Updated: Nov 17, 2019
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Now some people enjoy urban environments and some don't. A lot of downtown locations get a bad rap in the United States, but downtown San Diego is a little different. Here you will find yourself in the middle of the action and just minutes away from the huge attractions. If you are choosing to stay in the downtown area I would choose to stay in the historical gas lamp section. It is 16 square-blocks of where Victorian-era buildings and modern skyscrapers stand side by side.
There are over 100 restaurants to choose and drinking holes like the Monkey Paw, a craft brew bar. And for those wine lovers, check out Vin de Syrah Wine Parlor. Its located underground and the atmosphere is very whimsical and unique. Wine selection and food is also great here. If you have children you are just minutes from the New Children's Museum, that caters to the imaginations of the little ones. Drop in art studios are available to keep your children's imaginations blossoming. And slightly older children and adults alike will most certainly enjoy a visit to the USS Midway. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a historic aircraft carrier. Activities for all ages including self-guided audio tours, theater, flight simulators, climb-in aircraft, ejection seats and cockpits, guided tours of the bridge and more. Audio tours are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, French and German. There are a lot of veteran volunteers aboard that are great at explaining exhibits and entertaining inquisitive minds.
While in this area check out Sea Port Village. Downtown's Seaport Village, awash in coastal breezes and views of the Coronado Bridge, offers eclectic gifts and souvenirs. There are over 50 shops, 17 unique eateries and four bayside restaurants. With four miles of meandering cobblestone pathways bordered by ponds, lakes, fountains and colorful landscaping, plus a quarter-mile slate boardwalk along the San Diego Bay, it's easy to enjoy an afternoon stroll while you wander through the shops, walking the promenade and taking in the scenery.
Still can't get enough of the sea life?
Definitely go to the Maritime Museum of San Diego where you will board the The world’s oldest active sailing ship, the star of India as well as over 10 other vessels including a soviet era submarine. They offer some very unique opportunities to also sail on these ships in the San Diego Harbour and beyond. Schedules vary depending on season, so it is best to check out their web site first. Located only a few miles north of downtown, is the vibrant uptown neighborhood of Hillcrest, San Diego's LGBT central hub, offering a array of bars, restaurants, coffee houses, boutiques and unique shops. Lauded for its welcoming vibe and pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalk patios, the area's east end is marked by a towering rainbow Pride flag just off Hillcrest's main thoroughfare of University Avenue, at the corner of Normal Street.
Spanning a dozen blocks west from the Pride flag along University Avenue is a colorful mix of ethnically diverse restaurants, nightclubs and acclaimed wine bars. You’ll also discover home decor shops, distinctive boutiques, the Uptown District shopping plaza and the country's only openly gay brewery, Hillcrest Brewing Company. This lively stretch also hosts one of the largest farmers markets in San Diego from 9AM – 2PM on Sunday. And if you stay in Hillcrest you are just moments from one of San Diego's top attractions – Balboa Park. But really, anywhere you stay in downtown you are a close distance and you may even be able to catch a trolley bus to the park.
Our Next Episode will go over Balboa Park & The San Diego Zoo
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