Do as the Locals Do: Non-Touristy Spots in Town
San Diego has some pretty awesome tourist attractions, like Balboa Park and USS Midway, which we’ve written about (Instagram shots and Enjoy the Bay). But once in a while, it’s nice to stray from the beaten path and try something a little unexpected. Here’s a guide to four non-touristy ways to spend a San Diego vacation.
Explore one of San Diego’s nine art districts — Barrio Logan being one of the best and most diverse
Barrio Logan lives up to its designation as one of 14 California Cultural Districts, with galleries; art-filled cafés; and vast, colorful murals. Check out art shows in converted warehouses such as Bread & Salt and La Bodega (which also houses DJs and fashion designers), or admire the public art around the La Entrada apartments, the neighborhood market, and the pillars of Chicano Park’s historic Coronado Bridge.
Go on a brewery tour (San Diego is America’s craft-beer capital, after all)
San Diego County boasts a whopping 131 craft breweries (which is more than a quarter of all California breweries), and the best way to experience them is by taking a guided tour through Brewery Tours of San Diego. That said, you can also home in on a neighborhood known for beer, like North Park or South San Diego, and consult Thrillist’s useful directory for the coolest area spots.
Go on a hike in Torrey Pines and Los Penasquitos
Many San Diegans pride themselves on their active lifestyles, and a great way to channel your own inner local is to hike one of the city’s trails. At Torrey Pines State Park, you can take the fairly easy Razor Point Trail or Beach Trail directly to the ocean, potentially viewing whales or dolphins along the way. Visit Los Penasquitos Canyon for a similarly beginner-friendly trail that passes by streams, creeks, and waterfalls.
Attend the Ocean Beach Farmers Market
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting on a Wednesday, head over to Ocean Beach Farmers Market, which takes place every Wednesday from 4pm-8pm. At the same time that farmers sell fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers from surrounding SoCal, local musicians perform; local artisans sell unique jewelry, clothing and art; and food-truck vendors whip up tacos, ceviche, crepes, and stuffed baguettes — making for one-of-a-kind, quintessentially San Diego experience.
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