San Diego is the ideal destination for anyone whose idea of the perfect California vacation is a day (or a week, or a month) lying on a white sand beach, sipping cocktails, and looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Resort hotels and restaurants perch along the seaside, beckoning visitors to what is often thought to be the friendliest big city in California.
Even though San Diego’s physical area seems small compared to other parts of California, it can’t be beat for density of things to see. From a world-famous zoo to dozens of museums to the thick layer of military and mission history, San Diego offers education, enlightenment, and fun to visitors with all different interests.
Animal lovers flock to the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, while water spirits dive into the Pacific Ocean to catch a wave or examine a variety of sea life in their natural habitat. Travelers who want a little more of the trappings of city life will enjoy the bar and club scene, as well as a thriving theater community.
Across the bay, the long, blue Coronado Bridge connects San Diegans to Coronado, an island-like encalve that beckons beach bums and film aficionados alike to the grandly historic (and reputedly haunted) Hotel del Coronado, where the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like It Hot was filmed.
North of San Diego proper, the towns of La Jolla, Del Mar, and North County offer a more relaxed pace for exploring. Snorkel the azure water of La Jolla Cove or vye for a piece of that pristine sand with the beach crowd. Splurge some of that vacation cash on a horse race at the Del Mar Racetrack, or get up-close and personal interaction with the exotic animals at the Wild Animal Park.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition