The new year is a great time to explore what makes San Diego great, from fabulous food to exciting entertainment. Based on anonymized trip data, these were some of the city’s most popular destinations at the end of 2017.
Top destinations in San Diego
Restaurant | Barleymash
This downtown eatery believes in the power of beer and bourbon, both as drinks and as a way to flavor food. Unique dishes including stout-braised short ribs and ‘pig pie’ with bourbon-bbq sauce are featured on the menu. More than 30 beers are on tap from local breweries. The interior is industrial chic, featuring reclaimed wood from the building’s original foundation. Grab a seat at the bar, or make some new friends at one of the restaurant’s communal tables.
Where: 600 Fifth Ave
Bar | Pacific Beach Shore Club
The vista couldn’t be any prettier at this beach bar, which boasts unrivaled views of the Pacific Ocean. The menu features fresh seafood including mahi-mahi ceviche and sweet chili calamari. Let your troubles melt away as you listen to the waves and sip on a frozen cocktail or locally brewed beer. This is beach living as it should be. Sit back, relax, and embrace California’s surf culture.
Where: 4343 Ocean Blvd
Landmark | Black’s Beach
This beach is a favorite among surfers who turn up to take advantage of its impressive waves. The journey to this beautiful destination isn’t straightforward – you have to hike about a mile on a moderately difficult trail to get there. It’s a pretty walk, as the path is lined with beautiful wildflowers. Feel free to bring your furry friend, as leashed dogs are allowed on the trail. Part of the beach is clothing optional.
Where: 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr, La Jolla
Attraction | Hotel del Coronado
Often referred to as ‘The Del,’ this beach resort has become a local landmark. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the facility’s amenities, which include seven seaside restaurants, a luxury spa, and boutiques offering one-of-a-kind gifts. You can also catch live music at Babcock & Story Bar, or get fit while taking a spin class on the beach. There’s always something going on at this hotel, so head to its website for a complete calendar of events.
Where: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado
Entertainment venue | San Diego Convention Center
This venue hosts dozens of events throughout the year, from professional conferences to gymnastics competitions. It offers a beautiful view of San Diego Bay and plenty of outdoor terrace space. The city has big plans for this complex, including a five-acre park which will be built on top of its roof. Once completed, the green space will over stunning views alongside relaxing gardens, art installations, and a playground.
Where: 111 W Harbor Dr
Park | Balboa Park
You could easily spend days inside this stunning park, which is home to gardens, museums, restaurants, performance stages, and the famous San Diego Zoo. Whether you’re interested in the arts or history, there’s plenty of opportunities to soak up a bit of culture. You won’t want to miss the Spanish Village Art Center, a thriving community embraced by more than 200 local artisans. If you love spending time outdoors, head to the cactus garden or the Japanese Friendship Garden. When you get hungry, head for a stylish lunch at The Prado or enjoy a burger at Home Plate Sports Café.
Where: 1549 El Prado
Shopping | Fashion Valley Mall
This open-air mall offers more than 200 stores, from mid-range retailers to luxury fashion houses such as Prada and Hermès. If shopping makes you hungry, head to Blue Smoke Sushi Lounge for some delicious Japanese dishes. Health nuts will enjoy the True Food Kitchen, which embraces simple, fresh ingredients. The mall also puts on a range of events throughout the year, from wine and beer festivals to the annual Latino Film Festival.
Where: 7007 Friars Rd
Whether you enjoy hanging out on the beach or spending time indoors, San Diego is full of exciting places to discover. So what are you waiting for? Head out and explore the city’s incredible offerings.