I've been gearing up to start a blog for years. Why has it taken me this long... I'm still not sure, but luckily for me, I've got 24 years worth of stories to share. Like the time I ended up in Las Vegas with only 10 dollars, a girl I worked with a few times, and two men in their forties that I didn't know. Or the time I fell asleep during a writers meeting at my dream job because I took too many allergy pills. But those you'll have to stay tuned for. First and foremost, I figure the best way to start off with a bang is to tell you a little bit about America's Finest City. The Classiest place in the world, San Diego, California.
San Diego is the closest thing to Austin, Texas that you'll find out west... but what makes it a bit better than Austin... It's got an ocean view. Now, I could never truly compare Austin, Texas to San Diego, California for obvious reasons... one has no income tax, the other has more craft breweries... etc, etc. Apples and Oranges really. But home is where the heart is, and I know why so many people settle in San Diego.
The simple answer to why San Diego is heaven on earth... the people. This place if so full of life. It's the 8th largest city in the US, yet almost everyone acts like your neighbor. People regularly surf during their lunch breaks, locally brewed beer is available at any gas station, and small business is booming. If you're big into exploring, there's a lifetime worth of places to check out. You can jet over to the mountain area of Julian for amazing ciders and apple pies. Just 45 minutes north is wine country in Escondido. Coming back west there's the city of Coronado which is basically it's own island. South you have rich cultural hubs with thousands of people from a variety of backgrounds plus Mexico is only about a 30 minute drive.
If you want to get into specifics, some of my favorite hotspots in San Diego include:
- Craft and Commerce in Little Italy for a cocktail. (Try the IPA cocktail)
- Stone Brewery in Escondido for a craft beer and locally grown eats.
- Vin De Syrah in the Gaslamp Quarter for a little wine and a speakeasy experience.
- OB Noodle House in Ocean Beach for amazing noodles. (Try the Pho)
- Soda and Swine in North Park for a good hearty meal. It's all about the meatballs.
- Fig Tree Eatery in North Pacific Beach for Brunch. (Try their Man-Candy bacon)
- Cheese Shop in La Jolla for lunch near the beach.
- Fathom Bistro Bait and Tackle in Point Loma for something different.
- Lion's Share in Downtown for a nice dinner.
- Lil Piggy's BBQ on Coronado for some amazing brisket.
If you're looking for something fun to do:
- SKYDIVE. Seriously. it is the most amazing thing I've ever done... Go to Tsunami Skydivers in Oceanside and not only will you get to free fall for up to a minute from 13,000 feet, but you can see the ocean, the mountains, mexico and Catalina Island all during your fall.
- Totally do the paragliding at Torrey Pines if Skydiving seems too crazy. It's relaxing, fun, and beautiful. Torrey Pines has a super rich history of flight.
- go Jetpacking in Mission Bay. Okay, I'm biased here, but mention my name and get 20% off your flight! Plus if you want. I can be your instructor.
- Visit a Brewery. Stone, Ballast Point, Green Flash, White Labs, and Hess are all very popular. New breweries are popping up almost daily in San Diego.
- Heard of the Safari Park? Well, you might have, but not realized it. It's world famous because of all their programs to help rehabilitate animals and protect endangered species. Plus, there are a whole lot of different activities that you can take part in. There's zip-lining, tents you can stay in overnight, and lots of behind the scene action. I'll go ahead and tie this trip in with a visit to the Orfila Winery here too. It's just beautiful and only takes about five minutes to get to from the Safari Park :)
- The Birch Aquarium is one of the best aquariums I've been too, not because of it's size, but because of the exhibits. Have you seen a Leafy Sea Dragon?.. Cause you'll definitely want to. You experience everything in about an hour and a half... and it really is interactive.
- Time to surf. You're in the best place in the world to start! Lessons are a little pricey, but worth it for the basics. After a lesson or two, you can go out, have fun, and you'll only get better and better. It's one of the most relaxing things you can possible do here. You'll become one with the wave before you know it. If surfing isn't your thing, head over to the Mission Bay Sports Center in Mission Bay and take a few hours to relax on a stand-up paddle board or grab a sailboat. Both are pretty cheap and so fun to take out on a beautiful day plus you can work on your tan!
- Padres. Take the time and go to a Padres Game (if they're in season of course). Padre's Tickets are the cheapest in the MLB and the experience is one in a million. The field is in the middle of Downtown. Whether or not the Padres win, there will be much celebrating to be had.
Okay there. I've skimmed the surface of the awesomeness that makes up San Diego. There really is so much more I could go on about, but really some of the fun in being in San Diego is finding new places yourself :)