14/11/2018

TRAVEL | Forget LA: Five Reasons to Visit San Diego, CA


Grab a snack; this is a looong one.

San Diego is just a couple hours away from LA, and although we all know the latter, there isn't as much out there about San Diego. But with my boyfriend living there, I've had a chance to visit quite a few places around SD and I really want to share with you all you can see there. It's a pretty awesome place, if you ask me. So this post will be full of personal impressions, tips on what to do and see and why I think you should visit SD if you're looking for a bit of Southern California for your next big trip...

THE BEACH, BABY
If like me, you live in a European city and that going to the beach is a one-time-a-year exclusive event, then you'll love the beautiful sandy beaches along the coast of San Diego. I have been to the beach there in winter, summer and in the autumn, and no matter the time of year, they are beautiful. There are a lot of beaches worth visiting around San Diego, and my favourite is Torrey Pines, which is right near a beautiful natural reserve. You can hike there, and get some rest by laying on the beautiful beach. This autumn, my boyfriend took me to Coronado beach. Coronado is a little island connected to mainland San Diego by a long curved bridge. Let me tell you, Coronado's posh. Like, huge, beautiful houses all around. We went to the beach at around 5, as the sun started to go down, and we had it all to ourselves. It was the most amazing moment. 


If you're lucky, you might see some people surfing around. In Coronado, you can also see the most beautiful Hotel Del Coronado which looks straight out of Disneyland. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants around any of those beaches, so you could easily spend a whole day discovering a beach and its surroundings: Coronado, Carlsbag, Del Mar - all places I've seen and would totally recommend.

AN ANIMAL LOVER'S PARADISE
In San Diego, animals are a big deal. You can see plenty of them, of all species (more than 650!) at the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park. I have been to both quite a few times as my boyfriend loves these two places, and the Zoo in particular is one of my favourites. I don't do zoos very often, and I make sure to only support places that show the animals the care and protection they deserve. San Diego Zoo is one of these: they keep the public very well-informed about their programmes of development, you have volunteers all around the park that share their knowledge and love of the animals, and the money is reinvested in plans to make sure we keep all these beautiful creatures safe all around the world. The variety at the zoo is quite amazing too, you've got anything from pandas to polar bears and gorillas.


The Safari Park (or Wild Animal Park) is a more extended park where you will see a lot of species in big enclosures that resemble their natural habitat. You can actually do a safari there, and get to see the animals closer than you usually would. Although I have a preference for the zoo because of the variety of animals that they have, the work that has been put in the Safari Park is amazing - you can stand a few steps away from the kangaroos, and that in itself is a pretty good reason to visit.


CULTURE AND PRETTY GARDENS IN BALBOA PARK
My absolute favourite area of San Diego, if you've seen my previous posts on the city, is Balboa Park.
Balboa Park. It is right in the area where the zoo is, and it is a beautiful, Spanish architecture heaven full of museums and gardens to visit. This time, my boyfriend and I went there after our day at the zoo, for a little walk. Most landmarks will have a fee, but even just walking around the area and seeing the Botanical Building, the Rose Garden, the Spanish Art Village and the International Cottages. There is always something new to see in Balboa.


These buildings are my favourite, and I always swoon over how beautiful they are every time we go there. I would highly recommend the museums of course - I loved visiting the Museum of Man last year.

GO TO DOWNTOWN SD FOR THE COOL CITY STUFF
The variety of landscapes in San Diego is impressing. You can find the beautiful, dry moutains and cacti galore, but you also have Downtown SD for all things city, cafes, and Comic Con. 
In Downtown San Diego, Seaport Village is an adorable spot where you can do shopping and have lunch. They have an amazing Christmas shop open all year around, as well as a cupcake shop that makes the yummiest treats. Around the Bay, you can also take a boat tour, which my boyfriend and I did with the Hornblower. On some tours, you can see sea lions, or even do dolphin and whale-spotting cruises. At the Convention Center, you will find the biggest Comic Con that is held every year, with tons of cosplayers and actors coming to San Diego for the occasion. Not something I have done myself, but if you're a fan of pop culture, it might be the dream trip to organise!


