San Diego: Overall Impressions of Three Short Days

San Diego skyline at night
San Diego skyline at night

San Diego as a city managed to surprise me in every good way possible. I spent three full days in SoCal and, from what my coworkers, family and everyone else were telling me, that should have been enough to bore the heck outta me. Well, surprisingly, I found these three days just the right amount of time to get to know this lovely town and, contrary to my previous beliefs, I wouldn’t mind spending even more time here or re-visiting the city. From the first day, I saw quite some diversity in SD. Starting at Balboa Park, where I photographed some true desert beauties. Walking over to the Harbor, where history and tourism go hand in hand. Not to mention the relaxed vibes overall.

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A store with hammocks
A store with hammocks

Then Old Town, where I’d probably return if even just for some souvenirs or nice jewelry. Mission and Pacific Beach – I’d really like to spend a good day here (when it’s sunny out and I’m able to tan). And last but not least, La Jolla in the rain was pretty breath taking. Just the nice jewel-shaped bay by itself was enough to make my head spin.

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Mission Beach Views
Mission Beach Views

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For all of my stay, I stayed in a great hostel in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter. The HI San Diego was in a perfect location, had amazingly friendly people who worked there, and I got to talk to quite a few travelers. The hostel also offered a day trip to Mexico, which is literally less than half an hour from this city. I didn’t take advantage of the tour for several reasons, one being the time constraint I was under and then of course the lack of passport (I didn’t bring it as I was only planning on traveling through the US). Perhaps the next time I will consider it.

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A few things I didn’t have the chance to see where the iconic San Diego Zoo and the Aquarium. Both seem to be quite steeply priced (at $50 and $90 respectively), so I didn’t care that much to see them this time around. But perhaps in the future I’d like to spend some more time at both (and either marry a rich guy or be in company of a military vet and their reduced entry perks).

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The overall vibes of the town were really relaxed, touristy, and joyful altogether. I could tell that the sun decides to shine here on most days of the year. Although September was not a typical tourist season, it appears that SD hosts tourist year-round, due to its incredible climate and attractions. I was also impressed by how walkable SD was and that, despite some people not believing me, I took busses to almost everywhere I had to go. I didn’t take a bus late at night, of course, but more-so during the day. At this time they were highly effective and traffic didn’t seem like too much of a deal (but perhaps I also avoided typical rush hour times). What really blew my mind was that for only $14 I was able to bus my way through the city for three days straight – the compass card was so worth it and I’d recommend anyone getting it before leaving the airport.

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San Diego – a city that holds a special place in my heart.

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