15 Things You Must Try in San Diego in 2015

It’s the new year and it’s time to explore more of what San Diego has to offer visitors and locals alike. Here are 15 things to try in 2015:

100+ Years of Awesome

1. Climb the California Tower

California Tower - Museum of Man

Climb the California Tower for amazing views of Balboa Park and beyond

For the first time since 1935, Balboa Park’s California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man is open for public tours! From the second floor of the Museum, you go up a staircase hidden to the public for decades. Then you climb seven floors, getting glimpses through narrow windows of the beauty outside. Finally, you climb a spiral metal stairway and emerge into sunlight where you will see a spectacular Southern California vista.

> Find out how you can Climb the California Tower

2. Balboa Park Centennial

Balboa Park Lily Pond

Celebrate the cultural jewel of San Diego throughout 2015 during the Balboa Park Centennial

100 years later after the opening of the Panama-California Exposition, the City of San Diego and Balboa Park are doing it all over again. Join us as we celebrate the art, science and culture of Balboa Park and the City of San Diego with a year of breathtaking performances, awe-inspiring exhibitions, and historical experiences with a reverence to how San Diego has grown, and how Balboa Park has evolved over the last century.

> Find out more about the Balboa Park Centennial

3. Coronado Celebrates 125 Years

San Diego's Coronado

Join Coronado in the celebration of 125 years

In 2015, the City of Coronado will celebrate 125 years since its incorporation on December 11, 1890. Since the traditional anniversary gift chart doesn’t go beyond 100 (10K diamond), Coronado has decided to give its citizens and visitors a year-long celebration of a year-long celebration of the Crown City’s history, its accomplishments, its citizens, and its future. Designated “Coronado Celebrates 125,” the City, working through its Cultural Arts Commission, will collaborate with a wide variety of individuals, businesses, and organizations to engage citizens and visitors alike in an extraordinary celebration.

> A Link to the Celebration will be added as soon as it is ready

From the Hidden to the New

4. Explore the Nine Districts of San Diego

San Diego - Nine Art's Districts, One Vibrant City

From the hills of La Jolla to the plains of the northeast and everywhere in-between, come take a tour with us and discover the artistic side of some of San Diego’s most exciting neighborhoods.

> Discover San Diego – Nine Arts Districts, One Vibrant City

5. Discover the New Embarcadero

Port of San Diego New Embarcadero

Enjoy a relaxing visit to the new section of San Diego’s Embarcadero. Photo courtesy of the Port of San Diego

San Diego’s picturesque Embarcadero keeps getting better! In addition to the beautiful Waterfront Park unveiled in 2014, the Embarcadero just became more pedestrian-friendly with a beautifully landscaped 105-foot wide promenade featuring public art by internationally known artist Pae White; lush, colorful gardens, landscaped plazas and pathways feature comfortable wooden benches and seating areas, groves of 42 purple-blooming jacaranda trees; and the popular Carnitas Snack Shack (opening early Summer 2015).

> Play or Relax at one of the Port of San Diego’s Public Parks

The Great Outdoors

6. Decobike

Decobike San Diego

Explore San Diego on two wheels

With all the transportation options available in San Diego, it’s easy for anyone to explore most of the city without ever needing to rent a car. In 2015, visitors and locals will be able to quickly move around the city on two wheels thanks to San Diego’s new bike-sharing program, Decobike. Once the system is fully operational, you will be able to rent one of the more than 1,700 bikes by the hour or day at any of the more than 180 solar-powered stations.

> Find out more about Decobike San Diego

7. Kayak Whale Watching Tours

Grey Whale Breach - Hike, Bike Kayak La Jolla

Hike Bike Kayak Sports La Jolla owner “Big Wave Dave” getting up close on a Kayak Whale Watching Tour

Get up close to a grey whale while being active on a kayak whale watching tour. Outfitters like Hike Bike Kayak Sports La Jolla, La Jolla Kayak and Everyday California offer daily kayak whale watching tours from December through March.

> Go Whale Watching in San Diego

8. Run a Race

Running Along the Boardwalk

Take a run in San Diego in 2015

With amazing weather and breathtaking waterfront views, it’s easy to see why San Diego hosted the first triathlon more than 40 years ago. Today, you can run anything from a 5K to a full marathon every month in San Diego. So in 2015, challenge yourself to run a race in San Diego and then reward yourself with a few days of recovery at one of San Diego’s sparkling beaches.

> Run a Race in San Diego

9. Tidepooling

Swami's Tidepools - Encinitas

Swami’s Tidepools – Encinitas

There’s no telling what tiny creatures you’ll encounter in these incredible little ecosystems teeming with life along San Diego’s shoreline. It all happens when the tide rolls out – shallow pools form around the rocks and become home to tiny octopuses, colorful sea stars, hardy hermit crabs and other remarkable critters. And that’s just what’s visible to the naked eye.

> Hang out at one of San Diego’s Tide Pools

Celebrate the Craft of San Diego

10. Coffee – Pour-Overs to Espresso

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters San Diego

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in La Jolla

From Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in La Jolla to Ryan Bros. Coffee in Barrio Logan, the fine craft of freshly roasted coffee is exploding all over San Diego. Since there are so many amazing options, here are a few other spots to check out for a warm pour-over: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, Coffee & Tea Collective, Caffe Calabria, Influx Cafe and Roast Coach.

11. San Diego Spirits

Old Harbor Distilling Co.

