San Diego-ins... San Diego-uns... San Dieg-ons... San Diegans. thats the one, San Diegans.
Hey San Diegans, (and other californians that may have input)
I am heading to San Diego in about a month for work and I'm gonna take my girlfiend and make a long weekend.. just wondering if you folk have any quality suggestions on what to do in your fine city. I know on saturday we will probably check out that zoo you guys have there.. but wondering if there is any thing elso in town we should make a point to check out. also, we will want to have a nice dinner at least one night, so any great restaurant suggestions would be awesome..
WR can probably give you more details on what to do in San Diego than I can, but I drop by at least once or twice a year. I have a few friends there and half of my visits involve catching the Dodgers-Padres games at Petco.
You can check out the Gaslamp Quarter, if you're into bar hopping or walking about in general, but it's sort of like what us Angelenos in L.A. think of the Third Street Promenade... a touristy haven that the locals don't pay too much attention to. If you like historic Victorian architecture, then you'll want to hit the historic part of Gaslamp. For a variety of bars and restaurants, Gaslamp is a decent place. Personally, I like hanging out in the Mission Bay area or better yet, La Jolla.
I haven't been to Seaworld since I was a wee tyke and now it's bloody expensive, albeit not quite Disneyland expensive. The San Diego Zoo is world class and worth it. BTW, this time of year is whale watching season and you might be able to book an excursion trip.
As far as restaurants go, I actually haven't been to too many upscale ones. I will say there is this one place called Truluck's which serves up fantastic seafood. That place stands out for me when in town.
Oh, also The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla is great too, especially if you're fond of ocean views. One of my friends graduated with a Master's at USD last Summer and he had his reception there. Fantastic place.
day trips: zoo seaworld corando island (take the ferry, get great views of the city) awesome seafood restaurants everywhere.
nightlife: gaslamp distict be poppin yo!
just be prepared to encounter your fair share of d-bag "bro's." if your chick doesn't resemble a sea hag (sometimes even if she does) she will be accosted by a several bros. they are easily identified, look for the tribal tattoos/ they usually are open mouth breathers.
If you rent a car, don't get the PT Cruiser. It is not what Californians drive, i don't care what the guy at the counter says.
I'm guessing you'll be staying downtown? (The Zoo is downtown) Make that a whole day trip. The Zoo is located in Balboa Park which has many museums too, you will want to check out a few of those, especially the Aviation museum. A great place to have dinner in Balboa Park would be the Prado. One thing nobody tells you, is that the Zoo is built on a hill, so wear tennis shoes and not flip flops for sure, cus its a lot of hiking, up and down.
The Gaslamp District is where Petco Park is located. You should be able to walk up to the outfield fence (the park in the park is usually open during the day for free) and see everything. Its just minutes from the zoo. 4th, 5th and 6th avenue is where it is at. Great Shops. Lots of late night dining for any budget, and lots of alcohol too. Its usually a little bit older crowd also, late 20s, early 30s type of thing, so you don't have to worry about some 21 year old throwing up on your shoes. That would be Pacific Beach.
Minutes from there would be Seaport Village. It is a bunch shops lining the harbor with a few restaurants and an aircraft carrier you can hang out in. Def worth a visit. Across the street is the BBQ joint from Top Gun.
If you want to get out of the city, there is always Mission Bay (jet ski rentals?) Seaworld, or La Jolla (restaurants and shops on a cliff), the Wild Animal Park, Indian Casinos. Heck, Big Bear is a couple hours away if you want to go snowboarding. The desert is this kinda cold this time of year, and no matter how many times people suggest it, you do not want to make the trip to Tijuana (30 minutes). It's just a border town, it's not real Mexico, and it's depressing.
If you live in a northern clime and you decide to take a harbor cruise (worth your time), WEAR A TON OF SUNTAN LOTION. My wife and I loaded up on the lotion, only to get massively scorched over the course of a two-hour cruise. Wear more than you think you'll need.