As Comic-Con 2012 news becomes apparent – membership IDs, guests, masquerade, etc. – we all start to think about San Diego and its magical convention in just a few (5?) months. The famed convention center, the plethora of hotels around it, and of course the Gaslamp District.
But what else does San Diego have?
In December I was fortunate enough to revisit this town for our company Christmas trip and actually got to see San Diego. I know most people are this fortunate, and many who come for Comic-Con don’t venture further than the convention center or their hotel, but San Diego is truly a city of laid back surfer glory that I indulged in for a couple of days.
We stayed just north of the airport in an area called Pacific Beach. While most SDCC attendees will never make it up there, this is always something to plan for if you are able to get extra days off and want to see what else this city offers. There are a lot of affordable eateries, quaint shopping areas, cheap hotels, and plenty of beach. Of course, just south of that (but still north of the airport) is also Sea World!
One place I was able to find that had reasonably priced Japanese food at huge portions was Surfside Sushi. The quintessential craving of fresh fish that I can never quite get in Las Vegas, no matter how good the sushi is, was definitely fulfilled here. I got sashimi for about the same price as Las Vegas but got 3/4″ thick slices. Seriously. Fresh as fresh can get always helps. For a green tea, Crunchy Roll, eel sushi, and tuna sashimi I was out of there for about $20 before tip. This was reasonable, especially considering how I had a nice night out to myself.
Another place I must mention is Kono’s Cafe. This place has some of the best breakfast anywhere PERIOD and comes with an ocean view. Almost every morning I walked by there was a line but the day I went it was raining so I got lucky – the inside was still mostly full but I ordered and ate within minutes of each other. They have breakfast burritos here the size of your HEAD. No, I’m not kidding. They run pretty cheap too – just make sure you have cash. Definitely a great way to kick off your morning if you want to plan on lots of walking and/or a later lunch.
Last but not definitely least on my Pacific Beach review is, well, Pacific Beach Park. This is a decently sized stretch that has some of the most breathtaking views any time of the day (well, OK – not complete nighttime…but you know what I mean). There’s a boardwalk that grants easy access to most everything on the Pacific Beach coastline so you don’t have to trek through the beach itself, but of course it’s a beach – so get some sand in your toes and try it out. The water is a bit cooler than I’d like but San Diego is still south enough to have enjoyable coast weather virtually year round – the surfers were out bright and early mid-December!
So just in case you can extend your vacation, take a couple of days to check out Pacific Beach. It’s more affordable than the Gaslamp District and has a great down-to-earth feeling that most beach areas tend to give off. The food is great and the beach itself is stellar. It’s a perfect break from the con madness you can definitely experience!