Located in southern California, and near to the Mexico border. San Diego is the oldest town in California and was founded in 1769. As of 2015, it is the eighth-largest city in the United States. This beautiful city is influenced by European and Mexican culture, just by taking a walk around the city, you will certainly notice that.
I compiled a list of five places you should visit if you’re in San Diego. I was able to visit all the places mentioned in this list and had a wonderful time in each one.
1. Old Town
Old Town was California’s first settlement. You can walk through gardens, check out shops and restaurants. You’ll get to find authentic Mexican food restaurants there and will notice a considerable Mexican culture influence in Old Town.
I was able to visit Cafe Coyote in Old Town and the food was fantastic. If you want authentic Mexican food and a good atmosphere, I recommend it.
2. San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is located north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park and has over 100-acres of land. The zoo is home to more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals.
The zoo has an Institute for Conservation Research, which is one of the largest zoo-based research centers in the world. It is dedicated to preserving and protecting rare and endangered wildlife and habitats.
Another fun fact is that the San Diego Zoo was voted as the #1 Zoo in the World in 2015 (TripAdvisor).
The zoo is spectacular, and if you’re a panda lover like me, you’ll get to see them!
The 1-Day Pass is $52 for Adults (ages 12 & older) and $42 for Children (ages 3 – 11).
3. Broadway Pier
Broadway Pier is a ferry terminal that is near the USS Midway Museum and the Santa Fe Depot. Outside the terminal, there is a boardwalk, restaurants, and places where you can sit. If you want to see the ships and the ocean, this is a good place to visit.
4. Mission Valley
Mission Valley serves as a shopping and entertainment center for San Diego. You’ll find malls, a huge variety of stores and residential areas.
You can find high-end stores at Fashion Valley Mall, restaurants and supermarkets at Westfield Mission Valley, and much more. I was able to visit a Trader Joe’s for the first time (we don’t have it in PR) in this area and also went to In-N-Out for the first time.
For those that like shopping and visiting stores, Mission Valley is perfect. It’s easily accessible by public transportation so that’s always a plus.
5. Balboa Park
Balboa Park is a popular spot in San Diego. Home to major museums, art venues, gardens and the San Diego Zoo. The grounds are open 24 hours a day.
The gardens are absolutely beautiful, you’ll find many places that are perfect for picture-taking. Balboa Park is near Downtown, you can easily take a bus or the ferry train and explore the Downtown area as well.
Have you been to San Diego? What were some of your favorite places?
When I was researching places to go to in San Diego, one place that would always show up was Old Town. Old Town is considered the birthplace of California, because San Diego was the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California.
My husband and I took an Uber for the first time from the hotel (Town and Country Resort) to Old Town. The drive was probably less than ten minutes. The Uber experience was great, we felt very comfortable with our driver and we talked during the entire trip.
When we got there, we could definitely tell that the buildings had Spanish architecture. Everything looked pretty, with a lot of shops and restaurants (most of them Mexican). It was a pity that we went there at night because I probably would have gotten better pictures during the day.
We already knew where we were going to have dinner, at Cafe Coyote. It had good reviews on Yelp and some of the staff at our hotel had recommended it. When we got there, it was super busy, so I assumed it was going to be a long wait to be seated, but we were actually seated right away. We got complimentary tortilla chips and salsa, which was delicious. We also took advantage of a Yelp offer that consisted on getting a free quesadilla sampler if you checked in using the app. The quesadillas were very good as well. I definitely recommend you check Yelp or apps like it, they usually give you some sort of perk if you check in at the restaurant.
I loved everything about the restaurant: the decor, the atmosphere, the service, the food. I ended up ordering the Tostada Suprema (A crispy flour tortilla piled high with refried beans, shredded chicken or beef, cheese & lettuce. Topped with a scoop of sour cream, guacamole, salsa fresca and black olives), which was delicious. I got full so I ended up taking half of the plate with me. My husband ordered the Carne Asada Burrito (A large flour tortilla filled with chopped grilled marinated steak, beans, guacamole and salsa fresca). The burrito was big, I stole a bite from his plate and it tasted very good as well.
If you’re ever in Old Town in San Diego and are in the mood for Mexican food, we recommend Cafe Coyote. Great food, great prices and great service.