From time to time I have guest authors….So what do people go in the winter? San Diego of course. They hop in their RVs and go on a road trip. Joe Laing has given some tips to people that want to explore San Diego. In their RV or not these are some good places to explore. JB
The clocks have turned back, the leaves fallen, and the temperatures dropped — winter will soon be upon us. And with it comes the cold-weather doldrums. So what’s the best way to survive the seasonal blues? How about snuggling up by a fire to dream about rolling into spring with an RV vacation. And with its warm climate and sunny disposition, San Diego makes a great destination. In addition to the big sites — LEGOLAND California, the San Diego Zoo, the Padres at PETCO Park — here are a few favorite places (divvied up by neighborhood) to get your West Coast cruise moving.
Del Mar: This haute spot, which is bisected by the Pacific Coast Highway, offers a nice selection of upscale shopping and oceanfront dining, as well as a handful of parks and beachfront picnic places. But the primary reason to steer your road pony this way is the equine experience. With its sprawling ranches, internationally recognized Del Mar Racetrack (open for the season in July), and San Diego Polo Club, Del Mar has plenty of spots to see world-class thoroughbreds. Best Bet: This spring, saddle up for a free polo lesson at the San Diego Polo School, where you’ll be introduced to the techniques, rules, and strategies of the sport. All equipment is supplied, so just pack a sense of adventure.
La Jolla: A prime daytime destination, colorful La Jolla is known for its breathtaking coastline. In the winter and spring, visitors can stand along the cliffs at La Jolla Cove and experience a poetic moodiness brought on by thundering waves and eerie fog. Continue south along Coast Boulevard, and you may also witness majestic gray whales making their way to Alaska. In addition to such natural wonders, La Jolla is home to the Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Best Bet: On any Sunday, stroll through the La Jolla Open Aire Market at Girard Avenue and Center Street. Here, you can mingle with 100-plus family farmers and local artisans, stock up on fresh produce, listen to live music, and indulge in endless food samples. It’s the perfect place to taste authentic tamales and purchase a souvenir.
Pacific Beach: This section of coast serves up the soft sand, calm waters, and sunny temperatures of many people’s California dreams. Visitors will discover kooky shops, dive bars, restaurants, and nightclubs along the three-mile boardwalk, which is filled with pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, and surfers. The main drags of Grand and Garnet avenues hold a treasure trove of vintage and thrift shops, coffeehouses, and hipster boutiques. For some fresh surfing, head over to Tourmaline Surf Park; a longtime longboarder hangout, this North “PB” waveriding nexus boasts 75-foot cliffs. Best Bet: True to the vintage vibe of Mission Beach (south of PB), the seven-acre Belmont Park features one of only two seaside roller coasters remaining on the Cali coast: the 1925 “Giant Dipper” wooden coaster. Other amusements include a traditional carousel, arcade games, a rock wall, a mirror maze, and high-ropes jungle. The bonus? Everything is priced individually, so you can choose your own adventures.
Mission Bay: For the fun-loving traveler, Mission Bay provides excitement at every corner. This beach hot spot boasts the 4,600-acre aquatic playground Mission Bay Park, which offers miles of beautiful coastline, myriad waterways and inlets to discover, and several opportunities for making a splash (think kite surfing, sailing, kayaking, skiing, and wind surfing). For even more wet and wild adventure, visit SeaWorld San Diego to meet Shamu, get close with polar bears and penguins, and explore the new Turtle Reef. Best Bet: Campland on the Bay makes an excellent home base for a West Coast RV retreat. Situated inside Mission Bay Park on the edge of the lagoon, the popular campground provides a 124-slip marina; a pool; watercraft and bike rentals; a restaurant and market; and nostalgic camp activities like scavenger hunts, campfire sing-alongs, and sandcastle-building contests. With its proximity to the Kendall Frost Wildlife Preserve, you can also venture out on foot to spot egrets, black-crowned night herons, least terns, and endangered clapper rails.
Point Loma: In addition to modern marvels such as multimillion-dollar mansions and luxurious yachts moored in the harbor, this peninsula (where European explorers first discovered San Diego in 1542) serves up lots of history. Sites include the Fort Rosecrans Military Reserve and National Cemetery, the Cabrillo National Monument, and the Old Point Lomo Lighthouse. Best Bet: Cruise out to the end of Cabrillo Memorial Drive, where a breathtaking vista awaits following an easy hike. This point, the most southwesterly spot in the contiguous United States, offers stunning 360-degree views of the immaculate sandy shoreline, the wide Pacific, downtown’s skyline, Coronado Island, and distant Tijuana.
Downtown: This cultural hub nestled between Interstate 5 and the harbor boasts a unique urban rhythm. Navigating the city’s one-mile-square road grid is pretty simple (just beware the ubiquitous one-way street), but as true city dwellers do, getting around on foot is really the way to go. Trek through artsy Little Italy for deep-dish dining options, tune in to the Opera House and Golden Hall music venues, and stroll along the scenic Embarcadero. Best Bet: The historic Gaslamp Quarter abounds with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and dancing. For a little “tongue travelling,” choose one of the area’s many international dining spots; you’ll find flavors from Brazil, Afghanistan, Persia, Thailand, and more.
About the Guest Post Author: Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals. Be sure to check out their new Professional Football (NFL) Tailgating and RV Tailgating to College Football Games pages in preparation for the upcoming seasons.