When it comes to lifestyle and shopping in San Diego, expats will have a dizzying selection of options. Shopaholics have access to countless shops, boutiques and malls. Night owls can choose from rooftop bars, live music, karaoke and more. Family-oriented expats, on the other hand, will find the city is home to an array of attractions to keep the little ones busy such as the San Diego Zoo, various family beaches and a host of museums.
Shopping in San Diego
Expats will be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping in San Diego. Whether in search of designer labels at shopping centres or bargain buys at vintage boutiques, there are a range of options for city residents.
The city boasts a slew of malls, from family-friendly outdoor centres to luxury shopping complexes. Prominent among these is Fashion Valley, a 200-store mall in Mission Valley that hosts more than 18 million visitors a year. The mall offers designer stores such as Gucci and Jimmy Choo, department stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom, and a wide selection of restaurants and bistros.
For bargain hunters, there are outlet centres all over the city that offer discounts on designer labels and brand names.
There are also a number of neighbourhoods in San Diego that are well known for being shopping districts. Areas such as Little Italy, La Jolla, Mission Hills and the Gaslamp District go over and above the standard shopping experience, offering a variety of antique stores, arts-and-crafts boutiques and restaurants.
Nightlife and entertainment in San Diego
The city comes alive after dark, with a variety of nightclubs, music venues and bars. The Gaslamp District is especially well known, and the easily walkable neighbourhood offers revellers everything from jazz clubs to outdoor bistros.
San Diego’s repertoire isn’t limited to jazz though, and patrons have a variety of venues available featuring everything from DJs and karaoke, to live rock bands and flamenco dancers. Bar hoppers will be happy to know that the city offers options from old-style pubs to wine bars and exclusive speakeasies with unfamiliar labels.
The city is known as the ‘craft beer capital of America’ and is home to more than 150 breweries of various sizes. Craft beer connoisseurs can go for a tour in most of these establishments or enjoy one of the many events celebrating the city's craft beer scene, such as the San Diego International Beer Competition.
Food and wine in San Diego
With local produce and seafood delivered fresh from the dock, the city is a major attraction for some of the USA’s most talented chefs. Everything from food truck snacks to gourmet cuisine is available in San Diego.
Wine lovers will be pleased to know that a trip to North County leads to one of the finest grape-growing regions in the western US. Crossing through mountain valleys, expats with a taste for the finer things in life are sure to enjoy exploring hillside vineyards and visiting family wineries which offer regular tours and tastings.
Outdoor activities in San Diego
Whether enjoying the beauty of San Diego's natural environment, watching one of the city's sports teams or visiting one of the numerous outdoor attractions, expats who love the outdoors will be right at home in San Diego.
Balboa Park spans 1,200 acres and offers virtually endless outdoor activities. Highlights include the Japanese Friendship Garden as well as Pepper Tree Park and Playground, which provides shade for one of the best family picnic spots in the city. The San Diego Botanical Garden is another favoured green space in the city, offering miles of garden trails, countless numbers of plant and bird species as well as events such as concerts, exhibits and festivals.
Expats with a yearning for the great outdoors will enjoy places such as the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve which offers hiking trails against a backdrop of pine forests, sandstone canyons and Pacific Ocean views.