California is my second home. I spent my beloved college years in San Diego + I’m constantly back to visit. I have my oldies-but-goodies, but my best friends still live in SD, so I’m always trying new spots. I’ve rounded up my favorite activities below, but I’ll be sharing my favorite bites + drinks in San Diego, so check back for those posts soon!
1. Walk Sunset Cliffs
When you picture California, this is most likely the view that pops into your head. Sunset Cliffs has the most gorgeous 2.4 mile roundtrip walking trail with a constant view of the Pacific. Halfway through you can spy the gorgeous campus of PLNU… my alma mater.
My perfect Sunset Cliffs excursion: grab a California burrito from Nico’s, park at the free mini lot near Bird Rock, lay down a blanket + enjoy the goodness of authentic Mexican food. Then, walk the trail! If you time it out for sunset, it’s super gorgeous.
2. Hike Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines is a beautiful + decently easy hike. It’s like Sunset Cliffs, but with elevation. And better views.
My perfect Torrey Pines excursion: save this hike for the sunniest day, drive up in the morning + do as many of the trails as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask hikers to take your photo at the lookouts!
3.Visit Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve felt softer sand in my life. It’s a clean, well-kept beach on Coronado Island. The view as you’re crossing the Coronado Bridge is reason enough to hit this beach! If you’re feeling frisky, rent a scooter + putt around the island.
My perfect Coronado Beach excursion: pack a lunch, head over to Coronado on a sunny day + set up camp in front of the Hotel Del Coronado. Soak up the sun + don’t leave until you’ve explored the historic beauty of the Hotel Del!
4. Save a Morning for the San Diego Zoo
I know this is in EVERY guide to San Diego, but it’s that good guys. I’ve been three times + I’d go again in a heartbeat. Get there before it opens + get in line because they do this whole releasing of the birds ceremony that you don’t wanna miss. It’s not packed this early, so you cover more ground in less time. Ryan + I did the entire zoo before noon. It’s HUGE, so wear sneakers + pack a backpack with sunscreen + lots of water. It’s surprisingly difficult to find coffee in the park… so wake up the extra 20 minutes early + grab one on your way.
My perfect San Diego Zoo excursion: caffeine, get there early, marvel at the gorillas, stare at the hippos, oh + be prepared to see some things that don’t seem at all real [half-Zebra-things pictured].
5. Enjoy a Farmer’s Market
If you’re not from California, you just don’t know what a farmer’s market is supposed to be like. They take this shit seriously. I’m talking live music, pretty views + DELICIOUS food. The OB [Ocean Beach] Farmer’s Market was always closest to me + gives off major Cali hippie vibes. The Little Italy Farmer’s Market is the largest + great if you want to see downtown. I also recommend the La Jolla Farmer’s Market because you can visit the La Jolla Coves + sea lions while you’re over there!
My perfect Farmer’s Market excursion: head downtown for brunch at the insta-worthy Morning Glory, then step directly out the door into the Little Italy Farmer’s Market… grab a food truck coffee + don’t miss The Cravory’s cookie samples!
San Diego has so many fun outdoor activities to offer… it’s hard to pick my favorites! Some other fun places in SD are the La Jolla Coves, Balboa Park + Mission Beach. Come back soon to read about my favorite bites + drinks in the city!