San Diego Luxury City Guide: As one of the top 10 largest cities in America, San Diego has a long history of providing some of the best of old and new in luxury experiences.
Bordering Mexico and founded by Spanish settlers, San Diego's Spanish heritage is readily visible in the Spanish architecture that dots the city, making it a visual wonder that contrasts sharply with the modern skyscrapers of downtown.
From white sand beaches, to stunning mountainscapes, the temperate climate allows for outdoor activities year round, a feature the many locals, as well as visitors to the area's luxury resorts, take full advantage of.
The City Scene:
San Diego is carefully divided into an array of neighborhoods, each offering their own unique piece of the city.
In Downtown San Diego, head for the Gaslamp District, a brick and gaslamp dotted area filled with some of the hippest boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs. For an extra bit of charm, the Gaslamp District also allows visitors to experience the area from the comfort of seated transportation, whether it's a sight-seeing charter buses, pedicabs or a horse-drawn carriage ride. The Gaslamp District also offers premium shopping at Horton Plaza, which features an array of high-end shopping options. In Downtown, guests can also stay at some of the most luxurious hotels, including Manchester Grand Hyatt, Hotel Solamar, Horton Grand Hotel, The Omni, The Westin Horton Plaza, The W San Diego, the Hard Rock Hotel, the Westgate Hotel, just to name a few.
One of San Diego's most luxe areas is La Jolla. Located outside the main city, La Jolla is home to an array of art galleries and unique boutique shops featuring some of the hottest designers from around the world. Also in La Jolla, you will find the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and accompanying Hilton Resort, with spa and restaurants on the pine-tree covered grounds that border the beach.
Must Sees & Do's:
San Diego is filled with attractions, from kid favorite Legoland to Sea World and many museums, like the California Surf Museum, in between.
While the beaches provide an array of water activities, from surfing and yachting to parasailing, the theme parks of the area provide hours and days of family-friendly fun. Sea World is not only home to Shamu, the killer whale, but learning experiences about marine life. Further inland is located the San Diego Zoo and Wildlife Park. Spend the day exploring animals from around the world, all in Southern California's southernmost city.
In addition to the theme parks, popular attractions can also be found at the area's resorts, Indian gaming casinos as well as museums art galleries and the historic Old Town San Diego.
Wining and Dining:
In a large city, there is something for everyone's appetite. Each resort offers its own eclectic flavor, like A R Valentien at the La Jolla-located Torrey Pines Resort, which features classic, well-made flavors. Elsewhere in La Jolla, you can find intimate gourmet restaurants nestled between the art galleries and boutiques, like Donna Marsh, that line the notoriously wealthy community.
Downtown San Diego is another mecca of fine dining. It is proud to have Nobu, one of the most famous names in Japanese cuisine, offering signature dishes such as Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Tiradito Nobu Style, Rock Shrimp Tempura, and Black Cod with Miso. In the Gaslamp District of downtown, you can find other world cuisines, from Indian to Italian. While in downtown, visit all the unique bars, like J6Bar and the landmark Top of the Hyatt.
For the VIP:
To experience all the luxury of San Diego like a VIP, consider some of the city's special services.
Get around downtown in a Cinderella Carriage. Get a bird's eye view of San Diego and its surrounding from a corporate helicopter. To experience the water without getting your hair wet, hop aboard a Hornblower cruise and feast on some exquisite cuisine.
To get around in style, rent a luxury vehicle from Prestige and be treated like a VIP wherever you valet park.
For LxM Carly Zinderman
The JustLuxe City Guides have been created for you, our discerning readers, to highlight the most sophisticated, the most popular and the most elegant locations in every destination.
Our local concierge continuously strives to ensure we feature the best of the best in luxury services, dining, hotels and more. Every city offers new things to enjoy, cultures to immerse yourself in and sights to see. We have sought out the best places to see, be seen or just be.