Why We Love San Diego The Best
We've been traveling full time for two and a half years now. In the US we have stuck to the west and visited 14 states, as far north as Washington and as far east as Texas. We have been to many other states in the east during our working life but so far haven't felt compelled to drag the Airstream there. One common question people ask us "What is the favorite place you have visited?" Our answer is always the same -San Diego.
That is a surprising answer for many because that is the city we lived in before we gave up our "sticks and bricks" life. "Isn't that what you left behind?"... well not really. It wasn't San Diego we gave up it was the corporate lifestyle that was dragging us down and affecting our overall happiness. For the month of December in the last three years we have returned to America's Finest City. Every time we come back we realize that, as a city to live in, SD sets a high bar that nowhere else for us has come close to ............yet.
Why do we love it here? Well the weather is the obvious answer and for sure that is definitely part of the appeal. No frosts, not too much rain, never too hot, flip-flops all year round, it's pretty awesome. But there are other things I love about San Diego too. It's a friendly town, people love living here and don't take their place in this great corner of the country for granted.
We lived for 11 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and while we loved it, people there are always running at a million miles an hour. The pressure to get ahead in your career and work hard enough to afford some kind of lifestyle is ever present there. In SD I find people are happier just being here, I'm not saying that people are not ambitious, but there is more perspective here. How bad can life be if you can surf before work everyday?
The scenery is pretty awesome too. Over the holidays we visited the spectacular Cabrillo National Monument for the first time, there is something about palm trees, ocean and views all the way down to Baja that keeps you humble.
The surfing culture adds a lot to the laid back atmosphere of the city. I'm not a big beach person and I don't buy into the thinking that the great thing about Southern California is, unlike up north, you can swim in the ocean. The water here is NEVER warm enough to swim IMHO. But I still enjoy the SoCal vibe, it adds to that no-worries culture that I love.
Even the food is decent here. When we first moved south in 2010 I would have to say that innovative decent restaurants were few and far between. But there has been a little bit of a revolution in the last four or five years. There is not a traditional fine-dining scene here, but who the hell wants that. If I can't wear shorts and flip-flops I'm out. But great tasting, high quality casual fare is now abundant and honestly, I could probably survive on fish tacos alone.
Is there something I am forgetting? Hmmm something else about San Diego that makes it great... Oh yes that's right - the beer. With over 120 breweries and counting, it's hard to underestimate the effect on the local culture and economy. It's tough to find any new restaurant that doesn't have over 20 taps. Geez you can even get a decent choice of brews at San Diego Zoo.
We love traveling and new places are always fun and exciting to discover so we are not planning to settle in one location at the moment. But who knows, maybe in 2017 we'll find that elusive spot that challenges San Diego's position at the top of our favorite places to be.