Not so long ago, downtown San Diego?s streets were populated by a scant number of office towers, few hotels, and shops that closed early during the week. Today, Downtown and its Gaslamp Quarter bustle morning, noon and night. The 2004 premier of Petco Park and myriad condominium high-rises confirm that San Diego?s urban heart is not revitalizing?it is revitalized.
San Diego, CA Areas
La Jolla/Torrey Pines
Here?s the rub on lovely La Jolla. It boasts fantastic upscale shopping, incredible art galleries, wonderful dining and entertaining nightlife. But, this lap of luxury is not a typical Southern California beach town. The nearby coves and rocky ocean inlets are breathtaking, but if you want sand outside your door, both Coronado and Del Mar are better beach venues. Staying outside of downtown La Jolla may be prudent?close enough to enjoy the attractions, but far enough to avoid the traffic and crowd.
Mission Bay/Hotel Circle
Staying in Mission Bay will keep you close to Sea World and put some of San Diego?s best running, cycling and roller blading routes outside your door. However, everything else requires a drive?restaurants, nightlife, ocean beaches, etc. Hotel Circle is convenient for travelers with meetings in corporate heavy Mission Valley and economical for those on a tight expense account. Leisure travelers trying to save some dough may want to choose Hotel Circle if staying near Sea World and Mission Bay is a priority. (Downtown is 3-miles away.)
San Di.e.go (san dee ay go), n., the 8th largest city in the U.S., located 15 miles north of Mexico and, according to residents, a world away from LA. Noted for its temperate year-round climate. Pristine beaches line its coast, rolling waves pound its sand, and scores of surfers--including lunching office workers--decorate its waters. Natives are friendly, laid back and content. Most share a common story of seeking a better life and lifestyle; adopting "America's finest city" by design rather than compelled by job or circumstance. A breeding ground for technological innovation, medical discovery and music creativity, and where a flowered Hawaiian shirt and skateboard shoes are the common business attire. Also a home to many professional athletes who fight battles for fun, and military heroes who fight battles for real. A high cost of living is the primary detractor, but locals insist it keeps the population in check. Warning: Be careful when you visit, you may want to move.
U.to.pi.a (you toe pee a), n., see San Diego, above.