Local Flavor: 5 Fun San Diego Activities that the Locals Love
Have you ever taken a vacation and felt that your stops were too “touristy”? You did a quick internet search, picked up a pamphlet, or used a guide book to lead you to all the popular spots in the city. While it can be worthwhile to see famous or well-known areas, you might get more out of your vacation by seeing the city through the eyes of a local. If you want a little more out of your trip, hitting the spots that locals love can make all the difference between a nice vacation and a great adventure. America’s city of nearly perfect weather year round, San Diego has a number of “can’t miss” spots that locals love and visitors often miss out on. If you’re looking for some locally adored areas in San Diego, read on to compile a stellar list of must-see spots.
Fresh Food Delights
Topping the list is the San Diego’s Farmer’s Market and surrounding Little Italy neighborhood. An authentic neighborhood since the 1920s when the crews of the tuna fleet patronized the area, Little Italy has tons of Italian restaurants, quaint shops, and a spectacular Farmer’s market held year around every Saturday from early morning to mid afternoon. In addition to the freshest produce around, grab a hot sausage off the grill and enjoy wandering musicians.
If hiking in spectacular scenic nature spots is your thing, you’ll want to head to the Torrey Pines State Preserve, with four different short trails meandering along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. You’ll skirt along the seaside high bluffs, take in the dramatic views and catch a glimpse of the coastal eco-system denizens. Nearby, the Torrey Pines Glider Port, where you can simply enjoy experienced hang gliders plunging off the perilous cliffs, or if you’re feeling adventurous, take a tandem flight with an experienced pilot who does the work and your only contribution is to enjoy the thrill of flying like a seabird above the dramatic Torrey Pines bluffs.
The View from the Sea
One of the best ways to see the unique geography of the San Diego area is to kayak the sea caves of nearby LaJolla. A 75 million year old wonder, six of the seven caves are accessible only from the sea, and you can either go along with one of the established, regularly scheduled tours, or rent a kayak from one of many local outlets and plan a solo (or couple) adventure. You’ll experience some of California’s coastal seal population, and glimpse other wildlife, including sea creatures and birds.
Far from the touristy Old Town, the bar scene and nightlife at Pacific Beach is enough to draw a younger set of residents as well as visitors to arguably California’s best beach. The ‘strip’ along Garnet Street is full of great eateries and some of San Diego’s emerging micro-brew scene. Dine on international favorites or creative takes on local seafood. Stroll along the beach walk or out onto the pier and catch a glimpse of accomplished surfers riding the waves and an occasional spectacular wipe out! Lifeguards are on duty year round.
Make Your Own Kind of Music
Finally, you’ll find a real gem at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, located at the headquarters of the National Association of Music Manufacturers. Interactive exhibits let you get in touch with your inner Beatle, or other music superstar. Kids will love trying out the various musical instruments and adults will be fascinated with the memorabilia collection.
San Diego is full of interesting places to visit and things to do, once you get off the beaten path. If you’ve been to California several times, ditch the theme parks and crowded beaches—it’s time to explore the local territory. Information for this article was provided by Viejas, a resort with some of the best restaurants in San Diego.