How many times have you been to San Diego, often called America’s city? I once had an office down here, in Mission Valley, back in the 70s. But I really never had much time to explore the area, as I do now. Back in the day, we took the kids to Sea World and the world famous San Diego Zoo. And I have made numerous golfing trips down here to famous Torrey Pines. My youngest sister lived here and graduated from San Diego State back in the 70s. And my other sister raised her family here during their boys’ high school days.
But now, we visit during the summer, when the Giants are in town. Though our Giants are tanking, San Diego still retains its charm for us. First, the weather is great! Second, we have dear friends here. And third, we can always find something fun to see or do. Making matters infinitely more interesting is bringing our new puppy, Lexi to San Diego on a car trip for the first time.
Here are a few more “dirty dozen” ideas:
- The world’s largest lemon can be found in the city of Lemon Grove.
- Go to Crazeeburger for a burger made of alligator, antelope, or kangaroo.
- Visit Potato Chip Rock at Mount Woodson.
- The Scripps Turd Sculpture. Really?
- Visit Dog Beach, in Coronado or Ocean Beach. We plan to go.
- Eat a Baja fish taco. Among many tacos.
- Eat a California Burrito, stuffed with French fries and carne asada.
- Find the old San Diego chicken.
- Hang out with the old hippies at Café 21.
- Buy some used books at the Adams Avenue Bookstore.
- Eat some shabu shabu on Convoy Street at the Shabu Shabu House.
- Rent a bike at Ray’s and cruise the beach.
I find it really sad that the Chargers have left San Diego. They once had an NBA team here as well. The Buffalo Braves arrived here in 1978, and became the San Diego Clippers. They moved to Los Angeles in 1984 (curious?). Now, they are left with the lowly San Diego Padres, who are just a step above our even lowlier Giants this year. Matters not, I am a fan and will enjoy the games anyway.
The San Diego Trolley is a great way to get around town, especially to Petco Park on game days. Normally, I take the trolley from our hotel in Old Town to the Gaslamp and Petco Park stop. The senior fare is only $1.25 each way. And many times, the Giants fans outnumber the Padres fans.
Who are some famous people from San Diego? How about Ted Williams, Marcus Allen, Annette Bening, Billy Caspar, Cameron Diaz, Jimmy Johnson (NASCAR), Pete Wilson, Bill Walton, Eddie Vedder, Jonas Salk, Wyatt Earp, Phil Mickelson, Gregory Peck, Art Linkletter, Ray Kroc, Bob Duvall, Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Danica McKeller, and Ron Burgundy (not really)?
Secret beer place: Inside Krisp Beverages and Natural Foods, a health food market carrying kombucha and chia seeds, is an under-the-radar beer heaven. The Best Damn Beer Shop is a dedicated area showcasing more than 1,000 craft brews, as well as homebrew supplies. 1036 Seventh Avenue, downtown.
If and when you cross the border to Tijuana, please remember your passport. The old days of using your California Driver’s License are over. One more thing, don’t drink the water!!! Many people go south of the border to buy prescription drugs at a big discount. Just be careful of the food and water. And a note from your Mother will not help.
For those of you who like to sunbathe in the nude, Black’s Beach is still there. Just remember, it is a tough hike down the cliffs to get there. So, get in shape or buy a good pair of binoculars. I much prefer the beaches on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain to view topless sunbathing.
For a city of almost a million and a half, San Diego seems manageable. But it is the second largest city on California. They seem to deserve their reputation of laid back and cool. Perhaps their proximity to Mexico has evolved into Lucha Libre, the masked and costumed Mexican wrestlers.
San Diego’s answer to the Ferry Building (SF) and Oxbow Market (Napa) is the Liberty Public Market. The collection here includes the food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Stuffed, which serves up fast-casual grass-fed beef burgers stuffed with cheese; a branch of WestBean Coffee Roasters, which serves a fantastically creamy nitro coffee; and the wine bar Grape Smuggler, which offers tapas and flights (and a nice place to grab a seat away from the crowds). Gather your snacks and grab one of the high stools at the back of the market to chow down.
Proudly dog- friendly since it was founded in 1959 (they even have a blog written by a dog named Scooter
extolling their friendly virtues), Del Mar, near San Diego, extends a friendly paw to dogs and owners, with pets allowed on all two miles of shoreline nine months of the year, and all year on North Beach, usually referred to as ‘Dog Beach’ by local pet owners. This pup friendly seaside locale can be found north of 29th Street, stretching up to the border of Solana Beach. Dogs can be off leash and under ‘voice command’ from Labor Day through Memorial Day, and on leash during the busy summer months.