San Diego wasn’t what I expected. I’ve been to California three times, twice to Napa Valley and San Francisco, and thought I knew the vibe I’d be stepping foot in when visiting California for the fourth time. What I didn’t know was that Southern California is far different from Wine Country and the City By The Bay.
San Diego marries the beach and the city in a way entirely its own. You can find tall office buildings, small skate shops and a farmers market within just a few blocks from each other. Whether you want to slip on your sneakers and hike through cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean or immerse yourself in entertainment and arts, San Diego brings together an eclectic group of people together – all with a sunny sky and mild temperature.
If you’re looking for a list of top tourist attractions in San Diego, this probably isn’t the place to look. (Don’t worry, there’s more to come on that – I love a good tourist spot). I wanted to know what does a San Diego local like to do? What are their favorite spots? Luckily, my best friend has been calling San Diego home for almost two years, so I got an inside look of San Diego.
How to Explore San Diego Like a Local
- Go to the downtown farmers market between Ketner and Front Streets on Saturday mornings
- Feel grateful over lunch at Cafe Gratitude
- Bring your pup to the dog beach in Del Mar
- Grab a coffee (and find a furever friend?) at the Cat Cafe
- Go paddleboarding in Mission Bay
- Watch a play at The Old Globe theater in Balboa Park
- Find a free yoga class on the beach
- Rock climb in Mission Trails Regional Park
- Enjoy dinner with a view (and a killer guacamole) at Coasterra
- Go shopping in La Jolla
- Have a craft beer in Little Italy
- Tee off at Torrey Pines Golf Course
- Combine beers, sports and epic coastal views on the rooftop of El Prez
- Hang out on The Secret Swings
What are your favorite spots in San Diego?