SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Whether you're from San Diego or visiting, there are a handful of musts around town.
For some, it all the tourist spots: Balboa Park, Seaport Village, SeaWorld, any beach. For others, lesser known visits like breweries, hole-in-the-wall eateries, neighborhood trails.
TripSavvy's editors compiled their favorites in their inaugural Editor's Choice Awards. Editors say these picks represent their absolute best choices in travel, dining, and tourism across cities — we're sure some locals may have a bone to pick with choices, though.
Here are San Diego's local winners:
Best for Plant Moms
- Balboa Park: San Diego's iconic, 1,200-acre park space is the site of centuries-old gardens, historical and cultural institutions, eateries, and the San Diego Zoo. The Botanical Garden is free to enjoy for the public and the site of thousands of photo ops by tourists and locals alike. Best for plant moms? Sure. Best local destination? Definitely.
Best for a Quick Bite
- Bronx Pizza (111 Washington St., San Diego): In Hillcrest, a group of East Coast transplants pooled together their collective pizza expertise at Bronx Pizza, serving up New York-style pizza by the slice or pie. The cash-only spot is known to have a line out the door on Washington Street, but it's well worth the wait.
Best for Food Obsessed
- Enoteca Adriano (4864 Cass St., San Diego): Pasta in Pacific Beach? Enoteca Adriano has you covered, with several delicious pasta dishes and sauces, — and wines to pair — for any occasion.
- Pendry San Diego (550 J St., San Diego): Pendry's nightlife offerings have served the the Gaslamp District crowd for years, with luxurious rooms, a rooftop pool, classic cocktails, and delicious cuisine that elevates your stay.
Best for Romance
- Fairmont Grand Del Mar (5300 Grand Del Mar Ct., San Diego): Del Mar's sprawling resort is known for its lavish furnishings, golf course, and Addison, San Diego's first Michelin-starred restaurant. Naturally, this spot could serve as one of the most romantic stays out there.
Best for Booze Hounds
- Green Flash Brewing Company (6550 Mira Mesa Blvd., San Diego): Green Flash has been on the San Diego craft beer scene for nearly two decades, holding onto taste buds through tumultuous years. While breweries have continue to pop up since 2002, Green Flash maintains a strong line of West Coast-style IPAs and seasonal releases.
Best for Culture Vultures
- La Jolla Playhouse (2910 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego): La Jolla's hub for Broadway entertainment has captured audiences since 1947. The theater's seasonal lineup keeps visitors engaged throughout the year, with Tony-award winning musicals and plays.
Best for Outdoor Enthusiasts
- Mission Trails Regional Park: About 60-miles of trails and open spaces throughout Mission Trails Regional Park give outdoor enthusiasts plenty of space to roam, camp, even boat. The park's 5-peak challenge gives hikers plenty of work between Cowles Mountain, Pyles Peak, Kwaay Paay, South Fortuna, and North Fortuna.
Best for Beach Bums
- Pacific Terrace Hotel (610 Diamond St., San Diego): Pacific Beach's Pacific Terrace Hotel sits along the boardwalk, providing private views of the Pacific atop the beach's bluffs. The hotel's tropical vibe and Four Diamond amenities make any stay a relaxing experience.
- San Diego Bay: San Diego's bayside festivities, hotels, water activities, and attractions make any vacation or day-off adventurous. With the bay at your fingertips, there's always something to see or do, whether you want to walk the waterfront, explore Seaport Village, visit the Maritime Museum or USS Midway, or rent a kayak and paddle around.
Best for Families
- San Diego Zoo (2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego): San Diego's famous zoo has brought visitors face to face with creatures from across the globe for decades. The zoo's updating shows and festivities, geared toward its wild residents, always provide an educational and fascinating adventure.