The LA Sessions: 72 Hours in San Diego

la-jolla-san-diego

San Diego is lovely this time of year. A sentence easily uttered on any day, as the weather in SD is basically perfect. Except for an unexpected rain shower that lasted only a morning while I was in town. It’s good for California’s never-ending drought, yet amusing given the city only really sees 10 days of rain per year. I guess I brought my soggy Pacific Northwest roots with me.

I’ve been to San Diego for various reasons over the years. Conferences, family vacations, but now that I hang my hat in LA I foresee SD and I becoming more closely acquainted. It’s spread out, which for a carless Uber super user like me isn’t ideal, but each neighbourhood has it’s own charm and backstory, which makes the community pretty special as a whole. Microbreweries your jam? Look no further. Live music? In abundance. Scuba diving from the beach? You’re on.

It would be easy to stay and hang in San Diego for several days, weeks even. But if you’re tight on time, there are a few spots that shouldn’t be missed.

Gaslamp Quarter

The best place to call home base, if you’re looking for easy access to other neighborhoods by day, and lively merriment by night, is the Gaslamp. It’s also home to hundreds of conference bunnies looking to let loose and stag/stagette parties puking their way around the clubs, but if you can somehow see through all that, there’s a lot of good bits too. Live music is off the hook in this hood, with so much local talent to speak of. Union Kitchen & Tap has an insanely good guitar player who roams the resto, serenading the patrons on Friday nights. The Casbah is arguably the best live music venue in town, with a mix of big names and up-and-comers on the bill. If you fancy a boogie, and something a little trippy, follow the psychedelic stairway adorned with original art by Denisse Wolf to Vin De Syrah. You’ll swear Alice is just around the corner…or maybe it was the “drink me” potion (read, boozy dark and stormy) you just drank. End your evening with a nightcap at the slightly-hipster-but-not Tipsy Crow. It may be the only speakeasy left with street cred on 5th Ave. Hunga bunga the next morning? Stop by Café 21 – it just might save your life.

gaslamp-san-diego

vin-de-syrah-gaslamp

Coronado Beach

If soft, white sand that sparkles with shiny gold flex as far as the eye can see appeals – um, of course it does – then you cannot come to SD without spending a day in Coronado. Its vastness and pristine shoreline make for a dreamy afternoon, especially when pods of dolphins decide to dot the surf, jumping playfully through the waves, just 10 feet offshore (we may have lucked out). With warships in the distance and one of the biggest naval bases in the U.S. only a few miles away, you can’t help but call on the ghost of Goose or hope that an impromptu beach volleyball game – tapered jeans and all – will unfold before your eyes. Permission to buzz the tower. If you’ve really lost that lovin’ feeling, swing by Kansas City BBQ – where some of the most memorable scenes from Top Gun were filmed – for some brisket and a cold brew.

coronado-san-diego

coronado-san-diego

coronado-san-diego

La Jolla

A quick 15-minute drive north of the Gaslamp sits the picture-perfect town of La Jolla, complete with monstrous Spanish-style villas and mansions that seemingly sit vacant until their wealthy owners are in town on hols. It’s touristy, but not to a fault. Start off with brunch at Crab Catcher, and request to be seated on the patio overlooking the cliffs that melt into the brilliant blue bay below. Being a good Canadian girl, I’m partial to caesars, but their bloody mary comes close, garnished with a giant crab claw. Walk off your mimosa buzz by heading straight to La Jolla Cove Beach to take a selfie with one of the resident sea lions. It’s also an epic spot to scuba dive off the beach. My husband – an avid diver – jumped in and had a swim alongside sea lions and harbour seals while I stayed beachside and snapped pics. Follow the sea wall south for several more hidden coves and beaches, to avoid the turistas.

crab-catcher-la-jolla

la-jolla-cove-beach

la-jolla-cove-beach

la-jolla-cove-beach

kansas-city-bbq-top-gun

Oceanside

You always need to leave a little something for next time. An excuse to make your way back to places you love. During our train ride home, which tickles the seaside until you’re far north of San Diego, we passed by Oceanside, a quintessential beachside village complete with a good surf break off the Oceanside Pier. As we finished our wine, watching the surfers fade into the pink horizon, we plotted our next trip south.

Stay classy, San Diego (sorry, couldn’t help it).

Follow along @thelasessions

Advertisements

4 Responses to “The LA Sessions: 72 Hours in San Diego”

  1. William Davison

    Great pictures.. you brought back a lot of memories for myself as i graduated Marine Corps Boot Camp 20 years ago at MCRD (the Marine Corps base) right next to the runway at the SD airport… SD was a great place, lots to do, good eats and as for Oceanside, been there a few times to say the least… I was stationed near therefor a few months in the winter time and remember thinking how nice the weather was during the day, but once training started (near Oceanside for combat training, outside sleeping in crappy tents) the cold damp nights made it miserable… the last time I was in San Diego was a few years ago for a Cruise.. my wife and i had a blast. With your great write up… I must now take her and go back! 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: