While Los Angeles and San Francisco definitely get plenty of screen time and press, San Diego remains a popular California destination, but one that’s far more laid back than its neighboring cities. With countless beautiful beaches, a surfer’s mindset and paradise, some of the best tacos you’ll eat not only in the country, but the world, a San Diego honeymoon is sure to be a fun one. Though plenty of newlyweds enjoy the quiet and calm nature of the city, it also has a modern pulse, offering plenty of art galleries and studios, museums and gardens. Here, you can explore both the United States Naval Base for American history, or even take a trip to cross the nearby Mexico border for an international experience.
If you’re considering a San Diego honeymoon, take these tips and advice to reap the most out of this very special, once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
When To Go
San Diego is known for having some of the best weather in the country. With more than 300 sunny days on average, ask anyone from this region of California and they’ll brag about their near-perfect climate. Even so, the best times to book your getaway are during spring (March to May) and during fall (September to November). During these two stretches of months, you’ll find fewer crowds, less humidity and better rates. If you don’t mind battling tourists, May through August is peak travel season for this part of the country.
What To Do
The better question is what can’t you do during a San Diego honeymoon? From a renowned zoo to some of the most scenic stretches of sand you’ll ever see in America, here are a few ideas to keep your honeymoon calendar exciting.
- Take a ride the Giant Dipper: Getting married is thrilling… and so is this rollercoaster that dates back to 1925. Belmont Park Mission Beach is beloved by Californians and tourists, so even if roller coasters aren’t your thing, venturing through the amusement park is sure to be fun.
- Visit La Jolla: Easy to drive (or Uber) to, you’ll feel as if you stepped away from California and into Greece once you arrived. It’s nicknamed the jewel of Southern California, and for good reason: a quick jaunt from downtown, and you’ll find well-known restaurants and hotels, as well as local crafts and more. If you notice lots of nods to Dr. Seuss it’s because he used to call this gemstone of a town his home.
- Tour the USS Midway Museum: Even if you aren’t exactly up on your naval history, you and your number one will be fascinated by this longest-serving aircraft carrier. Basically the size of a small town, you can venture through the ship with a self-guided audio tour, narrated by sailors.
- Spend a day at Balboa Park Laurel: Remember how we talked about San Diego’s remarkable weather? There’s nothing better than soaking up that sun with a picnic in the city’s 1,200-acre public park. Featuring the legendary Old Globe Theaters and 15 major museums, you can enjoy your snack and let yourselves get lost in nature and art. Renting bikes definitely recommended.
- Spend the day at the zoo: You can’t have a San Diego honeymoon without seeing their plethora of wild animals at the zoo. Dreams come true here, since they offer many interactions with wildlife—from volunteering as a keeper for the day to learning about conservation and more. They’re known for their approach to research too, featuring open-are categless exhibits that allow more natural interactions with animals.
- Consider trying paragliding: One of the greatest risks you’ll ever take is promising forever and ever to someone, so jumping off a cliff might not be as scary once you’re married. San Diego is known for some of the best paragliding in the country, so take a trip to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve where a pilot will take you over the 2,000-acre reserve.
- Go whale watching: If you’re enjoying your San Diego honeymoon between June and September, you might see blue whales. And if you visit from December to April, you have the chance to witness gray ones. Book a tour to get up-close-and-personal to this giant, fascinating creatures.
- Go for a hike: For a view that reaches all the way to Mexico, go for a hike through the Cabrillo National Monument. As you weave through trees and hills, you’ll learn about the Portuguese explorer who found his way here… and take some epic Instagram shots.
- Visit the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market: If you want to live like a local, do as they do and scour for fresh produce and goodies. Not only will you fill your bags with culinary treasures, but if you’re staying at an AirBNB, you can take home locally caught fish to prepare together. After all, there are many fish in the sea, but you found yours!
- Taste amazing Mexican food: You’re so close to the Mexican border you can see it in San Diego, so grab your passport and head to another country. Here, you can tour through endless favorites that add a whole new layer of culture to your honeymoon. Try Barrio Logan and Panchitas Bakery, both of which have cult followings.
Article by Lindsay Tigar