Depending on the type of traveler you are, your stay in San Diego may or may not include Seaport Village. If you are the type of traveler who runs from tourist traps where you’re likely to spend money, Seaport Village is probably not the place for you. It was definitely the place for me, though. I found myself going back there over and over again during my 48 hours in San Diego–and not just because it was conveniently located outside the back door of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Here are 6 reasons why you might consider visiting Seaport Village yourself:
Located on San Diego’s waterfront, Seaport Village has a terrific view from almost any angle. Over lunch, I got to watch sailboats bobbing in the marina. During my strolls back and forth along the boardwalk, I got to watch the sun glinting off the water, seagulls swooping overhead, and kayakers paddling through the blue waves. Where I live, I’m a very long drive from the nearest ocean, so being in a place where I can gaze out at the ocean is like heaven. There were plenty of spots to stop and sit or lean against the railing and look out on the water. On a warm, sunny day, there was no place better to be–except maybe the beach.
Seaport Village has a wide range of eateries, from snackbar windows to fast food (no McDonalds here, but you can get a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream) to more formal sit-down restaurants. Watch the sunset while dining on fresh seafood at the San Diego Pier Cafe or the Harbor House, or make some new friends during Happy Hour at the bar at Busters, which is a fun, casual restaurant with a beachy theme and the most moist crab cakes I’ve ever had.
I detest shopping, but even I found some stores here that I couldn’t resist checking out–like Hot Licks, which sells every hot sauce, salsa, and seasoning you can possibly imagine burning your tongue on, the Cerveza Store (“everything but the beer for the beer lover”), Seaport Village Shell Company (all merchandise is made from seashells), and Del Sol, where the clothing changes color when the sun hits it. The thing I loved about the stores here was that they were so unique compared to the stores I usually see in tourist destinations.
When I got tired of walking around, I would snag a bench seat somewhere (there are a lot of them) and just enjoy the sunshine, stare at a splashing fountain, or people-watch. Or I would follow the sounds of guitar music to a pretty plaza where musicians were playing. Or I’d lean against the railing with the ocean to my back and watch people coming and going on the boardwalk. You see such a cross-section of people here–suit-wearing convention-goers, sweaty joggers, moms with their strollers, guys with their dogs, backpackers, picture-taking tourists, packs of teenagers, groups of girlfriends–and yes, even solos.
From Seaport Village, you can sign up and go on a SEAL (Sea and Land) Tour. You can have your fortune told by a psychic. You can get a henna tattoo, or have your caricature drawn or your face painted. You can pose with colorful birds on your shoulders. Don’t forget to check out the hand-carved carousel from 1895; it’s beautiful.
The Cuteness Factor
Beware, all you anti-tourist trap types. You’ll HATE how cute Seaport Village is, with its fake lighthouse tower, beautiful harbor view boardwalk, pretty Spanish plazas, cobblestone walkways, and early 1900s seaside village themeing. Just hate it. The rest of you? Take lots of pictures, make sure you’re in some of them, and enjoy.
View more of my Seaport Village photos here.