I had the pleasure of hosting my two sisters for a weekend trip in San Diego. They flew in from British Columbia to visit and I spent the next 3 days showing them as many beaches as possible.
Let’s be real, hosting family and friends in your new home city can be challenging and since I still often feel like a visitor (we’ve been living here for just a few months), it can be difficult choosing where to bring them. Thankfully, San Diego has so much to offer, it only was a matter of picking which places were priority “must sees”.
I put together and documented three of my favourite places to relax, eat, and explore in San Diego. I hope you’ll find this post helpful whether you’re a local unsure of where to bring visitors, or if you yourself are planning a trip to San Diego.
Our first stop was my current favourite beach, Windansea in La Jolla. It’s located in a more residential area, away from all the tourist traps and noise that comes with some of the bigger SD beaches. Windansea beach is in it’s prime during low tide, but even during high tide, you can enjoy the rocky landscape and crashing waves.
Let’s talk food. San Diego does food well. Very, very well. Tacos and burritos can be found around just about every corner in SD. If you like your food with a side of beer (or your beer with a side of food), amazing pubs and breweries can be found just as easily. There’s also a great variety of Asian and ethnic foods to be found.
But one of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat is a small café in South Park called Café Madeleine. It’s a quaint and cozy french café that is most well known for their crêpes. Maybe I like it because it reminds me of my time in Europe, or I’m sentimental about it since it was the very first coffee shop I ever visited in SD. But their crêpes definitely have me visiting often. It’s a great place to grab a bite with friends and it’s close proximity for great local shops (like Make Good and the new Gold Leaf) make it a great place to bring visitors.
I’m just going to state a fact that we all know: San Diego is a tourist destination. Its warm weather and big beaches are enough to attract people from all over. I often feel blessed to be living in a place like this, however, along with the joys of a great city, often come the inevitable tourist traps. I think I’m safe to say that most people don’t like tourist traps. Who likes paying money to see something sub-par, only to be pressured into buying trinkets to “remember your stay”? No, thank you. San Diego has it’s fair share of tourist traps that I often tell visitors to avoid. But, I’m going to contradict myself by saying that some of the busy, tourist filled places in SD are popular simply because they genuinely are amazing.
One of those places for me is Coronado. The beach is unbelievable with soft white sand. The main shopping area along and around Orange Avenue has its fair share of cute boutiques and tasty restaurants (just close your eyes when walking past the trinket stores). My sisters, husband and I rented bikes and cruised around Coronado for the afternoon. The majority of Coronado has designated bike paths, but the residential areas are also fun and easy to bike around. Coronado is one of those places that tourists are attracted to simply because it’s a great place to be.
Some additional places my sisters and I visited that are worth mentioning:
I hope this post is able to give you a small glimpse into what San Diego has to offer. It goes without saying that SD has a lot of things to do, see, and eat and I only scratched the surface of options. But if you’re a visitor planning a trip, I hope you are able to make time to visit some of these recommendations. If you’re a local San Diegan, I want to hear from you! Head on over to myInstagram or Facebook and let me know what your favourite spot in SD is!