Every winter my husband and I get away from the grey and gloomy weather of the Pacific Northwest for a short vacation in the sun, this past winter, we chose San Diego for our destination. This was my first visit there and I quickly realized why so many of my family members and friends love the city. With warmth and sunshine (an average of 266 sunny days each year) what’s not to like? This beautiful city has much to offer in addition to the paradisiacal weather.
I had heard quite a lot about Balboa Park, so this was our first stop. This 1,200 acre park is packed with a multitude of activities. We started at the Spanish Village Art Center. This area is filled with small shops run by local artists. There are a wide variety of hand crafted items including pottery, jewelry, and many paintings in different mediums.
The Botanical Building and Lily Pond is a popular site in the park. It was built for the 1915 – 1916 Exposition and is one of the largest lath structures in the world.
Inside there are a wide variety of beautiful plants and flowers.
Not far from the Botanical Building is the Timken Museum of Fine Art. This free museum opened in 1965 and houses the private collections of the Timken family and the Putnam sisters. Is has a unique collection of European and American art.
Also in the park you will find the Japanese Friendship Gardens. This beautiful, 12 acre garden opened in 1991 with the purpose of educating people about Japanese culture.
The park is filled with many more interesting sites including cultural activities, the famous San Diego Zoo, museums, trails and so much more. I highly recommend a visit to the park.
Coronado Island is an interesting place to visit. The famous hotel is probably the most well known site in the area, but there are many other sites and activities including water sports and shopping.
We found a little French bistro there called Chez Loma which has fabulous food.
You will find many other great restaurants in San Diego including Encontro in North Park. They have great food and a wide selection of beers on tap. I love the sign right by the front door.
Et Voila Bistro also in North Park is another great restaurant. Nous avons mange beignet d’haricot verts, et beignet de champignons, c’est delicieux!
We had another delicious meal at Buon Appetito in Little Italy. The risotto was yummy.
We made another trip to San Diego a few weeks ago to attend our niece’s wedding. She moved to the city well over ten years ago to attend law school, and has made the city her home. My sister and other niece recently moved there as well. With other family members there for the wedding, we had fun filled and special time together. It was hard to say goodbye, but I can see many more trips to San Diego in the near future.
Check back next week when I will write more about this beautiful city and the surrounding area, including our amazing Airbnbs hosts and experiences.
As always, please leave a comment with your favorite activities in San Diego.
Wishing you happy and adventurous travels.