Where to Explore When you Move to San Diego

Laid-back, hip, and perpetually sunny, San Diego is a slice of beachy paradise—and a hotbed of wonderful culture, worldly cuisine, shopping, and nightlife. Apart from well-known attractions like the famed San Diego Zoo and the iconic Balboa Park, there are numerous art galleries, quirky-cool museums, and high-end eateries to discover. If you’ve just taken a leap and moved to the area, check out these top places to explore in San Diego!

Arts & Culture

San Diego is a city in which the arts, in all their forms, are widely beloved. From well-established museums to small-scale galleries, these are the top arts & culture experiences to have when you visit San Diego:

Visit world-class art museums.

San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Art

Though Balboa Park is touristy, the San Diego Museum of Art and the Timken Museum of Art are must-see destinations for serious art lovers. The former attraction houses masterworks by Rembrandt and Jacques-Louis David, and the latter has works by dozens of popular American painters, from Georgia O’Keefe to Stuart Davis. Fight the crowds or go on a weekday; both museums are well worth it. Either way, you’ll avoid San Diego traffic, as Balboa Park is a highly walkable area. Park your car in a convenient lot and leave it for the day!

See Chicano murals.

In the neighborhood of Barrio Logan, you’ll find Chicano Park, which features the biggest collection of Chicano murals in the world (there are over 80 paintings on seven acres), as well as several art galleries and shops. Head here in the daytime to be able to appreciate the true vibrancy and beauty of the murals.

Stroll around an artsy neighborhood.

In North Park, art loving-travelers can experience an abundance of cool street art, in addition to galleries and studios, performance art spaces, and under-the-radar concert venues.

Dining & Drinks

Historically influenced by Mexican cuisine, the food scene in San Diego is thriving and growing all the time. The city is now home to a variety of farm-to-table restaurants, top French and Italian eateries, and some of the best fresh seafood in the country. And the drinking scene is diverse, as well. Take your pick from upscale oceanfront cocktail bars, neighborhood watering holes, and over 150 craft breweries.

Little Italy in San Diego

Little Italy in San Diego
Little Italy in San Diego

The best place to get an all-around feel for the local food & drink scene is the lively, cool Little Italy neighborhood, where you’ll find a plethora of awesome eateries, cool coffee shops, wine bars, craft brew pubs, and more. Stroll through the buzzing Mercato Farmers’ Market on a Saturday to sample fresh-baked bread, locally-made jams, farm-fresh produce, and other artisanal foods from over 175 farmers and vendors. This is the city’s biggest downtown market, and it’s definitely a local fave spot.

Also in Little Italy, James Coffee Co. is the perfect spot to enjoy handcrafted roasted coffee blends, Bottlecraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room has excellent local brews, and Craft & Commerce has tasty small plates (think grilled oysters, charred eggplant dip, and marinated olives) and craft cocktails. Even a drive down the main drag, India Street, is a great way to explore the area.

Here are three other can’t-miss San Diego food & drink experiences:

Check out a hip food market

At Liberty Public Market, a 25,000-square-foot public market in Point Loma’s Liberty Station, visitors can peruse a dazzling array of food and goods from 30 local chefs and artisans—there’s also live music every week, and a dog-friendly market patio every Sunday.

Sample the best tacos in the city. 

Best Tacos in San Diego
Best Tacos in San Diego

Craving tacos? Look no further than El Paisa Mexican Grill, easily one of the most beloved taquerias in the city—they make their own tortillas here, and you can pretty much get any type of taco you want.

Dine at a five-star French hotspot.

And for those who want to splurge on a decadent five-star meal during their trip? Make a reservation for Addison, a critically acclaimed Grand Del Mar resort with incredible dishes like langoustines with caviar and parsley and mussels with green curry, as well as a killer wine list.

The Outdoors

It’s near-impossible to go to San Diego and not spend some time at the beach—not only is the weather here perma-beautiful, but the city boasts over 70 miles of scenic coastline punctuated by pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, and gorgeous blue-green bays. Take a drive out to one of the many beaches. Although you can’t really go wrong with any of the beaches here, there are a few standout spots to check out:

La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is the place to be if you want to try your hand at snorkeling or scuba diving—this tiny gem of a beach has crystal-clear waters and exciting marine life, like the bright orange Garibaldi fish.

Ocean Beach feels like 70s-era hippie California, with its barefoot surfers, funky beach communities, and collection of novelty and vintage shops. Head here if you’re into bohemian vibes, oceanfront live music, and boho-chic boutiques.

At Mission Beach, you’ll find over two miles of oceanfront boardwalk, tons of surf shops, and an old-school amusement park right on the water. In other words, it’s pretty much impossible to get bored at this bustling, action-packed beach.

Finally, although Coronado Beach is a bit touristy, it’s well worth a visit—with the postcard-perfect Hotel del Coronado, sparkling white sand, and the city skyline in the background, it’s the quintessential San Diego beach.

