I just got back from a quick San Diego trip! After living in San Diego for five years it is one of my favorite places to visit! Of course, it is great for beautiful beaches and sunny 75-degree weather! But it has so much to offer! Below are my favorite places, things to do, and “must-eat-here”(s) when I visit.
PLACES TO STAY
My favorite place to stay is The Catamaran. It is in such a great central location and is right on Mission Bay! And it’s a short walk over to the beach, Pacific Beach Restaurants, and just a few minutes to Sea World or Belmont Park!
It’s a great place for families, the rooms in the tower are HUGE, I’m pretty sure I’ve had apartments smaller than the room I just stayed in. It had a kitchenette, a large “family room” with a pullout couch, and a dining table. The bedroom has a standard-sized bathroom, but a large walk-in closet! The rooms are not really updated, but very comfortable!
They have bayfront dining, bike, paddleboard, kayak and sailboat rentals, and an amazing spa and fitness center (which sadly are closed at the moment due to COVID).
Other Great Places to Stay in San Diego:
Paradise Point– also on Mission Bay, is a great resort with a more private setting. It’s another great option for families and is less than 5 minutes from Sea World. I did hear they are renovating it into a Jimmy Buffet resort.
The Dana- One more on Mission Bay. The Dana is on the opposite side of the bay from The Catamaran or Paradise Point. It’s closer to Belmont Park and the restaurants at Mission Beach.
Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa– Located across the San Diego Bay on beautiful Coronado, so it’s quieter than most anywhere else in San Diego. It has a beautiful view of Downtown and the Coronado bridge!
My Favorite San Diego Restaurants
Miguels Cocina– They have several locations throughout San Diego, from Carlsbad to Coronado. We have always gone to the one in Point Loma, but on my most recent trip I tried the new location at Portside Pier and I think I have to say it is my new favorite!
***You have to try the queso. It is life changing!***
Point Loma Sea Food– This is a great spot for lunch! It’s right on the harbor in Point Loma (hints the name) and everything is so fresh and delicious! If you’re renting a house, they have an amazing Sea Food market, so you could grab some fresh fish to cook while you’re there! I always get the fish tacos and they are, in my opinion, some of the best fish tacos ever!
Enoteca Adriano– Cutest Italian restaurant in North Pacific Beach! It’s pretty small so I highly recommend a reservation. They have great outdoor seating, which is a must right now. The food is SO GOOD, my must-haves are any of the burrata appetizers and the chocolate mousse dessert. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their dishes!
Las Cuatro Milpas– This place is always an absolute MUST! The tortillas are made fresh, the tacos are phenomenal, their chorizo and rice are SO GOOD, and you cannot beat the price. It’s right next to the Coronado bridge, so I recommend getting it to go, and driving over to Coronado to enjoy it.
Pacific Coast Grill– located just south of Encinitas in Cardiff, this is a more upscale restaurant located RIGHT on the beach! It would be a great option for a date night or a fun girls’ night out! We had dinner here for my bachelorette party and it was so much fun!
Things To Do
Beaches- Obviously there are a ton of great beach options. My two favorites are Coronado, you can go check out the Hotel Del Coronado while you’re there! And Cardiff which is just south of Encinitas. These two beaches are a little less crazy than Mission Beach, but that is also a great option if you want more restaurants and activities close by.
The Zoo- The zoo is currently open! They are requiring masks (just like everywhere else). But it is a great way to spend the day, and it is huge! Wear your walking shoes for sure!
Torrey Pines State Reserve- If you want to get a little exercise in this is the place! You park along the water and then hike to the top, up a paved road. Then take the trail back down to the beach. It takes a little over an hour (depending on how fast you want to go). The hike to the top isn’t easy but it’s totally worth it!
La Jolla Cove- The Cove is a great spot for snorkeling and diving if you are certified. There is actually a world-famous dive site in the La Jolla ecological preserve. You can also take a guided kayak tour and they take you through sea caves!
USS Midway Museum- The Midway was the U.S.’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, and now it is an interactive museum. I went several times when I lived there and it was always fun! There are a bunch of retired airplanes on the deck, and my favorite was the flight simulator. I recommend spending the afternoon at the museum, then going to Portside Pier for dinner!
Belmont Park (Open!) – on Mission Beach, is a small amusement park, it has a great wooden roller coaster and an arcade, perfect for kids! The Wave House (which is currently closed) is also there, which has two Wave machines you can practice your surfing skills on… Or watch other people try while you hang out with your toes in the sand and enjoy a meal.
SeaWorld- Right now is still not open, but hopefully sometime soon!
San Diego is a great place to visit year-round! If your schedule allows, I would definitely try to go in the fall or April-early May (after spring break and before Memorial Day).
I honestly feel like I could go on and on about places to eat and things to do! If you have any questions or want any other recommendations let me know!