Last month, I went to San Diego for the first time for a combination of work and play (mostly work with a touch of play). Before going, I heard from a number of people how much they loved San Diego and how it’s the best city in California. I also know a few people from the area, so I went with some familiarity of the city and a lot of anticipation, though not a lot of time at all.
As soon as I landed in SD, I hit the ground running with a few (mostly food-related) items on my must-visit/must-eat list. And while I had some truly great food (the surf and turf tacos at Salud, the bone marrow and escargot pizza at Herb & Wood, the buttermilk biscuit, duck tortellini, pot pie and yodel at Juniper & Ivy, etc.), I’m going to focus on all the non-food places I loved.
Sunset Cliffs Nature Park
My first afternoon in San Diego, before the work part of my trip started, I was sitting in my hotel room looking outside at the sky when I realized this may be my only chance at seeing the sunset during my entire one-week stay. So I got out of there. But before I left, I looked up where to watch the sunset and, low and behold, discovered there’s a place called Sunset Cliffs Nature Park. One Uber ride later, and I was there. And it was magical. I stayed for almost three hours and knew it was the best possible way to begin my time in SD.
Once the work part of my trip got underway, that work entailed me traveling around San Diego for the first two full days, which was great because I still got to see and experience some of San Diego while on the job. Coronado Beach was one of the places I knew I wouldn’t have been able to see outside of my work, so I was grateful to be able to see it during work. As I said on Instagram, I’ve never met a beach I didn’t like. Coronado Beach, like many of California’s beaches, was stunning on what was an exceptional afternoon.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Another place that work took me to is Torrey Pines State Reserve, a hiker’s paradise. Though I didn’t get the chance to hike (next time), I know the reserve has countless trails for visitors to choose from. And all of this is right on the beach. While I was there, I enjoyed walking along the beach and observing others starting their day with a nice hike.
San Diego Zoo
A place that I just managed to squeeze in before going to the airport is the world famous San Diego Zoo. This place is massive, and quite frankly, I didn’t have time to see everything, so I prioritized and walked very quickly/ran on occasion to make sure I saw everything I needed to see (had a flight to catch after all!). My absolute favorite was watching the orangutans play around and the silverback gorillas strut from one place to the next. This was the perfect ending to my trip, and I’m so glad I was able to spend some time here before heading off to my next stop.
There are so many other places I just didn’t have time to see, but I know I’ll be back in San Diego again one day. Until then, SD!