San Diego doesn’t flaunt its romantic side though there’s plenty of it to discover.
Head over to Balboa Park, San Diego’s renowned cultural park, which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with events throughout the year. Browse through the museums and performing-arts spaces housed in Spanish Baroque Revival buildings, the latticed Botanical Building filled with voluminous orchids and the Museum of Photographic Arts’ 7 Billion Others exhibit that features “Love Stories” film vignettes (through to Sept 15, 2015). Later, head over to The Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma. Although you'll share the stretch with locals, there are plenty of viewing points to admire infinite sunset-backed ocean vistas. sunsetcliffs.gov
Eat and Drink
For brunch, Le Parfait Paris in the Gaslamp Quarter is a very sweet spot. French pastry chef Jean-Francois Fays makes divine pastries daily including technicolour macarons, raspberry-topped tarts, chocolate-filled éclairs and melt-in-your-mouth croissants made with Normandy butter. Enjoy with bellinis on the sidewalk patio. Fig Tree Café at Liberty Station offers a pretty patio and tasty fare like kale salad topped with "man candy bacon", French toast stuffed with mascarpone cheese and strawberries and organic coffee. figtreeeatery.com
You can reach the historic Hotel Del Coronado, located on an isthmus, by car via the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, by ferry from downtown's Broadway Pier or with the San Diego Water Taxi. For an idyllic afternoon, head straight for “Del Beach”, where you can rent an umbrella-shaded day bed that comes with food and beverage service. Splurge on an oceanfront room in the red-turreted 1888-built hotel, forever tied to bombshell Marilyn Monroe and the movie Some Like It Hot, or on one of the newer oceanfront cottages at the property's Beach Village. The latter comes with a fireplace, marble bathrooms and balcony, plus a pretty price tag. hoteldel.com
San Diego is 1.5 hours by car from Los Angeles via the I-5 S freeway, or 2 hours by train from Downtown LA’s Union Station.
Image: SD Dirk Flickr