10/03/2018

TRAVEL | A Week in San Diego, California


The week that made me realise I actually quite enjoy the US.

In February I flew from England to California to spend a week with my boyfriend at his home in San Diego. Bearing in mind that we had last seen each other in July of last year, it was a pretty important trip for us. And I was incredibly excited to go again. 
Having only six full days together, this was a much more relaxed trip and I wanted to make the most of the time I had with him. We revisited a few of our favourite places, and make sure to scroll down for a few tips if you ever go to San Diego!
Even though Los Angeles attracts everybody and gets all the spotlight, San Diego also has some amazing sights, beaches, city spots and museums - without the masses of tourists that you will find in LA. If you want to visit the sunny west coast but hate the crowds, you'll find that San Diego is a great compromise. Here are some of the things I would advise you to do there:

VISIT THE GARDENS AND MUSEUMS OF BALBOA PARK


Balboa Park has been - and still is - one of my favourite places I've been in San Diego. It's an area that gathers many museums, gardens and beautiful sights where the architecture very much reminds of Spain and Italy. You can see Balboa in more detail in this post from last summer. We went to the Botanical garden again, which is my favourite, with its exotic and colourful flowers. The trees around Balboa were already blossoming, full of white flowers that looked like fluffy snow.
My boyfriend took my to the Spanish Village Art Center, a side of Balboa he discovered recently - think colourful mosaic floors, little huts and houses where various artists sell their work, and wonderful little corners.


Although it was raining, the colours all around just make you so happy. Balboa is a real gem in San Diego, and no matter what you like - art, botanics, museums - there will be something for you.

SEE THE SUNSET ON THE BEACH
San Diego is on the coast, so going to the oceanside is a must. There are many lovely beach areas with different vibes, Torrey Pines being my favourite (see this post from last summer) - other places like Carlsbad and Del Mar are lovely as well. This time, my boyfriend and I headed to Sunset Cliffs - because as the name suggests, sunsets are pretty awesome there. We went on Valentine's day, and although the clouds were heavy in the sky, the sunset we witnessed was still beautiful, turning from yellow to red and purple.
If you're into surfing (because that's what people do in California, right?) the coast of San Diego is also a great place to be. There were some people surfing in the sunset when we were there, and it must be a rather special moment for it!


DO SOME ANIMAL SPOTTING AT THE ZOO
I know zoos are quite controversial places. I tend to not like seeing animals in fences, but there are some zoos that do take care of the animals and their well-being. The San Diego zoo is forever expanding, creating partnerships with other countries to protect animals and raise awareness of the importance of protecting species, especially endangered ones. I have been to the zoo a few times already and it has so much variety, but also a staff who knows what they are talking about and are happy to answer questions about the animals. Definitely a fun destination, where you can easily spend the whole day.


Some of the areas that are really worth checking out are: the new Africa Rocks area, with its dunes of sand and cacti, the penguin aquarium, the polar bears, and the pandas. Also the okapis. Okapis are cute.
The zoo has some amazing parts that take you high up over the palm trees, where you can see everything from above. Take the cable car for beautiful views of Balboa Park (which is right next to the zoo) and walk on the bridge over the Panda Canyon, where you can stop for a break at a little cafe.


TRY OUT A VARIETY OF FOODS
San Diego is a huge city, where you can find pretty much every type of food you want. We tried some of my boyfriend's favourites, and one place I particularly like is the Havana Kitchen, in Old Town Temecula - a Cuban coffee place where you can get both lunch and dinner, coffee and sangria, and the atmosphere is very relaxed - you could go there for a coffee date in the afternoon but also for a nice Cuban dinner in the evening. I always get their Cubano sandwich, which I discovered thanks to my boyfriend, and their signature Sal-Latte is amazing (latte with a pinch of Kosher salt - yummy!)
We also went to the Athens Market Cafe which is a Greek restaurant in Carmel Mountain, and I had the best falafels of my life - beating the amazing ones I usually get in Paris, which is saying something!


Another place I'd recommend is the Original Pancake House - if you're into pancakes, that's the place to go. Their menu is impressive, and the buttermilk pancakes I had were super fluffy and filled with crispy bacon. My boyfriend went for the strawberry waffle which looked just as good. The portions are generous too, so this is a great place to go for brunch.


***
This is just a few of the things we've done in the seven days I was in San Diego, but there is so much more to see and do there. I hope I'll get to go back and show you more of the awesome things the city has to offer!