Outfits like Old Harbor Distilling are Celebrating the Craft of San Diego by distilling local spirits

As San Diego’s award-winning craft beer scene reaches maturity, brewers are starting to become distillers along with a few newcomers into San Diego’s craft scene. Old Harbor Distilling Co., Malahat Spirits, Liberty Call Distilling Co. and Kill Devil Spirit Co. are the first distillery-only operations looking to grow the world of locally distilled spirits. Breweries Twisted Manzanita and Ballast Point are distilling everything from barrel-aged rum to an East County moonshine.

12. Donuts

Doughnuts - Donut Bar

You never know what you will find in one of San Diego’s amazing doughnut shops. Photo courtesy of Donut Bar

Sorry cupcake lovers, donuts are the new cool…again. Donut Bar in downtown San Diego was one of the first to cook up these overly decadent pastries. In North Park, Nomad Donuts and Streetcar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee are frying up some cakey deliciousness. If you are looking for something a bit more old-fashioned, Dunkin Donuts has returned to San Diego and plans to expand throughout the county.

13. Meat-Centric Establishments

Deli Counter - S&M Sausage & Meat

Meat-centric establishments let you enjoy amazing cuts in the restaurant or take them home to cool. Photo courtesy of S&M Sausage & Meat

San Diego, which has its fair share of vegetarian restaurants, is seeing a rise in the popularity of more meat-centric establishments. S&M Sausage & Meat and Cowboy Star invite you to not only dine on some of the best cuts, but to take some home from their in-house delis. The Heart & Trotter Whole Animal Butchery will offer locally sourced meats and promises that nothing will go to waste. (H&T retail location is set to open sometime in 2015). For those in the North County, stop by Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad.

Make San Diego Your Home Port

14. Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise Line

Starting October 2015, Disney will offer Mexican adventures embarking from San Diego. Photo courtesy of Diana Zalucky

San Diego is the perfect place for your pre- and post-cruise vacation. In October 2015, Disney Cruise Line will offer 3- and 5-day cruises to Mexico that embark from San Diego. So now you and your family can enjoy a few days in San Diego, then explore Mexico and finish up with a few more relaxing days in San Diego. Talk about the ideal vacation!

> Cruise from San Diego

15. Explore Baja California

[youtube http://youtu.be/89OuNv-2IUs]

By staying in San Diego, visitors and locals can conveniently (and safely) make a day trip south of the border. Tour companies like Turista Libre open up the city of Tijuana and highlight the growing arts and culture scene, delectable cross-border restaurants, mouth-watering taco shops and even local craft breweries. Those looking something a bit more romantic can venture further south to the Valle de Guadalupe for amazing wines and romantic hotels. Local museums like the Museum of Contemporary Arts San Diego are also offering tours of Valle de Guadalupe.

> Start Planning Your Trip to San Diego

This entry was posted in Insider Tips and tagged by Brent Bernasconi. Bookmark the permalink.
Brent Bernasconi

About Brent Bernasconi

I am a local San Diegan (though surprisingly, I do not know how to surf). While not at work, I enjoy biking, running, soccer, bocce ball, craft brew (I hope to make a batch of home brew one day), reading, movies, and a video game here and there. My goal is to set foot in as many states, countries and continents as I possibly can (I have hit 14 states, 9 countries, and 3 continents), though I will always call San Diego home. How would you describe your ideal San Diego day?So after a good night's sleep, first I would take the puppy for a nice long walk. Then I would pack the bicycle panniers with a picnic lunch for the wife and I and we would ride over to Mission Trails for some trail riding and then a lovely lunch under the shade by the river. After the ride home, a shower and a nap would follow. Once rested, we would head out to the Blind Lady and enjoy a local brew and some organic pizza.If you were invisible, where would you go?Area 51! I would love to know what they are doing that is so top secret.What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?So many choices, but if I have to pick one I would choose bikingrunningsoccerbocceball. Though sitting outside with a good book on a sunny day would come in close second.Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?Nothing could be better than a San Diego Craft Beer (Hess, Stone, Ballast Point, Automatic, and many many more) and a burger with onion rings and BBQ-sauce. Though you will often find me boiling some pasta with a glass of wine in my hand and Ratatouille on in the background.Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…A few albums by Jonathan Coulton, the ultimate geek musician. If you get a chance, listen to Code Monkey.If you like, you can follow me on Twitter @bernasconi.

9 thoughts on “15 Things You Must Try in San Diego in 2015

  1. We have bird rock coffee in little italy 2295 Kettner!
    Also the new pan bon, Kettner exchange, cheese store, waterfront park, And more. Come visit.
    Oh did I mention Karl Strauss, ballast point, bottle craft…

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  3. We’re the largest art colony in San Diego housing over 200+ Fine Artists and Craftsmen along with 37 working artists studios, 6 art guilds and Gallery 21 located in Balboa Park between the San Diego Zoo and the Natural Museum of History. Established in 1935 we’re celebrating our 80th year along with Balboa Park 100th year celebration. Luscious Gardens abound in our Spanish Style architecture filled with patio artists and colorful stepping stones. We’re Pet and Family friendly and Free Wi-Fi. Open daily 11:00am to 4:00pm. Visit our website to find out more.

  4. Try local wine train tour, from Old Town to Oceanside. And taste all the wine that they served you. It’s fun, but don’t forget to bring plastic bag in-case you get drunk.

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  6. How about visiting local communities like Old Town and Little Italy – after all there is some history in both neighborhoods.

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