On day three you will carouse downtown, check out Old Town or head over the bridge to Coronado. Start by having a tasty breakfast at the Broken Yolk Café in the Gaslamp District. You'll love their comfort food and big portions. Choose from over 20 different omelets, Betty's biscuits & gravy, eggs Florentine or light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes. This hearty fare should set you up for a day of exploration.
From your present location on Sixth you can easily wander about the shops and galleries. From the sleek Exclusive Collections Gallery to the expansive Wine Bank for tastings and take homes of California's finest fermented grapes, the Gaslamp has something for every yen (clothes, furniture, art, spirits and even cowboy hats). The architectural behemoth known as the Horton Plaza might vie for your attention, but since you can shop at Banana Republic and Nine West back home, it'll be more fun to seek out gems like Kita Ceramics and Eden — a gorgeous boutique specializing in upscale yet more affordable fashion. Younger folks will love Urban Outfitters, Puma and G-Star Raw to find their new favorite pair of jeans.
Venture a bit west for fun in the sun at the tourist mecca Seaport Village. Indulge in ice cream and check out the small, touristy stores with souvenirs, cards and nautical treasures. Then rent a boat or jet-ski to catch some fresh air in the harbor. You'll have an amazing view of the San Diego skyline as well as the authentic feeling of being at sea: the wind in your hair, the blazing sun on your face and the feeling of cold sea spray on your skin. There are several rental places located right by Seaport Village. Check out the docked boats and compare prices.
Another option is to visit San Diego's Old Town, midway between La Jolla and the Gaslamp, just over the I-5 South. This festive part of town reflects the Mexican and early American periods (1821 to 1872) of San Diego. The myriad street-side stores offer wonderful souvenirs like pottery, wind chimes, and Día de los Muertos and Virgin de Guadalupe memorabilia. You'll also see how the early settlers lived at Seeley Stables and Casa de Estudillo. Toast your grand experience with a giant margarita at the Old Town Mexican Café or choose from over 2000 tequilas at El Agave Tequileria which also has a Tequila Museum with the most beautiful collection of bottles in the U.S.
History buffs will want to stroll along the bay to Navy Pier, where the legendary USS Midway awaits. Midway was the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the history of the U.S. Navy, and now it serves as an interactive naval aviation museum. Equipped with more than 35 exhibits and displays as well as vintage aircraft, the Midway reflects San Diego's unique heritage as one of the largest Navy ports in the world.
Another great adventure is a trip to Coronado Island — an idyllic beach community. It's worth the drive over the bridge to visit its gorgeous beaches and the historic Hotel del Coronado, the Victorian beach-front masterpiece which opened in 1888. Explore this storied property where aviator Charles Lindbergh celebrated his famous New York to Paris flight in 1927; Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Edison and The Prince of Wales were all illustrious guests at the time of the hotel's pinnacle in the early 20th century. Marilyn Monroe filmed "Some Like It Hot" on site; Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz created their "Lucy and Ricky" television personas while residing at this luxe seaside retreat. Rent some bikes or a surrey for a pedal along the strand. Afterward, grab some ice cream at the Moo Time Creamery or smoothies at the Boardwalk Café back at the hotel.
If you have time for a leisurely epicurean adventure, hit the Sunset Bar for a mojito, then head to 1500 Ocean, a culinary charmer with modern design. The restaurant is helmed by executive chef Robert Hohmann, who's trained with renowned chefs Thomas Keller and Mario Batali, just to name a few.
We've tried to show you all sides of San Diego: the natural and highly designed, the mellow and the over-the-top. But our coverage wouldn't be complete if we omitted some of the more obvious, kid-friendly tourist attractions such as SeaWorld, the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Legoland.
more information, visit www.sandiego.org