San Diego: The West Coast Getaway Worth the Trip!
This gem of a destination may be a bit of a long haul for some east coasters looking for a weekend get-away, but we'll take any time we can get in San Diego... whether it's 2-days or 2-weeks!
By: Alexis McCaffrey
There are a lot of reasons to visit San Diego. There’s a lot to see, a lot to eat or even explore. But when you get down to it the most attractive thing about the city is the weather.
The weather is cool 78 degrees at all times. Yes, you will fall in love and want to stay there a tad longer than a weekend. I know I did!
Originally my trip this summer was for 7 days but quickly changed into 17 whole days of adventure and excitement. It was a blast and one of the best vacations I have had. The food and scenery were to die for.
Sunset Cliffs & Peace Pies
The sunsets in San Diego are spectacular and hard to miss. The views from Sunset Cliff Natural Park are wonderful any time of day. During the sunset hours, they're breathtaking!
Take a drive into the most scenic area of San Diego while playing your vibey music on high volume. This area of San Diego is an attention-worthy spot especially due to its amazing vegan cuisine.
A cute place to grab a bite before heading to the Sunset Cliffs is called Peace Pies which offers a fully vegan menu and is allergen friendly. After your belly is full and no longer growling, head on down to sunset cliffs where yes, you can watch the sunset, as well as thrill-seeking high schoolers, jump off cliffs into the ocean. I would recommend this activity in the late afternoon :)
Is a park full of vibrant gardens, attractions, and art with little to no cost. You could essentially walk around for hours, which I did, and see various art displays or even get your face painted!
The best part is the little Spanish Art Village Art Center near the back end of the park. It has various shops that all support local artists from around the area. One of my favorite parts of the village was the interactive heart display. The heart display allowed anyone to hang or tie a note to the art in remembrance of their time spent in the village. The village was so picturesque and captured the essence of the local artists perfectly. I would recommend this activity during the day since the village opens at 11.
La Jolla Beach Town
Need a spot to relax and just feel your toes in the sand while hearing the waves crash in front of you? La Jolla Beach is the place for you! Its quaint beach town vibes make it a popular spot on the weekend, but it still provides an atmosphere one can deem relaxing. I went to this beach, rested my eyes, and took a little “me time”. It was an excellent way to just wind down and then set back into town to grab a bite of food. Since I was in a beach town I decided to try some seafood. I came across a place called Oscar’s which offered Mexican seafood. I got shrimp ceviche and was in heaven! It was by far the best ceviche I have ever had in my life and cured my hangriness instantly. I would recommend this activity in the afternoon.
San Diego has a ton of options for where to stay but here are some of our favorites:
- Hotel de Coronado: located on Coronado is famously known for all the celebrities that have stayed there such as Marylin Monroe. It offers luxury accommodations and private beach access!
- Pendry: located in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter offers luxury accommodations and even complimentary Cadillac rides to where every guest would like to go.
- The US Grant: located in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter offers luxury accommodations and is just a block away from all the best spots in the Gaslamp Quarter.
- Rancho Valencia Resort: located in Rancho Santa Fe offers luxury accommodations out in the midst of nature. This resort is all-inclusive and offers various activites for all guests!
- Fairmont Grand Del Mar: north of San Diego is situated on 400 acres of land and offers luxury accommodations. It offers a lot to see and a lot to do all around the hotel!
The Gas Lamp District
Welcome to party central! This the place to go for a fun and inclusive atmosphere... especially if you're into all night dancing. It’s the perfect way to end your weekend getaway with a bang! Some honorable mentions for places to go are the following:
CoinOp Gameroom: This is the perfect place to start your fun-filled night. The air is full of competitiveness drowned in delicious drinks. The pinball machines are a must!
Trailer Park After Dark: This spot is literally underground, you have to take a secret staircase in order to get in. The vintage trailer park theme is a cool place to hang around and meet new people.
F6ix nightclub The iconic angel wings pic is taken here, perfect for any social media platform. This club is all about dancing so get prepared to get your groove on and hit your best dance moves.
Aka the “fancy island” is perfect for a getaway from the busy everyday life of San Diego city. Coronado Island is known for its famous Hotel Del Coronado where famous stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon stayed but also filmed a movie, “Some Like It Hot”.
My partner and I went on the island around mid-afternoon and took the Coronado Bridge as opposed to the ferry which has a fee. We walked around and glanced at overpriced boutique clothes. We decided on eating a light lunch at Parkeet Cafe. I highly recommend getting coffee here because of the variety of unique latte flavors! This fun afternoon trip was a nice way to get away from the traditional touristy things to do in the city. I would recommend going in the late afternoon for this activity.
A trendy part of town full of delicious food and cute restaurants is perfect for brunch or a lunch date
North Park also has a CoinOp Gameroom so if you couldn’t get to it on your night out then you can go here at this location. They also have a chic succulent shop that will have you becoming a plant parent before you know it.
For lunch, me and my partner ate at Ranchos Cocina. This Mexican restaurant varies from others because they offer a HUGE menu that is flexible for any dietary restriction one may have. This was the first time I have tried vegan Horachta and I was in love! The food and service were good and blended nicely with the atmosphere of North Park. I would recommend going during the morning or early afternoon for this activity.
Now is the time to start planning for future travel.
**Alexis McCaffrey is a senior at George Mason University completing her Bachelors Degree in Communications with a concentration in Journalism. She is also a intern with Heintz Media Group, and is a staff writer for TravelAnne.com.