Congratulations to you!  If you’re visiting this site because you’re planning a trip to San Diego you are one lucky person!  San Diego is my favorite city. It’s beautiful, easy to get around, and has too many beaches to count!

Things to Do

Zoo and Balboa Park-Plan for a minimum of one day and 3 full days if you’re interested in seeing the entire zoo.

Legoland-If you have kids this is the place to go!

Build a sand castle!  Located on both the Del Mar and Coronado Beaches. Great for the whole family (or just a couple, like us) and a perfect way to enjoy the sun in sunny, magical San Diego!

La Jolla Cove-Watch the sea lions in their natural environment as you stroll along the coast of one of the most beautiful areas of San Diego.

Mount Soledad– Free views! Drive up to Mt Soledad for some spectacular views of La Jolla. Of note, porta potties are the only bathroom option.

Torrey Pines– This is a fantastic hike with beautiful overlooks! If you don’t want to hike up the hill to get there plan to arrive early. (Note: parking at the top comes with a fee).

If you arrive in the afternoon and would prefer not to hike uphill you can always walk the beach instead. Remember to bring tennis shoes as the sand is very rocky for the first 1/4 of a mile. The cliffs and ocean views of Torrey Pines is breathtaking along with the paragliders flying in the skies above you.

Are you a runner?  Looking for a great beach with solid sand? Black’s Beach is a hidden gem that has the perfect sand for a quiet run. Of note, this beach does attract locals who prefer to tan in the nude.  Although this hasn’t ever been an issue for me (since I’m typically in my own little world when I’m out for a run) if nudity bothers you it may be best to pick one of the many other beaches in the area for your run.

Wineries– Whether you’re interested in visiting one winery or going on a tour of several wineries your options are limitless in San Diego and surrounding communities (i.e. Temecula)!

Where to Eat

Gaslamp District– Is this a kid-free vacation? If so get dressed up for a night on the town in this trendy area filled with bars and restaurants.

Kono’s– If you’re looking for good food at a great price with beautiful views and friendly service you must check out Kono’s. It’s a staple of the San Diego PB area and a great location for people watching.

In and Out Burger-This fine establishment really needs no further explanation. You need to go. It opens at 10:30am. Don’t let the line fool you, it will go quickly and it’s worth it, trust me. If you want to feel like you’re part of the “in” crowd check out their on-line menu first so when you arrive you can confidently say “animal style please” like a pro!

Rubios-Fantastic shrimp tacos for a very reasonable price.

California Pizza Kitchen-Want to do something fun for dinner? Pull up a chair at the bar and watch the cooks prepare pizza dough slid into the wood-fire grill, very entertaining!

Michelle Holm at In and Out Burger
burger and fries

Where to Stay

Hotel circle– You may want to stay by the beach which is understandable, you’re staying in San Diego of all places! If you’re planning to explore San Diego versus planning the majority of your days on the beach I would highly encourage to stay in a centrally-located destination called Hotel Circle. If you really want to stay on the beach be sure it’s a safe beach that you’re staying on such as Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Cove, or Del Mar otherwise check out some great AirBnB places to stay.

Do I need a rental car?

Yes, San Diego is spread out and getting an Uber every time you want to go somewhere will be costly. That being said, San Diego has some of the cheapest rental car rates we’ve found in the country. Also, if you can avoid traveling during peak times (6-9am and 4-7pm), especially on the “5” you’ll save yourself a lot of time in traffic.

Of note-If you’re traveling on the 163 and you’re not traveling alone (others in the car) you can use the express lane for free which will save you some time in traffic.


Mission Beach-If you’re an active beachgoer this is the beach for you. Sand volleyball, basketball courts, and a boardwalk for running and bike riding.

Pacific Beach (PB)-Closer to the bars and restaurants therefore more of a party beach

Ocean Beach– Dog (animal) friendly beach

Del Mar Beaches-safe and close to the famous horse track

Coronado Beach Probably my favorite beach. Quiet and somewhat secluded from the busier beaches of San Diego this is the perfect beach for a picnic, people watching (the Navy Seals workout here), sand castle building, or grabbing some dessert afterward at the famous Hotel Del Coronado.

Torrey Pines Beach-hiking, walking, running, watching the surfers, but most of all absolutely breathtaking

Of Note: Parking will be challenging to find near any of these beaches.

Enjoy my favorite city and be sure to check back and tell me what parts of the city you loved the most!