arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

San Diego is America’s Coolest City

Laid Back but Vibrant Beach-City Vibe

From weather, beaches and culture to street art, food, beer and nightlife, San Diego has it all.

Forbes called San Diego “America’s Coolest City”, and it’s easy to see why.

Canadians are cool, in both the figurative and (now that winter is here) literal senses. So here’s a tip for those seeking warmer climes but want to skip the humdrum resort scene. Visit San Diego, California.

Forbes called San Diego “America’s Coolest City”, and it’s easy to see why. This is a paradise for the young and the young at heart.  With an average age of just 35, San Diegans have created a mecca for adventure seekers who expect just a little more from life. If your idea of a great time involves perfect weather, great food, craft beer and a vibrant arts scene, you will find it here, in addition to spectacular surroundings and some of the best beaches in the world.

You can’t mention San Diego without talking about its phenomenal outdoor lifestyle, much of which has a lot to do with the fact that it lies at the southwestern tip of the US, right along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This is matched by its fantastic year-round weather, with the temperature rarely dropping below 16°C or soaring above 25°C. The fact that you can surf, snorkel, boat and paddle all year makes it a must visit destination for any Canadian that might have been a fish in another life!

Those who would rather not get their feet wet can immerse themselves in the city’s beach life by playing beach volleyball, biking on endless beach paths or just laying in the sun. San Diego also offers hiking, world class golf, rock climbing and more. Its perfect year-round weather makes it the ultimate outdoor playground.

Make sure to spend a day at Balboa Park, which happens to be the largest urban cultural park in the States. And it’s more than just a park; it’s a cultural landmark, with acres of gardens, 17 museums, theatres and galleries to discover. For some impromptu free entertainment, checkout the street performers and artists that line The Prado, the main street that runs through the park. Of course, since we are in San Diego, you can also enjoy a charming meal at The Prado restaurant, or wade into the craft beer scene at Panama 66, which is a more casual outdoors hangout - all while surrounded by the beauty of Balboa Park.

Kayaking in la jolla san diego

Take a short drive North to experience the beach town of La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) - there is a reason why it means ‘the jewel’ in Spanish. Consider exploring the oceanside caves of La Jolla Cove, an ecological reserve, where you can mingle with the seals and spot other wildlife. Later, take a stroll to experience the fantastic Murals of La Jolla, a project of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library commissioned by the community to demonstrate La Jolla’s unique personality and vibrancy. Scope out the town’s many coveted dining options, including some of San Diego’s best upscale eateries. Here you can enjoy gourmet open-air dining and stunning coastal views like nowhere else.

Food is at the centre of the city’s rich craft scene. For a truly San Diego experience, get to know Cali-Baja food - a mixture between Mexican cuisine and California’s emphasis on fresh, local food. It’s about shocking your taste buds and doing the extraordinary, like grilled octopus on a tostada or grilled avocado in a taco. The Cali-Baja scene has kept those in the know buzzing for years, and could be reason alone to visit the city, especially if you are a foodie.

Speaking of foodies, do go to Little Italy – one of the buzziest food neighbourhoods in the city, and an area that Forbes dubbed as one of the US’s top 10 hottest neighbourhoods. This foodie’s haven is home to more than 50 restaurants and cafés, some of which are dotted along Kettner Boulevard, known by locals as “Top Chef Alley”. This strip is famous for the many restaurant creations of past Top Chef contestants including Brian Malarkey and Richard Blais.

drinking craft beer in san diego

There would be no point in mentioning the fabulous food scene in San Diego without talking about its impressive craft beer scene, which is a culture all in itself. We hear that Canadians love their craft beer, so a trip to San Diego might be akin to a pilgrimage to one of the world’s largest and most prolific craft beer destinations. San Diego is home to over 150 local craft breweries. And it even boasts its very own signature brew; the West Coast-style IPA. This signature brew can be tasted at breweries along the “Hops Highway”, “Beer-a-Mar” and “Beer Boulevard”. All of these beer regions can be experienced on a brewery tour, or you can easily just head to one of these strips and take it all in on your own.

Driven by its young citizens and stunning geography, San Diego is all about perfect weather, gorgeous beaches, culture, street art, food, craft beer and nightlife. Be sure to check out America’s Coolest City and experience it for yourself.

From Forbes, August 6, 2014 © 2014 Forbes. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Buy One, Get One 50% Off at Humphreys!

Humphreys Half Moon Inn
Valid: Jul 1 - ongoing

Dreaming of a tropical stay at Humphreys Half Moon Inn? Book our BOGO offer and get 50% off every second night! Enjoy well appointed room accommodations, a refreshing pool and jacuzzi, our newly...

Accommodation

Hotel Indigo Senior Discount

Hotel Indigo - San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1, 2020 - ongoing

Seniors 62 years and older receive up to 15% off when booking in advance.  No additional room charge for grandchildren under 18 years of age.  No deposit of fee for your furry companions....

Accommodation

Fun in the Sun at the Pacific Terrace Hotel!

Pacific Terrace Hotel
Valid: Jun 2 - ongoing

Boardwalk, bikes, boogie boards, Baked Bear and the beach! Connect with your inner child during your next visit to San Diego with our Fun in the Sun Package! This package is a top seller...

Events to check out

Event

La Mesa's Holiday in the Village

Dec 4 - Dec 5, 2020

Ring in the Holiday season with the 5th Annual La Mesa Village Association’s Holiday in the Village on Friday, December 4th from 4 PM to 9 PM and Saturday, December 5th from 10 AM to 9 PM!...

Event

San Diego Bird Festival

Feb 17 - Feb 21, 2021

The San Diego Audubon Society invites you to the San Diego Bird Festival, which celebrates the birds and habitats of San Diego county. We're celebrating the birds and habitats of our county, which...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish