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Destination San Diego 

Sun, surf, and sailing can all be found in San Diego. As a local destination, San Diego makes for a great weekend getaway with a variety of options for lodging, dining, and entertainment. Whether going solo, as a couple, or with the family, it’s close enough to go for an ambitious day trip, or to relax for the weekend. It even has its own airport, so it’s a nice place to meet up with family flying in from out of town. 

Fall and winter are great times to visit San Diego, the weather is comfortable since rain usually doesn’t come in full force until February, and it’s the off season for tourism, meaning that hotels and entertainment are often less expensive, and you’re less likely to overheat during daytime excursions. 

Affordable San Diego hotels may even include great theming or tranquil views. Photos by Elizabeth Guldimann

Located on Shelter Island, a good option for lodging is Best Western Plus Islands Palms Hotel and Marina. I stayed here over a weekend in January at a rate of $128/night, not bad for the sweeping views of North San Diego Bay on one side, and the view of the marina to the rear. The hotel was clean, had excellent service and great theming, plus a pool and spa. 

San Diego has an expansive and varied array of dining experiences. With food from all corners of the world, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to head out to dinner early, a lot of places fill up quickly and waitlists can be several hours long, depending on the restaurant. We decided to go for ramen at Tajima Ramen in the North Park neighborhood, and then we went next door to An’s Dry Cleaning for dessert. Yes, dry cleaning for dessert. This gelato shop is a unique concept where the owner decided to open a new shop, while still keeping inspiration from the building’s previous life as a dry cleaner. Several other quirky restaurants can be found throughout the city, such as Polite Provisions, a drug store-themed bar, the 1950’s tiki bar-themed False Idol, the popular speakeasy Raised By Wolves, and the bruncher’s delight: Breakfast Republic. 

For an old school San Diego diner, Point Break Cafe is a great option, located at Shelter Island. Caffeine enthusiasts will appreciate San Diego’s many locations of Better Buzz Coffee for its good vibes, great coffee, tea, and kombucha, and yummy food options including acai bowls and avocado toast. I was able to find vegetarian options throughout the city with no problem, and I noticed that many places offered vegan options as well. 

A major highlight of the city, the San Diego Zoo features animals from all corners of the world, such as rhinoceri.

There’s no end to the entertainment options in San Diego, with theme parks, nature, and beaches galore. History buffs will enjoy the Maritime Museum of San Diego, boasting one of the nation’s largest collections of sea vessels. A great option for couples and families alike is the massive Balboa Park, which houses extensive gardens including the Japanese Friendship Garden, 65 miles of hiking trails throughout 19 paths, several performance venues including the Old Globe Theatre, 18 museums including the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Those attending can find a great aerial view of the park from the zoo’s gondola cars. Important to note for those who haven’t visited in a while, the zoo no longer houses giant pandas. 

With sun, surf, and sailing aplenty and a variety of options for lodging, dining, and entertainment, San Diego is a great place to get away for the weekend, no matter who you decide to bring along. With so many different options for fun, there’s something for everyone, and you never know what you might discover. You might even find yourself enjoying dry cleaning for dessert.

Sailing is a big part of San Diego culture, and dockside dining and hotels give a great view of the marinas throughout the city.

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