Besides having an ideal climate, the City has done a wonderful job preserving its past and building some great, modern architecture. So, here's my Top Ten Reasons to visit San Diego.
1) California History: San Diego has the state's first mission, a presidio (fort), and Old Town. In addition, Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma offers stellar views of the city and bay and commemorates the first visit by a European to the West Coast (1542). Of course, European settlement brought a host of problems for the native population and that, too, is documented at the museum.
2) Balboa Park: The state's most beautiful collection of Spanish Colonial Revival buildings in the nation! Built to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, architect Bertram Goodhue created a romantic Spanish Dream city in a park-like setting. Combine this with 15 excellent museums and you have something very special.
3) Gaslamp Quarter: Southern California's best preserved urban, Victorian-era commercial street. Gaslamp simply hops! It's linked to the Convention Center and PETCO Park to the south and Horton Plaza to the north. A street carnival with restaurants galore and well-preserved architecture.
4) Vibrant Urban Villages: San Diego gets it! Build attractive, multifamily housing around interesting stores and attractive streets and you will attract people. Two villages that I really like are Little Italy with its street-spanning arch and the Hillcrest neighborhood, just north of Balboa Park.
5) Celebrate your Waterfront: San Diego's embarcadero offers visitors lots of options. You can visit the Star of India, take a tour of the USS Midway (great views of the city from the flight deck, by the way), or stroll to Seaport Village (not my favorite). Pedestrian walkways are a little disjointed but amenities abound.
6) Effective Mass Transit: The red San Diego Trolley goes all the way to the border, takes you from the beautiful Mission Revival Train Station to the Gaslamp, Mission Valley, Old Town and more.
7) Craft Brew Mecca: San Diego might be the craft brew capital of the US, and there is so much to choose from. I particularly like the new Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station. The City preserved a beautiful 1920s Spanish-style Naval Training Center and invited tenants to fill the spaces - a great example of adaptive reuse. What a place to drink Stone IPA!
8) Outstanding Modern Architecture: The San Diego skyline is not the most impressive due to height restrictions but the new residential towers are beautifully articulated. Rather than box-top skyscrapers, San Diego goes for interesting shapes. Check out the City's new library! Wow!
9) Downtown Ball Park - The City employed a wonderful architect - Antoine Predock - who designed a park using the colors of the area - blue for the ocean, white for the sail boats, and tan for the golden hills.
10) Coronado Island: Not only is the Coronado Bridge exciting in itself with its views of Mexico and the downtown, the island is drop-dead gorgeous. Craftsman, Victorian and Art-Deco architecture abound, topped off by the gorgeous Hotel Del Coronado, one of the largest surviving wooden hotels in the US, situated right on the ocean.
Enjoy the photos and call me up for a San Diego Tour - I'd love to show as much of the 10 Reasons as I could!
|San Diego's Old Town brings back early California and is close to the Presidio Park.|
|The array of ornate Spanish Colonial Revival buildings in Balboa Park is the most|
outstanding in the state.
|Little Italy is surrounded by attractive multi-family housing.|
|The flight deck of the USS Midway is a living museum with great views.|
|Petco Park is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the nation and empties into|
the Gaslamp Quarter.
|Stone Brewing World Bistro at Liberty Station used the 1920s Naval Training Center as its venue.|
|Hotel Del Coronado is a breathtaking Victorian structure with lots of history.|
|Bertram Goodhue's California Building is the city's most famous landmark.|
|Cabrillo National Monument sits at the tip of Point Loma and offers 360 degree views.|