Green City: San Diego

by Lauren Verini

We, the editors at, have decided to chronicle our travels and highlight some of the green aspects in various cities. Please feel free to submit city ideas and information for upcoming Green City features.

Recently I got the opportunity to visit San Diego for a long weekend with a group of friends and I instantly fell in love with this city. With beautiful weather all year round and 70 miles of coastline, what’s not to love? While I was only there for a brief time, I quickly realized that there is no shortage of things to do and places to see including beaches, parks, zoos and tons of great restaurants.

San Diego is home to Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the U.S. spread out on 1,200 acres. Here you’ll find 14 museums, 4 theaters, a sports complex, a botanical building featuring over 2,000 permanent plants and a fun antique carousel — you can literally spend your whole day here. At Balboa Park you’ll also find the famous San Diego Zoo where you can enjoy an afternoon with over 4,000 animals and learn about the San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation efforts to save endangered animals.

If you’re looking for a day of rest and relaxation then head to the beach; La Jolla, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are some of the more popular beaches. In La Jolla you can even enjoy some marine wildlife at a small cove called Children’s Pool where seals and sea lions gather on a daily basis all year round. At night you can head to the Gaslamp Quarter located at the heart of downtown San Diego with over 16 blocks of shopping, restaurants and bars.

There is so much to see and do in San Diego but what’s great is that its easy to get from place to place and you can easily walk to wherever you need to go. You can also hop on board the San Diego Trolley and if you’re driving an electric vehicle, you can even charge up at one of 300 charging stations throughout the city. San Diego is encouraging its residents and visitors to drive electric vehicles by installing charging stations throughout the city, with 300 installed since June 2011.

San Diego is known for their fish tacos and while I was visiting I think that’s about all it ate! You can get fish tacos just about anywhere but Rubios is a popular food truck and restaurant chain in San Diego that features certified sustainable seafood. Another local favorite is Kensington Grill, serving up American food in a fun and laid-back atmosphere that locals and tourists love. Kensington Grill uses organic and locally grown ingredients, features wine from organic vineyards and puts a strong emphasis on recycling. Jsix is another popular restaurant in the area that goes as far as having their own roof top herb garden! They also strive to use locally grown produce and sustainable meats as often as possible and are vegan friendly. The San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project is a great resource to learn more about restaurants in the area that are incorporating locally grown food into their menu.

Next time you’re in San Diego and you have some time to explore the city, be sure to check out these popular attractions and if you’ve been to San Diego before, let us know what your favorite spot is.

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