One of the downsides of running a blog and working full time is that sometimes the full-time job has to take priority which means a backlog of posts. San Diego was the last stop on our fall highway one road trip and it has taken me months to get around to typing up the post but such is life and gotta make the best of it.
We drove eight and half hours from San Fransico to San Diego (with a brief stop for lunch in Los Angeles). I am not sure what we were thinking but while planning the trip, this route seemed like a great idea - until we had to execute the plan (oops). Thankfully, we arrived not long before sunset and as a way of avoiding traffic, we decided to start our time in San Diego at La Jolla Cove.
1. La Jolla Cove. I have been lucky to visit La Jolla twice and although it is amazing in the daytime, the sunset at La Jolla is spectacular. We arrived with enough time to watch the sea lions playing as waves crashed into shore; the restaurant patios were filling up with customer preparing to watch the sunset which we heard was spectacular and we were not disappointed. We walked northwest along the walking path until we found the perfect spot to view the sunset. If you feel peckish, there several restaurants along the cove but my favorite of them is a spot called Cody's - one of the best meals, ever!
2. Hike to Soledad Mountain. Full disclosure, the mountaintop is the site of Mount Soledad cross and that was one of the reasons we made the hike up there along with incredible views of the city. The mount is also home to a veteran's memorial and has a running/hiking trail if you need to fit in a workout during your visit.
3. Explore Old Town San Diego. Our visit to the Old town was a highlight of our San Diego trip and I have a guide here if you plan to visit. My favorite part of our Oldtown wander was the olive oil tasting at Temecula olive oil Company and Casa de Estudillo.
4. See the view from Sea Port Village. On my first trip to San Diego, we stayed in a hotel in Sea Port Village. It is a one-stop shop for shopping and dining and offers some incredible view of the city. If you have got time (which we did) it is worth a spot on your itinerary. if you don't have the luxury of time, then this is one you can skip.
5. Visit Point Loma . You can easily spend half a day here. We made the drive to Point Loma for the lighthouse but got more than we bargained for. It is a former naval base and still has some of the military base features. We found a parking spot and began our hike, First to view the lighthouses - there are two - we got a spectacular view of one and visited another. At the furthest tip of point-Loma is the Cabrillo monument which has an incredible panoramic view of the bay, cliffside formation and pacific ocean. Pointe Loma has also got amazing tide pools, I did not venture to any, but could see braver people than me, make their way down narrow and steep walkway to get down to it. Depending on the season, this is also a great spot for whale watching.
6. Liberty Station. Not far from Point Loma is Liberty station - a former naval training center now converted to an art district with an indoor food market, shops and museums.
7. Visit Balboa Park and Gardens. Another one of those spots in San Diego that could easily take half a day if you can fight your way through parking. Setting aside our frustrations with parking, I am glad we endured to explore this park. The park is home to about 15 museums; a performance center; gardens (loved the Japanese garden); Spanish village; California tower and the San Diego zoo.
8. Visit Coronado Beach and Hotel. The hotel (more than the beach) has an incredible and famed history. Beyond its imposing design, the hotel has also hosted celebrities and presidents for years. It has also been featured in multiple feature films including the 1959 classic - Some like it hot.
9. Explore GasLamp District. For nightlife, the gaslamp quater is the place to be. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city with several blocks of clubs, restaurants, hotels and cocktail lounges. Spreckels and Balboa theatres are also located here and offer a mix of shows if clubs are not your thing. You will find local favorites and national chain restaurants here. The neighborhood has an interesting history which you can discover by taking a guided tour hosted by the Gaslamp foundation.
10. Eat Lobster Roll. I don't think a trip to San Diego is complete without having a lobster roll. We did a lot a research and eventually ended up at a spot near Coronado beach called Lobster West. We were not dissapointed.
If you have a favorite spot for a lobster roll spot in San Diego or a favorite attraction, please pop it in the comment because San Diego is one of those places I am certain I will be visiting multiple times.