Welcome back to my blog! Today’s post is about our quick, weekend getaway to San Diego, CA this past weekend. Justin and I always try to book “want to get away” flights whenever we have long weekends, and that’s exactly what this little vacay was! Keep scrolling to read about our trip with some photos mixed in between.
*(I’ll link as many places and clothing items as I can!)
Justin has been to the San Diego area numerous times, but this was only my second time. In 2017, we stayed in Ocean Beach (the locals call it “OB”), but this time around we stayed a little up north in La Jolla. Going back to OB for dinner this trip, we have no desire to ever go back to that side of town. Think marijuana mixed with shrooms mixed with clubs mixed with surfer dudes. Not really my vibe, but it IS right by the beach (hence the name), so it may be worth your time. Just not all your time.
La Jolla seems to be a nicer community of people, and a lot less life-threatening. Yeah, yeah… I’m basing these opinions on only visiting the city twice, but hey… we all do it. We visited cute coffee shops (pictured below), watched the sea lions, and stood in awe of the greatness of the Pacific Ocean.
We stayed at Hotel La Jolla Curio Collection by Hilton and we will never stay there again. You walk into the lobby and you’d think you were at some trendy LA hotel…. deception. The view from our room was great (pictured below), but the room itself was less than impressive. I’ve recently come to realize my hotel standards are higher than I expected. But, are you shocked? Probably not. The fitted sheet was too small for the bed, so we wrestled with the sheets every night as they snuck their way up from the mattress. I found random hairs on the pillows (none of which were my own) and on the shower ceiling. Nothing hits my gag reflex more than loose, unknown hairs.
We don’t recommend staying there UNLESS you’re a laid-back, easily-pleased kind of person. I, however, am not.
WHAT WE DID
With only three full days in the city, we had to use our time wisely. Justin golfed at the Torrey Pines North course on Friday. I tagged along in the golf cart. Coming from the Boise winter, I was expecting 60-65-degree weather to feel like summer, but I was sadly mistaken. All my dresses and tank tops I packed stayed in my suitcase as I had to re-wear my jeans each day because I was so cold. I was able to get away with sandals, and a light jacket…but then the sun set, and I had to purchase a coat. Needless to say, a sweatshirt wasn’t enough to keep me warm with the ocean breeze cutting through my soul, haha. But, complaints aside… there’s nothing quite like the view of a golf course with the ocean in the background.
After freezing my buns watching Justin play golf, we pretty much drove around the rest of the trip and hit up four different shopping centers until my heart was content, haha. I typically don’t splurge on designer items, but when we travel to big cities, I try to snag a designer item up when I can. This trip I purchased the Hermes Oran Sandal, and I cannot wait to showcase them this spring!
I love hearing people’s experiences/opinions of restaurants, especially in cities I’m not familiar with. So, I wanted to include a list of the restaurants we ate at and give you a quick synopsis of our thoughts! (Sorry, I sadly have no photos of the food we ate!)
- Brick and Bell Cafe – La Jolla: A short drive from our hotel, this was my favorite coffee shop! Being caffeine/coffee free for nearly 4 weeks now (that’s a whole other story), I didn’t taste their coffee but Justin did, and was impressed. It’s such an awesome location with outdoor seating, and their pastries are phenomenal. I wanted to go back there every day, haha.
- Bravo’s Mexican Bistro and Cantina – Ocean Beach: I was hangry and cold when we chose this place, otherwise we likely would’ve spent more time looking elsewhere. It reeked of what I thought smelt like fish, and the environment was very…cold. The service was less than great, and the food was MEH. Supposedly they’re known for their margaritas, but we just drank water that night. I know, lame. They bring you chips and salsa to start (as every Mexican joint should), and I was unimpressed. The chips seemed stale and they were unsalted– a crime. My bean and cheese burrito was larger than my face and the cheese wasn’t even melted. UGH. Justin ordered fajitas (“I’m making FA-JITAS!” — thanks Ross Geller), and enjoyed his meal. But, then again, he’ll eat mostly anything and be content. He would fail as a food critic. I would likely never eat there again.
- Lighthouse Ice Cream – Ocean Beach: Man.. this place was OUT OF THIS WORLD in 2017. They’re known for their ice cream sandwiches made with waffles. A few years ago, the waffles were crispy and they had this blueberry ice cream that paired so well it. But this time around, we found the waffles to be more soggy/flimsy, resulting in a hot mess. I hope that this was just a fluke this time. I would recommend this place for sure!
- Better Buzz Coffee – La Jolla: I don’t know if this is a California specific coffee shop, but they seem to be everywhere in CA. I didn’t try the coffee (sad, I know), but their loose-leaf peppermint herbal tea hit the spot. I love the vibe, and the zucchini muffin was pretty bomb.
- Richard Walker’s Pancake House – La Jolla: Can someone say the best blueberry pancakes I’ve ever had?! We were lucky enough to get seated right away at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning, but they seem to be a pretty happenin’ place that usually has line out the door. Justin and I were thoroughly pleased with their breakfast, and I would 10/10 go back again.
- Monello Italian Restaurant – Downtown San Diego (Little Italy): For our Valentine’s Day dinner, we decided to hit up a (supposedly) nice italian restaurant in downtown San Diego. We were fortunate enough to enjoy an outdoor table – perfect for people watching – with a heater right by our side (thank goodness!). However, again, we were unimpressed. Our wine glasses were smudged to death (seriously people, wash/dry your wine glasses properly). The burrata was soooo boring, and the lasagna Justin and I shared was simply OK. Not to mention the size of the table was so small, you couldn’t even have more than two plates on it at a time. Pricey, and oh so very not worth it.
- Salt and Straw Ice Cream – Downtown San Diego (Little Italy): People rant and rave over this ice cream shop, and… I’m not sure why? It’s one of those places where the line is always out the door and wrapped around the block. But, with nothing to do and a seemingly short line, we hopped in. My chocolate ice cream was AGAIN, less than impressive. They filled it way to full in my cone and I had chocolate ice cream dripping on my pants by the end of it all. User error? Probably. But still annoying. Justin wasn’t thrilled with his cookie dough ice cream either. Is there something we’re missing? What’s the big deal? Just, average.
- Board and Brew – Del Mar: In need of a quick bite to eat? We stopped here for lunch one day and it’s also a very popular place. A cool location, and very “surfer dude” vibe. My cobb salad was ginormous and just okay! But, what did I expect with a cobb salad? Easily a shareable size. Justin enjoyed his sandwich, but thought it was too bread-y. Good food, but nothing out of this world.
- 264 Fresco – Carlsbad: Saving the best for last… 264 Fresco. We ate here on our last day and ugh, it was the best atmosphere. We were lucky enough to meet the owner as we walked in, and she has the kindest heart. The hostess and our waiter were more than happy to provide us with an outdoor table beaming with sun, and the sounds of the ocean a few steps away was perfect. The drinks were amazing, the food was great, and the experience was all we could have asked for. Definitely check this place out!
We had a great time on this quick trip, and I hope I was able to bring you a little insight! What’s your favorite thing about the San Diego area? What places do you recommend we eat next time? Let me know in the comments below!