Once home to San Diego’s Italian immigrant community and a flourishing fishing industry, Little Italy is now a vibrant neighbourhood with arguably the city’s most dynamic food and drink scene.
The Renaissance San Diego Downtown Hotel is nearby, a 258-room hotel that features two pools (one outdoor), a spa, plenty of dining options, as well as parking and a bicycle hire service to explore the surrounding area.
The turreted, maroon-and-white Hotel del Coronado – nicknamed “The Del” – has welcomed guests including Bill Clinton, Marilyn Monroe and Michelle Obama since 1888.
Home to brightly coloured garibaldi, stingrays and leopard sharks, the waters around La Jolla are a hotspot for divers, while land lovers will enjoy paddling in the crystalline shallows.
Set amid pretty cliffs and coves, La Jolla – often referred to as San Diego’s ‘Jewel by the Sea’ – is an elegant coastal resort, dotted with swaying palm trees, designer boutiques and luxury villas.
The Hyatt Regency La Jolla is a good base from which to explore the area’s glittering coastline. Set in 11 acres of manicured grounds, the hotel boasts an Olympic-style pool and a restaurant serving award-winning sushi.
Kayak with sea lions and Garibaldi fish in La Jolla Cove – Everyday California offer guided tours – keeping an eye out for the caves used for smuggling alcohol during prohibition. Keen hikers should head to the scenic Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for 1,750 acres of pine forests, sandstone canyons and indigenous wildlife.