YOU CAN FIND ALL THE CUTE AMERICAN THINGS
If you're cheesy like me, and you love a bit of stereotypical Americana, you'd love quite a few spots in San Diego. Old Town Temecula is one of my favourites: think 1800s style buildings, wooden barns used as restaurants, and fairy lights as soon as the night falls. Old Town is also where one of my favourite places to eat in the San Diego area is: Havana Kitchen. I've mentioned it on the blog before, but they do an incredible cubano sandwich, very flavourful, as well as the yummiest lattes you ever did taste.


Apart from Temecula, there's another lovely spot I discovered during this trip, courtesy of my dad's boyfriend: Bates Nut Farm. I had never been to a traditional farm like this before, and it was awesome. Fresh produce, animals (and an emeu for some reason?), make-your-own peanut butter machine, and pumpkin patch. Yes, pumpkin patch. Although most of the good ones were gone already (we went the day before Halloween) it was still fun to walk around. And take a look at the Christmas tree ornaments... It doesn't get more American than that!


I have seen very little of LA, but I can tell you that San Diego is an amazing destination if you're interested in discovering this part of California - so I would totally recommend spending a few days there if you ever plan a big California holiday. Personally, I love it and I can't wait to go again! (After all, it's not like my favourite person in the whole world lives there...)

Which part of San Diego would you like to visit the most?
FOLLOW ME ON: BLOGLOVIN' ¤ INSTAGRAM
 ♥

25 comments:

  1. I´d love to visit the beaches. Living in Southern Germany I really have no chance to go to the beach except for holidays and I miss it.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally get you Anne - being by the sea or the ocean is so calming, we should all take those trips more often! xx

      Delete
  2. I totally want to visit an San Diego beach, it looks like a dream!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really are, and not super crowded like those we have in Europe - there's space for everyone on the San Diego coast haha! xx

      Delete
  3. Ah, this looks so pretty!
    Rachael | Rachael Latchman Diaries

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh, whaaaaat?! Julia this travel post is making me desperately want to visit San Diego right now haha. You look so lovely (and happy) and I love how empty the beaches seem there - perfect for lounging around under the sunset :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd love it Gabrielle - sandy beaches and palm trees galore! xx

      Delete
  5. I love looking at travel posts especially in winter when it is so dreary here!

    I have never seen you in jeans before - do you wear them often? I don't wear jeans but my daughter keeps trying to persuade me to buy a pair but I have resisted so far!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to not wear jeans at all but now I quite wearing them, especially on days where I'd rather go for a simple look... But most of the time I prefer dresses and skirts! Maybe you should have a pair of comfy denim just for those days where you need a quick outfit! xx

      Delete
  6. As someone raised in San Diego, I approve of this message. You included so many goodies & hidden gems. I love Old Town & Balboa Park & just being outside. :]

    // Carmen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you Carmen! I bet you know a lot more hidden places! xx

      Delete
  7. oh, i love sunshine, it is warm, in my country, it is winter
    burgundy dress

    ReplyDelete
  8. San Diego looks amazing! It's definitely on my to-visit one day list. I grew up in New Mexico, but I've lived abroad for almost a decade now. I wish I had explored America more whilst I was still there!

    rhymeandribbons.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. San Diego really is a beautiful place, if you get back to America you should definitely make a pit-stop there! xx

      Delete
  9. I absolutely adore the typical restaurants, the zoo (every city I visit that has a zoo, apparently it is very likely to find me there) and the beach. san diego looks lovely. I am sure you had the best time ever<3

    Cate ღ 35mm in Style

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The zoo there is great, one of the best I've visited! And it's easy to find a crap zoo haha. Thank you Cate, we had the best time indeed! xx

      Delete
  10. Amazing photo selection.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ahhh ma goodness, it looks incredible there! The sunshine and the beautiful scenery, you look so at home there and I love your outfits Julia :D I loved living all of these gorgeous places through your lens! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm definitely growing more familiar with San Diego now, which is an incredible chance I know! I'm so happy you got to travel with me a little bit through this post Elizabeth! xx

      Delete
  12. OMG girl these shots are sooooo gorgeous!

    www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie x

    ReplyDelete
  13. San Diego looks lovely! I've always wanted to visit there, LA is one of my favourite spots. Lovely photos!

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

    ReplyDelete