First, Happy 2018 friends! I hope that your year is off to a fantastic start! I always like to spend some time at the end of a year / beginning of the next to reflect on the previous 12 months. When I reflected on 2017, I realized that I considered “traveling” as both money and time well spent. Though it typically contributes to my MS fatigue, there is something about exploring a new city and leaving reality for a few days that leaves me feeling refreshed.
When a law school friend suggested that we go visit some other law school friends in Cali, I jumped on board. It’s been a hot minute since I was last in CA and was also definitely looking forward to visiting and catching up via Levin High reunion style (for all you non-UF law grads, we affectionately refer to the UF Levin College of Law as Levin High). Aren’t we cute?!
But I digress. After examining our calendars we decided that MLK (with an extra day off) seemed like the perfect time! And wow, San Diego didn’t disappoint! Loved the city, the people, and the vibe. The weather was a little wonky – warm in the sun, cold in the shade and definitely chilly at night. It was like it could not make up it’s mind! But overall can’t complain!
Where to stay?
I’d recommend staying in the Gas Lamp district. There are a ton of hotel options and seemed centrally located in the city. Plus there are a ton of restaurants and bars within walking distance. We stayed a couple of nights at the Residence Inn and the staff was friendly and the room was great.
What to do?
You definitely have to spend an afternoon in nearby La Jolla. Spend some time walking along the cliffs and checking out seals and sea lions frolicking about in the water or sunbathing on the shore. If you are in town when it’s warm, there is a beach that you could enjoy as well!
We also explored the neighboring streets. There is a bookstore called Warwick’s, the country’s oldest family owned and operated bookstore. In addition to books, they have a ton of cute gifts and, much to my delight, stationery, pens, markers, etc. Ah…I could stay here all day. Seriously!
You also have to make a pit stop at George’s for lunch on their rooftop. Amazing views. I mean, I def wouldn’t hate life if I could have lunch there every day.
While we waited for a table, we grabbed drinks on their second level. I had a fun drink called the Carlsbad. It had beet juice in it. Weird sounding I know, but it was freaking awesome! I pretty much ate beets all weekend but that’s an entirely different story.
If you have an extra day, I’d suggest heading up to Temecula for a winery tour. Temecula has around 40 wineries with 10-15 slated to open in the next couple of years. There is also a cute western downtown area that we explored pre-winery tours. We did not use this group, but the folks on the Rocking Wine Tour seemed to be having a party going all day long. We had slight FOMO listening to their tunes.
Finally, I’d suggest heading up to Balboa Park. In addition to walking around and enjoying great architecture, it’s home to quite a few museums, the San Diego Zoo, the Science Center, and a theater styled after The Globe.
Where to eat?
We had a lot of food and drinks over the course of a few days. For Italian, I’d suggest heading over to Little Italy. We ate dinner at Prep Kitchen, a newer restaurant. The restaurant was cute and the food was good.
If you like dive bars, I’d suggest heading over to Waterfront after dinner. This bar reminded me of the good old Levin High days, even down to the popcorn machine. Great tunes, interesting people watching and places to sit.
In the Gas Lamp District, I’d suggest the Garage for dinner (the truffle lobster Mac and cheese was outstanding), Mission for breakfast was great too. For drinks, check out Union Kitchen, Seersucker, and Fifth & Rose (located at the Pendry Hotel). We also went to the dueling piano bar the Shout House. Fun times.
Have you been to San Diego? If so, where are some must sees?