Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Of all the trips we have taken over the last few years, none have quite felt the way that San Diego felt ~ if ultimate chill vibes could define a vacation ~ then that would be the way I would describe San Diego. From the perfect temperatures, to the super athletic & outdoorsy way of life to the beautiful beaches, great food & even better beer – San Diego is top of its game. Lets just say that I would go back in a heartbeat… and I might just have to after this post.
One of my favorite things to do in planning trips is to reach out to friends who are familiar with the area and hear what their recommendations are. So I have to absolutely thank one of my dearest, Shelby Barill, for all of her lovely recommendations. I am certain that she would also agree with me, that San Diego is all that it is cracked up to be PLUS more! So get excited and get ready to BOOK your trip after reading this Top Ten Wanderlust Ten List – San Diego Vibes.
1. Get outside – Hiking – Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This was so cool. We rented a car and drove along Highway 101 and on the way through Del Mar, we stopped at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a beautiful, breath-taking (literally) hike overlooking gorgeous, scenic Pacific views. ~ J and I always love to get outside as much as possible when we travel and hiking is one of our favorite ways to take in a new place (as well as burn some calories since we sure enjoy our food & beverages when we travel!!)
2. Rent a car, drive up Highway 101 and explore the super cute, trendy beach towns, especially Carlsbad and Del Mar. Bonus: rent a car with a convertible, so that way you can truly experience the California style of life. But really, there are so many wonderful, cute little beach neighborhoods to explore with great little shops, restaurants and coffee shops, not to mention the beach just a block away. We enjoyed lunch & some highly rated craft beer from Pizza Port Brewing before heading to the sand in Carlsbad. For all my craft beer lovers – Pizza Port Brewing had some of the favorites from Russian River Brewing ~ definitely worth checking out!
3. Island Time – adventure over to Coronado Island for the day. This part of our San Diego trip felt like an absolute dream. I literally kept laughing pure joy and giddy the whole day because it was just that good. We took the ferry (super easy) to the port at Coronado (a quick 15-20 minute ferry ride), rented bikes, and rode all throughout the island. We stopped for a drink & quick sunbathe at the Hotel Coronado (talk about feeling like you are something special). The drinks were expensive, but I mean it was absolutely worth it, we were sitting on the deck of one of the most iconic hotels and we literally felt like royalty. Not to mention that sugar-coated strawberry daiquiri might just have been the very best I ever had. After our drinks, we headed out to the gorgeous beach and enjoyed more gorgeous views before hopping back on our bikes to grab an excellent lunch at Lobster West and devoured an incredibly, delicious lobster roll. (Biking makes ya hungry ya know!)
4. San Diego Zoo – This was always top on my list for San Diego, just because it is such an iconic spot. For those who enjoy going to zoos then this is definitely a not-miss. In addition to the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (which the zoo is apart of) is also a really great place to walk around and check out so many other really awesome things! (Including ~ many gardens, museums, and cafes)
5. Enjoy a pre (OR) post dinner drink on a rooftop. There is just something about a rooftop bar that makes a night feel special and San Diego is definitely winning in this category (and all of the rest of them for that matter). Some of our favorite places to go to enjoy a drink & a view were the Rustic Root in the Gaslamp Quarter, Altitude Sky Lounge is also really great (and a wonderful place to go if the Padres are in town playing a home game). The Nolen was also a great rooftop bar in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
6. Get your ‘Hops’ on by checking out the local breweries – especially turning your attention to the signature West Coast IPAs. Notable breweries worth stopping by include: Belching Beaver Brewery, Pizza Port Brewery, Modern Times Brewery and Societe Brewing as well as the more widely known West Coast breweries, Ballast Point, Stone, Green Flash & Mike Hess. As always, please use caution when drinking and do not under any circumstances drink and drive!
7. Indulge in some of the very best brunches in all of the world. Seriously though, I fell more in love with breakfast and brunching in San Diego than I have ever had before. So many great options to choose from: Breakfast Republic, Snooze, A Typical Waffle Co., Garage Kitchen & Bar (they have a spectacular mimosa special for brunch that is definitely worth checking out ~ as well as a super delicious and tasty breakfast sandwich! We also enjoyed a sweet little breakfast at Pacific Del Mar and enjoyed a beautiful view of the beach!
8. Explore La Jolla Cove. We didn’t have enough time to do this the way I would have loved to, which would have included renting kayaks and joining in on a group kayak tour to explore the La Jolla Sea Caves. In addition to the kayaks, you can just walk around throughout La Jolla and see and hear the sea lions. A great place to go to be able to hike down to see the actual cove is at The Cave Store. After we explored the caves we stopped for a drink and appetizer at George’s on the Cove. We went in between lunch and dinner and were able to grab a seat on the rooftop bar overlooking La Jolla (absolutely gorgeous).
9. Get outside (again) Seriously, San Diego is absolutely beautiful and there are so many options of things to do. You can try surfing, or paddle boarding, or wind surfing at Torrey Pines State Park, or simply find one of the many, many beaches and enjoy the beautiful landscape.
10. Catch a sunrise or a sunset somewhere sweet. Whether its along the bay or the harbor or if you are lucky enough (we didn’t get a chance, but I still would highly recommend it because we will most definitely be doing this when we go back) catch a sunset on Sunset Cliffs.