All in all, San Diego is chock-full of exciting culture, cuisine, and nightlife—and, not to mention, some of the most stunning beaches in the country. Whether you’re looking for the ideal romantic getaway, a great place to spend the weekend with friends, or the perfect family-friendly destination, San Diego has a little something for everyone.

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Design Trend: Marble Waterfall Kitchen Island

Marble Waterfall Kitchen Islands are a beautifully contemporary addition to your kitchen, and a popular trend to consider for your renovations! Here is some inspiration to help you design the perfect kitchen!

Images via our Pinterest

A large contemporary kitchen features a Calcutta marble waterfall kitchen island seating five white and gray upholstered counter stools sat on blonde wood floors lit by two nickel and glass diamond pendants hung from a tray ceiling.

The kitchen was remodelled and a long island bench installed to direct the eye through the house and out to the sunny courtyard.

No uppers. Marble waterfall island. And is that a pull out, eating bar made of reclaimed wood? I hope so, cause I totally need it!

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Waterfall island kitchen transitional with recessed lighting waterfall countertop recessed lighting

marble kitchen #home

Gorgeous Vein Cut Stone Slab | Montclair Danby from Stone Source

Reasons to stay in/move to San Diego

San Diego has always been praised as one of the best cities worldwide whether it be for its food, it’s entertainment, the people, or the amount of sunshine they all get year round.  Here are a few motives to stay in or move to the sunniest region in California.

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1.  The Beaches.

If the sun is shining on the weekend where does everyone go?  The beach, because they sure aren’t going downtown.  There is one for each flavor, check out Mission Bay for some great biking or hit Pacific Beach for a little bit more prep.  With over 70 miles of coastline you are bound to hit one that floats your boat, some of which are leash free for you favorite companions convenience.  However, many locals tend to wait out the tourist season until October where the beaches aren’t as crowded, the jellyfish have dispersed, the water gets warmer and there’s plenty of parking.

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2. Weather Fit For Paradise.

Winter.  Summer.  No matter the season you can bet on it being close to 70 degrees outside.  With the edges of the city reaching around 80 or the suburbs getting in excess of 100 you can be sure of ditching your winter clothes

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3.  The mouth-watering food.

Between all the varieties of ingredients and ethnicities of meals in San Diego, the mexican cuisine is what most San Diegans take to heart.  Fish tacos, enchiladas, and the most sacred of sustenance, the famed California Burrito.  Beloved by starving surfer, college student and businessman alike, the burrito’s filled with carne asada, cheese, salsa, guacamole and the magic ingredient: french fries.

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4.  San Diego knows a thing or two about beer.

San Diego knows its way around a tasty IPA.  Coming in hot at No. 3 on the Forbes best beer cities ( behind Portland and San Fran.), nearly every bar carries a selection of local brews like Karl Strauss, Stone, and Ballast Point.  However, with great beer comes great festivals.  The Festival of Beer in September donates money to cancer-fighting causes while the International Beer Festival in June crowns a best in show.

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5.  The Festivals

Yes, San Diego has great weather, that’s no secret.  What isn’t widely known is that the year-round sun means there’s almost always a free street festival to crash.  From the Adams Avenue Street Festival to Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival, each celebration gives you a taste of our many different neighborhoods.

Local Business: Sally Piano Music

Sally Piano Music 

Sally Piano Music has been providing quality music lessons to students via private and group lessons since 1999. They offer the convenience of learning in your home or in one of their studio locations in San Diego, Orange County and Riverside County. The age range of students who have learned piano or other instruments and read music at Sally Piano Music spans from 3-4 years to the senior citizen. The skill level of their new students range from beginners who have never laid hands on a piano to advanced pianists who simply want to improve their skills. Sally Piano Music provides a supportive atmosphere for kids of all ages to learn music with the most creative and highly-qualified instructors in San Diego, Orange County and Riverside County. They work with knowledgeable and friendly teachers who design a unique custom plan for the students to meet their needs and goals and more importantly, they make the experience fun and exciting!

Photo of Sally Piano Music - San Diego, CA, United States. Sally Piano Music Halloween Recital 2017

Their instructors are music majors with experience teaching music to children and adults. Teachers customize lesson plans to each student’s interests and ability, and most of all, they make learning music fun. Sally’s  interviews potential music teachers face-to-face, and conduct background and reference checks before hiring them. Most of our teachers stay with us long-term, which provides continuity and a better learning experience for students.

Learning how to play music or sing opens up a world of creativity and possibility for students of all ages! Visit their website or their Facebook Page for more information and get started on your musical journey today!

 

Community Connection Video Series

A few months back, we started our Community Connection video series. While we’re still doing our Community Focal Point blog column, we wanted to mix it up with some videos taken with local small business owners and representatives of charities and non-profits.

You can view all the videos we’ve done to-date here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMVPTRa7c3oeUn_WsIsPxmw

If you like what we’re doing, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to receive notifications every time we upload a new video!

And don’t forget to contact us if you’re interested on being featured either on Community Connection or on Community Focal Point!