San Diego has it all: Sunshine, surf, beer, burritos… But what sets the locals apart from everyone that is not a San Diego native? Check out ways to spot a San Diegan a mile away.
You know you’re from San Diego when………
You Love To Surf
It is no secret that people from all over the world come to San Diego to enjoy the amazing scenery, but another major attraction is the surf. Here you can find any type of surf break your heart desires: point break, reef break, beach break, surf along the jetty or pier- you name it.
Just a short drive to the Mexican border, San Diego water temps stay in the comfortable range for most of the year, with several months of the year requiring no wetsuit. It’s no wonder you see multiple generations surfing together, as the San Diego native parents love to pass on their passion!
You Know The Spot for Cali Burritos
With Mexico right at our doorstep, there are hundreds of excellent locations in the city with the best tacos and burritos you have ever had. But, the real trick is sampling each and every one as you grow up to find the best; it’s not easy and takes much, delicious practice.
Honestly, you have no idea how many there are but so far North County’s Nico’s, downtown’s Lolita’s, Grossmont Center’s El Azteca, Humberto’s located in Golden Hill and Mission Hills’ Lucha Libre’s California burritos reign supreme. Check them out when you get a chance!
You Know The Best Restaurants In Little Italy
Now, this one really takes some practice and quite a bit of cash to narrow down. But, true San Diegans will be able to point out the best restaurants off India St. in the tiny area of Little Italy with ease. Among them, authentic and heavenly Italian food is being served, but who’s is best?
Buon Appetito has just about the greatest and freshest marinara dipping sauce you will ever have, Davanti Enoteca is definitely up there, Monello is seriously delicious, and, of course, Trattoria Fantastica (with a name like that, duh.) Like we said, it takes awhile to perfect these selections, and not that the rest are not incredibly delicious; San Diegans don’t take their Little Italy for granted.
You Don’t Stand In Line For Potato Chip Rock
Ramona’s potato chip rock is always calling long lines of both wannabe hikers and real hikers, but most times you will only see tourists in the waiting lane. Real San Diego natives know that there is too much in the city to see to waste standing in line for a picture.
But, hey we’re not hating on those of you who have succumb to posting a picture with the famous rock on your Instagram or Facebook because many have fallen victim to its shape and charm. All we’re saying is that true San Diegans will be found elsewhere- like the beach or getting a delicious burrito at Nico’s!
You Know The Best Farmers Markets
All over the great city, there are subcultures within each piece of SD that supply their own farmers markets on different days. Among the best of the best are Little Italy’s Saturday morning, La Jolla’s Saturday morning, Ocean Beach’s Saturday morning, Pacific Beach’s Tuesday at 2pm and so many more.
These incredible markets bring in the freshest of local ingredients at affordable prices, impressive apparel, stunning art pieces, homemade and insatiable foods from all over the globe and more. If you have not checked out any of the farmers’ markets that San Diego has to offer, definitely look up the schedules for each and visit one soon!
You’re Tanning In February At The Beach
Not many environments will allow their residents to tan during the winter, but this is why everyone loves San Diego. Although we see a bit of rain for our “winter,” it never lasts long and the sun always makes it out against the breeze we are so lucky to feel.
Guaranteed if you visit any beach in San Diego just before spring, you will see people already getting their tans back which is pretty much unheard of for the rest of the country. We are so lucky to experience such amazing vacation weather on a regular basis, so we celebrate by catching some rays and jumping around in the waves. Want to join us?
You Drive An Hour For Apple Pie
Yes, you can find a great pie at Marie Calendar’s, but there is nothing like homemade, fresh pie from Julian. Starting out on these delicious journeys when we were kids, it is custom for all San Diego natives to travel to Julian specifically for these incredible apple pies.
The Julian Pie Company family establishment has been around since the ’80s, serving only the freshest baked goods with local ingredients thanks to founder Liz Smothers. Although it may sound absolutely ludicrous to anyone that isn’t from San Diego to travel over an hour away for a simple pie, you just don’t get us and that’s okay.
You’re Freezing At 60 Degrees
Considering how utterly spoiled we are with this constant beach and vacation-like weather, we are always cold. It may be a curse that we sound obnoxious for, but we really cannot help it. Our thin skin has adjusted to the warmer climate and anything below 60 degrees, to us, is freezing.
It’s hilarious when our “winters” bring out snow coats, ridiculous layers and way too many accidents, but hey, that’s the cost of being a San Diegan native. Compared to shoveling out our driveway or dealing with sleet, we will gladly take our weather any day of the year. Wouldn’t you?
You’ve Ice Skated At The Beach
Not many can say that they have ice skated on the beach, but here it’s just a standard Christmas to us. Coronado’s stunning outdoor patio is the perfect location for their holiday ice rink that families, couples, and friends enjoy once December rolls around, even if it’s 65 degrees.
Again, this is one of those things that adds to how spoiled we are to live here; to be able to ice skate right next to the beach! The calm palm trees, beautiful lighting, and nighttime sandcastle displays really make a Coronado Christmas the best ever!
You’re a Loyal Fan
We have no idea whether we are cursed or just accumulate players that are too distracted by our epic weather, but to be a San Diegan means you must be willing to watch your teams fail constantly.
