I went to San Diego for the first time this past weekend (it was a 3 day weekend for Good Friday) and my boyfriend and I had the LOVELIEST time, it’s going to be difficult to do it justice in photos… I’ll try my best to recap what I did when I was there in this blogpost for now but I’m hoping to put together a video recap too! Since it was my first time and I wanted to make the most of it, I even put together a google doc itinerary broken down hour by hour (crazy I know, right)? Great news is that I felt like we covered a lot of activities for such a short period of time and next time I go, I’ll be able to do less “sightseeing” and more local activities. Here’s what I did in 3 days:
We left on Friday at around 8:30 AM and got to the Self Realization Meditation Garden(215 K St Encinitas, CA) in just around 2 hours for a quick pit stop before checking into our hotel.
There was an incredible view of the ocean as well as a few serene ponds with some BIG fish. It made me want my own meditation garden. It was open to the public with no admission fee, and just a peaceful space for people to relax and enjoy the view. We then checked into our hotel around noon or so, dropped off our stuff and walked to the Gaslamp Quarter which was very close. Walking down there during the day felt kind of sleepy but very chill. The place I wanted to go for lunch wasn’t open so we just went to a place that had good yelp ratings to load up on carbs before our bike ride. We ended up at Osteria Panevino (722 5th Ave) and got our Italian fix.
Next up was taking the ferry from the convention center at the fifth avenue landing to get to Coronado Island. The Red Bull Air Races were happening this particular weekend so there were major delays with the ferry schedule and we ended up waiting longer than usual to hitch a ride but we didn’t mind basking in the sun for a bit while waiting. The alternative would’ve been taking an uber over the bridge but the ferry/being on water was so much more interesting and fun.
Once we got to the other side, we went to Bikes and Beyond (1201 1st St, Set 122, Coronado) to get individual bikes. They came in blue and green. The green one was a better fit for my height (AKA kid size). I also grabbed a basket for my things and off we went alongside the trail that traced along the edge of the island until we got to Hotel Del Coronado- a historic hotel to take a look inside and walk by the ocean.
On the way back we took a different route and ended up in a more residential area where we came across some cute houses and tons of flowers/roses/cute plants. There was even this cute RV that was picturesque! Let’s just saw we took a few stops to take photos. It was just so relaxing, not to mention a great workout. We biked for 2 hours and I felt like a kid again. There wasn’t much traffic for the most part and it was fun to roam aimlessly. The shirt I wore was perfect because it was fashionable but kept me ventilated with the sleeves being open 🙂 Once we returned our bikes, we headed to the ferry for the ride back to San Diego.
We got off the other ferry landing by accident (on Broadway) but it worked out because it brought us pretty close to Balboa Park. So picturesque and beautiful! Flowers were everywhere I’m kind of surprised my allergies weren’t acting up.
By the time we got back to the hotel to freshen up we were starving and went to Herb and Wood ( 2210 Kettner Blvd, San Diego) per our friend’s recommendation. We didn’t have a reservation so we ended up eating around 9 pm but it was worth the wait because of their unique cocktails and the modern food. Not to mention the ambiance was so chic. I had the scotch and tea drink! I usually don’t like to drink but this was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The speck and pineapple pizza was really good too. Just the right amount of sweet with savory and crispy with chewiness. Then we went to Chocolat Cremerie (509 5th avenue) for some gelato. We got pistachio and cookies and cream to share 🙂 To finish off the night we went home, took showers and did some korean face masks. We were so tired we fell asleep with them on for awhile!
The next day (Saturday) we headed out to La Jolla to explore. We peeked inside La Valencia Hotel which was very pink (I loved it) and walked around the boutique lined streets before meeting up with friends at Georges at the Cove (1250 Prospect St, La Jolla) for lunch. If you go there ask for the terrace for a view of the ocean while you eat!
Afterwards our friends took us to Sunny Jim’s Cave at the Cave Store (1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla), a place we would’ve completely overlooked. It’s a shop with an underground path that leads us to this:
Kind of creepy how it looks like a face right? It was a mini adventure just getting down there with wooden steps and a dark cave tunnel. Glad I wore sneakers throughout the whole trip. Once we came back up we strolled around the cove and even saw some Sea Lions! The weather was sunny but breezy, it was perfect.
After taking in the view, we drove to Torrey Pines Gliderport and hiked down to Black’s Beach (an unofficial nude beach). The hike was kind of intense for the fact that I wore a jumpsuit but it was nice to get my blood pumping after all of the vacation eating. The intense hike isn’t pictured below, but you should definitely go for the views and to be naked at a beach in public (if you feel so inclined ). We didn’t get naked but it was nice walking on the sand barefoot and just strolling by the water.
After that, we went down a very scenic drive thanks to google maps towards Pacific Beach where we stopped and got an ice cream cookie sandwich. This one is from Baked Bear (4516 Mission Blvd, San Diego). I honestly didn’t expect it to be anything special but it was SO GOOD. The cookie flavors were different and fun and the ice cream was exactly what we needed on a warm day. This one is a cookies and cream cookie + white chocolate chip macadamia nut with strawberry cheesecake ice cream sandwich. We got one to split and went by the ocean (just a few blocks away) to take in the sights while we enjoyed our treat.
After that we went down to Sunset Cliffs just in time to watch the sunset. We parked around 710 Amiford Drive and not where all the tourists were by the water. In my opinion it was so much better because you were greeted by this:
Then you walk down a path that leads towards the ocean where you see this:
And when you get close enough to the water you can sit on the rocks and watch the sunset.
It was incredible feeling the ocean breeze and hearing nothing but the waves softly crashing against the rocks. The color change in the sky was really breathtaking and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of gratitude wash over me. There’s nowhere else I would rather be at that moment than next to someone I love and embraced by the sights and sounds of nature.
We stopped by the hotel again to freshen up and headed out to dinner down in the Gaslamp Quarters again. This time at Double Standard Kitchenetta (695 Sixth Ave, San Diego). I loved the cozy ambiance here too. I’m just a sucker for anything warm and welcoming, not to mention library inspired decor.
Our whole meal was good but this veal meatball in particular was so yummy. The garlic toast was the best I’ve had in awhile, we wiped that bowl clean 🙂
After another late dinner we got home and slept like babies after another full beauty-filled day.
On Sunday, we slept in and didn’t leave until about noon when we checked out of our hotel. For breakfast and lunch we went to Hash a Go Go (3628 Fifth Ave, San Diego). They have HUGE HUGE portions of food. Unfortunately we were on a time crunch and had to head back to LA by a certain time so we were in a rush to order and eat. We didn’t order the chicken and waffles like we wanted but the corn beef hash and chicken eggs benedict were still good. We waited a full hour to get in because the line was ridiculous and we didn’t make a reservation. Thankfully San Diego is pretty and very walkable in most areas so we just strolled around to kill the time and work up an appetite. No, we didn’t finish our plates (is that even possible)? but it was a meal I’m glad I tried at least once. The drive back to LA took about 3 hours but after a trip like this I was ready to go back with a refreshed mind.
Have you been to any of these places? Any recommendations for next time? Let me know!! Stay tuned for the video recap- find me on instagram to stay in touch.
Can’t wait for the next adventure with my Rare Specimen 🙂
San Diego, thank you for a beautiful weekend.