I love summer. But you know what I love even more? Four day weekends. Not only was this past weekend Fourth of July weekend but it was also the weekend of my husband’s birthday. Between the holidays, time off work, and the perfect weather, we wanted nothing more than to get out of town and go explore – so we did just that!
After contemplating where we wanted to go, we decided to venture on down to San Diego. Even after living in California for almost all of my life and traveling to San Diego on multiple occasions, I had never truly experienced the Gaslamp District prior to this weekend. I always liked San Diego but this mini trip truly opened my eyes to how lively and energetic the city is. In just a few short days, I became enamored with the wide variety of entertainment, restaurants, and architecture that make San Diego so unique. I have traveled to many cities in the United States but San Diego has a special vibe that is hard to come by. Between the city, the nightlife, the suburbs, and the beach – there’s something for everyone. In my opinion, it’s a mix of Miami and Nashville. You get the eclectic food choices and the charismatic buildings, but you also get a nightlife that offers live music and authentic fun. The vibe isn’t overwhelming like it is in some other big cities, but there’s more than enough to keep you entertained.
Though it was a short trip, Jeff and I spent two jampacked days sightseeing and experiencing the many noteworthy places that San Diego has to offer. I am so excited to share them with you! Traveling is all about experiencing and sharing those experiences with other people. In fact, I get most of my travel ideas and inspiration from reading and talking to my fellow adventurers! Because I love to learn from others, I hope you too can learn about all the different places I visit as I share them on my blog! Below I have listed some of the best places I visited this past weekend in a very warm and picturesque San Diego!
- La Jolla Coves – I have seen pictures of this place for years but never had the opportunity to see it in person until now. There was absolutely no way that I was going to San Diego again without checking this spot off my bucket list once and for all. When we exited the freeway, the traffic on the two lane road leading into La Jolla was absolutely terrible. The village was overwhelmed with both tourists and locals alike who were excitedly preparing for 4th of July festivities. However, once we got past the traffic and found a parking spot, we spent hours exploring the area. The blue water was full of snorkelers and kayakers, and all types of animals were present too enjoying their habitat. We saw tons of beautiful creatures ranging from seals, sea lions, crabs, pelicans and many other types of birds. But the absolute highlight for Jeff and I was watching the seals and sea lions interact with one another. We were are able to get relatively close to the animals but the signs did remind us and others to keep a fair distance.
- Seaport Village – This village is absolutely beautiful. The Spanish architecture, beautiful landscape and the views of the bay leave little to be desired. Very rarely do I enjoy busy tourist spots full of shops and restaurants but this one felt different. As we walked around, we didn’t feel overwhelmed but actually felt like we had found a small haven that was infused with the same vibrance San Diego offers all of its guests. As if the views weren’t enough, the village even had a cupcake shop called Frost Me Cupcakes that was featured on the Food Network. According to Jeff, the salted caramel cupcake was the best he’s ever had. Just $3.75 for a piece of heaven.
- The Headquarters at Seaport – After leaving Seaport Village, we strolled over to a spot next door called the Headquarters at Seaport and were pleasantly surprised to find another open shopping center with an outdoor patio, stylish furniture, an art piece/photo op from Kelsey Montague and a unexpectedly cool Jail Cell and Police Exhibit. A former jail turned shopping center, this place felt hip in a natural way. It was also more laid back and relaxing that Seaport Village.
- Altitude Sky Lounge – The Marriot in Gaslamp not only has a rooftop bar, but it’s free. The views from this spot are phenomenal. If you’re in San Diego, you don’t want to miss out on this one!
- Barley Mash – This is a hip and trendy bar and restaurant that serves delicious flatbreads and mouth-watering drinks. It also doubles as a dance spot at night. For a $10 cover, you can enjoy a DJ and some sick tunes. We loved this place!
- Kansas City BBQ – Since it was his birthday, I let Jeff pick a restaurant for lunch. After wandering around aimlessly looking for a good spot, he ended up pulling out his phone and googling cool restaurants in San Diego. The second he saw a restaurant that mentioned the movie Top Gun, he was sold. We walked over to this spot from the Headquarters at Seaport and it only took about three minutes. When we arrived, there was a sign that said the restaurant was a filming spot for the movie Top Gun. They had Top Gun photos, logos and themed items on the menu… But most importantly, they had a Tom Cruise look alike roaming around. It was cool to experience a little piece of movie history and eat some delicious BBQ!