What comes to mind when you think of San Diego? Is it the slew of gorgeous beaches and illustrious surf spots? Or maybe the bustling arts scene? What about the year-round Southern California sunshine? Bursting with character, personality and life, San Diego is one of the most unique escapes that North America has to offer. The sun-kissed Californian city doesn’t simply stop at the blue of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the energetic beaches, visitors can also experience some of America’s most famous attractions, great museums, thriving districts and exquisite coastal restaurants. Despite its laid-back surfing demeanor, San Diego is steeped in all facets of luxury at the same time – making for the perfect West Coast home away from home.
Where to Stay
When it comes to the hotel scene in San Diego, the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa remains a mainstay favorite. The beautiful property blends the warmth of authentic hacienda-style accommodation, the comfort of modern amenities and the charm of Mediterranean landscaping to create an unforgettable ambiance that’s both relaxed and elegant. Each of the 49 guest casitas have beamed ceilings, fireplaces with hand-painted tiles, wood furnishings and private garden patios that overlook the resort’s lush grounds. It’s a place where you’re able to feel cozy and comfortable, but with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy yourself. Around the property is where you’ll be able to take advantage of rejuvenating wellness programs, a highly-acclaimed spa, award-winning tennis program and two gourmet restaurants, Veladora and The Pony Room, which both showcase the hotel’s farm-to-table philosophy.
Our San Diego Destination Guide also includes a Luxury Hotel Guide with an expanded list of hotels across the city.
Where to Dine
Finding its home in a transformed 1920s warehouse, Ironside Fish & Oyster delivers refreshing and indulgent seafood in a stylish space with plenty of nautical accents and some of the best cocktails in town. The restaurant is also proud to have a Michelin-starred chef steering the ship with a regularly rotating menu that goes above and beyond. It’s here you can expect an abundance of oysters, chilled Maine lobster, rockfish ceviche, clam chowder and a beautiful mix of everything on a variety of Ironside platters. Local catches change daily but it’s always impeccably fresh and so very delicious, whereas the drinks menu is equally satisfying with a huge variety of California wines and craft beers to choose from. Ironside Fish & Oyster is perfect for a laid-back dinner and long conversations into the night with a group of friends – the true San Diego way.
Our San Diego Destination Guide also includes a Restaurant Guide with our picks of the top eats in town.
What to Do
San Diego is one of those destinations that really offers something for everyone. The picturesque Gaslamp Quarter is the historic heart of San Diego, which continues to function as the beating heart of the city. It’s easy to get lost in the Victorian architecture and charming red-brick streets, which are lined with local cafes, traditional West Coast diners and high-end shops. Another great place to visit with the family is Balboa Park, a sprawling 1,200-acre space with 17 museums and cultural institutions worth diving into. Among some of the treasures, you’ll find the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Air & Space Museum.
Another place that lies close to the heart of San Diego is the boardwalk that lies between the Mission and Pacific Beaches. At any given time, the thriving strip is filled with joggers, street performers, skaters and beach-goers – with the jovial atmosphere you’d expect from San Diego’s easygoing locals. San Diego is also home to some of North America’s best golf courses, with Torrey Pines leading the way. The course is simply unmatched in terms of beauty and prestige, where you’ll walk in the footsteps of some of the world’s best golfers. It was also the site of the epic 2008 U.S. Open in which Tiger Woods won while overcoming a painful injury. Whether it’s the magnificent views, championship legacy, or a little bit of both, Torrey Pines makes for the golf experience of a lifetime.
What to Pack
There’s no such thing as the offseason in San Diego, even during the fall and winter months when temperatures continue to cruise at a comfortable pace. If you can only bring one watch on your trip to San Diego, make sure it’s the Rolex Submariner. Professional golfers don’t typically wear watches during play, with the rare exception of models like the Submariner that are designed to withstand intense pressure. The timepiece is comfortable, lightweight and will feel great on your wrist during play, while at the same time, it’s also formal enough to be dressed up. We’re also looking towards APM Monaco for their versatile range of accessories that will take you from the beach to the city streets and everywhere in between. You’ll want jewelry that will look equally great with your nightwear and swimsuit. Elegant and original, these APM Monaco Up and Down Earrings do just the trick, embellished with white stones and pearls will add a fashionable twist to your look.