The worst, though, is when we dominate the entire game and somehow manage to lose in the last few minutes or even seconds. How we make this happen we have no idea, but it is just something that our teams seem to do, knowing we will still love them. Our loyalty of blue and gold bleeds deep and it’s hard to wipe it from our already scorned hearts, but we are constantly being tested regardless.
You Have Worn Uggs With Shorts
Sadly, we have fallen victim to this fashion faux pas and we blame it on the weather. Sometimes you just want the warm feel of sheepskin while being able to show off your year-round tanned legs, is it such a crime? It’s not exactly the cutest combo, but it is easy to spot San Diego girls compared to what we now call “transplants.”
Most likely, you wouldn’t catch an East Coast girl in Uggs out here, but for some reason, local girls seem to indulge in the innocent and comfortable feeling of Uggs with a cute pair of ripped shorts.
You Still Call It The Sports Arena
We only know it is as The Sports Arena since we were born here, and to us, it will always be. No matter who buys it out or takes it over, the now Valley View Casino Center will always be the Sports Arena to locals.
Housing the Gulls hockey games now and back in the day, and some pretty epic concerts with massive mosh pits- the Sports Arena is home. Only real locals know that the Sports Arena was actually used as the concert venue in the iconic film Almost Famous. (Many don’t realize it, even though it looks exactly the same! We will never give in to calling it anything but this, so don’t ask!
You Wear Padres & Chargers Merchandise
Regardless of how much our teams can and have disappointed us both now and in the past, we will always wear the merchandise proudly. There is no local that doesn’t own at least one Padres hat or Charger’s jersey!
And we love to flaunt our SD symbols and bolts proudly on our heads, hearts, sleeves, socks and even phone cases because we know how great our city is and we want everyone else to know too. Plus, try to find a tourist that doesn’t want an SD ball cap or shirt when they visit; it won’t be easy!
You Pronounce City Names Right
Luh-Hoy-ya, El-Kuh-hone, La May-suh- these are the correct ways to pronounce the towns of La Jolla, El Cajon and La Mesa. You can spot a local compared to a tourist from a mile away when they try to pronounce these names that seem so obvious to us, but not others.
It’s actually quite hilarious how badly they are mispronounced and we cannot help but giggle, but we do so in our heads as to not make others feel bad about it. It is possible that when we were younger we attempted to say them incorrectly, but it’s just something you learn growing up in the greatest city ever.
Your High School Had A Surf Team
Just as we discussed before, surfing is big here. Although there was no JV or Varsity, surf clubs and teams were taken quite seriously in high school. Competitions, practice and even diet played roles into these ocean-loving units and even merchandise was created for those that participated.
Not to mention that they get to spend part of their school day in the water, instead of behind a desk. It’s no wonder that so many of the best professional surfers come from San Diego, including Skip Frye, LJ Richards, Rob Machado, Joel Tudor, and Linda Benson.
You’ll Always Love The Del Mar Fair
No matter how old we get, we will always go to the Del Mar Fair. You will always find us on the rides, sneaking into the races to see the summer concert series, and betting small amounts on horse names that we feel speak to us.
You can always catch us downing the unhealthiest but most delicious foods like deep-fried twinkies and hot dogs the size of your head and we love it. Just one glance at the brilliantly lit fairgrounds off the I-5 and we’re there… Okay, we’re waiting in traffic for 15 minutes to get off the exit, but then we’re totally there!
You’ve Rode The Big Dipper
Belmont Park’s “Big” Dipper is not exactly the most intimidating coaster in the world, but we love it for all of its rickety, wooden flaws, dips and subtle turns more than you will ever know.
It was a staple of our childhood to visit the Mission Bay roller coaster after stuffing our faces with popcorn, cotton candy and, of course, McDonald’s. Now that we have matured a bit in age, it’s fun to enjoy a drink before (and after) the epic ride seeing as there are awesome dive bars located just to the side of the always wonderful Belmont Park. Give it a shot?
You Have Kayaked La Jolla Cove
You have not lived until you have kayaked from La Jolla Shores to the epic, seal-filled La Jolla Cove caves! This awesome journey takes only about 15-20 minutes and is well worth the mini work out.
Although tourists definitely take advantage of this local activity, real San Diegans have either done this numerous times or enjoyed it during their childhood. On a sunny day (and there’s plenty of them here) definitely give this amazing and gorgeous kayak excursion a try, and feel like a real San Diegan. Who doesn’t want to feel that way?
You Have An OB Sticker On Your Car
Only the greatest of locals have the signature OB emblem with the seagull on it! This symbol is iconic and even dates all the way back to the ’70s when it was created by Bob Sorben with the hopes of showing love and freedom.
As simple as the sticker is, so goes the message to treat one another with respect as well as the city that deserves it so much. Locals always feel at home when they are stuck behind a truck with this as it can be found in the beach front towns of the incredible city of San Diego.
You Say Sick, Dope Or Tight
Californians definitely have their own lingo, but San Diego has adopted our own words within our state’s niche language. Most likely you will hear locals using the popular phrases “sick, dope, or tight” to describe things.
You may not notice the major difference between West Coast and East Coast lingos until you visit the Midwest or New York, but there is a significant one. With the surf at our fingertips and feet, it just makes sense to use more relaxed words in such an incredible and serene location.