Known for its perfect weather, beautiful beaches, the best Mexican restaurants, San Diego is a beach town that we are certain you will fall in love with. Here’s our guide to the best outdoor things you can eat, see, and do in San Diego.
WHERE TO STAY
We’ve selected our three favorite places to stay in San Diego based on neighborhood surroundings, design, amenities and attention to detail.
Pendry San Diego
This bright, trendy, design-centric hotel is geared toward the millennial traveler. The lobby is hip and the staff don plaid outfits. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and the decor features lots of wood, whites, and hints of metallic gold. Ample on-site dining options are available.
The Guild Hotel, San Diego, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
The Guild Hotel opened in a 1920s-era YMCA and was registered as a National Historic Place in 2007. The property has retained some historic details but, there are plenty of the new touches, too. The rooms of this chic hotel have minimal decor, custom artwork and high ceilings. Velvet accent chairs, upholstered paneled headboards, and lacquered coffee tables adorn each room. There is also a pool and a gym with Peloton bikes.
WHAT TO EAT
Charles + Dinorah
Charles + Dinorah is a love letter to the original husband and wife owners of the Pearl Hotel (where the restaurant is located). The couple embarked on a journey to create the Sportman’s Lodge in the 1960s. Decades and a name change later, Charles + Dinorah is paying homage to the property’s history through this namesake eatery. This retro-chic restaurant has launched a brand new menu with popular dishes being the Japanese fried chicken sandwich and the shrimp tacos with diabla sauce and avocado mousse.
Rollin Roots Food Truck
Rollin Roots food Truck’s mantra is ‘eat less meat’. The concept of the truck was birthed by the notion that people should cut down on the amount of meat they eat- for the planet, their health and the animals. Rollin Roots is not out to completely cut meat out of your diet, but to make it easier to exchange a meal or two for a vegan version. They pride themselves in recreating meals that don’t make you miss meat. The truck sources most of their ingredients from local farmer’s markets and most of their waste is compostable (even the forks!). Rollin Roots also puts community first. When you order something for yourself, you can ask for a Veggie Gang Meal to receive a free meal for someone in need. A pay-what-you-can option is also available to combat the stigma that vegan food is only for those with higher incomes. If you want to help support Rollin Roots’ efforts there are four ways to donate: donate food, donate goods, donate time or donate money.
Cloak & Petal
Cloak & Petal draws its concept from its name. The word ‘cloak’ implies secrecy, which inspired the idea of a hidden social sphere. ‘Petal’ alludes to the Japanese tradition of hanami, when family and friends gather under cherry blossoms to savor food, drinks and companionship.
WHAT TO DO
The commitment to driving makes for an easy escape to towns nearby. Our three picks for the places worth visiting within a short drive of SD? The photographic Potato Chip Rock hike, the Catalina Island getaway and an adventurous swim with sharks.
Fulfill Your Step Count Hiking Potato Chip Rock
The biggest allure of this hike is the potato rock formation at the hike’s summit. The iconic potato chip rock has become a popular destination for a photo op posing on the ledge. The hike is a fun escape from quarantine life, totaling 7.6 miles roundtrip. It’s also quite the workout as most of the trail is uphill. At the top of the summit, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful 360-degree views of San Diego.
Escape to Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island is truly a tropical getaway just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. Today, the island has gained fame from the Catalina Wine Mixer featured in the movie, Step Brothers. But, back in the day, Catalina was the ultimate getaway for A-list celebrities. Catalina has also served as a location for a number of Hollywood hits (think: Jaws). Today, Catalina Island offers a lot more activities than most people realize. It’s the perfect island escape.
Swim with Sharks
Leopard sharks gather in La Jolla Shores Beach’s shallow waters throughout the year and the best part is, you can snorkel with them. The sharks typically range from just a few to hundreds and you can find them under ten feet of water near The Marine Room Restaurant and off the La Jolla Tennis Club. The sharks may look intimidating (some are five feet long), but not to worry, they have tiny mouths and don’t attack humans. There are several shops nearby where you can rent snorkel gear and wetsuits.