» Top Five Destinations of San Diego

by Jason McClain on April 19, 2012

I’ve been to San Diego quite a few times now. A few times for Padres games at Petco, a few times for Comic-Con and a couple of times just to see other parts of the city. I’ve had drives from Los Angeles that only took me two hours to get down there and I wonder why I don’t just head down the 5 more often and then comes the drive that took me six hours. (Don’t ask. It’s really not that interesting and I only talk about the traffic because people expect it when you hear from Southern Californians and about Southern California.) Doesn’t matter though, because once you get down there, all the tension from the drive melts away.

I remember the first time I went there. It was for a baseball game. Pulled up, found a free parking spot downtown (finding free parking seems to be a more universal talking point and not just for Los Angelenos) and started to wander around downtown before making my way to the game. It’s not huge and there’s plenty of cool stuff to just stumble upon. However, to make sure you stumble on the right stuff when you visit, here are the top five destinations that I’ve found or want to find.

Eat a burger at Rocky’s Crown Pub

Gorgeous Petco Park

I found mention of this place on a blog post about visiting San Diego when a local recommended  Rocky’s Crown Pubfor a good burger. The statement on the website will do a better job than I ever could to convince you why the burgers have a great local name. “The only items on the menu are burgers and fries (choice of 1/3 lb or 1/2 lb burgers) with or without cheese (american or swiss). All burgers are made to order and can take up to 40 minutes during busy periods.” (sic) Simple, direct and I’m sure, delicious.

Go to a game at Petco Park

Yes, you may notice a certain theme in my destinations if the town has a baseball stadium. Petco Park is no exception with the bonus of being situated in the Gaslamp Quarter. Before, or after, the game, there are plenty of restaurants, nightclubs and bars to explore. Goodness, I need to get back soon.

Go to the San Diego Zoo

I may be dating myself, but back when I was four years old and my dad would get home from a long day of work, he would often find my mom passed out from exhaustion on the couch and me in front of the TV watching Johnny Carson. I bet a lot of the time it was in the hope to see the latest animals brought up from the San Diego Zoo. Nowadays, I go back and forth on my opinions of zoos and whether they are needed in this day and age, but then I went to the San Diego Zoo and I know places like this will always be great. Behind the scenes, there’s great work on conservation and scientific studies, and in front there are big huge areas for pandas and various other animals to roam.

Eat a burrito at Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop

I’m beginning to craft my list of the great burrito places of Los Angeles and I have many places still to explore and add to my personal list. However, I have yet to start my San Diego list. Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop sounds like a great place to start. I’m not a vegetarian, but the vegetarian burrito with grilled zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions with guacamole and rice sounds too delicious to relegate myself with an eating label. Maybe I’ll wear a luchador mask and with my discount grab a Surf and Turf burrito for later.

Surf

Speaking of surf, can you visit southern California without dipping your feet in the Pacific? If you’re already at the beach, why not grab a board and surf? If you’ve followed my restaurant suggestions, a little exercise will do no harm. If you don’t know how to surf, head to Mission Beach and grab a lesson.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

About the Author

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Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By “a lot of time”, Jason means “procrastination.”

See All Posts by jasonmcclain



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