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One of Jeremy and my goals for 2014 is to travel to different places this year. We kind of got stuck in a LA/Laguna Beach rut (can you even call it that?) and wanted to venture out. With Jeremy’s job, it is tough to get away for long periods of time, so weekend trips work best… first up on our list? San Diego!
My college roommate, Erin and her boyfriend Craig have turned into our travel buds (you know that couple that BOTH of you agree on!?), and Erin grew up in San Diego, so knew JUST the itinerary to put together… here was our agenda:
- Checked into the Hard Rock Hotel
- GREAT location (right in Gaslamp) and central to all of the great eateries and bars
- Definitely a “party vibe” – Vegas meets California (a bachelorette party favorite)
- After unpacking we made our way to Pacific Beach
- We had lunch at the Pacific Beach Alehouse
- Amazing fish tacos and I really enjoyed the spicy pear cocktail (although they have a ton of beers on tap – and that seemed to be most people’s program)
- Make sure to eat upstairs on their rooftop – great views, fun vibe
- We had lunch at the Pacific Beach Alehouse
- After lunch we walked the beach to the Lahaina Beach House to grab drinks
- Feels like you are at a college frat party – but fun for a cocktail and the view
- Went back to the hotel – and had drinks at the rooftop bar Float
- Great jalapeno strawberry margaritas
- Got ready and walked to Searsucker
- Their Happy Hour is until 6:30, so enjoy their infusions (cinnamon whiskey/cucumber gin/strawberry tequila) before you have dinner
- After cocktails at the bar we were seated in their main dining room for an AMAZING meal. We shared apps (Vince was a great waiter who helped us navigate the menu – make sure not to miss egg + pork belly, truffled mushrooms + burrata, cheese puffs or their sundae for dessert
- After dinner we made our way to The Shout House
- Both Jeremy and my sister had been there before insisted we go… it is an AMAZING dueling piano bar, and we couldn’t have picked a better way to spend our Friday night (or any night for that matter)
- Craig is English, so he woke up early to watch the Ireland v. England Rugby match at a local bar – The Field
- We caught up with him around 8am (just in time to catch the last 15 minutes of the game!) – it was so entertaining and I felt like I was at an Irish pub… pretty impressive for a place in the heart of SD
- We made the 8 minute walk to Cafe Chloe for the BEST BRUNCH EVER
- It was at this meal, we realized we hadn’t had one meal we weren’t obsessed with… San Diego is my favorite food city, that is FOR SURE.
- This Parisian bistro, is super quaint and has a great patio (just make sure not to dine while the Crossfit team is getting their butt kicked and you are sipping a lavender-lemon mimosa).
- Don’t miss their morning buns, flavored mimosas and I really enjoyed my truffled mushroom crepe.
- After brunch we adventured to Coronado (via our rental car – you also could take the ferry over)
- We had drinks at the Hotel Del (don’t miss out on their Old Fashioneds or Berry Acai Lemonades)
- We attempted to have a light snack at Leroy’s, but ultimately had a full blown lunch because everything on the menu looked so good – update: IT WAS THAT GOOD.
- We had (and loved) the poke tacos, Cuban sandwich, kale and quinoa salad. I also am going to post a Fun Drink Friday on their cocktail the Blossom Breeze… SO DELICIOUS
- After a quick change at the hotel we headed (via rental car again) into La Jolla
- We enjoyed the insane sunset (pictures below) and the sea lions/wild life in the cove
- Pre-dinner drinks were sipped on at George’s downstairs (the Bee Sting cocktail is AMAZING and one of the top 3 cocktails I’ve had in my life)
- We had dinner at Eddie V’s – ask to sit upstairs on their patio (insane views!)
- Great soups, steaks, truffled mac and cheese and don’t miss the banana foster butter cake… still dreaming about it
- After we drove up to Mt. Soledadto look at a breathtaking view of the city from above… the gorgeous houses on the way up don’t hurt either!
- Woke up and had brunch at Cafe 21
- This is definitly one of the places to be for Sunday brunch in teh Gaslamp – so make sure to get there early or book on Open Table
- The salmon diamonds were a crowd (and Yelp) favorite, but the pancakes, skillet omelets (I had turkey sausage, heirloom tomato and mozzarella) were great too. They also had a killer cocktail menu with INSANE bloody Mary’s and a lengthy list of sangria/mimosa flights.
- We checked out and made our way to SD ZOO (last minute decision).
- Craig and Jeremy hadn’t been before, and considering this is one the best zoo’s in the world we knew we had to show them around. This zoo is massive, but so worth it (just make sure to wear comfy shoes)
- My “don’t miss exhibits” would be the giraffes, elephants, and polar bears (watch the polar bear cam here), but the panda exhibit was definitely the “hot spot” (too bad they were all sleeping)
- I also was surprised that they quite the bar selection (frozen margaritas, wine, beer, etc. but we had to try their soft serve ice cream cones (so good!).
- Around 3pm our feet were killing us, so we made our way to the Lodge at Torrey Pines (Jeremy and Craig are golf fanatics and wanted to check out their famous golf course).
- A.R. Valentien is their signature resturant, and their outdoor patio is the perfect stop for a glass of wine
- We headed into La Jolla for a quick and easy dinner at Porkyland – we HAD to have Mexican food before we left SD
- We planned on taking our burritos down to the beach to watch the sunset, but we were so exhausted at this point we just ate on their patio and made our way to the airport
- PHEW. Ok well that was our fun weekend in San Diego… can’t wait to go back (although we need to a get a few more spots under our belt first!).
- Where should we go to next time… any recommendations welcome!
I love this post sooooooo much! The panda is definitely my favorite!! xoxo.