Travel to San Diego over beak

Sandy+Huffaker%2FSacramento+Bee%2FTNS

Sandy Huffaker/Sacramento Bee/TNS

Hannah Goodwin

My hometown of San Diego, Calif. is looking awfully sweet right now as the cool air has begun to hold onto the brick walls of Wake Forest’s campus.

San Diego is a great travel destination for this winter break, and I am more than excited to return home and see my family. In preparation of going home, I have started making a list of the first things I want to do upon my return.

First up is enjoying some authentic Mexican food. Not only do the popular chain Mexican restaurants have tasty dishes, but there are hundreds of family-owned taco shops that get the job done.

If you have not had too many authentic Mexican dishes before and want to play it safe, a chicken tostada is a great choice. A tostada is like an open-faced hard-shell taco. ¡Delicioso!

One of my favorite restuarants to go to is Rubio’s, a Southern California specialty. It has the best fish tacos in all of San Diego and is a classic food favorite after surfing and spending the day at the beach.

The second activity on my list is an obvious choice: the beach! San Diego is known for its great weather year-round and our 70 miles of beaches. The beach will undoubtedly be visited over the holiday break by thousands of tourists from around the world. San Diego radio stations not only report pleasant weather, but they also give us the surf forecast due to the high surfing populus.

One of the most popular and beautiful places in San Diego is Sunset Cliffs. Not only was it a great spot for my friends and me to take our prom photos, but it is also a great place to watch the sun fall into the waves.

Balboa Park, which houses the world-famous San Diego Zoo, is definitely on my list of tourist spots to visit once I return home. The park is always beautifully lit up with holiday spirit and is pet-friendly.

A short walk away from the heart of downtown, and the destination of several city bus routes, Balboa Park is an ideal place for young people to hang out. Museums are free to enjoy on Tuesdays and there is plenty of grass to throw around a frisbee.

Finally, I want to go shopping. Hanes Mall is a great place to go to in Winston-Salem for spending and hanging out, but the malls in San Diego have much to offer, too. Horton Plaza downtown is funky and offers a mix of entertainment and popular stores. From the Sanrio store to Victoria’s Secret, all of your shopping needs for the holidays are covered. Fashion Valley, an upscale mall in the San Diego area of the same name, has both an Apple and Windows store, Free People and Anthropologie, and Build-A-Bear and Lego stores, not to mention a movie theatre fully stocked with the latest and greatest, and a Haagen Dazs store a couple doors down.

Going home for the holidays will truly be the greatest gift I can receive this year; not only do I miss my family and friends, but San Diego is a great place to go home to. What with the authentic Mexican food I have missed, the beautiful settings for a diverse range of activities and the shopping options, San Diego is exactly what I need in order to enjoy my holiday break.