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 ūüôā

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?

 

Local’s Guide to the Best Fish Tacos in San Diego

Fish tacos and San Diego go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re visiting San Diego you must eat fish tacos at least once to do your trip justice and ensure you experience that beachy, laid back essence of SoCal (#vibes). To help make the decision of where to go for the best, I’ve shared my top picks as well as one wild card pick from Ollie. Happy eating (and remember: having them served on corn tortillas is the authentic way to go)!

Where to find the best fish tacos in San Diego: The Fish Shop

The Fish Shop is one of my absolute favorite places to eat in San Diego in general, but it’s their amazing fish tacos that initially pulled me in. With two locations to choose from (Pacific Beach and Encinitas–both are great places to spend a day if you ask me), getting to The Fish Shop might be your most convenient option out of all these recommendations. Ordering here is super fun–you choose the type of fish you want then pick from many different marinades & plate styles. I also really love how the decor embodies that SoCal vibe perfectly. You will definitely leave with a smile on your face!

The Fish Shop Encinitas 

Where to find the best fish tacos in Cardiff: Las Olas

Eating at a restaurant right across the street from the beach will never get old to me. Then give me a pina colada & delicious fish tacos and I might call it heaven. That’s what you’ll get at Las Olas–the vibe (and food) is always on point.

Las Olas Mexican

Where to find the best fish tacos in Del Mar: The Brig

This is our favorite place to get happy hour tacos and enjoy a fancier restaurant at a lower price. We love these fish tacos because they are a classic recipe done right. Local’s tip: spend some time across the street at Del Mar Dog Beach before or after you go. Few things are better than watching happy doggies play in the ocean.

The Brigantine

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Where to find the best fish tacos in La Jolla: Puesto

Go here for more of a foodie/craft taco experience. Puesto is one of those places that puts a lot of thought and effort into each bite. The menu is interesting in the best possible way, the space is really fun, and they serve wines from Mexico’s nearby Valle de Guadalupe. The experience we had eating at Puesto was worth the slightly higher price.

Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen and Bar

Ollie’s Pick for the best fish taco in San Diego: SALUD in Logan Heights

This trendy yet authentic place blew us away. We didn’t come for fish tacos, but Ollie ended up ordering two and falling in love with them. They also serve bottled Coco Cola from Mexico (a.k.a. it’s made with real cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup). Local’s tip: Nearby Chicano Park is worth strolling through to admire all the Mexican-American/ Mexican-immigrant street art under the highway.

SALUD

 

You might also like: 3 Unique Spots for Your Next San Diego Brunch

The Top 6 Reasons I Have a Crush on Alpenhorn B&B

I have this really weird thing with going to the same place twice. The part of me that wants to see as much of the world as possible (with the little time we’re given to do so) sees how returning to the same place again and again does not “accomplish” anything. Yet, that’s how I know a place is truly special–if I find myself wanting to come back despite that logic. Alpenhorn Bed & Breakfast is one of the places that has stolen my heart and has managed to get me back a second time without even trying. And I’m sure there will be a third. You might be asking why I love it so much? I broke it all down into my top 6 reasons:

The Gourmet Food Makes My Taste Buds So Happy

Let me start off by saying that breakfast and happy hour are included in your nightly rate ūüôā Cooking is the owner’s passion, and a reason he stepped away from the corporate world was so that he could open this guesthouse and be able to cook for everyone. Eating and drinking goes hand in hand with staying here, and the food is my number one favorite thing about the stay. They are so passionate about everything they serve whether it be appetizers, wine, dinner parties, or breakfast. A few examples to whet your pallet of what we had during our last visit: pork belly, wine from Australia and South Africa, coffee from Africa, homemade scones for breakfast, & all you can eat ribs (3 different kinds!). I could literally go on and on, but every time I come I appreciate how I’m exposed to something new and delicious. Their love of cooking really shows especially when they explain where they sourced everything from and what seasonings they used, etc. They are also extremely accommodating and were able to change things up for guests who needed different options (2 pregnant women were there the same time as us and had some dietary limitations).

The Opportunity to Socialize Is Really Refreshing

If your lifestyle isn’t set up to allow you to constantly make new acquaintances, it’s easy to forget how lovely it can be to chat with new people (like-minded enough to have chosen the same place to stay). It’s the perfect atmosphere to socialize if you want (the aforementioned wine and nibble hour helps), but it’s not forced on you if you’re wanting to express your introverted side instead. We’ve been lucky enough to meet really nice couples on both our stays and have more interesting conversations than we could have had alone.

The Location Is Prime

It’s about a 10 minute walk to The Village (main strip of bars and restaurants), which is really important to us personally so we can hit all our favorite spots without having to drive (if we ever feel like leaving the B&B, which we almost didn’t leave this past visit haha). It’s also a short drive (about 5 minutes) to Snow Summit or to the lake access point.

