My San Diego Roundup
If you've never been to San Diego, add it to your travel bucket list! For those of you who have been, I'm sure you'd agree that it's well worth the trip over to the West Coast. Life seems to move at a slower, more luxuriating pace, there's so much to do out-of-doors, and people just overall seem to possess a greater wellbeing. Or maybe everything just seems to be all sunshine and roses because I'm on vacation and my current mindset is, 'the grass is always greener'.
Scrolling through all the photos I snapped on my phone felt like a mini vacation in itself. It also made me feel super nostalgic. It's amazing how many different emotions were triggered just looking through this album! I wanted to share a few snaps with you, styling some of my current favorite pieces from LILA and my own closet. I've also included highlights from places we visited and restaurants we loved that framed some of my best experiences on this trip. Thanks for reading!
We visited Balboa Park in all it's sun-drenched glory!
Styling my all-time favorite accessory, which comes along on EVERY trip - my Bon Voyage boater hat.
The smoked pineapple margarita at El Prado restaurant in Balboa Park is probably the BEST marg I've ever tasted.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- San Diego Zoo: No visit to this sunny city is complete without a trip to the zoo (considered 2nd best in the world). During the many summers we spent in San Diego, our parents enrolled us in zoo classes. Probably one of the best memories I have is going to class everyday and learning about all the different animals, what they eat, their natural habitats and getting to see and pet them behind-the-scenes. Coming back feels almost like coming home. I needed a full day to explore! Be sure to take the Skyfari (for the most epic view from above!) and the bus tour when you visit. The Treehouse cafe (which is also where you can find Albert's restaurant) is the best perch in the zoo! Prepare to eat while beholding breathtaking views!
- Wild Animal Park: Ever been on safari? This is pretty darn close! Spy all sorts of wild animals while karavaning around this 1,800 acre park. Prepare to have ostriches and giraffes come right up close to you; they're just as curious about you as you are about them! Take in the natural beauty of the park and the wildlife - it makes for the most unforgettable experience. I can still remember my experiences as a kid and the awe I felt seeing all the animals up close, as though it were yesterday.
- Balboa Park: There's so much to do at Balboa Park you may need to come back a few times! Some of the best museums including the Museum of Art, Timken, Natural History Museum and Museum of Man are all just steps from each other. Be sure to also check out an IMAX at the Fleet Science Center - whether you're delving deep into the great barrier reef or discovering how volcanos are created, this immersive experience makes you feel like you are part of the action. I would also highly recommend catching a production at the Old Globe! The most celebrated Shakespearean plays make their debut over the summer. This is as authentic an experience as you can get short of flying to London to get a dose of the real thing.
- Pacific Beach: I thought I knew all the fun, cool places around San Diego, considering how long I've been coming to the city. But this was my first time ever visiting Pacific Beach (or PB as the locals call it). Every time we asked for recommendations, PB always seemed to find its way into the conversation. If you're planning to hit the beach while you're in town, don't miss this spot. The beach and sandy boardwalk stretch on for miles, drawing surfers and sunbathers alike to this chill little slice of the city. The beach bars are bountiful, the drinks cold, the bartenders hot and the views well worth the trip!
- Coronado: This place could not be any more Insta-worthy! The historic Hotel del Coronado is so perfectly situated amongst shady palms and views of the beach. Grab a coffee and soak in the sun (and views!) at their cafe. I can't think of a better start to the morning. Then, head to the Ferry Landing at the opposite end of the island (it's actually an isthmus despite it's name) for views of downtown San Diego across the bay, the cutest shops for some retail therapy and a great mix of eateries!
Insta-worthy spots abound at the Hotel del Coronado. Can't get over this backdrop!
Can I just stay here forever?!
Back to Coronado we go!
- Seaport Village: I love this little village along the water in downtown San Diego! Spend the afternoon perusing all the little cute boutique shops, then sit down at one of the many cafes and restaurants for a bite to eat. This trip to San Diego was such a walk down memory lane because I was so determined to revisit all the beloved places of my childhood. Seaport Village was at the top of the list and our first destination on the day we arrived.
- La Jolla: Another favorite spot in the city and the place we called home every summer when we stayed for a month at a time. Returning to the neighborhood felt extra special. Besides walking along La Jolla Cove (sea lions!) and the shore, grab a drink in the most picturesque setting at La Valencia hotel.
Grabbed coffee at The Brick & Bell Cafe in La Jolla before strolling along the beach's boardwalk. The mornings can be chilly so my Almond Blazer (sold out) was perfect for layering over shorts and a tank!
Spied the sea lions at La Jolla Cove!
It was a little too windy and chilly that morning for my Paris Jumpsuit, but I wore it anyways! Do it for the fashion, right?
PLACES TO EAT:
- Nonna: Our hotel, which was perfectly located in the heart of downtown San Diego, also happened to be in Little Italy. This area is always hopping! In the morning, cafes and restaurants serve up cappuccino and brunch, while the evenings carry their own magical ambiance. Dine en plein air at one of the many Italian eateries that pour onto the sidewalks. We chose to eat at Nonna (which means grandmother in Italian!) and the food was delicious! Regardless, of which restaurant you choose, I don't think it's possible to have a bad meal in Little ltaly.
- El Prado: My favorite restaurant in San Diego is in Balboa Park and as with most other places I've listed, I've been eating here for years! Everything from the interior decor to the ambiance and the food at El Prado speaks to me. I love it. Be sure to grab a table on their beautiful back patio. They also make the most delicious margaritas - their smoked pineapple margarita was the best I've ever tasted.
- Casa de Reyes: For the most authentic Mexican food in San Diego, make it a point to head to Old Town. My favorite spot is Casa de Reyes, which is tucked away in a lush little garden that's bursting in color. The dishes pack ALL the flavor. Margaritas are, of course, their specialty and have made me a serious marg snob since I've been back in Philly. As for the dishes, you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Go crazy.
- Casa de Pico: Prepare to be serenaded by a Mariachi band! This lively restaurant will charm you with its colorfully decorated space that celebrates the vibrant culinary history and traditions of Mexico. It's well worth a trip out to the suburbs.
New day, different way of styling the Almond Blazer (sold out)! This time, we headed to Little Italy to indulge in all the wine, pizza and pasta we could eat.
Couldn't leave SD without a visit to the Gaslamp Quarter. Mojitos and Cuban delights at restaurant, Havana 1920, made for the sweetest ending to our trip! Styling my Seashell Necklace which gave me all the beachy, vacay vibes.