San Diego is a destination that is well-known for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, Comic-Con, and for being the home of Ron Burgundy in Anchorman. In addition to all of these things, San Diego is America’s Finest City and is the host city of the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star game. While Petco Park, the Convention Center, and the Gaslamp District are great spots in the city core of San Diego, the city, and the county as a whole have innumerable spots for visitors who have the time to explore, or who want to get away from the downtown crowds. Whether you are a first time visitor to San Diego, or a long-time fan of the city, check out the below destinations this weekend that prove that the city’s nickname is more than hype.
The Marston House is also one of the city’s best-preserved historic locations, and is also regarded as one of the finest examples of the Arts and Crafts movement in the entirety of California. The Marston House was constructed in 1905 for George Marston and his family; and is a three story house along with its accompanying outbuildings (Carriage House) and grounds. While many things could be said about George Marston, the most important are that he was a civic leader in the city of San Diego, a noted conservationist, and a contemporary of John Spreckels.
One of the most iconic buildings in San Diego is the California Building, otherwise known as the Museum of Man. Whether one is walking or driving into Balboa Park over the Cabrillo Bridge, or flying into San Diego from foreign or domestic destinations, the California Building is hard to miss with its signature blue dome, stone ornamentation and soaring tower.
With the Griffith Park Observatory, the Greek Theater, and the miles of hiking trails, Griffith Park in Los Angeles has a little bit of everything for locals and tourists alike. The most unique attraction in the park, however, is not one of the locations listed above; it is the remains of the Old Los Angeles Zoo. The Old Los Angeles Zoo, which used to be known as the Griffith Park Zoo, was built in 1912 on an old ostrich farm. Over the years, it gradually expanded with the help of the movie industry, and in the 1930’s, the cages that remain today were built by the Works Progress Administration. In 1966, the Griffith Park Zoo was closed, and its animals were moved to larger and more modern enclosures in the current Los Angeles Zoo.
One of the little known facts about San Diego is that to locals it not only has its own “Half Dome” (Corte Madera Peak) but also its own “El Capitan” – El Cajon Mountain. While both of these peaks share a type of rock with the original mountains – exfoliated granite – and provide both hiking and climbing opportunities, the similarities end there. The more well-known fact about El Cajon Mountain, however, is that it is the “toughest” hike in San Diego County.
In 1995, a Democrat was President; cell phones were chunky bricks that seemed better suited to calling in air strikes; you connected to the Internet via this thing called a modem that was connected to this other thing called a land line; and cassette tapes/VHS tapes were battling it out in a format war with these things called CD’s and DVD’s. Even crazier, Val Kilmer was Batman. That’s right. Val Kilmer. Batman. If that doesn’t prove that the 1990s was a strange time, I don’t know what does. Back then, I was just starting out as an outdoor adventurer. There was no handheld GPS; we had handheld maps, and handheld compasses – and woe betide you if you placed your compass on a car hood to take bearings! We also didn’t have hiking forums, blogs, or websites – we had these things called books. At that time, the best book for San Diego County was Afoot and Afield in San Diego County by Jerry Schad, who was the preeminent wilderness expert for the region.