As some of you already know, I have been lucky to live in Sydney quite a few years ago already. But before that, like many teenagers, I used to watch 90210 and was also dreaming to live the Californian dream.
As soon as I had the opportunity for it, I travelled to San Diego for the first time about 10 years ago… I was lucky to go back there a few times to show around my favourite city to my closed ones.
The perfect climate helps a lot to love San Diego. 20 to 25 degrees Celsius all year round, sunny, warm and dry and surrounded by surf waves, sandy beaches and palm trees…
Here are some of my favourite spots in San Diego and places you shouldn’t miss. Of course, if you travel to California, I also recommend to check out some of the best places in San Francisco.
Torrey Pines beach trails
Torrey Pines is the perfect place for a walk between beautiful cliffs and dreamy beaches. And if you’re lucky, you might meet some friendly Rangers. Just be careful with snakes which might be climbing around.
The historical gardens of Balboa Park
Balboa Park is full of beautiful museums and gardens. You might feel like you are back in Spain when looking at those amazing buildings. If you come with kids, the zoo, where you can see koalas and pandas, is a few metres away.
Mexican flavours in the historical Old Town San Diego
The place might look a little touristy but is still worth a visit between craft shops and horse carriage walks. You can also visit the place with a free guided tour, no need to register.
For lunch, you can stop for a delicious Mexican lunch with quesadillas and burritos at El Barra.
Sea lions, margaritas and luxury shopping at La Jolla
La Jolla is well know for its sea lions and its divers. It is also one of the fanciest suburbs of San Diego, full of pretty sport cars and designer boutiques.
On the other side of La Jolla, you will find plenty of family beaches. If you are looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend Travelodge at La Jolla Beach. This motel is affordable, comfy and offers free parking and a swimming pool. There is also a pretty nice Mexican restaurant on the other side of the road, very handy for late margaritas !
Brunch and Marylin Monroe at Coronado
If you have seen the movie “Some like it hot”, you might remember the beautiful hotel where it takes place. Don’t forget to visit it or try their huge and yummy brunch on Coronado Island. You can also enjoy the beautiful sandy beach right in front of the hotel.
Tasty dinner and gorgeous sunset at George’s At The Cove
To avoid fast food and admire sunsets over the ocean, the best place in La Jolla is George’s. Don’t forget to book your table as this romantic spot is sought after by locals and tourists. The view is truly amazing. Meals are simple and tasty. Desserts are worth a try. The key lime pie was really yummy.
Cocktails with a view in Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter is very animated at night with plenty of restaurants and concerts. The traditional architecture is lovely, worth a look during the day. You can also explore nearby Seaport village, with its boutiques and nearby marina.
For cocktails with a view, the Hyatt hotel is your best bet. Located on the 40th floor, you can get a nice spot if you arrive early. For Tequila Sunrise fans, I recommend trying the San Diego Sunset.
Top Gun fans and walks along the seaside
Do you remember the blue house in Top Gun ? Well, you can easily see it close if you head to Oceanside. Don’t stay too long in front of it as annoyed neighbours might get their water hose 🙂
Before it gets dark, you can end up your walk along the nearby seaside all the way to Oceanside Pier.
Frozen yoghurt and Legoland in Carlsbad
If you head to Oceanside, I strongly recommend to stop for a few hours in Carlsbad. You can easily visit Legoland nearby and stop for a delicious frozen yoghurt. Once again, sandy beaches are available along the way.
My best places in San Diego
For a dinner with a view :
George’s At The Cove 1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
For an authentic Italian restaurant :
Enoteca Adriano 4864 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109
Motel Travelodge La Jolla Beach
6750 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
For cocktails with a view :
Top of the Hyatt
1 Market Pl
San Diego, CA 92101