Home to really good hole-in-the-wall taco stands and an iconic killer whale or two, San Diego is a Southern California city with the perfect blend of urban living and beach culture and enough activity to delight locals and guests alike. From local wineries and beachside relaxation to historic parks and museums, honeymooning adventurers take note: San Diego’s main attractions are not to be missed.
Balboa Park, for example. 15 museums, an array of performing arts venues and acres upon acres of gardens. Add the San Diego Zoo, an attraction that can stand on its own feet, and you’ve got one very busy, very wonderful day. The Zoo is one of very few in the world that houses a giant panda, and was the first zoo to create cage-less, open-air exhibits for its animals to recreate the look and feel of their natural habitats. SeaWorld is in a similar boat – plus a little more hands-on appeal. Part theme park, part education center, family friendly but the key to any animal lover’s heart, and the ultimate way to live out that dream of swimming with dolphins (or feeding manta rays).
For the less crowd-inclined, but still social, we like Coronado’s flat beaches, sweet town (and great restaurants) and unbelievable, Point Loma-framed, sunsets. The island is a naval base, so the next logical step for your wanderings is the Maritime Museum, where you can explore the legacy of the high seas on vessels way more romantic than the Titanic, and ranging from the world’s oldest active sailing ship to a 20th century steam-powered yacht.
Downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter, and nearby home to the San Diego Padres, Petco Park, are the recipe for an urban afternoon, while the Pacific Beach boardwalk is a must for morning fitness (biking, running and, yes, even rollerblading are constantly in rotation here) and people watching. San Diego is also home to an ever-increasing number of microbreweries that are currently producing a greater number of craft beers than you and your sweetie could sip in three honeymoons. We like Stone Brewery at Liberty Station for the options and atmosphere.