I’m so glad I decided to stick around a few days in San Diego. After traveling with a friend from back home last week, I was just going to hop on the next Amtrak train headed North. I heard San Diego had some of the most beautiful weather in the country, so decided to see for myself. The weather turned out to be the best I’ve had for the whole trip. It’s just a little warmer there than San Francisco, but still not hot and humid. Of course, I’m still seeing those bright blue and sunny West Coast skies.
Everything is kind of expensive in San Diego, and since I had already allowed myself to have fun in SF, I didn’t really want to go nuts, so looked for cheaper alternatives. They have some of the typical historical stuff like museums and old neighborhoods. San Diego is also home to Sea World and a world class zoo. However, I skipped all that and went to the beach. I didn’t feel bad, it’s the thing to do here.
I had a couple people tell me I need to checkout La Jolla, but for me, Coronado Beach was the best. I went to Pacific and Ocean beaches as well, but I’ve never experienced anything like Coronado. It’s on an island just across from downtown San Diego and is what you might think of when hearing the words “island resort”. It’s picturesque with an old classy hotel, white sandy beaches, palm trees, and tanned bikini clad beauties. The pics from above, including the starting photo are all from Coronado. I went on two different days with people that I met at the hostel and it was cool to have other people along. There’s a ferry you can take from the mainland, but there’s also a bus that’s cheaper and since there was a stop just two blocks from the hostel, it made sense to do that.
For my stay, I booked a room in a hostel, but also had a super chill Couchsurfing host. Sam has been living in the area for quite a while and he picked me up from the hostel after I had been there for a couple nights. He had a spare bike, and we rode up to La Jolla (pronounced “la-hoy-ya”) with a friend of his. He also took me around Ocean, Pacific and Mission beaches. He shared a lot about the city, and said I couldn’t come to CA for 3 weeks and not get into the ocean, so I ended up going swimming. I figured the water was too cold, but just went for it and had a blast. I was kind of like a kid playing in the waves… laughing each time one crashed into me and took me for a ride. Later we got some crazy good fish tacos (the best in the area according to Sam).
All in all, great CS experience again, and a turning point for my stay. I was kind of lukewarm on SD, but felt like I was getting into the beach culture afterwards. I’ve really been fortunate with my CS experiences. I get so much more out of a city when I get a local’s take on the place. As for the hostel, I stayed at one for a total of three nights. I’ll say the place was okay, but not great. The rooms were warmer than the outside temps, but it was downtown, and close to just about anything from bars, grocery stores, bus and tram stops. They had a decent breakfast, and a good common area to hangout in. My roommates were considerate and friendly, and we all got along well. However, the door to the room squeaked horribly, and we all felt terrible having to open the door at night or early in the morning when others were sleeping.
It would be hard not to enjoy yourself in San Diego. The weather is perfect, there’s great food, people are friendly, and you can walk to the beach. I’m sure that’s what makes everyone have such a relaxed and chill attitude. If I was scheduling a vacation that involved lots of beach time, I’d head to San Diego and Coronado Beach.
So that’s it for California. 8 days in SF, 4 day road trip through SoCal, and 5 days in SD. As I write this, I’m on a train headed North just around the Cali/Oregon border. Riding the rails through California is probably a once in a lifetime experience, so I’ve been soaking in the scenery as much as possible. This state is humongous, and it’s taken 24 hours to cross it by train. Trains are rather slow with all their stops and delays, but still, it’s a long time. It will definitely be a very memorable part of my trip. This state is so beautiful, with every kind of landscape imaginable… huge forests, foothills, snow capped mountains, desert parks, farmlands, ocean views and major international cities. I can see why despite all the financial and natural disasters people still want to live here.