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travel diary + city guide: san diego, usa

By January 24, 2014 city guides, travel, travel diary, usa

In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 09

I had the best time in LA LA Land but onwards (or downwards really) to my fav place on the West Coast.

San Diego. Home of Ron Burgundy. You’ve heard of him right? He is a news presenter with a dog called Baxter and has an office filled with rich mahogany and leather bound books.

First up, we arrived at the beach. And I didn’t want to leave. Who would with these views? In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 05In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 01In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 02In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 03  In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 06In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 04

We only had 1 day here, and we wanted to see a bit, so after a quick lunch and dumping our stuff, we headed for Old Town.

It’s basically a big park located in the old part of San Diego. It’s a protected historical park that preserves the early days of the old town. Loads of historic  buildings from the 1800’s have been restored and house shops and restaurants.

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It has a very mexican feel to it, as much of San Diego does.

Next stop was Hotel del Coronado, the luxury beach front hotel in Coronado…In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 07

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So this is how the other half live?

The grounds are just so pretty. I am definitely staying here if I ever come back…  In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 11 In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 09 In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 12

I’m rocking Levi’s Legging Jean (they’re faded), Saba scoop neck tee in grey, Levi’s authentic trucker jacket in Untamed Blue, shoes I call City Walkers, because they have a wedge, so you feel a bit tall (necessity for me!!) and you can walk all over town, all day in em’.  I can’t remember where these were from, but heres a pair similar.

I am lusting over these Steve Madden Wedged Sneakers.

Of course, with all this walking around, I needed to stop for a quick bite and to take in the view…In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 10

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A short stroll back to town finishes up my time in this sunny city. I will definitely be back to see more…In love with {San Diego} | Cream. - 21

Things to do:

1. Seaworld: sitting on a beautiful bay overlooking San Diego’s oceanfront. What better location for a Seaworld?

2. San Diego Zoo: A whopping 100 acres of Zoo. Home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals (more than 800 species and subspecies) and a pretty rad and large botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. That’s a whole lot’a plants & animals!

3. Hotel del Coronado: Yep that’s featured just up above. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten already? Go on, up you go again!

4. Balboa Park & Museums: A massive urban park housing 15 major museums, famous performing arts venues, amazing gardens and the San Diego Zoo. You’ll never get board with a changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes.

5. Seaport Village: A huuuuuge waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment extravaganza. Retaining it’s a harbor side setting from a century ago,  it houses over 50 boutique stores, several casual eateries and a few fine dining waterfront restaurants for you fancy pants.

6. Legoland: Got kids with you? Well you will have happy campers if you take them here. With over 50 family rides, “hands-on” attractions and shows, Legoland is fun, adventurous and educational without them even noticing. Geared towards kidlets aged 2 – 12.

Food:

San Diego isn’t just tacos and beach food. Although they do that very well. My fav Mexican in old town was  Cafe Coyote, and downtown, you can’t go past Pokez.

My top picks are:

Truluck’s: Think seafood, steak & crab.

Bertrand at Mister A’s: Downtown restaurant that serves modern American cuisine.

Baci Ristorante: An Italian version of “Cheers”.

Vintana Wine + Dine: boasts modern  Californian cuisine melded with a incredible panoramic views of local mountains and the city.

Mille Fleurs: an élégant yet casual dining setting serving French Californian Cuisine.

Donovan’s of La Jolla: A traditional steakhouse.

Drink:

For nightlife the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to be.

For a fab view of the city and to enjoy delicious, although outrageously over priced cocktails, try Eden at the Ivy Hotel.

Noble Experiment, as the name eludes, is a reference to Prohibition. The bar is fittingly secret, speakeasy style, next to the entrance to the kitchen.

For beach bars, definitely try Firehouse Lounge at Pacific Beach. A two level bar, downstairs – you’ll find two bars and a restaurant that serves awesome Californian tucker. Upstairs you’ll find a superb roof terrace. This is the perfect beach bar, relaxed, chic and of course you can see the ocean.

If clubs are more your thing, don’t go past Belo,  a smokin’ resto-club in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, since opening in 2006 Belo has fast established itself as one of the coolest places in town.

And if you don’t plan on going home, try Bitter End. A three floored cafe club/bar in the oldest building in San Diego’s Gaslamp district. You’ll be there till the bitter end (see what I did there?).

For further reading, Thrillist has also put together this list of best bars in San Diego.

Shopping:

Although not famous for it’s shopping, I did actually find a few good places and picked up a few things. Here are some of my top picks.

Bazaar Del Mundo Shops: Specialty shops including Ariana and Laurel Burch.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets: Name brand outlet store including Coach, Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren.

Coronado Ferry Landing Market Place: Eclectic mix of restaurants, specialty shops, art galleries and bike rentals.

Kobey’s Swap Meet: voted San Diego’s BEST Antique Store.

Fashion Valley: Major retail mall including Bloomingdales, Macy’s, JC Penney and Nordstrom.

Westfield Mission Valley: Home to Target, Macy’s, AMC Theatres, Nordstrom Rack & Bed Bath & Beyond.

Transport:

I found San Diego super easy to get around in. I mostly caught buses and at $1.75 for most trips, it’s very inexpensive.

They do have a limited train line, in the metro area, it stops at Sorrento Valley and Old Town.

There also is a train that departs Santa Fe train station and runs up the coast to North County, with stops in Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

Read this for a comprehensive summary of getting around in San Diego.

The adventure continues:

More on the US adventure here.

Anisa – The Macadames xx

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