After planning and thinking of places to go, Dan and I decided on San Diego. What a better getaway from the cold weather we’re currently having in Utah, right?! Both of us have never been to San Diego, so after booking our flights, I went straight to searching for things to do and places to see. We decided to focus on La Jolla since they have some nice beaches as well as our interests! There’s so much tale to tell, so I’ll start breaking down what we did while we were there.
Our original plan was to hit the beach. I mean, that’s just ideal, right?! Unfortunately, San Diego had a colder weather during our first day, so our plan didn’t pan out the way we wanted, but here’s what we did to make up for the day.
- Breakfast at Brick & Bell Cafe. This cute shop was filled with some goodies. We grabbed one of their White Mocha and Coffee to drink. For food, we got a Blueberry Scone, Granola and Sunrise sandwich. Give them a go and you won’t be disappointed!
*Tip: try getting there early as there could be a huge line if you go later on the day.*
Address: 2216 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
- Balboa Park (website) – National Historic Landmark that you can’t miss when you visit San Diego. This place is huge! There are so many museums and gardens you can go to. Some of them are free of charge and others have small fees. Since this is a huge park, I would encourage you to visit their site and plan your day before going as you will be overwhelmed with choices once you get there. Now, if you have the entire day, then you will have better luck of going around more gardens, museums and attractions.
As art lovers, we decided to hit up the San Diego Museum of Art and we loved it! They have different exhibits and it took us approximately two hours to go and see them all. Their exhibits are so informative and well detailed. Photography is allowed, just no flash. They have Coat Check that would require you to leave your belongings while you explore. Who would want to carry around heavy bags anyway?
Tip: Visit their website to check out any new events going on.
Website: San Diego Museum of Art
Fee: Adults – $15; College students with ID – $8; Youth 17 & under – Free.
After that, we went to their Botanical Building & Lily Pond. Oh my gosh! This building is gorgeous! If you love flowers especially orchids, you’ve got to go in! Believe it or not, this is one of the most photographed scenes in Balboa Park and a “must-see” destination. Dan and I were in awe walking up to it. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of lilies while we were there, but still an amazing sight to be in. Seriously, visit this garden!
Hours: Friday through Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm. Closed on Thursdays.
Are you a huge fan of Japanese gardens? If you are, you can’t miss their Japanese Friendship Garden. The feel of it definitely gives you that Japanese vibe, it’s incredible. I’ve seen quite a few Japanese gardens, but none of them can compare to this one. They have events going on so always check on that. While we were there, they were having Art in Bloom Floral Art of Japan. I believe they cost extra, so just be aware of that.
Website: Japanese Friendship Garden
Hours: Monday to Sunday 10 am to 7 pm
Fee: Adults – $10; Students – $8; Children (6 and under) – Free.
There are so much to see at Balboa Park. If you visit, make sure you have the whole day! If you are traveling with kids, make sure to visit San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park Miniature Train, and Balboa Park Carousel. They also have performing arts around the park, so don’t miss that! I have the link to their website above to check them out. 🙂
- Old Town San Diego (website) – known as the “Birthplace of California.” Yup, you read that right. This was where the first settlement was in California being built in 1769 with only a mission and a fort. Stepping in to this place definitely brings you back in time. While strolling around, make sure not to miss La Casa de Estudillo as it is one of the historic buildings in the area. If you’ve also heard of the Whaley House, it’s a couple of blocks (I believe two blocks) from here. Go ahead and enter and see if you’ll agree that it’s a haunted house. Good thing about the buildings here are they’re free. We went to see some of their shops here and I wanted to buy from almost all of them! Here are some shops that we went to.
Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop – What a cute little shop! They have so many goodies and how I wish I could’ve brought some home. They all smell heavenly! From bath fizzies, sea salts for the bath, and candles, they have it. Prices can’t be beat as well. I believe their bath fizzies cost 3 for $12. You can also dip your candles for a personal touch. Perfect as gifts for those back home. 😉
The American House of Coffee, Tea, and Spices – If you are in love with coffee as much as I am or tea like Dan, this is the place for you! Coffee and tea selections are amazing! They have brews that you might’ve never even heard of like Hawaiian Hazelnut, Blueberry, and Macadamia Nut coffee. I brought back a bag of the Hawaiian Hazelnut and I’m loving it! How I wish I brought home some more! Tea selections are also great. Did I mention that they also carry spices? Yup. They have Curry Powder Blend, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Chili Powder as an example. If you visit this and didn’t get to buy anything because of TSA restrictions, they sell them online as well!
Website: American House Coffee & Tea
*Tip: Keep your eye out for food carts around. We were lucky enough to get some Tamales for $3 per piece and trust me.. They were amaaaaazinggg!*
Lastly, we’ve never been in a tasting room. I saw online that they had one in Old Town. Being in California and knowing that they make wines, we gave it a shot. Rose’s Tasting Room is located inside Fiesta De Reyes. Their wine and beer selection is something California exclusive. They offer a flight of beer for $12. We tried something that spoke to both of us. Have you ever had Peanut Butter beer, as well as Mango flavored beer?! It’s a must-try!
*Novo Brazil Mango IPA is brewed from Chula Vista, CA. It’s ABV is 6.5%. It’s so refreshing and the mango taste it has is incredible!
*Native Trails Latitude 33 is an American Porter that’s brewed somewhere in California. It’s ABV is 6.5%. If you’re a Peanut Butter lover, this is a must-try! Once you take a whiff, it’s love at first sight. It goes down smooth and finishes with coffee notes. My boyfriend (Dan) loved it!
This is how we ended our trip to Old Town. A wine & beer tasting at Rose’s at 4 pm. Hey! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? 😉
Dinner time rolled around and we were craving some sushi! We took an Uber a couple of blocks away from Old Town to the sushi joint known as Sushi Takodoro. Upon getting there, the place was small. It consisted of 10 sushi bar seating and a couple of tables. We called ahead and reserved a table. We were seated right away and it was quite an experience! We started with an order of their oysters on half shell. You guys have to try it! It was pretty awesome! After that, we ordered a couple of rolls, nigiri and sashimi. We split them and we were overly stuffed. I’d recommend this spot for those craving fresh seafood! By the way, have you tried Uni (Sea Urchin)? Try it! So yummy!
That’s how we capped off our night. We stayed out in La Jolla so Uber costed about $15 from Old Town to our AirBnB. For a first time experience, it was pretty incredible! I can’t wait to share our day 2 & 3! So stay tuned! 🙂
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Rein & Dan