Last month, my husband and I were fortunate to spend a week in San Diego, soaking up the sun and beautiful Spring weather. While he was in a conference for three days, I was able to lounge around the hotel – catching some rays poolside, working out on the balcony, and strolling around the bay.
If you have the opportunity, I’d recommend staying at the Loews Coronado right on Coronado Bay. It’s pricey, but they have so many things to do on-site that you never have to leave! I will forever miss my morning fruit smoothie and chocolate chip scone followed by a dip in the pool and some of the best tacos and flautas I’ve ever had for lunch. Vacation life is sweet, isn’t it?
Below are four fun places to visit if you happen to find yourself in America’s Finest City.
San Diego Zoo
Usually, I’m not a zoo person. I’ve been to the Bronx Zoo exactly 3 times in my almost 30 years of life and went to a drive-through safari zoo in Florida once about 10 years ago. That’s the extent of it. But, I must say that this zoo surpassed my expectations. Most of all, I loved learning about the company’s mission to save species around the world. This zoo isn’t about holding the animals captive for visitors’ pleasure – it’s about providing optimal care and preservation of species. That’s something I can fully support.
The San Diego Zoo is situated on 100 acres within Balboa Park, a very large area that houses many other attractions including the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Air & Space Museum. The zoo is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals and over 700,000 plants. It’s open all year, and you can even book your next party there. The best part – it’s not just for kids.
$56 will buy an adult one-day pass, which provides admission to the zoo, a 35-minute guided bus tour (which was actually very cool), access to buses and an aerial tram within, and all regularly scheduled shows. You can also add on a 4-D theater experience for a little extra.
Visit zoo.sandiegozoo.org to learn more, purchase tickets, or donate. You can even adopt an animal!
La Jolla Beach
Pronounced “la hoy-ya,” this beach is actually pretty large and each location along the coast has something different to do.
- The Children’s Pool Beach (in the video above) is a prime spot for viewing sea lions and taking photos of the crashing waves. But don’t get your hopes up, the water is pretty cold (especially if you are used to Florida beaches) and the air smells very salty and fishy.
- La Jolla Cove is surrounded by cliffs and is home to a lot of marine life. It’s a good area to snorkel and scuba dive.
- La Jolla Shores has the best sand and is the prime spot if you want to swim or launch a kayak.
The Shout House
To be honest, the food here was just okay, but the real reason for a visit is the entertainment. The Shout House is a dueling piano bar for the 21+ crowd. Two performers play face to face with requests provided by the audience. There’s a cover charge most nights and reservations are encouraged as it tends to fill up fast. It’s a great place for a date night, but you can also book parties. Either way – you’ll have fun requesting songs and singing along.
Visit theshouthouse.com for more info or to book a table.
The Gaslamp Quarter
This is the place to go when you’re hungry. They have everything from Japanese to Italian and Peruvian to American cuisine. Not to mention clubs and the SUNBURN Pool Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel. We even booked a ghost tour that stopped at a few places at the Gaslamp Quarter which were rumored to be haunted. Whether you believe in that stuff or not, the tour was entertaining for the fun facts and rich history of the San Diego area.
One last note…
Uber and Lyft are BIG in San Diego – at least much more so than in my hometown. The rides are pretty cheap and all of the drivers we encountered suggested fun places to visit. You can also rent electric scooters (which can be found on practically every corner) through the Uber and Lyft apps.