Whenever anyone thinks of California, they think of sun, beaches, Hollywood, Universal tours, and all the prominent tourist attractions in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Maybe you’ve been before and seen all those things, or maybe you’ve always wanted to go and see those things, but you weren’t sure if it’d end up becoming a little too much of a tourist-oriented trip for your liking. Well, as a southern California girl, I can tell you that it has far more to offer than you might think, once you venture off the beaten track. Not mention being able to stay in Oceanside hotels and the beautiful vacation homes in San Diego will make your vacation complete. Here are some unique things to see and do when you’re in certain parts of the sunny state that you most likely haven’t heard of before.
When in San Diego.
As I am originally from Oceanside California, San Diego is a city I hold near and dear to my heart! The city of San Diego is a beautiful place to visit in itself as far as visiting the “perfect” Californian city; an excellent climate, beaches, laid-back attitude, and a stunning skyline. It’s got all the usual traits, but there’s more beneath the surface if you’re willing to dig. It may not be the most popular city to visit in America or even in California, but that’s a crying shame because there’s just as much to do here as anywhere else if you crumple up the brochure and go exploring for yourself.
Still, by far, Balboa Park is a unique and fascinating experience one can have when visiting San Diego. These 1200 acres play host to countless museums, the San Diego zoo, shops, and art venues. While it may be a popular site, it’s an incredibly unique one. There are history and culture as well as modern art here; it has everything that has come to define California, and yet it’s wrapped in such a unique package.
Other San Deigo Travel Tips
1. There are many beautiful hotels to stay at in the area. If you are looking for a non-traditional place to stay would be a vacation home. Depending on the area, will determine the cost of booking vacation homes in San Diego vs a hotel and it gives you options for larger groups and families.
Vacation homes are perfect for extended stays, it gives you a bit more privacy then staying in a hotel would.
2. The beaches are beautiful, a beachfront location can be great, but if you plan on traveling with the kids between the zoos, or theme parks like Sea World, Disney or Legoland then this is where a vacation home or villa would come into play they will provide you with more space and more room for your money.
3. The key to an affordable vacation is discounts! Be sure to check the websites of major attractions, some may offer a discount if you plan ahead and want to buy tickets in advance. If you book a hotel room check with the front desk, some may offer coupons or even free admission to the local attractions. Check with membership discounts like AARP, AAA, university or military discounts. Also, check the city’s calendar of events, this will give you a great overview of fun family friendly events that will be going on during your stay.
4. You do not always need a car to make it around town. That is one of the great things about many places in California, there are a lot of transportation options that let you tour the town and not waste the gas. There are a number of boat and bus tours to help you gain access to the various attractions and neighborhoods.
Other Popular Cities
When in San Francisco.
This is a beautiful city, and it’s so small that there’s chance for you to see all the big tourist attractions while you’re here; the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island are likely the two which come to mind first. However, once you’ve tackled those, you should venture off to sites such as Lombard Street and the Palace of Fine Arts; there’s so much more culture to San Francisco than even the films can show. Tackling so many aspects of the sprawling state of California might seem overwhelming, but you could consider options such as Ebmeyer Tour bus rentals if you’re looking to hop from destination to destination with ease.
When in Los Angeles.
Where to begin with L.A.? This is, of course, the most popular city to visit in California, as it plays host to Hollywood, the home of stars who’ve touched lives across the globe, as well as Universal Studios, and endless beaches. All of these things are worth seeing with your own eyes, but they’re certainly not the only things you should do in Los Angeles if you have the time to do more.
For starters, the Farmer’s Market is a great place to visit for both the delicious food and the cultural history; it was built off the back of local farmers selling their produce in what was an empty lot back in 1934. And something else you should do in L.A. that is uniquely Californian but not necessarily hugely known to tourists visits the California Pizza Kitchen. If you’ve never had a real pizza with toppings such as Brussels sprouts and bacon, then this is the place to go.
Do you have any hotspots that should be on this list? let us know below in the comments.