The beating heart of San Diego can be found Downtown, and in the many sub-districts that help make up the city proper. Luxury meets history as Victorian style buildings give way to modern architectural design in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, where you’ll find lofts with stadium and ocean views alike. Or enjoy a brisk walk to Balboa Park from your home in Banker’s Hill, a neighborhood known for having many unique older homes (some of which were designed by Irving Gill!) And at the end of the day if you find yourself hungry, traditional Italian cuisine is only a couple of minutes away in Little Italy! Walk, bike, drive, or (in some cases) swim to your next destination, everything you find will have you wanting more. Here are a few fun stops we recommend:
Does the phrase “shop til you drop” mean anything to you? Bordered by the San Diego Bay, Seaport Village lets you enjoy the scenery while you shop. Spanning over 14-acres, this shopping center has nearly 100 boutiques, galleries, shops, and restaurants to explore. While you’re here, don’t forget to take a break to ride the carousel!
For the history buffs out there, the Gaslamp Quarter has over 150 years to delve into it. One of the richest backstories in California, you could write novels about all of the occurrences that have happened here. Originally named for its liberal use of gas lamp streetlights, this Quarter has continued to evolve through the years. During the day, it’s perfect for enjoying the weather and shopping for quirky knick knacks. Then the sun sets, and the area completely transforms – live music, enchanting lights, and craft cocktails take the mainstage. What was once the city center has become the perfect place to work, live, and play.
If you’re a fan of all things nautical, then visiting San Diego’s Embarcadero is an absolute must-see! Located between Downtown San Diego and the Big Bay, this little stretch features a fishing harbor, tours, and several museums. Most notable are the USS Midway Museum and the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Known as the cultural heart of San Diego, Balboa Park is a must-see experience for anyone in the area. For over 150 years, this park has acted as the physical manifestation of what San Diego is all about. Diverse, historical, and naturally breathtaking are all ways that one could describe Balboa Park. With 17 museums nestled here, you can genuinely appreciate San Diego’s present by looking to its past. As you traverse through the eras, make sure to stop in at one of the many delicious eateries that call Balboa Park home.
When you’re ready to eat, head over to Little Italy. Trust us. This lively neighborhood is packed from edge to edge with wineries, breweries, and some of the best restaurants in the city. Some areas specialize in authentic cuisines from Italy while others take a more experimental approach. Looking at you, Top Chef Alley. That’s where many Top Chef alumni have put down their roots. Once you’ve enjoyed a meal or two, walk through the picturesque Piazza della Famiglia. This cobblestoned plaza features a gorgeous tiled fountain as its focal point. Toss in a few coins and wish you could experience every day as if it were your first time.
The New Children’s Museum
Playtime is just as important as learning for your little ones, so why not take them somewhere that lets them experience both? The New Children’s Museum strives to stimulate imagination, creativity, and critical thinking in children. Unlike most traditional museums, you’re encouraged to touch, feel, and understand the art. With ever evolving exhibits, there is always something new and exhilarating for you and your children to See!
Born and Raised
Ready for the best steak you’ve ever had – in one of the most original restaurants you’ve ever seen? Located in the middle of Little Italy, Born and Raised checks both boxes. Saying that this establishment is huge would be an understatement. On top of a beautiful dining room, you can request a table on the roof to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the ocean. You’ll also have the chance to sit in the perfectly manicured garden outdoor seating area. No matter where you choose to eat, the main event will be on your plate.
Snooze an A.M. Eatery
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a great one. Snooze an A.M. Eatery adds a unique twist to the breakfast experience. Operating under their recipe for a better breakfast, they pledge to be as sustainable as possible. Short answer, this restaurant only serves the best of the best. There’s no better way to start your day than with a Habanero Pork Belly Benny.