Have you heard the rumors about San Diego? It’s always sunny, they say. The beaches are the most beautiful, they say. You must get the fish tacos, they say. Well, what they say is true. This past week, I spent one week in San Diego and loved every.single.bit of it. Take a gander at what to do in San Diego in seven days.
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One Week in San Diego
Getting there: I found a great deal from Detroit to San Diego via Spirit Airlines and jumped at the opportunity when I got an extra 50% off coupon and had points to use. A non-stop flight is about 4 hours, so be sure to pack lots of snacks, books and entertainment!
Transportation: I decided to rent a car since I was going to be there for a full week and found the cheapest rental via Pacific Rent A Car. There are many other options, but this (price) worked great for me.
What to do & where to eat: I love to do research prior to a trip and I kept seeing Communal Coffee pop up on my Pinterest and Instagram feeds, so this was stop numero uno. This ADORABLE coffee and flower shop is located at 2335 University Ave and there is ample street parking. Order the latte and toast flight to feel extra bougie and California-y.
After you Instagram to your hearts delight, head over to Balboa Park where you’ll spend a majority of your afternoon. There is ample free parking and a plethora of museums and sights to see. I did a lot of walking, perused the San Diego History Museum, admired the lush rose gardens and prickly Cactus Park, and overall was a happy tourist. While the zoo is world renowned, it costs almost $50 for an adult ticket, so I passed and opted for the free sights.
After Balboa Park, drive to Old Town for some excellent happy hour Mexican food and a bit of history. I ate at the Old Town Mexican Cafe where two ladies make the tortillas by hand in the front window. The food and margaritas were amazing. Try all of their hot sauces! Walk around, shop a bit and realize how sunny and happy San Diego truly is. Pro tip: Remember to stay hydrated. It’s hot here!
Where to stay: I was in San Diego for a friend’s wedding, so I rented a home in La Jolla with friends. It was a good deal and worked out very well for our group. While La Jolla is about 20 minutes away from downtown San Diego, there are multiple other neighborhoods where you can stay. A few of my favorites include Embarcadero (right by the water) and Little Italy (lots of cute shops and good restaurants). Click here for more details about San Diego’s many neighborhoods.
Wake up early (if you’re still adjusting from east coast time) and enjoy a delicious breakfast at Sugar and Scribe located in downtown La Jolla. I got the Cali Benedict and Coconut latte. Both were delicious and the friendly service, beachy/Irish ambiance, and freshly baked bread just added to the overall experience.
While I attended the wedding rehearsal and dinner on this day/night, you might consider doing the following: visit the La Jolla Shores and the La Jolla Cove to view the sea lions, grab happy hour at Herringbone (recommended by fellow #ClevelandBlogger Beard & the Broad) or Dukes, and munch your way through the Taco Stand’s menu.
This was one of my dearest friend’s big day and boy oh boy did they have a pretty wedding! The ceremony and reception were at the Scripps Seaside Forum which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. I’ve never seen a more gorgeous venue and I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
If you’re not attending the prettiest wedding of your life, here are some other ideas for you. Spend a day at one of the multiple beaches in La Jolla. Take surf lessons. Snorkel, swim, get a tan, and pretend you’re a local. Spend too much money on ice cream/tacos/Coronas and end the day watching the sunset. THE LIFE.
Grab brunch at Cody’s in downtown La Jolla because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on the menu looks amazing. I would highly recommend the following: crab cakes benedict, chilaquiles and the lobster roll.
Spend the afternoon hiking in Torrey Pines State Park. It would be a mistake if you didn’t take the beach trail down to the water and marvel in God’s beautiful creation.
San Diego is home to A LOT of breweries (realllllyy) so pick a few to sample in the evening. We went to Absolution Brewery in La Jolla but friends also recommended Pure Project Brewing and Ballast Point.
You can’t visit La Jolla without experiencing their Sunday Farmers Market. It’s open from 9 AM to 1:30 PM located at 7335 Girard Ave. While it will be hard to choose your meal, I definitely recommend you get the PoPo Bros Tea passion fruit lemonade!
Kayaking in La Jolla Caves is another fun tourist experience. (I booked with this company and had a nice experience, although I do wish we got to go into more caves.) The tour lasts about an hour and takes you into some of the sea caves. Warning: Parking in this area is very difficult.
Have you had enough of La Jolla and Mexican cuisine? Head back downtown to grab Pokirrito (recommendation of The Mexitalian) and Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen. Oooomygawd. This was my first ramen experience and I’m in love! Seriously, go here and expand your taste buds.
Take the ferry to Coronado Island to bike around this tiny, yet busy coastal city. Splash in the blue waters, walk through the white sandy beaches, and pretend you’re staying at the historic Coronado Island Hotel ($$$).
From the Broadway Pier, the ferry leaves every hour starting at 9 AM and the cheapest bike rentals I found were from Holland Bikes & Beyond.
Since this is your last official night in San Diego, do everything you haven’t done yet! Some items to consider: grab upscale Mexican cuisine at Coasterra (recommendation of the bride & groom), souvenir shop at Seaport Village, do a walking tour through the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy one final fish taco.
The only bad thing about visiting San Diego is the flight home as this takes up a whole day. If you’re lucky enough to live closer, visit again soon.
Have you ever visited SD? What did I miss in my one week in San Diego? Tell me in the comments below.
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