Soak Up the Sun in San Diego

Anytime is a great time of year to head to beautiful San Diego. One of the largest cities on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and warm climate and diverse neighborhoods that have something for everyone. Places like San Diego Zoo which is nestled within the immense Balboa Park, as well as numerous museums, art galleries, and cultural centers make San Diego unique among America’s great cities. 

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With culinary experiences to please every palate, San Diego offers top notch cuisine that keeps it high on the list of places you have to eat your way through. Experience the city’s culture and diversity, featuring exceptional cuisine throughout the neighborhoods. Walk local neighborhoods featuring regionally inspired cuisine in the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, or Barrio Logan. Balboa Park and Old Town offer untold stories of California’s rich history.

If it’s nightlife you’re looking for, look no further than San Diego’s bars, breweries, and nightclubs. Most importantly, San Diego’s own gayborhood in Hillcrest is the perfect getaway for a trip with your friends.

If nothing else takes you to San Diego, rest and relaxation will call you to this seaside city. Take some time to breathe in the ocean air while you soak up the sun almost entirely year round.

On a recent trip to San Diego, we experienced everything the city has to offer from world-class accommodations to fine dining to nightlife that we didn’t want to go home from.

Check out some of the highlights from our trip to San Diego and get inspired to put it on your list of must visit places in 2023!

STAY | Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

If you’re looking for luxury, look no further than the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. With stunning ocean and city views for miles, the Marriott Marquis is a perfectly situated waterfront hotel overlooking a private marina, Seaport Village, San Diego Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, and Petco Park at a distance. Whether you are in town for business or vacation, you will be charmed by Marriott Marquis and its massive resounding aesthetic. 

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Recharge on indulgent bedding and take advantage of the relaxed reading chairs, flat-screen TVs, desks and WiFi. Many of the rooms have private balconies perfect for watching the sunset or sunrise. Concierge-level rooms grant access to Lounge perks, including free breakfasts, while suites offer generous living areas. You can also pamper yourself at the hotel’s day spa, work out in the 24-hour gym or take a dip in the outdoor pools and hot tub with impressive views of the California palm trees and blue skies. Food is just a quick sprint away as you indulge with creative American, Mexican and Asian-fusion fare at the property’s award-winning restaurants.

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If you’re a part of the M Club, you can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast and daily access to their newly appointed M Club lounge. This exclusive experience includes a private lounge where you can retreat, recharge, and refocus. Start your day with an enhanced continental breakfast and delight in your afternoon with hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and non-alcoholic beverages. A refreshing selection of wine and beer is also available for purchase.

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Looking for outdoor adventure? Get a grab-and-go lunch, hop on one of the hotel bikes and set off cruising down the Embarcadero. Enjoy kayaking and paddle boards at the marina. You should also check out local tour operators offering jet boats, ferries and sunset cruises or play at one San Diego’s world class, signature designed, premier golf courses. If you have your sea legs, take a fairy over to Coronado Island or take a short trip up to Hillcrest.

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TASTE | Marina Kitchen

Located inside the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Marina Kitchen is a dynamic, chic and comfortable San Diego dining venue where people can go to relax, socialize and take in the sights and sounds of a rhythmic and vibrant atmosphere. A chill out place where you can grab a drink, have a full meal, or enjoy a nosh before a day on the go, Marina Kitchen has welcoming vibes and even more impressive panoramic views of the San Diego coastline.

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The award-winning Marina Kitchen Restaurant & Bar has reinvented comfort food and features creative takes on American favorites and a popular buffet breakfast. Chef Rafael Corniel and his staff of friendly professionals bring much to the table with a variety of plates and accompanying cocktails. Do yourself a favor and check out Marina Kitchen–they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

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Here’s some of what we tried on our San Diego trip:

  • Kabocha Squash & Kale Salad
  • Oysters-Scallops
  • Wester Ross’ Autumn Salmon
  • Short Rib Ragu

EXPERIENCE | Hillcrest

Like every great city in the nation, San Diego has its very own LGBTQ+ scene in the Hillcrest neighborhood. Full of rich queer history, Hillcrest reverberates with incredible bars and nightclubs and is home to one of the nation’s biggest and most successful annual Pride celebrations.

Photo by David Lopez

Along University Avenue you will find restaurants that serve global cuisine from Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, and Mexican, to an eclectic mix of cafes, brunch spots and thrift stores that keep the area active all year long. Hillcrest is bursting with color and energy and is one of the biggest LGBTQ+ hubs in the country.

Photo by David Lopez

Some of the notable spots to check out in Hillcrest and surrounding areas are:

  • AWOL
  • insideOUT
  • Flicks
  • Gossip Grill
  • Number One on Fifth
  • Pecs
  • Rich’s
  • Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill
Photo by David Lopez


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