Many head west for a break from the chilling east coast winter and who could blame them, but for me, it was the New York humidity I needed to escape from this year. The first stop on our Californian road trip was San Diego and man was I glad to have the fresh sea breeze in my hair and smell the sea in the morning, even if we only got to stay for 24 hours in San Diego.
Landing by midday from the East Coast, pick up a car, dump your bags in the trunk and head straight to Balboa Park, which is more like a collection of historic building and museums, but none the less still beautiful to stroll through. Check out the Botanical Building, you will feel like you are in a rainforest.
If you are like me, and always thinking about your stomach, then you need to sample some of the fresh seafood San Diego had to offer. I read about Ceviche House, a small neighborhood joint that sources locally produced fish, with daily menu changes based on what is brought to the market each day. Very well priced too!
Check out Mission Beach and do what the locals and tourist alike do. Hire beach cruisers, ride up and down the esplanade, stopping for a shake and acai bowl of course.
Spare a moment to walk around Old Town as it does hold historical prominence as the first site for Spanish settlement on the U.S West Coast, though in my opinion, has probably become more commercialized now.
We decided to take some food to go and made our way to Sunset Cliff, which from the name, could guess there is a pretty amazing sunset show to enjoy.
End the night exploring the Gaslamp Quarter, the heart of the city’s nightlife. You could simply enjoy alfresco dining and boutique shopping or depending what kind of night you are looking for, line dance it up at the Honky Tonk bar or dance on the bar at the Coyote Ugly. There is something for everyone.
La Jolla is the seaside community even with just 24 hours in San Diego it should not be missed. I recommend going early morning to get the most out of it. Depending what time you arrive, you can see the sea lions and seals on the sand be woken up from their slumber by waves crashing on the shore. Some will even be taken into the water by the tide without waking up. Watching these guys really was a comedic show, a smelly comedic show, but a good one.
Once you get over the smell and get your appetite back, head up the hill to Cody’s for a great brunch. Cody’s is another SD eatery that sources local fish daily for the menu. The Crab Cake Benedict had a hint of Mexican influence and while I didn’t order it, the ‘Awesome French Toast’ was drool-worthy.
After a good feed, we were ready to hit the road up the coast. Next stop; Laguna Beach. 24 hours in San Diego is never long enough I know, but with the time you have, make sure you get the most out of it. There will always be something you miss which means you will just have to go back, right!
Herstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.
Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.