Have you ever heard of San Diego? Where in California would you like to visit?
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33 comments:

  1. Ahhh I loved this post so much! You two look so cute together and San Diego looks amazing! I would love to visit Balboa, especially the botanical gardens, and the sunset on the beach sounds perfect :D I dream of visiting the US one day! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

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    1. Aw thank you Elizabeth! You'd definitely love Balboa, and I hope you get to visit the US one day - so much natural spaces you'd love! xx

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  2. This is such a cute post! Balboa Park looks so beautiful omg

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I have never been to California, and I would of course want to visit L.A., but it seems as if I would need to stop by in San Diego as well. Balboa looks like the perfect place to just stroll around and take in the scenery.

    Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca

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    1. I think you'd like San Diego a lot, especially the museums in Balboa - I'm thinking that you'd enjoy it with your kids! xx

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  4. Damn that's quite the flight from England. I've never visited the US so I don't know much difference between states and towns, but I completely get that San Diego is awesome without the hoards of LA tourists that the neighbouring town would have. Either way, your photographs are lovely and I'm super jealous that I'm stuck in rainy old Wales.

    Amy;
    Wandering Everywhere

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    1. Yes it was an exhausting flight, but so worth it! You know what, I've only ever been to Cardiff in Wales and I'd love to explore the rest of your country. The nature seems beautiful there! xx

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  5. Oh wow it looks incredible! I would love to go, so so much it looks amazing! :D

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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    1. I'm pretty sure anybody would find a place they like there! xx

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  6. Oh my gosh, this is so romantic! Happy to hear you spent such a lovely time together in San Diego and especially after having not seen in so many months. San Diego's botanical garden really does look incredible, that would 100% be at the top of my travel to-do list should I find myself there in future! :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Worldwide Giveaway: £200 Voucher Fenn Wright Manson! (designer womenswear) x

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    1. Thank you so much Gabrielle! I always think about you when I see botanical gardens and greenhouses - you'd definitely love it there! xx

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  7. If I think about california, Beverly Hills is the first place I'd like to visit. I will say, as you say, if you want to avoid the most touristic places, San Diego must be a beautiful destination, so many amazing entertainment! Other places I would like to see in California are Napa valley, San Francisco and Palm Spring!
    xoxo

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    1. Oh I'd love to see Beverly Hills too - I'll need to ask my boyfriend to take me there next time. It must be some dreamy to see all that luxury, the shops, the houses - quite a unique place. San Francisco is high on my list too! xx

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  8. Looks like an amazing san diego travel adventure.
    I love the photos and what you wear too.

    Much Love,
    Jane | The Bandwagon Chic

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    1. Thank you Jne, I'm glad you enjoyed the post! xx

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  9. I love Cali... you look lovely hon x
    https://zunera-serena.com/

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    1. California's got beautiful places, for sure! xx

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  10. Oh I would love to get here one day. I have only been to SF but have friends In San Diego and have great things and love your photos!

    Allie of ALLIENYC
    www.allienyc.com

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    1. You should totally pay a visit to your friends in SD soon haha! xx

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  11. How gorgeous! I have been to San Fran but never San Diego have to add it to the list
    !
    xx
    Lizzie | Takeoffs & Landings

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    1. Oh yes definitely go to San Diego, you won't regret it! xx

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  12. That sunset looks incredible! I would love to visit San Diego, all these places look very appealing x

    Kate Louise Blogs

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    1. It really was, even with the heavy clouds in the horizon! xx

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  13. I've been seeing so many posts about San Diego recently, so I've really been wanting to go! Balboa Park looks so pretty!

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    1. I'm sure you'd find lots of amazing place in San Diego that I haven't even mentioned here! xx

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  14. I've always wanted to visit America especially California and New york! Your photos are incredible and balboa park looks absolutely gorgeous.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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    1. Thank you, I am sure you will get to go one day! xx

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  15. You look wonderful dear
    I love it.

    Much Love,
    Jane | The Bandwagon Chic

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  16. Oh wow it looks like such a beautiful place! I've always wanted to visit xx

    Gemma • Gemma Etc . ❤️

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  17. San Diego looks beautiful! I don't know a lot about places in the USA so I loved reading this post :)

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes

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  18. Oh San Diego looks like a dream!

    xx Lisa | lisaautumn.com

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  19. Wow san Diego looks incredible! Its 100% on my travel bucket list after reading this post! I hope you enjoyed your trip xhttps://simplyrachx.blogspot.ie

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