Mention San Diego to most Americans, and more often than not you'll get the same reaction. It starts with a loud, contented sigh before moving on to misty-eyed reminiscence about a favourite holiday spent with laid-back locals, great weather, fantastic beaches, superb food, plenty of good value, high-class accommodation and lots to see and experience.
It's not hard to see why it gets such high marks — there aren't many cities in North America where a surfboard is as handy as a business suit.
If you want to grab a drink at Quality Social or Fluxx in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter, catch a baseball game with the Padres, max out the plastic fantastic in Fashion Valley, play a round at one of the 93 local golf courses or get some sand between your toes at Coronado beach, it's all here.
And from June it will be easier for us Brits to get to, with daily nonstop BA flights from Heathrow, so to whet your appetite here's our guide to California's most-chilled city.
WHERE TO EAT
Grab a basil martini and sit at the bar if you haven't managed to get reservations at this trendy spot which marries recycled wooden panels, concrete floors and old-school lighting. This is gourmet Italian food with a twist (an egg and bacon pizza should appeal to Brits) at reasonable prices, where you can pair food with wine bought from the onsite shop.
+1 619 239 2222, cucinaurbana.com
In the Gaslamp Quarter, this buzzy new place serves up dishes that vary from (very SoCal) carb-free crab cakes to filet mignon with a lobster butter and duck-fat fries or butter potatoes (OK so maybe one or two carbs there). Start with a Peter Rabbit cocktail and incredibly moreish cheddar cheese puffs, and you'll definitely have kicked your evening off in style.
+1 619 233 7327, searsucker.com
Bertrand at Mister A's
With perhaps one of the best views in San Diego, this is a classy restaurant that attracts the city's movers and shakers, and is a top spot for a romantic dinner à deux. Macaroni and cheese sounds like it could be any other starter — but certainly not when it's served with black truffles and pancetta. Meat and seafood are the order of the day for mains — you can't go far wrong with the grilled 10oz New York prime Angus.
+1 619 239 1377, bertrandatmisteras.com
Chef Deborah Scott serves up 'composed specialities' which may feature yellowfin tuna with oyster mushrooms, baby spinach, black Thai rice and citrus brown-butter vinaigrette or a filet steak topped with Gorgonzola, wild mushrooms and blue crab. Sides are large, so two of you may want to share the yummy beer-battered onion rings with a blue cheese dressing.
+1 619 298 6802, islandprime.com
George's at the Cove
On a balmy evening try for an outside table to enjoy views over the Pacific and California Modern style cuisine served with style in La Jolla. Try marinated grilled fresh fish tacos with mango salsa or mahi mahi with gnocchi and red-wine grape vinaigrette.
+1 858 454 4244, georgesatthecove.com