Imagine a place with tons of beaches, perfect year-round climate and endless amounts of delicious tacos at your finger tips. I’m talking about the one and only San Diego, California!
My husband and I took full advantage of our 3-day weekend (Memorial Day Weekend) and hopped on a plane for a mini vaca. We used hubbies JetBlue benefits, of course, and flew Mint (JetBlue’s ‘First Class’) on stand-by. We were kind of limited in where we could go, due to a tropical storm brewing south of New York. So after a lot of back and forth we decided to head to San Diego and I’m so glad we did!
Like I mentioned before, San Diego is known for its ideal weather and miles of beautiful beaches. Temps in San Diego can run anywhere between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with plenty of sunshine. There’s also no shortage of activities, sightseeing, and did I mentions the tacos?!
We decided to stay at the Omni San Diego Hotel, located downtown. We chose to stay here mainly because of the location (Gaslamp Quarter), as well as the reasonable price, pool and hot tub! (Always-important necessities)
Here’s a breakdown to what we did and where we went:
The Gaslamp Quarter is a neighborhood with no shortage of bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels. The area is very clean with a Victorian and Art Deco feel. Walking down 5th Avenue, you’ll find a young lively crowd enjoying the great mix of chain and independent restaurants/bars. Besides a few drunk 20 something year olds being carried out of the Hard Rock pool party and eating pizza on the floor, the rest of the area was very enjoyable and fun!
La Jolla is one of the most popular beach destinations in California, located about 25 minutes from downtown. It’s lined with sun bathing sea lions, sweeping ocean views and loads of sea cliffs.
Obviously the sea lions were the biggest tourist attraction, and let me tell you they didn’t disappoint on entertainment. I recommend wearing sneakers to explore the cliffs and climb rocks easily. There’s lots of exploring and different spots to check out at La Jolla.
We also went into the ‘Sunny Jim Cave,’ in which you have to walk down 145 steps to get to. The steps were short in height and had wide landings, so it didn’t help with the wet and dark tunnel. I almost felt like I was going to fall the whole way up and down. Also if you are tall, it will be a little tight.
To be honest the walk up and down was more exciting then actually being in the cave. It was a bit over crowded and I couldn’t see much. It was worth the experience though, for only $5USD.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Sunset Cliffs is a must when in San Diego. It’s located in a neighborhood in the Point Loma community, about 25 minutes from downtown. If you couldn’t tell by the name, this is where people flock to catch those amazing California sunsets on the many cliffs lining the ocean! There are also trails you can hike before sunset, but you should be careful since the cliffs aren’t that stable.
The main street of the area is Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The neighborhood is almost entirely residential, with a very beach/surf town feel. My husband and I were curious about how much these cute beach homes cost, so we looked it up. We found out they were about $2M each! Can’t say I’m surprised, being in such a beautiful location.
The Marina is great for a scenic stroll on a sunny day. It’s lined with tons of boats, including a pirate ship. There’s also the USS Midway Museum, shopping malls, restaurants and parks along the way.
If there’s Uber or Lyft in the area, we always take advantage of that to get around. We also discovered that downtown had tons of bikes and electric scooters! The scooters looked too fun to pass up so we decided to rent those for half a day. There were 2 companies that ran these electric scooters, ‘Lime’ and ‘Bird.’ The way they work is pretty cool. The scooters can be left pretty much anywhere in the area and are up for grabs if someone else isn’t already using them. We simply downloaded the apps for both companies and just hopped on the first ones we located with the help of the map on the app. We first used the ‘Bird’ Scooters, and then switched to ‘Lime’ once the batteries were running low. I personally thought the ‘Lime’ scooters ran better and were more comfortable. So if you ever see these in any city, absolutely hop on one. They’re too much fun to pass up and a great way to do some sightseeing. They also have trollies, which we didn’t get a chance to ride.
Where to eat/drink:
- Puesto: A must for tacos and margaritas. Make sure you try the filet mignon taco!
- Rustic Root: Delicious food in a chic restaurant that uses fresh local ingredients. Has it’s own rooftop bar for craft cocktails.
- Meze Greek Fusion: Bar/restaurant offering Greek-inspired small plates & entrees. They also flambé some of their appetizers right in front of you.
- Spill the Beans Coffee & Bagel: California-style bagels & Dark Horse coffee in a mod café. Make sure you try the Cinna-Bee Latte, with their signature house-made cinnamon simple syrup. (check out the unique bathroom)
- Pappalecco: Good for genuine gelato, espresso, panini and pizza!
- Gaslamp Quarter: Lively neighborhood with tons of bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels.
- La Jolla: Popular beach with sun bathing sea lions, crabs and cliffs. (Free to visit)
- Sunny Jim Cave in La Jolla: The only sea cavein California that is accessible by land through an over 100-year-old tunnel. ($5USD)
- Sunset Cliffs: Perfect spot to catch those Cali sunsets! (Free to visit)
- Marina District: Scenic area full of beautiful boats, shopping, museum and park.
- Mission Beach: Laid-back neighborhood full of surfers, sunbathers and volleyball players.
- Coronado Island: Known to have one of the best beaches in San Diego, housing the historic Hotel Del Coronado.
- San Diego Zoo: One of the best and well-known zoos in the world. ($54USD per adult, $44 per child)
- ‘Lime’ &‘Bird’ Scooter Rentals: Grab and go electric scooters that run on an app you can download on your phones. ($1USD to start + 15 cents a minute)
- Weather wise, May is referred to as “Gray May”
- Weather wise, June is referred to as “June Gloom”
- July – October are known to be the hottest months of the year
- The top employer in the city is the United States Navy.
- San Diego is home to the largest oceanographic museum in the USA, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
- San Diego produces the most avocados in the United States. (YUM!)
- The University of California’s Library in La Jolla is home to the largest collection of original Dr. Seuss manuscripts and other materials in the world.
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