San Diego, California
San Diego s an excellent idea any time of year – it’s wonderfully pleasant in the winter (Joe and I visited in January over the MLK long weekend) and rarely breaches 80 even in the summer. The San Diego area is huge, and you could spend days in each of its sub-neighborhoods. I’ve listed them below, geographically from north to south, with a brief summary of the vibe I found in each area!
Torrey Pines – Sprawling natural oasis with a state park, public beach, and golf course.
La Jolla – Upscale neighborhood with restaurants, shopping, seal spotting, and a gorgeous family friendly beach and park.
Pacific Beach – Surf boarders paradise, filled with casual, tropical restaurants and bars, and miles and miles of beach!
Mission Beach – A little Disney-esque: beautiful family friendly waterfront resorts, a huge inland bay with boat rides, and Sea World.
Point Loma – The one neighborhood on this list we didn’t visit, but I heard it’s a serene seaside community with a national park and a stunning view of the sunset.
Balboa Park – A huge outdoor museum complex with stunning architecture.
North Park – An edgy, hip, foodie paradise filled with restaurants and breweries.
Little Italy – A longstanding neighborhood full of critically acclaimed Italian and seafood restaurants, steps from the San Diego bay.
Gaslamp Quarter – Heart of the downtown nightlife full of rooftop bars and clubs and high-end restaurants.
Hunger: Favorite meal
Wanderlust: Most picturesque location
Travel: Favorite activity
Hunger: Puesto Mexican
We sat at the bar in Puesto, and the service and tacos were amazing. Starting with one location in San Diego, they have become a mini taco empire, with two San Diego locations including the one we ate at in La Jolla, two in Irvine, and most recently, their first Northern Cali location in Santa Clara.
Honorable Mention: All Cali Burritos
(Find them on the map above with a green hot dog logo - close enough, right?)
Wanderlust: La Jolla
Whenever my next trip to San Diego is, I'm planning to stay in La Jolla! There are so many striking views like this promenade along the coast - the grass filled field is covered with children and families playing, dogs being walked, and people admiring the sunset. Walk a block away from the ocean and find streets lined with delicious, well-known restaurants, shopping, and more. In our few hours there, we explored a cave and restaurant hopped to a handful of spots including George's at the Cove, Puesto Mexican, and The Taco Stand.
Travel: Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
We stuck to the north area yesterday - Torrey pines, La Jolla, and then drinks and dinner in North Park. If you park anywhere near this beach you can do an awesome hike into Torrey Pines State park up the cliffs you see in the back. Probably took 60-75 minutes to climb up and back down, and the path we took ended on the beach. You can then spend as long as you want walking back down the beach to your car - we were there at low tide so it was fun to climb over the rocks and low portions of the cliffs! If you're looking for a more intense hike, you should try Iron Mountain which would take 3-4 hours.