In the first week of June, my husband & I had visited San Diego for a convention my husband had to attend & also because I had never been there. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. San Diego is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the U.S. Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology enclave.
Usually the weather in San Diego is nice & warm, especially in the summer months, but it was cold & dull during our visit. We were not once without our hoodies or jackets. There are many things to do all round the year because the great weather. You can visit the many beaches, the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, etc.
We stayed at the Marriott Marquis and Marina, which was right on the Marina with great views on one side of the Gaslamp district & the other of the Marina. We relaxed on the day we reached there. We just had some lunch at the Tequila Bar & Grill at the hotel itself & explored the hotel. After resting at the room for a while we left the hotel to explore the famous Gaslamp district of San Diego which was only at a five minute walking distance from the hotel. It houses more than 100 of the city’s finest restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and retails shops, as well as offices and residential/work lofts. Gaslamp Quarter is a rich with cultural offerings that include theatres, art galleries, symphony halls, concert venues and museums. You can even spend the whole day here, shopping in any of the chic boutiques or in the mall. There are many dining options like al fresco on the sidewalks, sky high at a rooftop lounge, or in an intimate and ornately designed restaurant. The Gaslamp District gets its name from the unique Gas lamps which were used to light the district in earlier days & some of which are still scattered around in the area. After exploring the beautiful Gaslamp District we picked up some dinner from a nearby Subway & picked up some groceries & returned to the hotel.
The next day was again at the hotel as my husband & his colleague had to attend the convention. Only in the evening did we leave & go to visit the Coronado Island. Situated just across the Big Bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado is most notably known for two famous structures, the historic Hotel del Coronado and the distinctive San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Coronado’s coastline offers gentle surf and sparkling sand beaches. We drove over the San Diego – Coronado Bridge, which is a beautiful drive & then spent the evening frolicking at the Coronado beach. We walked across the length of the beach & took some beautiful pictures. After that we picked up some dinner at a Mexican restaurant, Miguel’s Cocina. It had some delicious Mexican food and many vegetarian options for us. They provide free chips & salsa while you are waiting for your table so that you are not waiting hungry. Though we did not eat there & just took our food to go, it has an authentic Mexican feel & lively atmosphere.
As San Diego shares its border with Mexico, there are a lot of Mexican influences in the city. The area close to the San Diego – Coronado Bridge is inhabited with many Mexicans & has many Mexican grocery stores, restaurants, etc. There many such places all around San Diego like Old Town.
We spent the first half of the next day at the San Diego Zoo. You can easily spend 4 – 5 hours at the zoo with the various different exhibits. Many of the animals are kept in their kind of natural habitat which is specially created for them, for example gorillas, tigers, polar bears, birds of paradise, giant tortoises and more. My favorite exhibit was the Panda Trek, where you can watch the cute Giant Pandas in their natural habitat, a bamboo forest. Another favorite was the Polar Bear exhibit where we saw at least 3-4 Polar Bears who were playing around with balls. It was great fun watching them. You can also enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus or an aerial view from Skyfari. You can also visit the Zoo’s Safari Park, Sea World, balboa Park, etc.
In the evening we went for dinner with my husband’s team at an Indian restaurant, Monsoon, in the Gaslamp District. The food was good, not so great. There were many vegetarian options, but they did not taste that great.
The next morning my husband & I went for a walk across from our hotel to the site where the Dole ships anchor. Dole is a company that imports fruit (especially bananas & canned pineapples). Dole operates 3 vessels on the San Diego Service. Each voyage is 21 days long & fruit is loaded in many countries in South America. Every week, on Monday & Tuesday, one of the vessels is anchored in San Diego.
In the evening my husband’s company held a party at Petco Park, the famous Baseball Park. They had themed the party around amusement parks, where they served popcorn, cotton candy, peanuts along with finger food. There were also acrobatic performances, a live band, a Ferris wheel & other games in form of entertainment.
The next day we left for home & so ended our stay in “Sunny San Diego”. I had gone with many expectations, most of which had been fulfilled. Other than the weather, we had a great time in San Diego.
Written By Bindi Doshi