When the weather’s lousy in your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor: don’t look at the forecast for San Diego. Listed in the Farmers’ Almanac as having one of the 10 best climates in the country, San Diego is blessed with warm but not sweltering summers, mild winters, and clear blue skies nearly every single day. This cheerful, eco-conscious city boasts miles of public beaches, a thriving downtown, a serious natural-foods scene, and visitor attractions galore.
Where to Stay
- US Grant Hotel: Built in 1910 by Ulysses Grant, Jr., to honor his father, this downtown hotel is within walking distance of the shops and restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s historic dining, shopping, and entertainment mecca.
- Hotel del Coronado is set directly on the beach on Coronado Island—which is actually a peninsula. This sprawling, historical hotel also is a stop on the city’s handy Hop-on Hop-off Trolley.
- The Gaslamp Plaza Suites was the city’s first skyscraper when it opened in 1913. You’ll find original marble, woodwork, and etched-glass windows within this hotel.
- San Diego Zoo: Open-air, cageless exhibits designed to recreate natural habitats are de rigueur at zoos nowadays, but the convention was born at this world-famous facility that houses more than 3,700 animals.
- Balboa Park is one of America’s largest cultural parks; it’s made up of 15 museums, 8 gardens, and gorgeous landscaping.
- Mission Beach: An essential stop for fans of sun and sand. Along the boardwalk you’ll find the Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster that’s been thrilling visitors since 1925.
- Searsucker: Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey is the creative force behind this laid-back, award-winning restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter, where you can try duckfat fries, juicy pork belly, farm-raised chicken, and local coastal fare.
- Carnitas’ Snack Shack: Craft beer accompanies a daily changing menu that includes carnitas tacos and a local take on poutine involving french fries blanketed with pulled pork and white cheddar bacon gravy.
- Whisknladle: This farm-to-table restaurant is a local favorite, serving up buttermilk fried chicken, stuffed quail, and Baja mussels to hungry crowds. Be prepared to wait on the weekends.