No matter the season, San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in America. Literally it could be like -4 degrees in the Midwest, and San Diego people are surfing in the 85-degree sunshine. So, it’s kind of like Houston, but more predictable. I first went to San Diego about 8 years ago, and I proclaimed that it was my favorite place on earth and that one day I would live there. I later also made that statement about New York City … and then about San Fran. And honestly I think my recent trip to Santa Barbara might have edged out San Diego in the sleepy beach town category. BUT, San Diego was my first Cali love. And, I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Morning: The San Diego Zoo
The price of entry is STEEP at this spot—I’m talking $50 steep. It’s literally the best zoo in the country, so YOLO. Budget about 3 hours so that you really get your money’s worth. It honestly feels like an amusement park!
Lunch: Beers on the beach
Head to Mission Beach — there are some parking lots and you can ditch the car and walk the boardwalk. We walked past Draft because it looked a little pricy/fancy for our swimsuit-bodied selves. But it was by far the best option, and it wasn’t too expensive and our suits were welcomed. San Diego has AMAZING breweries and beer scene. Be sure to order local.
Hang around Mission Beach (it’s my favorite), but Coronado Beach is also a must go. Sneak into into Hotel del Coronado for an overpriced drink or dessert if you need to duck out of the sun. Coronado Beach’s sand is not white or soft, but it literally sparkles, so that’s fun! Mission has whiter sand. Both are great!
Dinner: Parma or Bo Beau
Parma is a super small Italian spot. Think: Wine + pasta for days. Count on slow service, very mom and pop, but there’s ton to do within walking distance.
Bo Beau is a French cafe. Very romantic! Count on a wait, or make a rezzy. Also wine is a must. If you don’t get the brussel sprouts, you’re insane and I don’t even know how to relate to you. The unpictured mac n cheese is to die for, but is kind of a small serving.
Babycakes is walkable from Parma and is a bar/bakery—best combo ever. I had the carrot cupcake and it was everything I ever wanted. They also have cheesecakes, etc.
Night: Downtown rooftop
San Diego’s downtown is v similar to Houston’s: There’s not a lot to do unless you know where you’re going. The Gaslamp District is super trendy. I say you find the tallest building and do the rooftop bar thing. We went to Altitude Sky Lounge—top of Marriott in the Gaslamp District. Fancy drinks and killer views.