San Diego had been on our list of cities to visit for years. We finally go there last year and had an absolutely wonderful time. We found it to be gorgeous, relaxed town, if perhaps a bit sleepy maybe. Weather is great and food is awesome. Full of gorgeous natural (La Jolla) and man made (Zoo, Balboa Park) wonders, San Diego seems like a dream come true - almost perfect for retirement. It is easily in the top 5 cities I'd like to move to if I were to leave the greater New York Metro area.
La Jolla - a beautiful unconventional beach
La Jolla was probably the highlight of the San Diego trip for us. This area of the town is somewhat removed from the main city and features quite an interesting rocky beach full of eclectic wildlife. The Children's Beach area is the celebrated section where seals come to bask in the warm Californian sun. You can walk along a narrow walkway that takes you a bit farther in the middle of the sea for a great close-up and a super-smelly view of the seals. While most of the beach is quite rocky - there are a couple of exceptionally nice little nooks for folks to enjoy a rather wild beach. As with other touristy places - get here early and plan to stay most of the day. Just to the east are some excellent dining and shopping options. Roadside parking can be tough but paid parking is inexpensive.