California Dreamin’ 3-3-1 – San Diego

Beautiful weather, fabulous restaurants and so much to do that you always leave wishing you had more time, that’s San Diego. The temperature stays between 50-80 the year round. Perfect for a 3-4 day getaway.

3 Places to Go

This is difficult because San Diego is a family vacation spot. If you have children in your travel party, you may want to do Sea World, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. If not, try the  3-3-1 itinerary.

The San Diego Zoo

SDZooSignOk, yeah, zoos are for kids, in general, but the San Diego Zoo is internationally known for having many exotic animals that other zoos don’t have including Buerger’s tree kangaroos of New Guinea, long-billed kiwis from New Zealand, wild Przewalski’s horses from Mongolia, lowland gorillas from Africa, and giant tortoises from the Galapagos. Be sure to check out the popular panda exhibit, as well as, the other 4,000 species of animals and the over 700,000 plants. The zoo is located in Balboa Park in the city of San Diego. You may want to visit early in the day when more of the animals are out and active. The 100 acre zoo is hard to see in one visit so do some research and prioritize the animals you really want to see. Also plan to take the double-decker bus tour to conserve energy or the aerial Skyfari tram for a different point of view. 2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park, (619/234-3153),


Take the San Diego – Coronado bridge over to Coronado Island and the famous Hotel del Coronado where the classic movie, Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, was filmed. This Victorian hotel was built in 1888 and has entertained royalty, politicians and celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Sarah Bernhardt. Besides the hotel, you can rent bicycles, play golf, shop, be your foodie self and hang out on some of San Diego’s best beaches. 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, San Diego (1 800/468.3533)

Balboa Park

This 1,200 acre park is included because of all of the attractions in the park. There are several museums including the San Diego Air & Space Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, a Model Railroad Museum and San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum to name a few. There is a 1910 Carousel to ride, a miniature train for the kids and the 1905 Marston House, a traditional Arts & Crafts home surrounded by beautiful gardens. Many performing arts events are scheduled here each year. Hiking trails, dog parks, play areas, multiple gardens and restaurants round out this indoor/outdoor park. You may want to start with the Visitor’s Center. This is something here for everyone.  1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, 92101, (619/239-0512)

Honorable Mention

San Diego Padres baseball game, Seaport Village, Old Town, Ocean Beach antique store stroll and, of course, Torre Pines is a must if you are a golfer

3 Places to Eat

El Indio Mexican Restaurant

A small family tortilla business that has been around since 1940. They emphasize fresh food at great prices served qImage result for el indio san diegouickly. They serve homemade tortilla chips, tempting tamales, famous chimichangas and unbelievable fruit dessert (especially peach) burritos.  3695 India St.

Bali Hai Restaurant

Serves Hawaiian food, has a great Happy Hour with half priced appetizers and Mai Tai’s. Located on San Diego Bay, BH has fabulous views of the skyline of San Diego, especially at night. 2230 Shelter Island Dr., Hours: Lunch 11:30-3:00: Sun Brunch 9:30-2:00, Dinner 5:00-9:00

Kono’s Cafe

On Pacific Beach, 704 Garnet Avenue, open daily 7:00-3:00, the breakfast burritos are worth the wait. Lines are long. Take your breakfast, walk right outside and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean. The view,  yummy food and people watching make this a must for the beach crowd.

Honorable Mention

Image result for Corvettes diner san diego caCorvette Diner in San Diego, serves burgers, fries & shakes in 50’s diner style. Awesome atmosphere and fun, close to Balboa Park! Also, if you venture to La Jolla on a day trip from San Diego, The Cottage is a definite must. Its California ambiance is intoxicating. Breakfast is generous and tasty. There will be a wait, but relax, enjoy the sunshine and get ready for a hearty fabulous breakfast.

1 Place to Stay

The US Grant Hotel

USGrantThis hotel is in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. Its an old style hotel with a great location, walking distance to all things downtown including shopping and night life in the gaslamp

Honorable Mention

VRBO’s (Vacation Rentals by Owners) on Pacific Beach, Shelter Island

If you don’t have enough to do in San Diego, take a day trip to wine country. Temecula is a small town with wineries, golf and plenty of small town shopping.

The San Diego area is a perfect California getaway.

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