The Backyard Is An Oasis

The ambience of the tall trees is so beautiful. They have hammocks and swings and chairs set up for all your outdoor relaxation needs (I may or may not have ended up napping on one of them). There was also a bags set out our last visit (set up depending on weather). You can really enjoy the simple pleasure of being out in the mountain air, talking, bird watching, & truly relaxing. It’s a place we make sure to spend time when we are there.

The Cozy Romance Makes It Perfect For Couples

The feel of the backyard, fireplaces and jacuzzi bath tubs in every room, country style decor, and big comfy beds all contribute to an understated romance that makes this bed and breakfast perfect for couples. We celebrated our two year anniversary here in April, and this most recent visit there was a couple celebrating their first anniversary. It’s a special place to celebrate milestones or just to be able to spend quality time with a loved one.

The Owners Are Wonderful People

I have never felt more hosted than when I stay here, and it’s such a great feeling and change of pace from daily life. The owners have really created a perfect atmosphere, and I love getting the chance to talk with them when I’m there and see their dream come alive.

I put together a YouTube video from our most recent stay that you can watch here. There’s footage of our room and the backyard at Alpenhorn as well as some of what we got up to in Big Bear. And here are a few photos from the weekend… but keep an eye on my Instagram. Later in the week I’ll be sharing an epic lake sunset!

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Just for those who are curious, here’s another place I would return to in a heartbeat, despite there being so many new places in the world I want to experience.

Here’s the post I wrote about our very first time in Big Bear.

And here is the link for the wonderful Alpenhorn: www.alpenhorn.com

My Love Letter to Solana Beach

I once heard on a podcast that there is a physical, geographical place in the world where our soul belongs. When in such a place, one will feel extreme contentment and joy just by being there. It really struck a cord with me, and I couldn’t help but believe it true. Since moving to Solana Beach, I feel like it is the place my soul loves. It’s a hard feeling to describe–it’s kind of like against all odds and negative feelings you could have from life being thrown at you, you can’t help but be happy when you’re there.

Every time I wander around Solana Beach, my mind is racing with things I love about it. I wanted to write it all down, so no matter where I am in the world, I can always remember the beauty of this place.

Solana Beach,

I love your beach coves.

I love overlooking the ocean from the cliffs and watching the surfers.

I love the detail put into Fletcher Cove Park–mermaid and ocean art made through pebbles and stones, shells mixed in the concrete, sun mural at the entrance.

I love your succulents.

I love your sunsets and how everyone gathers to watch them.

I love your bars and breweries and winery (Pillbox, Chief’s, Pizza Port, Tidewater, Culture, Beer Works, Carruth Cellars, Saddle Bar)

I love your breakfast spots (Lofty Coffee, Beach Grass Cafe, Claire’s).

I love your music, whether it be live shows at Belly Up, 90s jams at Pillbox, or DJs at Saddle Bar.

I love your million dollar homes–although it would be nice if I could afford one ūüėČ

I love how dog friendly you are.

I love your bike lanes along the 101 where I can always watch people cycling by.

I love your proximity to the rest of North County–the gems of Del Mar, Cardiff, and Encinitas.

I love your design district, shops, and thrift store.

I love the ability to hop on the Coaster.

I love the sound of the waves crashing against your shores.

I love the farmer’s market you put on every Sunday.

I love that Rudy’s Taco Shop belongs to you–home of my favorite breakfast burrito.

I love watching new homes being built and wondering what people do for a living who own here.

I love your lizards, which thankfully haven’t wandered into our apartment yet.

I love being able to buy an acai bowl and eat it at the beach.

I love the pina coladas at Fidel’s.

I love your appreciation for the arts and the fact that you’re home to the North Coast Repertory Theatre.

I love seeing the different shades of blue of the sky and ocean when they meet at the horizon.

I love how you’ve only ever made me feel that life is beautiful.

 

 

 

9 Delightful Ways To Have The Best San Diego Summer

Tomorrow is the official start of summer, and I’m so happy to get to spend it in San Diego for the third time. I figured that sharing my summer bucket list for my favorite city in SoCal is the perfect way to kick it all off! By now I have my favorite activities narrowed down but also have a few new things I want to make happen. Without further ado, here are 9 things I can’t wait to do in San Diego this summer, in no particular order:

  • attend a dog surfing competition
  • party at a rooftop pool bar
  • sing and dance at KAABOO musical festival
  • sail around the bay on a catamaran
  • look cute and win money at Del Mar horse races
  • hang at the beach and maybe even bodyboard
  • watch a Padres game at Petco Park
  • hike somewhere new
  • SUP

This city obviously offers so much more, but these activities are a bit more seasonal and I want to use this post as a way to hold myself accountable and constructively use my time off (for those who don’t personally know me, I work full time in healthcare).

When we head into fall, I’ll follow this up with a recap post letting you know how much I accomplish. Cheers to Summer 2017!

What else do you think I should add to this list? What are you most excited to do this summer?

