One Day in Sunny San Diego

Over the weekend, I headed down to San Diego for a quick weekend with a friend. It had been a couple of years since I last ventured down there, and in the past it was always for something specific: a wedding, the San Diego Zoo, etc. So I was very pleased to discover how much more there is to see there. Now I’m anxious to get down there again to explore some more! So today I’m sharing what my friend and I did with exactly one full day in San Diego.

We started the day with an authentic California breakfast at The Mission, near the Hillcrest area of town. We ate, chatted, loaded up on caffeine, and then headed out to see some sights.

breakfast

We spent the first half of our day wandering around Balboa Park. Balboa Park is a huge park that is home to all sorts of museums, including San Diego’s history and science museums, and of course the famous San Diego Zoo. I had been here before many years ago, but somehow had completely missed all the amazing Spanish-influenced architecture in the park.SanDiego010

There were buildings like this theater everywhere! There was so much incredible stone-carved ornamentation around every corner.SanDiego001

And the vegetation surrounding all the buildings made me feel like we were in a much more tropical location than California.SanDiego004 SanDiego006 SanDiego009

This dome reminds me a lot of the Los Angeles Public Library‘s dome, whose design was inspired by the tilework in Istanbul. SanDiego031

This pedestrian bridge will take you straight out to the Hillcrest area, which would be the perfect place to take a lunch break while you’re wandering around Balboa Park.SanDiego033

In one of the buildings on the Balboa Park campus, we came across San Diego’s Cactus and Succulent Society having a sale. Curious, we popped in to take a quick look. It seems like Balboa Park lends itself to events like this all the time and around every corner.succulents SanDiego011

My favorite building was this botanical garden.SanDiego016 SanDiego014

It was beautiful inside, and the wood structure overhead meant that it was basically open-air. It was humid here of course, from all the moisture of the plants and water used to keep them growing strong, but the half-shade-half-sunshine inside was lovely.

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They had a great collection of orchids growing there, and it seemed like the perfect environment for them! I’m hoping my orchid will look like these one day.SanDiego019

Quite healthy veuns fly traps were growing in one corner of the gardens as well.SanDiego025

The whole place felt private and magical, and everything there was growing quite healthily.SanDiego028

When we had tired ourselves out at Balboa Park, we headed to Coronado Island to check out Hotel Del Coronado. Another place I am ashamed to have not seen earlier, this was a real treat.
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The hotel was built in 1888, and I was absolutely in love with the authentic interior. SanDiego044 SanDiego043

I’m pretty sure this was a smoking lounge at some point in the hotel’s history. Can’t you just picture a bunch of men in the earlier 1900’s sitting here with cigars and brandy snifters?SanDiego046 SanDiego047

The beach side of the hotel was just magical.SanDiego054

I feel like you can just picture a scene from the past where happy beach goers hang over the balconies in the beach linens.SanDiego055

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We took a short stroll down the walkway between the beach and the hotel, and found a row of these private beach houses (also part of the hotel). I would love to rent one of these for a long weekend with friends or family!SanDiego057

It was beautiful beach weather all day, and hundreds of people were nearby to enjoy it.SanDiego059

After a stroll around the hotel and a delicious cocktail, we headed into the main stretch of the island where there is a delightful strip of restaurants and boutiques. Dinner was at Leroy’s, and the food was delicious! I wanted to try too many things, so instead of a meal I opted for a couple appetizers. My favorite was the ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms.dinner_1

But the chorizo stuffed calamari was pretty delicious too.dinner_2

We did a little shopping in a couple of the boutiques, and discovered Will Leather Goods. The boutique was called The Attic and had just had a trunk show. I have to say I am now in love with their line of vintage and leather bags. (I have since thoroughly perused their website!)willleather

We moved on to a one night stay in the Marriott Marquis and Marina, where the view from our window was this. Beautiful!

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That night, just a short walk through the marina lead us to listen to the San Diego Symphony’s “Music of the Bee Gees” concert. We caught the last few songs. This kind of thing seemed to be going on in several places around the city that night.SanDiego073

And better yet, it was followed up by fireworks over the marina!! Since I didn’t end up seeing fireworks for the Fourth of July this year, this made up for it.SanDiego080

We closed our whirlwind tour of San Diego with cocktails by the fire pits at the Marriott. It was a lovely, relaxing way to end the evening. This little taste of San Diego has definitely inspired me to spend a longer weekend down there sometime soon!SanDiego086Have you been to San Diego? What’s your favorite thing to do there, or what would you most like to see if you were to visit?

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2 thoughts on “One Day in Sunny San Diego

  1. Glad you enjoyed Balboa Park and Coronado. You must also check out LaJolla, Carlsbad, Solana Beach/Del Mar, the next time you’re here.

  2. Pingback: This Week I Loved… | The Anecdotal Goat

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