Two and half hours south of Los Angeles down highway 402, lies the coastal city of San Diego, California. With perfect weather year-round, amazing beaches, and outdoor activities galore, San Diego is the true definition of “SoCal living”.
Filling a weekend with fun and exciting activities is not a hard task to accomplish in San Diego. Here is my complete weekend guide to San Diego, California.
Grab breakfast at The Mission
The Mission specializes in simple, healthy, and just plain delicious food. Every dish comes out creatively and artfully presented in a way that looks beautiful and tastes even better. The Mission has 3 locations, is open for breakfast and lunch, and even has an expansive gluten free menu.
Hike Cowels Mountain
Get your fitness game on and get your blood pumping with a hike to the top of Cowels Mountain. The mountain sits at just over 1,5900 feet above sea level and is one of the most (if not the most) popular trails in San Diego County. The trail to the top is well groomed for people of all fitness levels and ages, and the views at the top of are urban and comparable to that of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona. The parking lot at the base of the trail is small and fills up quickly, luckily there is plenty of space for street parking if you don’t mind adding the distance to your hike.
Check out Balboa Park
Balboa Park is 1,200-acre urban cultural park located in the heart of San Diego. The park is home to several open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, and gardens. In addition, Balboa is home to over 15 museums, nearly 10 theaters, countless gardens and recreation areas, and several restaurants and popular attractions including the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Featuring 70 miles of coastline, San Diego is a typical SoCal beach city, with plenty of amazing beaches. San Diego beaches feature everything you could ever want: surf-able waves, bike friendly boardwalks, beautiful long piers, expansive shopping, and an amazing selection restaurants and bars. I recommend any of the following:
Pacific Beach – popular with college students and surfers
Mission Beach – right next to the beachfront amusement park, Belmont Park
Ocean Beach – a pet friendly beach
Imperial Beach – home to the U.S. Open Sand Castle competition
Visit the Seaport Village
The Seaport Village is a waterfront shopping and dining complex adjacent to San Diego Bay right in downtown San Diego. The Village is home to over 70 shops, galleries, and restaurants and even plays host to live music, concerts, and shows all year round.
Visit the USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is parked right in the heart of the San Diego Bay, and is truly a sight to see. The floating museum features over 60 exhibits and 29 restored aircrafts, and is the longest serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Near by the museum is the The Unconditional Surrender statue. This statue is a recreation of the famous photograph celebrating the triumph and end of World War II.
Hit up the nightlife in the Gaslamp Quarter
While it’s technically a historic neighborhood, the Gaslamp Quarter is more commonly known as the home of some of the best entertainment and night life venues in all of San Diego. It’s downtown location makes it the prime spot for hosting several of the city’s scheduled events and festivals including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Taste of Gaslamp and ShamROCK, a St. Patrick’s Day event.
Stroll through Old Town
Known as the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego is said to be where the first Europeans settled. Old Town boasts over 17 historic points of interest, museums, galleries and shops all within easy walking distance with free live entertainment, mariachis, dancers, period attire docents providing tours and more. If you’re looking for a place to get souvenirs for family and friends, the markets at Old Town are your number one stop.
get an acai bowl from San Diego Blenders
Healthy has never tasted better than it does at San Diego Blenders. Smoothies, fruit bowls, supplements, and juices are just the beginning for this little shop. They also serve bagels and several lunch sandwiches. The freshness of the ingredients here just can’t be beat.
go seal watching, kayaking, or snorkeling at La Jolla Cove
No trip to San Diego is complete without a trip to the stunning shores of La Jolla Cove. While La Jolla is no secret and attracts large crowds at all times of the year, it lies within the San Diego La Jolla Ecological Reserve and is heavily protected and extremely well maintained. Because of it’s beautiful shoreline and calm waters, La Jolla is San Diego’s most desirable spot for kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. If you’re looking for a break from physical activity, take a walk along the shore line and visit the adorable seals that spend their days sunbathing on the rocks of La Jolla Cove.
Take in a sporting event
Sports fans, have no fear! San Diego is home to both the MLB’s San Diego Padres and the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. The MLB season runs from the beginning of April to the beginning of October. The NFL season runs from the beginning of September to the beginning of February. San Diego is also home to several semi-pro teams including rugby, hockey, and soccer.