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San Diego Spotlight

The weather is legendary, but there's more to San Diego than sunny skies

By Genevieve Shaw Brown

January 4th, 2007

People in San Diego are obsessed with the weather. Everywhere you go, you'll hear discussion of the forecast, even though there's really not much to discuss. Sure, the city will see the odd day of rain here and there, but if you take a look at the 10-day forecast, chances are it will look something like this: Monday, 70 degrees and sunny; Tuesday, 70 degrees and sunny; Wednesday, 70 degrees and sunny. You start to expect the weatherperson to just point at the little suns lined up across the television screen and say, "we're in for another perfect day."

All this beautiful weather is a good thing when you consider how much of the city's identity is based on outdoor pursuits. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Anza-Borrego Desert, and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego boasts over 70 miles of beaches, a 1200-acre urban park, and countless outdoor dining and drinking establishments, not to mention several theme parks. That said, San Diego also boasts a rich history, found in its many museums and monuments, a world-class dining scene, vibrant nightlife, and a slew of popular attractions borne of a massive civic undertaking in the 1980s – the Gaslamp Quarter, a historic area chock full of bars and restaurants, the convention center, the San Diego Trolley that takes riders to the Mexico border, and the shopping complex at Seaport Village – that continue to lure visitors to this Californian city. But even though San Diego is abuzz with sites to see and things to do, the city remains a very laid-back place – a beach town that's sprouted a few skyscrapers. Businessmen often pair their suits with flip flops and office workers take their lunch on the beach – indeed, beneath that workplace-appropriate clothing is a die-hard beach bum ready to tuck their toes in the sand.

And though the temptation to laze the day away on a sandy beach is ever-present, do yourself a favor and balance your beach time with sightseeing. If you have three days, be sure to visit the pandas at the San Diego Zoo, hit up a few museums in Balboa Park, visit Old Town, and stroll around the Gaslamp Quarter after dark. If you have five days, do all that plus take a ferry to Coronado (just a quick hop across San Diego Bay), head to SeaWorld and say hello to Shamu, and take the trolley to the Mexican border to make it a two-nation vacation. If you have a week, give in to temptation and spend lots of time on the beach and take a day trip to beautiful La Jolla. With so much to see and do, a trip to San Diego can be as action-packed or as tranquil as you want – and no matter when you go or what you do, you can always count on the weather being, well, perfect.

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