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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcat Road Trip: San Diego

    Every summer my family rents a house on Mission Beach in San Diego. We spend most days on the beach – constantly reapplying sunscreen, taking trips to Sea World, eating at expensive restaurants and taking shopping excursions. Unfortunately, these activities tend to put a dent in the wallet. Thankfully, over many years spent here, I have found a few attractions and restaurants for students on a budget.

    A cheap alternative to a pricey hotel is a hostel. There are many in San Diego, including the Downtown Youth Hostel, 521 Sixth Avenue. Most are student-friendly, too.

    Once downtown, I recommend catching the sunset at Embarcadero Marina Park, 600 Convention Way. The park is attached to a concert venue where musicians like Norah Jones and Radiohead have recently performed. It overlooks a marina, Downtown and Coronado Island, making for a truly beautiful experience.

    If you don’t mind reaching into your pockets, head to downtown San Diego for the Gaslamp Quarter along Fifth Avenue. It lends to an exciting nightlife experience thanks to its trendy pubs, cafes and clubs. However, the average price for an entrǸe at most restaurants is $30. Henry’s Pub, 614 Fifth Avenue, offers a delicious menu that includes seafood, steaks, sandwiches and pasta. Each entrǸe is reasonably priced and the atmosphere is comfortable. Also, the outdoor patio is perfect for people-watching.

    If people-watching is something you are looking to get out of your San Diego experience, Mission Beach is home to many outgoing characters. Take the time and walk the boardwalk from Belmont Park, 3146 Mission Boulevard, to Crystal Pier, 4500 Ocean Boulevard. It’ll be worth your time. While on your walk, stop for lunch at Voltero’s Deli, 3691 Mission Boulevard. A friend recommended this sandwich stop, and I always find myself going back for its incredible prices, quick service and unforgettable sandwiches. Nothing on the menu is more than $10. You can create your own or try a favorite – either way, the food is ideal to bring to the beach.

    For all you vintage and bargain shoppers, located in Pacific Beach is Buffalo Exchange, 1007 Garnet Avenue. You know you can’t get enough of this ever-popular men and women’s exchange boutique when you are in town, so hit up San Diego’s version for trendy new and old accessories, clothes and shoes. I always find great dresses here that my friends in Tucson beg to borrow.

    Finally, San Diego is home to many killer views – whether it’s the La Jolla caves, Mission Bay or simply the sand beneath your feet. If the sights at the Embarcadero Marina Park weren’t enough, travel north on Mission Boulevard until it turns into La Jolla Mesa Drive. Once at the top of the hill turn around and slowly drive back down. In the distance you will see downtown San Diego, Mission Bay and the Pacific. It’s kind of like taking a helicopter tour where you look down on miles of land and sea – but this is completely free.

    If you don’t have your family to cushion your spending while in San Diego, keep in mind that there are still plenty of ways not to spend an arm and leg when visiting.

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