9 Impressive View Points in San Diego to Inspire Wanderlust

There’s nothing better than a great view to inspire wanderlust. Personally, seeing an amazing photo of a destination is often the catalyst that leads me to book a trip. For example, take this shot of Reykjavik. It had me daydreaming about visiting Iceland for 7 years until I finally made that a reality–all because I knew being there in person would be that much more satisfying. If you’re wondering where to find such views in San Diego, here are 9 impressive spots!

Mister A’s

This classy restaurant in Bankers Hill offers amazing views of downtown San Diego with the airport’s flight path in between! It’s so mesmerizing to sit there and watch all the planes land surrounded by stunning views. You can even see the mountains of Mexico on a clear day. Like I said, it’s a classy place so remember the dress code (no shorts for men). It’s also expensive so if you want to come only for the view, ask to sit outdoors for just a drink or two. On the other hand, it’s super romantic at night if you’re looking for a place to celebrate something big.

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Can you spot the airplane landing??

Top of Cowles Mountain

If you have a spare hour and enjoy hiking you won’t regret seeing the views from the highest peak in San Diego county (best on a clear day).

Bayview Park in Coronado

There are multiple parks on the bayside of Coronado, but for some reason this little guy is my favorite out of them all. The view driving over the bridge to get to there is amazing as well! Coronado is one of my favorite places to stroll around for a couple hours. Between the Hotel Del, huge stretch of beach (with a sand castle master at the start and a dog beach at the end!), and beautiful homes everywhere, there’s a lot to see while still being very relaxed.

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Mount Soledad in La Jolla

If you want to see sweeping views over San Diego but don’t want to hike, this option is convenient because you can drive right to the top. Such a gorgeous spot!

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Beach for sunset

This will never get old to me and there are tons of beaches to choose from–any will do! My personal favorite is Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach, but I may be biased because I live there. See more: My Love Letter to Solana Beach

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Just imagine it at sunset! Swoon!

Rooftop bar in Gaslamp District

I always try and get to a rooftop bar wherever I’m traveling as I love the vibes they offer. Rustic Root has a cute rooftop right in the middle of Fifth Street and Altitude Sky Lounge overlooks Petco Park!

The Marine Room in La Jolla

If you want something really luxurious get a meal at The Marine Room. They do high tide dinners and brunch depending on the time of year–you can eat while waves crash against the windows (with a price tag to match).

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Not the best photo but you get the gist 🙂

Outdoor bar with ocean views

George’s at the Cove in La Jolla or El Prez in Pacific Beach are two of my favorites. It doesn’t get better than chilling with a drink in your hand with nothing but ocean stretching out in front of you. George’s has a classier vibe whilst El Prez is younger and can get pretty rowdy as the day goes on.

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Out on the bay

I’ve personally done the jet boat and the brunch cruise with Flagship (highly recommend both) and a boozy catamaran tour (so much fun). Seeing the bay from the bay is pure bliss!

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Have you been to San Diego? Where else would you add to this list?

 

Beginner’s Guide to Hiking San Diego

Once we made the move from Indiana to San Diego, I knew I wanted to get involved with all the hiking in the area. It was a little overwhelming trying to figure out where to hike first- there are many great options! So I’ve put together my top 3 picks for beginners-whether you are new to SoCal, spending time here on vacation, or just want to start hiking 🙂

  1. Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla: I listed this first because it is the easiest of the 3 and requires the least amount of fitness. It is also right on the coast and gives you the beachy vibe you think of when you picture San Diego-crashing waves, sand, ocean views. Be prepared to pay for parking (about $15). Once you do, drive all the way up to the parking lots at the top. Otherwise you have to walk all the way up to the trail entrance, which will add on more time and distance with no views. One thing I like about this hike is there’s a variety of trails to choose from. You can make it a long hike and check out them all, or you can make it short and just do one or two. A con of this hike: narrow, crowded trails. Totally worth the views though, even on an overcast day!

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2. Cowles Mountain: Moving from the beach to the mountains. This trail is a bit more challenging but can still be done with little fitness preparation. I love this hike because the views at the top are breathtaking. You see lakes, the ocean, more mountains, downtown San Diego, and even Mexico. It is also relatively quick and easy despite being 95% uphill. It takes about 30 minutes to make it to the summit, and on this hike we always see old people (if they can do it we can do it!). There are different sides you can hike up, but I would recommend starting at the entrance at Navajo Road and Golfcrest Drive. This trail is a bit more windy and not as steep. You also get great views all the way which you don’t get if you hike up the other side. There is a cute cafe across the road if you need a quick coffee or acai bowl to energize you before embarking. Street parking is free in this residential area. Don’t forget to bring lots of water!

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3. Mount Woodson Trail to Potato Chip Rock: I would not recommend this hike without having a decent level of fitness. It takes about 4 hours, and is straight incline (think stepping up rocks made into natural stairs) for about an hour of it. You will definitely feel a sense of accomplishment once you make it to the top and will be rewarded by seeing the famous Potato Chip Rock. If you want a photo, the wait is usually at least 30 minutes unless you go at a really slow time. It’s totally worth it though to have the awesome picture, and it’s a huge adrenaline rush having to leap onto the rock. You want to start this hike around 6 or 7 AM (any later and you will be dealing with a really hot sun). Bring A LOT of water and some protein bars to eat at the top before making your way down. You do have to pay for parking (about $5) to get to the trail entrance.

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What other San Diego hikes are your favorite?

Sunset Sips at Cordiano Winery

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Since moving to San Diego, wine tasting has quickly become one of my favorite ways to spend a day. It doesn’t get much better than picturesque views, good wine, and a gorgeous sunset. Thank you Cordiano Winery for offering all of the above and more!

Tasting price: 7 tastes for $12

Food: Brick-oven pizzas

When to go: Arrive at least 45 min-1 hour before sunset to guarantee a good table

Don’t forget: to walk around and explore the grounds 🙂

Website: http://www.cordianowinery.com