San Diego is often called “America’s Finest City,” boasting of blue skies and sunshine year-round. The city is a popular destination for tourists on vacation, couples on their honeymoon, and families who are ready to explore all the city has to offer. San Diego is home to many kid-friendly attractions such as the world-renowned San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park, as well as SeaWorld, and the Legoland theme park. However, the city is also filled with activities and attractions for older adults and the senior community. Senior tourists will delight in San Diego’s perfect weather and will enjoy its outdoor parks, beaches, and attractions. Here are our favorite places to visit in San Diego:
Downtown La Jolla
Warm sunshine, white seafoam, and crystal blue water are the perfect combination for a relaxing vacation. You’ll find all three elements when you visit La Jolla, located in north San Diego county. Visitors will enjoy taking a stroll around downtown La Jolla’s small boutiques, shops, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, hotels, and cafes. Art lovers can visit the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which overlooks an ocean view. Also located in downtown La Jolla is La Jolla Cove, a small strip of beach and ocean where snorkelers, scuba divers, kayakers, and even seals can enjoy the sun and surf.
For an avid museum-lover, Balboa Park is a fantastic cultural and historic center that will enchant tourists and locals alike. The park has over 16 history, science, cultural, and art museums as well as gardens, performance art venues and theatres, and restaurants. Balboa Park spans over 1,200 acres and features numerous buildings designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Revival style. Balboa Park is free to visitors; however, its museums have differing fees.
Little Italy Mercato
Locals and tourists alike enjoy Saturday mornings at the Little Italy Mercato, a weekly farmers’ market, where vendors and craftsman display their gourmet foods and artisan products. Over 200 vendors line up down the blocks of Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy. Visitors can sample fresh fruit and produce, cheese, nuts, gourmet foods, and more. You can even get fresh flowers and plants to brighten up your morning, or dine on local foods from San Diegan vendors. The Little Italy Mercato takes place every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. year-round, rain-or-shine.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Visit any of San Diego’s numerous seaside cliffs and bluffs and you’ll have some of the most breathtaking views of the ocean and beach. La Jolla is home to one of the city’s natural parks, the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Hikers can enjoy various short trails through scenic views of cliffs and salt marshes which lead to the nearby Torrey Pines State Beach. The park hosts decent led hikes which take place every weekend morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by the Visitor’s Center to learn about the reserve’s cultural and natural history during the same hours.
Cabrillo National Monument
Located on the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, the Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the first European settlement by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542. Visitors to the park can see an awe-inspiring view of San Diego harbor as well as the beautiful ocean. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse, built in 1855, is also located within the park. Although the lighthouse is no longer in function, it now serves as a museum telling the history of the lighthouse.
Maritime Museum of San Diego, USS Midway Museum
Seniors who visit San Diego Harbor will enjoy stopping by the city’s historic maritime museums which include the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the USS Midway Museum. The Maritime Museum of San Diego exhibits the largest collection of historic sea ships in the U.S., with ships from the 19th century to the mid-20th century. The museum’s most well-known ship is the Star of India, an iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1863. Nearby the Maritime Museum is the USS Midway Museum, which was a former US Navy aircraft carrier and was the largest ship in the world in 1955. The museum gives visitors an understanding of the ship’s role in the Navy as well as an inside look at the ship, its deck, and living quarters.
Hotel del Coronado
San Diego is also well-known for its world-famous Hotel del Coronado, which opened in 1888 and was the largest hotel and resort of its time. The hotel has hosted many notable world leaders, presidents, entertainers, and important figures over the years, such as Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Edison, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and more. Hotel del Coronado stands out for its Victorian architecture which is designed in wood. Guests and visitors are welcome to relax and enjoy Coronado beach which lies just outside of the hotel.
About San Diego
San Diego, sometimes called the “birthplace of California”, was founded and established as a city in 1769. The city was the first European settlement in the state of California. Today, San Diego is the second most populated city in California and the 8th most populous city in the U.S.
San Diego has a a strong military presence with multiple U.S. naval facilities, Marine bases, and Coast Guard stations in the city. There are also a number of colleges and universities such as University of California San Diego, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, and more. Companies such as Qualcomm, Nokita, LG Electronics, and Websense Inc., are all headquartered in San Diego.
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