The good thing about San Diego is that it isn’t this touristy kind of town with dozens of must dos and sees. We actually just enjoyed the relaxed vibe and mild May weather there without having the feeling to do lots of things.
How to get there?
We drove to San Diego with a rental car – a Ford Mustang Convertible. That was the best decision ever. The perfect weather for cruising around in California in May. I would definitely recommend to rent a car to get there and get around.
When should you visit?
We travelled in May. The weather was mostly nice but with the wind at times a bit chilly. You definitely need a jumper or something to keep you warm, especially in the evenings. It was too cold to swim in the ocean but we still spent time at the beach just relaxing, reading or watching the surfers. The good thing about this time of year, is that there aren’t as many visitors and you can experience a very relaxed atmosphere.
How long should you stay?
We stayed three nights and that was perfect. Actually, I could have stayed in San Diego forever and can understand everybody who decides to live there.
Where to stay?
After one week in Las Vegas I wanted to stay out of town near the beach. I found a lovely AirBnB near Pacific Beach. The small cottage with a garden was just 200 m from the beach and one of the best AirBnBs I have ever stayed at. If you don’t mind spending more money, I would stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado. An iconic building set directly at the white, sandy beach. It looks beautiful.
What to do?
Morning Run in Pacific Beach
If you read my Las Vegas post then you know that I failed to go running on the strip in the morning. I caught up with this in San Diego. We stayed near Pacific Beach and ran from Ocean Boulevard to South Mission Car Park and back again. This a nice 10k run along the Ocean Front Walk. Go for it!
Breakfast in La Jolla
The breakfast in Shorehouse Kitchen was the best one on our whole trip. Great coffee and great food. It was so good that we returned again the next morning. Well, we were hungry after that 10 k morning run.
You can take the ferry to Coronado. We actually wanted to do this but somehow missed the ferry dock (um, probably due to my lack of orientation) and were on the bridge instead. So we took the road, which was also perfectly fine for us.
Take a walk along the lovely white, sandy beach and simply relax in the sun.
Go inside the beautiful Hotel del Coronado. When we were inside my financée asked me in a reproachful tone why we weren’t staying here. Because I had fallen in love with the cottage in Pacific Beach and wanted to go easy on out budget. The next time …
La Jolla Cove
Park somewhere along Coast Boulevard. We walked from the Children’s Pool through the park to La Jolla Cave. Everywhere you can see seals and sea lions laying around on the rocks and the beach. If you are lucky you can see seal pups sunbathing at the Children’s pool. They look so adorable. Walk along the sea wall to get a closer look but be careful you might get wet. You can take some really cute pictures here. But keep your distance. I found it disturbing that so many people tried to get really close to the seals and the sea lions on the rocks. You can watch them easily from the costal path without stressing the animals.
Eat tacos at Oscars Mexican Seafood (Emerald Street)
This place looks rather simple and inconspicuous. It is just off the beach and has some inside and outside counters where you can sit down to eat. Nothing fancy – the star here is the food. These were the best tacos we tasted. We tried the shrimp, fish and octopus as well as the ceviche. They also have some specials. Everything is super delicious. Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.
So close to the Mexican border you just have to drink a margarita. We went to Baja Beach Cafe. During happy hour (4-8 pm) you get all drinks for two for one prices. The drinks were good, although we didn’t like their signature margarita (sorry). Stick to the others. The location is great, directly at the Ocean Front Walk at Pacific Beach and perfect to watch the sunset. Which brings me to my last point.
Watch the sunset
The great thing about the Pacific Coast are the stunning sunsets. Watch them directly at the beach or grab a margarita at one the bars or cafes along the Ocean Front Walk and just enjoy the moment.