It was a beautiful weekend to be in San Diego. There was a little bit of rain, but much more sun. I would love to go more frequently, since it’s not as far of a drive as I had anticipated. I noticed how everything was so accessible in San Diego. Minimal traffic, all districts were relatively close by, and the hotel circle is very central to the city. I was able to get to each destination in about 10-15 minutes! Although there is so much to do in SD, here is the budget-friendly experience that I enjoyed immensely.
Our hotel was about a mile from Old Town. This Spanish-American-themed district is a famous historic park with authentic adobe buildings and Mexican food restaurants. The whole area felt like a non-stop party. Well, a fiesta really. There is a small town square with old buildings that once served as banks, hotels, and other small shops. It almost felt like being on a movie set, with such unique small shops, and a colonial feel. I had dinner at the Living Room Café & Bistro and enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere. This restaurant looks like a house with a patio and a deck for dining. Another amazing spot for the evening was Fiesta de Reyes, an outdoor bazaar-like shopping area with a restaurant, tons of shops, and live entertainment. Within the outdoor courtyard were gardens, musicians, churro stands, and a bar. Margaritas were obviously in order. As well as listening to the mariachi band under the stars.
Driving the bridge to Coronado was a bit terrifying, I’ll admit. But once past that, the island is so worth it! Coronado Island is a great little area with beautiful homes and tons of downtown shops and restaurants. It was really warm that day, so I bought a sunhat to enjoy the outdoors. There was a car show on the island so all the streets were crowded. Walking the beach in front of Hotel del Coronado was beautiful. The hotel, nicknamed “the Del,” has so much history from movie fame, to ghost stories. The large wooden structure, built in 1887, is an example of a classic Victorian beach resort. It sits right on the sand and looks out onto the ocean. To me, it’s most memorable from Some Like It Hot, the 1959 movie with Marilyn Monroe.
Walking downtown San Diego is so much fun. I attended Comic-Con in 2013 and I remember walking around the convention center area during the day. But the nightlife is fun too! We ate at La Puerta, a restaurant and bar and the food was amazing. Seriously. It was delicious. Street tacos and homemade tortilla chips? Yes please! The atmosphere was awesome too! Check it out if you are ever in the area. Every other establishment as you walk the city blocks is a bar or restaurant and each one is so different! But it’s fun to explore the places by walking, especially if you choose to explore on your own instead of Google a spot on your phone.
This huge expansive area called Balboa Park was incredible to walk around. I felt like I was in Spain… or an episode of Game of Thrones. The architecture was amazing. All the buildings had such an authentic vibe to them. Again, I chose not to look at a map and just relied on wandering where my feet took me. Each turn was a new spectacle. Everything from an organ amphitheater, to countless museums, to gardens. The place was so photogenic! If I hadn’t gone the budget-friendly route, I would have loved going to the museums there. Exploring this place was so fun and I’m sure I only explored a fraction of it… but that’s what next time is for!
I thought I would try a ghost story as my fiction piece. It’s inspired by Hotel del Coronado’s haunted history!
Do you know of any San Diego hot spots I missed? Share with me!