Pinching the Southern tip of the Pacific Coast highway, this laid back city enjoys bright sparkling light and a privileged perch on the finest costal scenery this salty strip of Cali has to offer.

Unsurprisingly then, the teeny beachside community of La Jolla, just outside San Diego’s centre, has flourished as a hotspot for artists drawn to the outstanding natural beauty and meandering pace of life. The arts scene here is as eclectic as the cafe culture. With the opening of the San Diego Museum of Art in 1926 amidst a wave of new arts funding in the US prior to the stock market collapse, a community stronghold for contemporary visual artists was established.

If LA is California’s wild child, San Diego is the cooler older sibling who’s kinda seen it all before.

A squeaky-clean all-American wholesomeness does permeate the arts scene here, but the sprinkling of small independent contemporary arts galleries, in addition to the larger established spaces, proffer broader community interactivity that is refreshingly unpretentious and modern. Head north to the city of Encinitas to the Lux Art Institute and you’ll see what we mean.  It’s no surprise then that Gagosian hold an office just steps from La Jolla Cove beach in San Diego’s outskirts.

For a cultural indulgence in San Diego we recommend the Pearl Hotel where luxe-edged mid-century styling and an impeccable cocktail list ensure the Pearl’s locally noted aptitude for nocturnal soirees. A full diner-style breakfast at Hash House a Go Go will, most likely, be a must. Continuing the mid-century theme, Cinema Under The Stars offer an alfresco movie programme from March 2011 guaranteed to recreate the hazy mood of a vintage high-school flick.

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