There are plenty of reasons to be thankful year-round in San Diego, from access to sparkling beaches and world-class attractions to our friendly and welcoming community. However, as we head into the holiday season after a year of unexpected twists and turns, both locals and visitors can find extra reasons to give thanks for what’s gotten us through 2020.
Whether you’ll be in San Diego for the holidays or are simply looking ahead to future travel plans, we hope you’ll join us in raising a glass and toasting what makes San Diego truly special.
1. Outdoor Lifestyle
San Diego is fortunate to enjoy a healthy, safe and positive outdoor lifestyle that can be experienced throughout the year. Our beautiful Southern California setting and year-round nearly perfect weather can’t be beat anywhere in the nation. Add to that diverse outdoor recreational offerings. From surfing and kayaking in the Pacific to hiking and mountain biking in Mission Trails Regional Park to stargazing and 4-wheeling in the vast Anza-Borrego Desert, you have everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors.
2. Strong Community
We applaud the thousands of dedicated essential workers who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to keep both locals and visitors safe and healthy during trying times. And their supportive families need a round of applause too! From our health care workers and transportation operators to our local farmers and community service organizations, we cannot express our incredible gratitude deeply enough.
3. Arts and Culture
It’s time to give a much-deserved standing ovation to our world-class performing arts organizations like La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, San Diego Dance Theater, and Spreckels Organ Society, just to name a few. These companies have continued to captivate audiences worldwide through digital content and virtual offerings. Life in 2020 has been a bit more magical with world-premiere theater productions, dance performances, beautiful music and much more.
4. Restaurants and Dining
We give heaping platefuls of thanks to our restaurant community. Numerous eateries and restaurant groups like Cloak & Petal, Lola 55, Miss B’s Coconut Club and Urban Kitchen Group delivered food to frontline workers. Unemployed workers were provided free meals by Breakfast Republic, Common Stock, Sundara and more. And now we can enjoy meals in amyriad of charming and spacious open-air settings. Many spaces newly created for the public’s safety.
5. Craft Beer and Spirits
Distilleries like Misadventure Vodka, Seven Caves and Cutwater Spirits and breweries like Mike Hess Brewing made sanitizers when the nation faced a shortage of supplies. Stone Brewery has dispersed to date nearly $400,000 to laid off employees and the public as part of the Team Stone Relief Fund. And we’d be very remiss to not toast the great local craft brews, wines and spirits that lifted our own spirits during this challenging year.
6. Hotels and Motels
Recognition must be given to San Diego’s hotels. They provided comfort and hospitality even when their doors were closed to the public. Many accommodated essential workers. Provided shelter for unhoused individuals. And displayed giant hearts of bright lights to express concern and care. As the doors reopened, we acknowledge the dedicated and hard work by their staffs to create safe, clean environments for residents and visitors alike to escape for some much-needed R&R.
7. San Diego’s Diversity
Diversity of people, cultures and perspectives is that special ingredient in San Diego’s enviable lifestyle, food, creativity, attitude, and resilience. The region boasts rich Latinx, Asian and Black communities and a vibrant Kumeyaay history. Our military and LGBTQ+ communities teach us how to stand proud. It’s this cultural diversity that makes San Diego one of the best destinations in the world. This something that Lonely Planet recently acknowledged by naming San Diego as “Best in Travel” for 2021. All are welcome in San Diego, now and in the brighter days ahead.
Cheers to a happy holiday season ahead, and cheers to San Diego!
Cover photo courtesy of Jamie Lynn O’Grady and J Public Relations Inc.