San Diego, California: a place that everybody seems to love and want to live. I went to college in Southern California for two and a half years plus had friends who went to colleges within San Diego, so I have spent a lot of time here and know this city fairly well. They have several beaches, lively college bars, and good restaurants that I have definitely partaken in throughout my time living in SoCal. Look, I have a very unpopular opinion on San Diego… I don’t think it’s that great. Call me spoiled being from California and traveling to various beaches over the place, that I’m just personally not too impressed with San Diego. There are better beach towns in California other than San Diego (I’m sorry, don’t come for me here). Someone had to say it. I’m not saying San Diego is a bad place because that’s not the case at all. I just think it’s one of those places that are overly hyped-up. It’s a cool place, there’s just much better places and MUCH BETTER beaches than here. However, I do have to give credit-where credit is due because there is A LOT to do in San Diego. When I say it’s a place that has something for everybody, I mean it. Within this blog I am going to be discussing what to do and where to eat in San Diego!
What to do?
- Beach Festivities: I mean the beach festivities truly are endless. You can surf, swim, boogie board, have a beach bonfire, BBQ, ride bikes, picnic, and more. I think you probably get it… you can do all the typical beach festivities we all love doing. Again, I wouldn’t rate San Diego’s beaches a 10/10, I would venture up to Orange County for those types of beaches. However, they do have a lot beaches that are all different scenes with their own restaurants and bars for you to choose from! You have Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Coronado Beach, Mission Beach, Flatrock Beach, Bermuda Beach, and the lists go on.
- Downtown & Gaslamp Quarter: This is a fun and lively downtown area that consists of dive bars, clubs, and lounges. Gaslamp Quarter is definitely an area for the younger party crowds. Like any place, there’s a downtown. You can find various restaurants, bars, and shops here.
- Old Town: I honestly love Old Town San Diego. Pretty much any “Old Town” anywhere I am obsessed with because I love the vibes, older buildings, charm, and history that comes with them. Fun Fact: Old Town San Diego was the first Spanish settlement on the West Coast in the United States. I highly recommend coming here for restaurants!
- Sunset Cliffs: I do the sunset cliffs. In college my friends and I had come here a couple times for both the sunset and the sunrise… truly breathtaking views! Yes it’s a popular touristy spot, but I think it is so worth it.
- Balboa Park: This is a very pretty, historical place that has gardens, walking paths, theaters, museums, and the San Diego Zoo. Again, animal activists please don’t come for me. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to visit with a lot to do this is a great spot, even for families!
- 59-mile Scenic Drive: Honestly this is just a drive to look at pretty houses and views. I love a good drive, with the windows down, music playing, all the vibes.
- Seaport Village: This is a great place to shop local and eat local. It’s right on the water for nice waterfront dining and shopping. It’s super cute with yummy restaurants!
- Petco Park: Baseball lovers, this is your place to go. I’ve actually been here a couple times and have had a blast. I may not like baseball, but I love a live event with friends!
- San Diego Bay Cruises: If you’re gonna come to San Diego, you may as well venture onto some sort of boat. Whether that be a sunset cruise, duffy boat, or party boat… I don’t care! Just do it! You’re here for the ocean and some fun, I highly recommend.
- Tailgate at a SDUSU Game: I know this may not be a thing for awhile, but this is so much fun to do if you’re young, have friends/family at SDSU or are a SDSU football fan! Before they moved the Chargers, this was a great place to tailgate for these games as well.
- Bars: I mean the bars truly are endless. I mean this city has SEVERAL colleges surrounding it… of course there’s a lot bars. If you want to enjoy the college scene, go to PB (Pacific Beach). In my opinion the best college bars are El Prez, PB Shore Club, Backyard Kitchen & Tab, and Mavericks Beach Club.
- Dine: See dining recommendations below.
Where to eat?
I already know that I am missing SO MANY restaurants. San Diego is a huge city and like I said earlier, one of the best parts about it is the food and all of the different restaurants and bars. Keep in mind, I spent a lot of my college years here so most of the places I ate were cheap and fast. However, this list are my actual favorites!
- Better Buzz: Technically not a “restaurant”, but definitely still has some yummy food and THE BEST drinks. I’m telling you, try their matcha drink and thank me later.
- Café Coyote: Old Town San Diego for the win with Mexican food. Honestly, Southern California in general for the win with Mexican food. This restaurant just happens to be one of many delicious Mexican restaurants in Old Town and San Diego in general!
- Trujillo’s Taco Shop: When I tell you that I ate this the most in San Diego, I am not kidding you. This was what I ate every single time I was there. There’s more than one location, but I always went to the one on SDSU’s campus and it’s simply just the best. 12/10 recommend.
- OB Surf Lodge: A beautiful ocean front view, cute scenery, good music, and delicious food. What else can we ask for? Everything here is good… you really can’t go wrong!
- Breakfast Republic: This is a common restaurant not just located in San Diego, however, you really can’t go wrong with a good brunch here.
- The Holding Company: A funky-style rooftop bar, ocean view, with Asian-style food… it’s a yes for me! Go for happy hour and their drinks are yummy too!
- Snooze an A.M. Eatery: I love this place. The menu is massive and the food is just delicious. Everything that I have eaten here has just been fantastic. Again, it’s a must!
- Amplified Ale Works Kitchen + Beer Garden: This is typically not my type of food, it’s Mediterranean, but oh so good. Another restaurant with an ocean front view!
- Bare Back Grill: Great American food with a New Zealand flare. This is yet another place that I would not skip during your visit to San Diego!
- Baja Beach Café: I mean the name explains itself. Another yummy spot to try in San Diego!
- The Cliffs Café: Ahhh yummy and healthy breakfast, brunch, and lunch food here. I loved it and just discovered this spot thanks to my friend Bella. The food and drinks are all great!