The Best of San Diego
This past Thursday we celebrated our four-year anniversary, and instead of going to a different city as we usually do, we stayed here locally in San Diego and had the opportunity to live like a tourist at home. As we were relaxing at the spa and eating lunch we met another couple that was on vacation form Houston and they brought up how many different parts of San Diego there are to explore. They hit so many different aspects of the city and went to some extremely cool places that are some of our personal favorites, when asked how they heard about all of the different areas and restaurants they said they did a ton of research before heading out. That got both of us thinking about our favorite places and what we would want to do if we were from out of town visiting. With that being said, whether you are enjoying your honeymoon in San Diego or visiting the area for work, here are a few places to scope out when traveling.
We kicked off our day at Kona Kai resort on Shelter Island where we had drinks and lunch overlooking the harbor. This truly felt like you were on vacation as the resort feels isolated from the city and has cabanas and tiki huts throughout the pool area. The lobby area is extremely nice with different colored couches and furniture to relax and hang out at. Definitely take full advantage of their massages as they have some of the best Swedish massages we have had to date!
La Valencia- Not only is this a top wedding venue in San Diego but also a great hotel to stay and enjoy the ocean views. “Intimate and charming. Dramatic and iconic.” Sums this place up perfectly. La Valencia Hotel is located above the La Jolla Cove cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, La Valencia offers something for everyone in their four distinctive room types - Vintage, Classic, Villas and Icon.This hotel is located along one of the best streets in all of San Diego on Prospect Blvd minutes from top bars and art gallas. Explore miles of idyllic beaches and coastline for swimming, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. Walk to the Village of La Jolla to trendy boutiques, museums and art galleries. Discover championship fairways at Torrey Pines Golf Course, venture to San Diego attractions.
The Pendry- If you are looking to have more of a city vibe check out one of the newer hotels that recently opened in the heart of Gaslamp. The Pendry is upbeat and modern, right down the street from Petco Park. If you are looking for a vibrant upscale place to stay this hotel is perfect for your honeymoon if you are recently married and looking to enjoy your stay in the city.
Food & Attractions:
Altitude – Possibly the best rooftop bar in San Diego to check out. If you want to watch sunset over the bay just head up to the south side of the bar and get a glimpse of the Coronado Bridge and Petco park and if you want to see the backdrop of the city as the planes land look out to the north from a separate balcony. Really can’t go wrong either direction you face.
Dolce La Vita – City vibe and rooftop bar not your scene? If you are looking for a nicer relaxed dinner and want to feel like you are in Italy, head to Dolce La Vita for some of the best Italian food in San Diego. Sit on the patio as you enjoy wine and listen to Italian music.
Georges at the Cove – Just across the street from Dolce La Vita is Georges at the cove which looks over the entire Pacific Ocean. This is one of our favorite places to hang out during an afternoon and take in the sun and beautiful views stretching down the coast to Del Mar with Scripps Pier right in front of you. If you are looking for a prime ocean view to sit and drink at this is preferably one of them.
JRDN – If you make your way down the coast from La Jolla to Pacific Beach there is another awesome restaurant that is great for drinks. This is an upscale well-done hotel in more of a party area. If you are looking for a busier area, Pacific Beach is definitely the area, yet you can still enjoy a nice afternoon/evening sipping drinks outside literally on the beach.
Barbusa – As you head to Little Italy, Barbusa is a must. Some of the best staff that will conversate with you the entire night and make you feel extremely welcomed. We have eaten here a few times and the pizza is the best in San Diego we have found yet.
Nolita Hall – Nolita Hall is a newer restaurant right next to Ballast Point Brewery, this open floorplan has one of the coolest bohemian bars with shuffle board and other games to play. If you head here for a night cap there I a fireplace to sit back and enjoy the rest of the night.
Ironside fish and Oyster – Looking for some good wine and seafood. Head to Ironside to grab some fish and oysters.
Carruth Cellars – Surprised this one made it on the list? If you are visiting San Diego there is a high percentage chance you’ll find us here. With two glasses of wine per week and a bottle a month, this membership is a no brainer. Make sure to check out this quaint wine bar when strolling through Little Italy.
Beaches and scenery:
Sunset Cliffs – Sunset Cliffs remains my favorite spot along the coast in San Diego. Endless coastline to explore, massive canyons and good surf. Sunset Cliffs should be at the top of your list to explore.
Windan Sea – For the clearest blue water in San Diego this beach is it. Also, one of the last localized surf breaks so if you are looking to watch some great surf check this spot out.
Blacks Beach – If you are cruising through La Jolla, park your car in the neighborhood and walk down a giant, sloping gated road that winds down to the beach. You can head in either direction for miles and walk untouched coastline.
Del Mar State Beach – Del Mar is often untouched from a tourist perspective, with many people hiking Torrey Pines, if you head north just a few miles this beach is beautiful with tons of views and extremely quiet.
San Diego is huge! These places stretch mainly just from the coast of La Jolla to the downtown area. There are so many more opting to visit, and if you rented a car you should 100% drive the PCH up the coast to north county and explore from Solana Beach to Carlsbad and all the little nooks and crannies in between. For a first timers itinerary to San Diego check out an older blog on what to do here. Enjoy!
Hope this blog on San Diego has helped with your upcoming trip! We are Andy and Brittney, wedding photographers and videographers in San Diego. If you are traveling out to San Diego and looking for engagement photos or looking to just meet up and hang out, hit us up, we would love to meet! We love meeting new people and connecting with others from all over the world. The best part about our job is traveling to new areas and shooting weddings in distant places. Our website consists of wedding blogs and memories from our travels, we are based in San Diego and shoot many weddings here in California, but also travel for destination weddings. Thats enough about us, hope to hear about you!