And I am back again! If you were curious the Paramore concert was amazing, and Brendn Urie ended up sitting right in front of me for the whole show, which was crazy to say the least! But this week I decided to head back home to San Diego, mainly because I missed my dog, but as because as much as I used to say I hated it, San Diego is a really cool city. Since I was born and raised here, I know a lot of the good spots to eat, the good beaches, how to avoid traffic and more, so I will share some of those tips with you today. First I do want to share a picture of my dog because even though I just saw her, I miss her and she is adorable and I love her more than almost anything.
Here she is!
Yes I put one of my Mom’s hats on her, and yes I was holding a treat behind the camera
For those of you that don’t come from the Southern California area, you may not know that the drive from Los Angeles down to San Diego can take anywhere from an hour and 45 minutes to five hours. If you are planning on making the drive and don’t want to deal with traffic, leaving earlier is always better! I have done the drive countless times and the only times I have been stuck in insane traffic have been when I didn’t leave early in the morning or late at night. Also if you take the 5 the entire way you get to drive right past disneyland! For this trip back home, I left after I got off of work so I didn’t hit any traffic at all which was nice, and I even got a picture of the sunset!
It looked much better in person but I tried to get a good picture.
Here is Camp Penalton, the biggest Marine Base in the US, sometimes when you drive by you can see them practicing military techniques!
Ok so if you didn’t know San Diego has amazing beaches! Much much better than the beaches that Los Angeles has. If you want a more secluded beach, with overall less people, I would recommend heading over to Windansea beach in La Jolla. I usually go right around sunset because that’s when you get these amazing views! But if you do want to have a day at the beach, be sure to check the tides first because the waves almost completely cover the beach at some times. Also if you are interested in surfing this is definitely the beach to go to! There are lots of rocks in the water, so it is not the best for swimming, but there are a few that are perfectly placed for jumping into the ocean during high tide.
Windansea is beautiful but just not the best for traditional beach going
Here is a view of La Jolla from above
Another attempted sunset picture from Windansea
If you prefer a more traditional beach and are ok with having a lot more people all around you, I would head to La Jolla Shores or to Del Mar Beach. As a kid, I would go to the Shores more often but that’s because I lived only a 5 minute drive away so it was much easier to get too. Just a warning, if you do plan to go to either of these beaches be aware that parking is an absolute nightmare, especially during the summer! A fun fact about Del Mar is that when I was younger I used to call it ‘sand crab’ because because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of sand crabs that you would uncover when digging through the sand. Both beaches are more traditional and are much better options for swimming and playing in the ocean. A bonus for the Shores is that there are tide pools that are easily accessible to everyone if that’s something you are interested in.
Much more free beach area and smaller waves make La Jolla better if you want to spend long days laying out on the sand
Moving onto food, San Diego is the place to go for Mexican food. I have been absolutely spoiled with how much amazing Mexican food I have been able to eat growing up, and I didn’t truly appreciate it until I was in Boston and away from all of it. You can’t really go wrong with the Mexican place you choose, as a note the more rundown the place looks usually (but not always) means more authentic food. Two of my favorite places are Sombreros Mexican and Rigobertos. If the name Sombreros seems familiar, it is referenced in a Blink 182 song (the song title is ‘Josie’ if you wanted to listen)! Both places are extremely popular, so there may be a line or a bit of a wait when you go. Rigoberto’s is actually open 24/7 so you can get a California burrito whenever you crave one. A quirky fact is that in La Jolla there are actually two Rigoberto’s and as crazy as it is – it only take about four minutes to walk from one to the other!
The menu board at Rigoberto’s…there is always something new to try!
In addition to food and beaches, San Diego is well known for its tourist attractions, especially that of the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, the Wild Animal Park, and Balboa Park. Since I was lucky enough to grow up in San Diego, I used to spend a lot of time at each of these places. So here are some insider tips about each…at the Zoo there are lesser known pathways that you can take as a shortcut to get to exhibits quicker, they are all labeled on the map and it’s a good way to get from one place to the other while avoiding the crowds, also if you want to take some nice aerial shots make time for a tram ride while visiting. For Seaworld, there are opportunities for you to feed both the dolphins and the sea lions, for about $5 you get some fish that you are allowed to feed the animals with, this is a cool experience for anyone, just watch out for the dolphins because they love to splash. If you want to see the cheetahs at the Wild Animal Park, you have to go really really early, I have only seen them twice, and both times were right after the park opened. For some reason they don’t like coming out during the day, so if you really want to see them be sure to get there early. Balboa Park is one of my favorite places to visit, there are lots of museums that on certain Tuesdays of the month are free to San Diego residents. But my favorite part is the international cottages, just past the Air and Space museum, there are about 15 small cottages that are modeled after different countries. They are only open on Sundays and they offer traditional food from each country for a small donation (Poland and Israel are my favorites to visit). In addition there are certain Sundays where a country might be featured and they will play traditional music and have more food options for you to chose from. This is something that not a lot of people know about but is a really cool experience!
This is the face the Sea Lion made after I threw him a fish…
That is all for this week, if you want to know more about San Diego or really anything, feel free to leave a comment below!