I needed a reboot. Inspiration. A fresh start. Some distance from the pace of New York City but also distance from the gloomiest spring we’ve had in a long time. Distance from the news, distance from the endless chatter of my Instagram feed. Visions of tacos, sunshine and solitude filled my head. I knew I wasn’t in a sight seeing mood. I needed a break to actually do NOTHING, get real rest, move with that chill California vibe. I headed to San Diego solo and did just that.
*There’s definitely things I’ve missed, but here’s a list of what I experienced and loved!
As soon as I got off the plane, I immediately took an uber here. I’m a huge burger girl, and I also deeply appreciate “Diner Dive In’s and Dives,” so if Guy Fieri approved, I had to give it a go. This is a place where you just forget the calories. I went all out with a double cheeseburger, a basket of fries, onion rings (with their special sauce) and their MASSIVE chocolate shake. It was an incredible meal.
Visit the seals and sea lions in La Jolla
Walk along the pier in this beautiful neighborhood and you will see the most adorable seals just hanging out, barking at each other and jumping and swimming in the water. You can’t help smiling and laughing, they are captivating!
San Diego Zoo
I loved this zoo! My favorite thing aside from the stunning wildlife was the fact this it was built so perfectly and sort of lead you to the next area without feeling like you missed anything. The $65 ticket includes a bus tour and an air tram ride which was so much fun.
Check out the in the Spanish Art Village
Originally built in 1935, this beautiful village has become a place where over 200 local artists can showcase their work. Between the colorful tile floor and the artistry, it feels as if you’ve taken a step back in time.
Wander through Balboa Park
This beautiful park is filled with museums, science centers, and the beautiful Japanese gardens. I decided to pay the $12 fee to walk through the garden and it was worth it. It was a little piece of zen heaven, and there’s even a great photo op with Buddha!
Stroll through Little Italy
The streets are lined with a ton of Italian restaurants, and there’s a great market to shop for authentic meats, pasta and cheeses. Don’t forget to check out the historical plaques of Italian American war heros, and take a picture on the big red, “that’s amore” chair!
Get your taco fix:
There’s two spots I enjoyed fantastic tacos -
1. Puesto’s - This was a more upscale spot for a taco dinner. I sat down serendipitously on a Tuesday where they happened to have $2 off tacos and $9 dollar cocktails for taco Tuesday.
Needless to say I was very excited. The ceviche was unlike any other ceviche I’d ever had. It was so fresh, so many layers of flavor, every bite was full of different textures, so incredible! I got 3 tacos, a Baja fish, shrimp and a “hero taco” with lobster filet mignon, fried onions and who knows what else. I finished it all with an order of guacamole to boot. My waitress was quite impressed!
2. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood - this was a way more casual spot to grab some tacos right after a trip to the beach. They were fresh and delicious, (loved the octopus taco) and there was a fridge with 3-4 homemade sauces that you could grab and use as much as you wanted on your tacos. Delicious!
I am a huge sucker for the perfect coffee shop to sit with my computer and write, or veg out with my favorite book. Add the most incredible ambiance, palm tree landscaping, and sunshine, and top it off with the freshest California food, and I’m never leaving. This spot was so good I went back every morning. The breakfast burrito with crispy tater tots and a homemade chimmichuri to dunk was my favorite.
Where I stayed: Empress La Jolla (Safe, near the beach, great shopping and restaurants all in walking distance.
How I got around: I originally booked a car which after gas, parking etc it would have come to around $400. I decided to save myself the headache of returning the car, figuring out the different parking rules, and just took Ubers everywhere. Cost me about $200 so I ended up saving!