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5 Things To Do in San Diego When it’s Raining

San Diego = outdoor living. From hiking to surfing to beach hopping, you’ll best experience this city outside. It seems like¬†every restaurant has an outdoor section, and even the malls are mostly outdoors. This works well the majority of time but not so much on the occasional rainy day. I’ve struggled quite a bit trying to come up with things to do in San Diego when it’s raining, so I figured I’d share my best ideas and hopefully save you some time brainstorming ūüôā

Experience the indoor sections of breweries:¬†I usually bypass the indoor sections of breweries and head straight outside for the sunshine (can you blame me??). However,¬†the brewery game in San Diego is strong, and their indoor sections are impressive and worth spending time in. If you come to SD and don’t drink any craft beers, you’re doing it wrong. Check out Ballast Point in Miramar which is nautically designed to look like you’re underwater below a ship. Or visit Culture in Ocean Beach or Solana Beach which always has neat local art on display. Green Flash is another favorite (we always take our guests). The options are really endless and can get you through many hours of rain–just make sure to Uber or have a designated driver!

See a movie at a¬†luxury theatre: Rainy days are perfect movie-watching days, and they’re a great excuse to spoil yourself and go to a luxury theatre. Click the link to see what and why I recommend.

Cheer on the San Diego Gulls:¬†The Padres play outdoors so that won’t work, but bad weather won’t have any effect on your night at the Gulls game. It’s B-league hockey at its finest, with $2 beers every Friday and lots of fist fights.

Museum hop in Balboa Park: Bring an umbrella because there are some uncovered areas, but you won’t have to do much walking in the rain since¬†most paths are covered. Stay dry while experiencing as many museums as you can handle–there are a ton of options! Click here to decide which one(s) you want to visit.

Spa day twist–float in a sensory deprivation tank:¬†The weather might keep you indoors, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to try something new. While escaping the rain, why not escape¬†everything… like all your senses. I tried this a few months ago at Flot SD¬†after reading about it in San Diego Magazine. It’s a relatively new fad going around that sounded so interesting I had to check it out for myself. It’s basically really salty water that causes you to float in a dark, quiet tank. You can’t hear anything or see anything, and floating in zero-gravity conditions is such a strange sensation. During my float, the way time passed was SO WEIRD! I thought it could have been hours that went by¬†or just 30 seconds. Insider tip: use the earplugs they have available. I got water in my ears that lasted a few weeks after and probably impacted my thoughts on the experience as a whole. However,¬†I do recommend trying this at least once… I haven’t rushed back a¬†second time yet, but it was also such a unique experience that I find myself thinking about it again and again. Bonus: Flot SD is in a really cute neighborhood ūüôā

What do you like to do in San Diego when the weather isn’t cooperating?

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3 Unique Spots for Your Next San Diego Brunch

Not like the weather is ever horrible in San Diego, but all the rain we got this winter has kept us indoors more than usual. However, we’ve reached that time of year when each day is getting better and better. San Diego has so many great brunch options to enjoy year round, but as we see more sunshine, the urge to go increases. If you’re looking for something different to spice up your weekend brunch, I highly recommended the following ūüôā

1 . Karl Strauss: Brunch at a brewery

San Diego is home to over 100 breweries, some of which serve delicious food as well. Karl Strauss takes it a step further and puts on an amazing Sunday brunch. For the price, we can’t believe how good the spread is. You also get your choice of bottomless mimosas, a beermosa, or a beer flight. The service at Karl Strauss is consistently impressive, and each time we’ve gone they have brought out complimentary tasters of their beers as well. The location in Mira Mesa is my favorite because you can sit outdoors overlooking¬†a beautiful Japanese coy pond while enjoying the live music.

Priced at $27 for a 2 hour slot

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2 . Flagship Cruises: Brunch while boating around San Diego harbor

In my opinion, one of the best ways to experience San Diego is from the water. Why not do that over brunch? We did this cruise last year for Easter and loved it so much we’re doing it again this year. You can’t beat¬†the skyline views, cruising under the Coronado Bridge, and feeling the wind in your hair when you take your drink outside to enjoy the deck. My family and I were very happy with the food and probably went up for more 5 or 6 times haha. Bottomless mimosas are also included. Honestly, I don’t want anything to do with a brunch that doesn’t have bottomless mimosas. ūüėČ

Priced at $75 for a 2 hour cruise that boards 30 minutes prior to departure

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3 . Hotel Del Coronado: Extravagant brunch with a side of history

The Hotel Del is one of the most iconic buildings in San Diego. It has hosted 16 US presidents ranging from FDR to Obama, and it’s where the movie Some Like it Hot¬†starring Marilyn Monroe was filmed. Built back in 1887, it is now a National Historic Landmark and is worth checking out for that reason alone. If you plan to visit the Del you might as well experience The Crown Room Sunday brunch, too. The selection is insane and features several high end cuts of meat, seafood for days, and multiple alcoholic beverage options. Afterwards you can walk along the beautiful beachfront and work off some¬†calories.

Priced at  $96 for 3 and 1/2 hours

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Where’s your favorite place to brunch in San Diego??
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