Sunday, June 17, 2012

Diverse cultures of San Diego: Old Town and Ocean Beach

It comes as no surprise that you can find great Mexican food in San Diego—you can drive to the Mexican border, and Tijuana, in about 25 minutes. Having some great, authentic Mexican food was on my list of must-do items for my trip to southern California.

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After our day in ritzy La Jolla, we spent our next day exploring Old Town San Diego. Right in the heart of the city, it's an area that has preserved and restored a lot of the original, Mexican-influence culture and architecture. Part of Old Town has been set aside as a state historic park.
We found the best quality, authentic shopping at the Bazaar del Mundo. It offered beautiful pottery, handwoven fabrics from Guatemala, home decor, etc.

If you want Mexican food, this is the place to get it: the streets of Old Town are lined with restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. We chose Miguel's because it was recommended specifically by a San Diego-native friend, and we weren't disappointed.

After exploring Old Town, we drove to Ocean Beach to see the coast and walk along the pier. It was another chilly, overcast, windy day, but the surfer culture of Ocean Beach was still apparent. True surfers were everywhere, fully dressed in wetsuits to be able to stand the cool water.

Ocean Beach seemed like a neighborhood that caters to the low-income surfer who may spend time living out of his car, but whose passion in life is spending time in the water.

We found a beautiful view of the city and mountains beyond on our drive back to the hotel.
I fully realized that San Diego is an interesting city with a lot of diverse neighborhoods. From ritzy La Jolla to Hispanic Old Town and surfer Ocean Beach, there's something for everyone.

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