January 23, 2022

Destinations of the week

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4 destinations to explore Southern California by car

Southern California is a must-see destination for anyone who loves sunny weather and walks on the beach, not to mention some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.

Travelling by car can be an opportunity for new adventures: sightseeing in San Diego, hiking along the Pacific coast, and picturesque sceneries. These are just a few of the things you’ll find in Alamo Rent A Car’s suggested Southern California itinerary. Reserve your car for guaranteed comfort and convenience at the best prices on your next road trip.

  1. Explore the heart of San Diego in Balboa Park

In close proximity to the city center, Balboa Park is one of San Diego’s premiere attractions. With incredible flora, from eucalyptus to cacti, and Spanish Renaissance architecture, the park has some of the most beautiful scenery for travelers.

The world-famous San Diego Zoo can be found inside the park, a warm and natural enviroment home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals. In addition to the fixed attractions, the park also houses several festivals, like the December Lights, which illuminates the park with the colors of the holiday season.

  1. Spend the day at the beach

To begin the day on the beach with a french toast overlooking the morning waves, Caroline’s Seaside Cafe is one of the best places for breakfast in the area (on weekends, try to arrive before 9am to escape the lines).

After grabbing a few bites on the coast, head towards Sunny Jim Sea Cave, the only ocean-carved cave in the area with access by land. When you’re ready to hit the road again, drive past Pacific Beach and Mission Beach before heading to the Bohemian Ocean Beach. There you can enjoy incredible views of the fiery pink and orange sunset at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

To end your day of adventure, indulge in San Diego’s ultimate fish tacos at South Beach Bar and Grille, located at the end of Ocean Beach’s famous Newport Avenue.

  1. Venture through beaches, gardens and mountains

For those looking for different experiences, there are options for all tastes and wallets. One idea is to start the day with a beautiful sunrise at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, a few miles from downtown San Diego. A variety of other activities are available, from a quiet hike overlooking the Pacific coast to surfing.

Then, head east on Via de la Valle toward the Del Dios highway and Lake Hodges, past Rancho Santa Fe. Although it is a lesser-known route for tourists, it is one of the most beautiful roads in the country. Expect an array of horseback riders and multi-million dollar houses along the road.

On the way to Lake Hodges, you’ll experience picturesque Southern California landscapes. Along the way, you can taste shrimp quesadillas at the edge of Lake Hernandez or take a stroll along the Botanic Trail at the Elfin Forest Recreation Reserve. If you are looking for a challenge, hike the Way Up Trail from the reservation.

  1. Experience the beauty of the bay

For gorgeous scenery, take the day to see San Diego Bay. Start your drive at Richard Walker’s Pancake House, located just a few blocks from the bay. After indulging in traditional pancakes and omelettes, visit Barrio Logan, an artistic community thriving with Latino culture and Mexican gastronomy.

When you’re ready to get back on the road, cruise down Orange Avenue to arrive at the Hotel del Coronado. The hotel is recognized internationally for its elegance and proximity to Coronado Beach. If you enjoy window shopping, park next to Orange Avenue and stroll through rows of boutiques like Charisma, with unique souvenirs by the sea, or the Coronado Resort Wear Company for that perfect outfit to complement the laid-back lifestyle relaxed of the city.

End your day with a stroll under the stars. Head south on Highway 75, also known as “The Strand,” which is about 10 miles from the Imperial Beach community. There you’ll find the South Bay Drive-In Theaters.


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