Top Five Tuesday: San Diego

Posted by Eric Helms in California, San Diego, Top 5, Travel Tips

The great thing about San Diego is that it’s probably the best place on earth. The bad thing about San Diego is that everyone living there knows this. Ask them for a restaurant selection, and they pretend to be genuinely conflicted, as if the first ten places they spout off aren’t going to be awesome. Or bring your beaching questions to the Oracle of Siri, clothed in all her iPhone glory. No doubt, a multitude of search results will come up, but pretty much each one will easily beat what you have back home. From nearly perfect weather all year, to scenery that is of legends, San Diego is hard to beat.

beer, Beer, BEER

Oh yeah–also beer. It may sound like I’m being a little ridiculous here, but a quick look at the craft-brewing scene in San Diego reveals nearly 80 breweries and brewpubs. Stalwarts of the San Diego scene include Ballast Point, Gordon Biersch, Green Flash, Karl Strauss, and Stone Brewing. With this type of diversity in brewing, there is undoubtedly a beer to quench your thirst. However, there is one common theme that unites almost all brewers in the San Diego area; the highly polished IPA. To say San Diego loves their IPAs is like saying my kids just kind of like coloring on my walls. The devotion and perfection of this most hoppy brew is what has earned San Diego the reputation as one of the best beer cities in the world. Maybe it’s something in the water, or it is exactly something in the water. The unique make up of the city’s water supply presents the perfect base for both tried and true IPAs and adventuresome treats such as Ballast Point’s Sculpin Habanero IPA.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo

Da Zoo

Last week, I visited the Cleveland Zoo, and I literally had to defend my family’s honor against an insanely rabid squirrel, as we unloaded the boys from the car. With my trusty snow scrapper in hand; I attacked with the grace of bullfighter, and the composure of a man being chased by bees. While, the squirrel ultimately got away, it was a most worthy opponent, and I look forward to ending our battle in the next life. So, you could say for me at least, the San Diego Zoo takes everything you thought you knew about zoos, and throws them out the window. Well, maybe not everything–I mean of course they still have animals and stuff. But the scale of this zoo is what’s so simply amazing. From the moment you enter, you can instantly see the zoo’s commitment to being a world-class attraction. This place delivers, from gorgeously sculpted grounds, to habitats so intricate you’d swear you were in the jungle, Go ahead; think of an animal right now? Yup–they have that one. Two of them actually. Maybe the most famous of all the animals at the zoo are the three Giant Pandas, some of the only on display in the states. The line to even see this rare species is well worth the wait. If you really love Pandas, or are just kind of a creepy person, check out the round the clock live video feed of these guys. While, a day here is certainly enough to see a wealth of wildlife, I’d splurge and go with a multiday pass because there is just so much more to see.

Photo Credit:

La Jolla Cove & Beach

San Diego is a city of beaches at its very core. With over 70 miles of stunning southern California shoreline, there really is a beach for everyone. Some of the most loved spots include Mission Beach, Coronado Beach, Imperial Beach and Silver Strand. And you can’t really go wrong with any of these popular seaside spots. However, if you want a little something different, I highly suggest you head out to La Jolla Cove and Beach. Other beaches may have softer sands, more amenities, or better swimming, but I can’t think of one that beats this scenery. The rocky landscape has been etched over the ages to reveal stunning cliffs and coves. These sea cliffs keep the rough Pacific waters at bay, providing the perfect refuge for sea lions, seals, and all manner of sea life. I’m not going to lie, the smell here is–how do I put it–extremely aggressive. It’s like an assault on the senses. But in all fairness, what do you think hundreds of sea lions being slow cooked on the rocks would smell like? When you get past that aroma, you will find that these protected waters not only offer amazing views, but also outstanding opportunities for interacting with this wildlife firsthand. The virtually non-existent high tide provides perfect conditions for scuba diving, snorkeling, or just dipping in the water. And just in case you needed another reason to visit, Dr. Seuss even called La Jolla home. I’m not sure why that would make you want to come, but it is absolutely true.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Relieve the early days of the city at Old Town San Diego. One part historic park, one part gift shop on steroids, and one part really good food, Old Town brings a little of everything to the table. Right in the heart of San Diego, this historic preserve presents life during the Mexican and early American periods of 1821-1872. Historically restored structures and sites line the main walkway through town, which really brings the past back to life. Witness blacksmiths first hand doing blacksmithy type things. Do you like candle making? Well, if you said yes, then stroll over to the Toby’s Candle Company. If not, don’t be a jerk about it, a lot of people seem to like candle making. Many unique shops and interactive reenactments make for a cool way to experience this melding of Spanish Colonial and early American cultures. I highly recommend stopping by the Old Town House of Jerky & Rootbeer. The name doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, but your taste buds will be very happy with your decision. Over 50 types of root beers, sarsaparillas, and all things soda will truly make your day. Also, if you like jerky, get ready to experience cured meat heaven. From run of the mill beef to the most exotic of game meats, you are in for a real treat.


The Perfect Accommodations

San Diego is really as close to paradise as one can get. So, when you come out to visit make sure staying at a resort that’s just as impressive. Tripbound is proud to offer two stunning resorts in the San Diego area, The Wyndham Harbour Lights and the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort. Modern, luxurious rooms set you up for the perfect vacation. Condominium style accommodations provide ample living space, while outstanding resort amenities make your stay truly memorable. Located in the historic Gaslamp District, Wyndham Harbour Lights puts you within walking distance of San Diego’s trendiest destinations. Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort puts you literally on the beach, in the nearby, laid back Oceanside community. Two resorts, one great location. Let Tripbound be your guide to all things San Diego.

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