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  • Writer's pictureGeografeats

It's Always Sunny in San Diego

With its average 266 sunny days per year, it may not always be sunny in San Diego, but it is pretty close. Outside of the "May Gray / June Gloom" you are nearly guaranteed to be able to soak up the sun, while avoiding the scorching heat found just a few miles further inland. It is not hard to understand why 1,386,932 people call the city home.

In addition to a near ideal climate, the cityscape is nearly as breathtaking. Although, there a no super-tall skyscrapers the skyline, with its 42 buildings over 300 feet (91 meters) is striking rising over the San Diego Bay.

One of the best ways to admire the skyline is by taking the Coronado Ferry across the bay. Running hourly for most of the day and for an affordable price, the ferry ride is an attraction in itself.

Although its a gorgeous ride at anytime, I must recommend trying to time it for sunset.

After taking in the views from the water, head on over to The Gaslamp Quarter.

Roughly spanning 16 city blocks, The Gaslamp Quarter is San Diego's premier restaurant and nightlife neighborhood. While there were no gas lamps in the area historically, but since the area's redevelopment, four have been installed.

If you are a fan of baseball, Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is only a block away. Can't make it through the long nine innings? Seek out a view from one of the many rooftop restaurants in the area.

A trip to San Diego would not be complete without spending some time in Balboa Park. Spanning 1,200 acres (4.9 square km) just outside of downtown, there are near limitless attractions to appreciate.

My personal favorite is the Botanical Building. Built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition, it maintains its status as one of the largest lath structures in the world.

The slats let in enough sunlight and keep in enough humidity to foster its lush ecosystem filled with cycads, orchids, ferns, palms, and many more tropical species.

In addition to the Botanical Building other attractions include; the San Diego Zoo, 16 museums, numerous gardens, multiple event venues, and miles of trails to wonder.

If you are looking to explore the oldest settled area of the city and the birthplace of California, the aptly named Old Town neighborhood is the place to go. Hosting hotels, restaurants, and many specialty shops, Old Town contains all the usual tourist amenities. Even if kitschy souvenir shops don't pique your interest, the architecture and lush gardens of historic district make the area unique.

Feeling the need to dip your toes in some cool water? Head on over to Mission Beach. The soft sand seems to go on and on. Need something a bit more exhilarating? The historic Belmont Park and its amusement park amenities lie on the south end of the beach. SeaWorld San Diego with its more adrenaline pumping attractions, is also nearby on the shores of Mission Bay.

To the north of San Diego proper is the stunning oceanfront Village of La Jolla. The coastline here is to not be missed. The cool blue waters eroding the bedrock into eye-catching designs transitions to lush hillsides in the most spectacular fashion.

Plus, for a small fee you can descend to a sea cave via a tunnel at Sunny Jim's Sea Cave. Make sure to wear some solid footwear to trek down and back up the 144 steps. Taking in the view from inside the cave, one can clearly see why the sea lions of the area enjoy this stretch of coastline so much.

A trip to San Diego would be incomplete without indulging in some of the local cuisine. The Little Italy neighborhood is rich with local eateries, the churros in Old Town can put a pep in anyone's step, but the tacos are the main star. Specifically, the fish tacos must be enjoyed. Pair it with a birria taco and be ready to be satiated.

San Diego may only be the United States' 17th largest metropolitan area, but it stands in a league of its own. The sunny yet mild weather, paired with scenic coastline, and near endless attractions deserves a place on anyone's bucket list.

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