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Nestled in the bottom of Southern California is San Diego, self-proclaimed as America’s Finest City. The city lives up to its impressive moniker, brimming with activities, cultural diversity, iconic landmarks, breathtaking scenery, and delicious food. Today we’re giving you 10 reasons why we believe San Diego truly is one of the best cities in the states—so grab your bag and start packing!

1. You can’t find better tacos

Mexico is our next-door neighbor, meaning we have the best Mexican food in the country. In fact, S.D. is responsible for inventing invented three different Mexican food favorites: the frozen margarita, the fish taco, and the famous California burrito. If you’ve never had one before, you’re in for a real treat. These forearm-sized beasts are filled with French fries—and French fries make everything better!

2. You can bring your dog to the beach

Everyone knows that Fido is man’s best friend, and when you’re in S.D., you can enjoy a beach day with your favorite pal in tow! Whether or not your puppy likes to swim, he or she will have a blast frolicking around with other dogs at the beach as you relax with your toes in the sand.

3. The beaches are beautiful

Dog Beach is only one of many beaches in San Diego, but each and every one boasts beautiful white sand—unlike those rocky Malibu shores. Go cliff jumping at Sunset Cliffs, surfing in Pacific Beach, or snorkeling in the La Jolla cove crystal-clear water.

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4. The people are beautiful, too

Whether you’re at the beach or downtown, you’ll see that San Diego is home to some seriously gorgeous people. Both guys and girls boast bronzed skin and sun-kissed locks, looking like they walked right off the page of a magazine. The best part is that life is slower in this part of SoCal, meaning that these model-eqsue folks are much friendlier than their counterparts in Los Angeles.

5. Nightlife is plentiful

From the bars lining the Gaslamp district to the restaurant scene in Hillcrest, you’ll find no shortage of nightlife options in San Diego. We love a good dive bar and appreciate drinks sold at a cheap price, but if you’re the type who wants to spend $15 on a fancy cocktail, there are plenty of upscale joints you can frequent, too.

6. Marijuana is legal

We’ve been following the legalization movement for a while and are happy to include S.D. in our list of cities where recreational marijuana is legal. When you get into town, check out the best dispensaries in San Diego to stock up on THC flower and food!

7. It’s the craft beer capitol

There are so many ways to imbibe in San Diego; if you’re not into cannabis, you’ll love the craft beer scene. The city is home to big names like Stone and Ballast Point, but you’ll also discover a number of micro-breweries like Amplified Aleworks and Duck Foot Brewing Company that are coming up with some of the tastiest, most creative brews you can find. Make sure to bring a growler to take some home with you!

8. You can walk everywhere

On the topic of drinking and smoking, it’s worth noting that you can walk pretty much everywhere in S.D.—and if somewhere is just outside of walking range, there’s an awesome trolley system that can cover the difference. Public transportation and easy accessibility means cheaper gas bills, less traffic, and fewer parking tickets. Yes, please!

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9. The park system excels

As you walk around sunny San Diego, you’ll notice that there are public parks all over town! In fact, S.D. has the 12th-best park system among the largest 100 American cities according to The Trust for Public Land.

10. Rent is more affordable

The cost of California living is expensive, no doubt, but San Diego is much cheaper than San Francisco and L.A. It’s also way more affordable than big East Coast cities like Boston and New York (plus the weather is much nicer!).

The list of what makes San Diego so wonderful goes on and on. From near-perfect weather to a thriving economy, a world-class baseball stadium to the epic Coronado Bridge, there’s something for everyone in S.D.—come see for yourself!

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