Southern California Paradise

San Diego is one of those few destinations that appeals to a wide range of different travelers: sun worshippers, nature lovers, history buffs, urban explorers and family travelers.


Before my first visit, I used to think of San Diego as a military town: the only people I knew who had ever lived or visited there were somehow connected to the U.S. Navy.

My impression immediately changed upon arrival. I fell in love with the beaches, the small-town-in-a-big-city feel, the variety of ethnic restaurants around, the terrific museums at Balboa Park, and much, much more.

I’ve returned about half a dozen times since that first trip nearly 10 years ago, and each time I find something new to love about San Diego—such as Little Italy and its art and design district. Little Italy Mercato, a specialty produce market complete with chef demonstrations, is a new event held on Date Street at Kettner, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Kettner Nights, which happens about once a quarter, is an open house event featuring local artists’ studios and galleries, and boutiques paired with street vendors and live music. The next event takes place on Fri., July 25, 2008.

There are tons of additional things to do and see on a San Diego vacation, and local Debbie K. Hardin, who lives in nearby Carlsbad and is one of TravelMuse’s regular contributors, wrote most of our San Diego articles this week. She covers the key sights to see in and around town, from Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, to historic places, like the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala and Old Town. Check out her picks for top family friendly hotels and restaurants too, and where to score a Venetian gondola ride in Coronado Bay. Another local, Maggie Espinoza, recommends three museums for families where the little ones will learn about modes of transportation. And if you missed it the first time, be sure to read Hardin’s review of the new San Diego Children’s Museum

Travel Advice

Looking for travel advice? Nicole Fancher’s ecotourism piece on hybrid rentals lets people know what to expect if you’re considering testing one of these hot cars during your vacation while her 13 tips for finding hotel deals can help save you a ton of money on lodging. Amy L. Hatch covers the dos and don’ts of road tripping while pregnant; check out our park planning tips, the final installment of our series on amusement and water parks; and products columnist A.E. Smith returns with top approved sunscreen lotions that pass newly implement quality standards.

Travel Inspiration

Hit the real O.C. with beach activities that are great for families visiting Orange County, about an hour or so north of San Diego along the California coast; go diving for sunken treasure off the coast of Florida with Anne Kazel-Wilcox; and step back in time with a visit to Prince Edward Island, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables. And as always, don’t miss our weekly Travel Deals column. 

Happy trails!

Donna M. Airoldi
Editorial Director

p.s. Next week we take an eco tour of beautiful Costa Rica.

Destinations: San Diego

Themes: Family Travel, Urban Endeavors

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