaurant and enjoy their festive vibes.   

Get your cultural fix. Balboa Park is home to 23 unique experiences, and every single one of them is worth the visit! Grab yourself the Explore Balboa Park Pass and access 16 different museums, including the Japanese Friendship Garden & Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Museum of Us, which prides itself on prioritizing community consent, anti-racism, and decolonization as part of their exhibition development process. Surrounded by gorgeous scenery, when you need a break from alllll the culture, grab a bite, take a walk around the park, or just sit and watch the world go by. The pass gets you into 4 museums across one day, or all 16 over 7 days, so you can take your time and explore the 400 acres the park inhabits. 

See the sights in style. Playing tourist in a city like San Diego can feel a little overwhelming. There is so much to see and do; it’s difficult to know where to start, but City PASS has you covered! Take yourself on an Old Town Trolley Tour and traverse the city in style, with 11 stops and the freedom to hop on and off throughout the day. Check out the Birch Aquarium with over 5000 creatures, including Little Blue Penguins, the smallest (and cutest!) penguins in the world. With breathtaking ocean views from the Tide Pool Plaza, the chance to touch juvenile sharks, and meet a giant Loggerhead Turtle, the aquarium is a hands-on experience for all ages! The City PASS also covers the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which offers an authentic African experience. Set across 1800 acres, the Safari park offers the chance to have a hands-on safari experience, with herds of animals roaming in the savanna habitats. Catch a ride on the Africa tram around the park and take in some of the scheduled shows and exhibits for a day that will transport you across the world without leaving the city. You can even take in the sprawling sights from a hot air balloon!

Grab a Gondola to Coronado. When you’re ready for a more sedate pace, take a ride with the Gondola Company and take in the panoramic views with a glass of champagne as you harness your inner Venetian goddess. The perfect way to see the Coronado Cays and get a different perspective on the city, each private gondola carries up to 6 people for a 5-minute cruise, and is available throughout the afternoon and long into the evenings. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or a fun trip with friends, this is an enchanting, memory-making experience.

Frolic in the Flower Fields. For a seasonal experience like no other, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are a must-visit. Spring is the perfect time to visit San Diego, and the hills of Northern San Diego reward visitors with 55 acres of color. With thousands of gorgeous blooms, this might be a limited-time attraction - the flower fields are open from March to May each year - but there are no limits to the fun that can be had as you frolic through the fields as thousands of other visitors have over the more than 60 years that Mother Nature has put on this vibrant show. 

San Diego has something for everyone, and whether it is your first time visiting or you’re a regular, there is always something new to see, eat, or explore. I had a blast on my visit and cannot wait to come back and explore more of the sights (and tastes!) of “America’s Finest City” in Southern California. Let me know in the comments where your first stop will be when you hit San Diego!


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