Perfect weather, sandy beaches, tasty Mexican food, and ocean breezes are all things that come to mind when I think of San Diego. This year, I didn’t get the chance to visit family out West, so I thought I would write a blog post about my last trip to reminisce! If you’re planning a trip to this sunny city, I hope this gives you some ideas for the perfect weekend in San Diego!
Hiking in Torrey Pines
Start your morning off with some fresh air and exercise with a hike! Torrey Pines Sate Natural Reserve is located in la Jolla, San Diego and includes 2,000 acres of land. Here you’ll find ochre cliffs that overlook the ocean as well as the endangered Torrey Pine Tree! In fact, you can only find this tree in the Torrey Pines reserve and on Santa Rosa Island. Choose from 8 different trails of different lengths and difficulty. What I love about this reserve is the chaparral landscape characteristic to the area. Growing up on the East Coast, cacti and scrub plants are not something I’m used to.
One thing to keep in mind here is the danger of collapsing cliffs, so be careful! If the water is warm enough, take a dip in the Pacific to cool off after your hike. One thing I love about San Diego is the weather. The mornings and evenings are cooler than during the day, so it’s not too hot to exercise outside.
Hiking can work up an appetite, so brunch is the perfect post-hike activity. If you are looking for something healthy with a variety of vegan and omnivore options, head to Flower Child. This sweet little café has salads, bowls, and wraps that are both tasty and nutritious. I especially love their out door terrace that has chairs that remind me of a Parisian café!
If you are looking for something a little more foodie, check out Pacifica Breeze Café, which has a so-cal tex-mex inspired menu. I would recommend Breeze Huevos! Sit on the rooftop terrace and enjoy your food with a lovely ocean view. Just watch out for seagulls who might come try to steal a bite to eat if you head to the counter to order another coffee or take a bathroom break!
Luxury Movie Theatre
If you are not planning on going back to the beach, why not escape the heat and treat yourself to the ultimate movie theatre experience! At Cinépolis you can enjoy your movie in a comfy recliner and snack on a cheese plate an wine rather than popcorn and a soda!
Liberty Public Market
One of my favorite things are covered markets. From local products to fun restaurants, there is always some kind of food to discover. After our movie, my family and I went to Liberty Pubic Market to walk around and find dinner inspiration. To my surprise, at the Cheese stand, Venissimo Cheese, I saw some comté! I couldn’t believe one of my favorite French cheeses from the region where I first lived in France was in a San Diego Market! Of course we had to get some so I could share a little bit of France with my Dad and Step-Mom. We grabbed some dinner to go, but it’s possible to eat inside the market in the dining area. If I lived in San Diego, this would be one of my favorite spots for Happy Hour or to grab a bite with friends.
Day Trip to Temecula for Wine Tasting
In just an hour, you can drive from San Diego to the Temecula Valley Wine Country. This time around, we visited Oak Mountain Winery and did a tour/tasting. This tour was probably the most informative winery tour I’ve ever been on and I learned so much about the winemaking process. Our guide was well seasoned, having experience in both France and Italy. If you come here, be sure to bring a hat and a camera! The views are stunning, but it is much hotter and sunnier than in San Diego. The wine here was pretty good, but my favorite Temecula winery is the first I ever visited, Danza del Sol , which has some amazing sweet wines.
If you want a unique Temecula experience, consider booking a hot air balloon ride! A few years ago, my step-mom found a Groupon for one and it was one of the most unforgettable San Diego trips I’ve ever had! It’s also not as scary as you might think. I felt very secure in the basket and the ride was very smooth.
Other Things to Do in San Diego
If you are staying in San Diego for more than just a few days, there are plenty of other activities you can experience! I really think San Diego is a great place to visit for all ages because of the variety of attractions. Whether you are a family with young kids, retired, a couple, or a group of friends, there is certainly something here for you. Enjoy this bonus list of activities for a perfect weekend in San Diego!
See the Sea Lions in La Jolla Cove
La Jolla is a cute seaside area in San Diego. It’s know for cove where some adorable sea lions like to hang out! Enjoy taking photos of the local wildlife, but please respect them and don’t try to touch or feed them! You can also enjoy the beach, shops, and restaurants in la Jolla.
Experience the Wild West in the Old Town
The Old Town of San Diego was first established in 1769 and was California’s first Spanish settlement. Native people had actually been living in the area thousands of years before. Although it may be fun to visit the old town, please be aware of the area’s full history. In the Old Town, you can visit museums, gift shops, and authentic Mexican restaurants. There are even some ghost tours if you feel like doing something spooky!
Visit the Hotel del in Coronado
One iconic place that comes to mind when I think of San Diego is the Hotel del Coranado. Chill on the beach, take pictures of the hotel, and enjoy food from the market or at one of the many restaurants.
Looking for stunning view of the ocean and Southern Californian landscape? Head over to Point Loma!
Pose with the Unconditional Surrender Statue
In Tuna Harbor Park, you can see San Diego’s Unconditional Surrender Statue which references the famous WWII V-J photo.
Take a Harbor Cruise
Why not explore San Diego by boat with a fun harbor cruise? See the city from a different perspective and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.
Watch a Horse Race in Del Mar
Watching a horse race in the Del Mar fairgrounds is certainly a unique experience. Bet on your favorite horse for the chance to win some money! I went here as a teenager and my dad gave my brother and I $5 each to bet on horse and I actually made a few extra dollars!
Explore the Zoo and Safari Park
One of my favorite memories as a kid was visiting the San Diego Safari Park and feeding the lorikeet birds! If you don’t feel like heading all the way out to the park, the San Diego Zoo is also a great option!
Not far from the zoo is Balboa Park where you can visit museums, walk around the gardens, and admire Spanish architecture.
Have Dinner Downtown
Enjoy an evening walking around downtown San Diego. In Little Italy you enjoy all kinds of Italian food. In the Gaslamp quarter you can discover the bars, nightlife, and concerts of San Diego.
Things to Know Before Visiting San Diego
Before you have the perfect weekend in San Diego, I just want to share with you a short list of important things to know before visiting.
As I mentioned before, San Diego weather is very mild. It’s cooler in the mornings and evenings and warm and sunny during the day. In can get hot in the summer, but again it’s usually not scorching. However, you should still be prepared and pack sunscreen, water, and a hat or sunglasses. In the winter, the temperature stays above freezing, but you should still wear a coat and dress in layers.
In the mornings there is typically a layer of marine fog that lingers over San Diego. In late spring/early summer, it’s known as the “June Gloom” and can last into the afternoon.
The easiest way to get around San Diego is by car. There are trolleys downtown, but you won’t be able to rely on them for visiting all of the San Diego area, so you might want to take the Sprinter or the Coaster train. Otherwise taxis, shuttles, and buses are available. You can find more information about San Diego transportation here.
Thank you so much for reading about my favorite things to do in San Diego! Which activity would be first on your list?
À la prochaine,