You want to visit San Diego, but you don’t know the first thing about the area other than what you’ve seen on Anchorman. You know it’s classy. And there is a killer news team. But what else does San Diego have to offer? Of course, many of you are familiar with the ‘hot spots’ along the coast – Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Coronado Island. But we want to introduce you to a few other neighbourhoods you may not be as familiar with – and shouldn’t miss!
Hip, trendy, during the day University Avenue and the surrounding streets are busy with people exploring vintage clothing shops, jewelers and cafes. By night, the street comes alive as it teems with night life. The bars are packed with 20 and 30 somethings enjoying live music, craft breweries and swanky cocktail lounges. If you really want a unique North park experience, check out The Coin-Op Game Room for some grown up arcade fun and 7 Grand – an expansion from LA’s hip and happening classic cocktail scene, with a great space for live music out the back.
If you’re looking for a neighbourhood that has a bit more class and lends itself to a more upscale clientele, Carlsbad Village is it. Located along the coast, the downtown area is easy to walk through as you explore antique shops, boutiques, jewelry shops and florists. With a number of classy restaurants sprinkled throughout the village, other highlights include The Witch Creek Winery and Tasting Room, a beautiful spot to explore on a sunny afternoon, as well as an historic landmark in the area called the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa; stop by for a facial or massage and let the stresses of the day melt away.
Hillcrest has a cozy charm about it, and it lights up at night! Much like North Park, it is full of great cafes and restaurants. Funky thrift shops and independently run stores line the street. One of my favourites is Bluestocking Books, a charming bookshop (there are so few of them left!) with all kinds of used and rare books. Hillcrest is also known as the LGBT neighbourhood in San Diego and is full of diversity and colour.
Ocean Beach, San Diego is an eclectic, unique beach town that has a true throwback feel. If you want a taste of old school Southern California, this is the place. With hippie colours, bars, shops and cafes lining Newport Avenue, OB is a surfer’s and young person’s paradise. For a killer view from a great bar, check out Wonderland, and if you’re keen to have a morning coffee in the sunshine, you don’t want to miss Jungle Java.
Las Americas Premium Outlets
Although not considered a neighbourhood, I’d be remiss to not include some of the best shopping you can find in the area! Las Americas Premium Outlets are located right on the American side of the Tijuana, Mexico border. With 125 stores to explore, great spots to grab a snack or bite to eat and a nice outdoor ambience, you can splurge on a new vacation wardrobe or do your holiday shopping at outlet prices. Who doesn’t love a good outlet shop?!
We hope you have a fantastic vacation here in San Diego, and enjoy exploring some of our lesser known neighbourhoods!