If you've seen Some Like it Hot, you'll know that it's easy to do a quick run from San Diego's Hotel del Coronado to the adjacent sandy beach in a pair of high heels.
The classic Marilyn Monroe film is one of countless movies filmed at this red-turreted hotel, built in 1888 and now a national historic landmark. One Some Like It Hot critic couldn't believe that the beautiful structure was real, describing the hotel as 'an uproarishly improbable set'.
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The hotel, like much of San Diego, is no stranger to famous visitors – guests have ranged from Clark Gable and Errol Flynn to modern day celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Demi Moore and Madonna. Liberace was talent-spotted while playing piano for guests here and author L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the hotel. The author also turned his hand to designing the ornate chandeliers in the Crown Room.
The Del, as the hotel is affectionately known, has also welcomed politicians and royalty. Eleven US presidents have stayed here, while King Edward is rumoured to have first set eyes on Wallis Simpson, then a local housewife, at a ball at the hotel.
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Prince Harry is a recent fan of San Diego. While staying in the US for apache helicopter training last year, he and friends took a weekend break in San Diego, heading to the Andaz San Diego hotel in the city's historic Gaslamp Quarter.
Making the most of San Diego's mild climate – the average daily temperature is 70.5F – the fun-loving royal hung out on the hotel's Ivy Rooftop bar. Harry watched a televised England rugby match in a private cabana there. And on the same night, when a local girl was thrown into the rooftop swimming pool fully clothed, he acted as a perfect gentleman by wrapping a towel around her.
Ashton Kutcher's visit to The Andaz was rather more scandalous – his reported liaison with Sarah Leal here allegedly led to the break-up of his marriage with Demi Moore.
San Diego's annual Comic Con convention means that celebrities are often spotted in local bars. This summer, the Breaking Bad cast attended a post-screening party at Hotel Palomar's fourth-floor pool deck. The hotel's Saltbox restaurant has welcomed Lea Michele and some of her Glee castmates.
Even if you don't have a celebrity's spending power, there are plenty of affordable attractions in San Diego, including the world famous zoo, which is home to giant pandas, Sea World, where performing killer whales are the star attraction, and the 1,200-acre Bilboa Park, which houses ornate Spanish-style buildings, botanic gardens and a Tony-award winning theatre. There are also whale-watching tours around the local harbour.
With 70 miles of beaches, 323 days of gorgeous weather, San Diego is hard to resist.
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