A City Guide To: San Diego
San Francisco, Yosemite, Sequoia, Vegas and now…San Diego! After 12 days on the road we finally hit the beautiful California coast. The drive from Vegas to San Diego was something else, soo long and really quite tiring but we made it there in around 5 hours with no flat tyre or any issues we were paranoid we thought we might have! San Diego was without a doubt one of my favourite places on the entire trip (probably my second fave after Yosemite) and as we spent four nights there I feel like we really got to know the city. So let’s get stuck in…
Location: San Diego, California
Length of Stay: 4 Nights
Vital Info: Stay at least 3 nights, this place is fantastic!
Where to Stay
San Diego is a fairly big city with various different areas which you could choose to stay. We decided to book the Grand Hyatt Manchester which was the perfect location for us! It was right by the dock (beautiful views), a short 10 minute walk to the Gaslamp Quarter and a $10 Uber to Pacific beach. Alternatively if you do want to be right by the beach then perhaps look into Pacific! The hotel itself is very grand and very beautiful. Our Uber driver said it’s known as one of the nicest hotels in the city, and I wouldn’t disagree. Our room was very spacious and featured a comfy kingsize bed and all the essentials travellers will need.
Top tip: the hotel valet parking is an eyewatering $50 a night, for pure convenience we did park here for one night but then found a cheaper cap park up the road for about $10 a night!
What to Do
Where to start?! We filled our four days to the brim and there were still a couple of places we didn’t get to visit. To make it a little easier I’m breaking it down into areas…
Seaport Village & The Dock
Right by our hotel was the dock, this area is beautiful and we had a lovely stroll along the water. Here you’ll find the San Diego Naval base, Maritime Museum and the famous ‘Unconditional Surrender’ statue – the Times Square Kiss! I had to watch far too many couples reenact this in front of this statue for about 50,000 photos but then again who am I to judge…(I did judge a little).
We also accidentally stumbled across Seaport village on our stroll which is a gorgeous waterfront shopping and dining complex. Think little boutique shops and seafood (although not suitable for me as I’m vegan) restaurants. I did however manage to get my paws on a Ben & Jerry’s dairy free ice cream cone and it was just as good as I had hoped! Whilst strolling around Seaport Village we also sat and enjoyed some live music from Steven Ybarra, a country artist. It’s a really quant area of San Diego with a super friendly vibe, I’d recommend taking a stroll down there if you’re ever in the city.
On our first day we were recommended three beaches by a friendly barman and those were Pacific beach, La Jolla and Conorado. We had hopes to visit all three but as Charlie got quite badly sun burnt on our first day at Pacific we didn’t get around to heading to the other two. Typical Brit! We did however spend the full day at Pacific Beach, our first time on the beach after 13 days in Cali.
Pacific beach definitely had a youthful vibe, with loads of hostels around the area and tonnes of people playing volleyball and hanging out on the beach. It’s a really fun place and we were happy to just be able to relax for the day and enjoy the sunshine. I had a particularly delicious Acai vegan ice cream (as pictured) and it was a really chill day. We sunbathed, broke for lunch and had a mooch around Brandy Melville, Urban Outfitters and then grabbed a Vegan cinnamon bun. What more could you want?! It was the perfect day…
The Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter is THE place to go for food and drink. There are tonnes of bars, restaurants and cafes to devour plenty of delicious food. Oh and a Hard Rock Cafe! If you’ve watched either my Paris Vlog or London Vlog then you’ll understand the baseball cap situation. Charlie likes to collect Hard Rock caps, it just so happens there are about 9 in California so we ended up going…a lot. I didn’t manage to snap many pics here mainly as we went during the evening but I loved the area, and it’s definitely where to head for dinner and drinks.
We also headed to Balboa Park, this is home to the San Diego Zoo. Charlie was desperate to go to the zoo but I am personally really against them. As Charlie had been so willing to eat pretty much every meal at a vegan restaurant, I decided to compromise. Then I realised why I rarely compromise. Lol. I found the zoo quite uncomfortable and just kept thinking how all these animals should be living life in the wild and not cooped up in pens. I didn’t like it at all, and I can confirm that I will never be setting foot in a zoo ever again. On a lighter note, Balboa Park is just lovely and we spent a couple of hours wandering around and laying down on the grass watching the planes fly over us.
Where to Eat
I can’t believe I only got two photos of the AMAZE food I had in San Diego. Again, the Happy Cow app was a god send and found me all the best places to eat some delicious vegan food. Notable places include Jimbos Naturally, this is a Wholefoods type superstore but I think there’s only around three or four of them in Cali. This is a vegan PARADISE. I can’t even express how good it is. Tonnes of vegan sandwiches, cakes, pastas just everything you could ever want basically. Perfect for grabbing something on the go! I grabbed a whole bag full…oops.
We also went to a fabulous Italian restaurant in Little Italy called Civico 1845 who also have a dedicated vegan menu featuring seitan, tofu and plenty of veggies. I would definitely recommend, the food was divine and plenty of choice for us plant based eaters. The Gaslamp Quarter also has tonnes of eateries with everything from American to Chinese, Indian and more Italian. We went to a fab Indian restaurant with loads of vegan options called Royal India on our last night in San Diego.
Oh and if you’re ever in Pacific Beach, be sure to hit up Cinnaholic for mind blowing vegan cinnamon buns. Just see the pic below…*licks lips*.
[Just some of the amazing takeaway vegan foods in Jimbos…Naturally]
My thoughts on San Diego? TAKE ME BACK IMMEDIATELY. I honestly never felt so at home somewhere so far away. I just loved the vibes, and will definitely return in a year or two…I hope!