With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego is often referred to as a surfer’s paradise. If you prefer to spend your time lounging on the beach rather than in the water, don’t let that deter you from hitting up SoCal’s chicest beaches, fun breweries and 5 star restaurants and resorts. Enjoy 48 hours in San Diego to explore beyond the stereotypical beach bum locations.
8AM CLAIRE’S ON CEDROS
Located in Solano Beach, Claire’s on Cedros has been named one of the best breakfasts spots on San Diego by a number of different magazines. After a few bites of their pumpkin Claire cakes (pancakes named after the owner) or the pear brioche french toast, you’ll understand all the well-deserved accolades. If sweets aren’t your thing, don’t worry. They also have many omelet specialties and benedicts that combine organic vegetables, fresh fish and unique spices.
10AM SAN DIEGO BEACH
Head to the beach. San Diego is famous for it’s wide beaches and incredible world-class surfing. Rent a board, try SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) in the bay, or just grab your umbrella and watch the pros. Remember to put sunscreen on whether the sun is shining or not. The intense marine layer covers the sun but not the rays and it’s easy to get burned after just a short amount of time outdoors.
1026 WALL ST. LA JOLLA, CA 92037
If you’re in downtown La Jolla, head to Puesto for upscale Mexican street food. Using all natural ingredients, homemade salsas and a variety of vegetables, Puesto serves fresh food fast in a casual and inviting atmosphere.
2PM MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM
Drive to Balboa Park for an afternoon at one of seventeen different museums. Check out the San Diego Art Institute for new exhibitions by local artists or if you’re traveling with kids or train enthusiasts, stop by the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the largest operating model railroad museum, that has four very large scale models and an interactive activity center for kids.
7PM GEORGE’S AT THE COVE
Make a reservation for George’s at the Cove terrace bistro for dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Start with the grilled octopus served with a paprika aioli sauce or the mango salsa fish tacos before sinking your teeth into the Asian marinated skirt steak with garlic spinach and buttermilk onion rings.
9PM FINCH’S BISTRO AND WINE BAR
7644 GIRARD AVE. LA JOLLA, CA 92037
Finish the day off with a nightcap at Finch’s Bistro and Wine Bar. This romantic little spot is the perfect place to relax and unwind, with live music and specialty wines.
9AM BEACH BREAK CAFÉ
1802 S. COAST HWY OCEANSIDE, CA 92054
Grab breakfast up the coast at Beach Break Café in Oceanside. This laid-back breakfast hut is a local gem with mind blowing menu items. Their banana nut French toast and omelet dishes that combine unique ingredients like Ortega chili and spicy salsa or bay shrimp and avocado are crowd favorites.
11AM SAN DIEGO ZOO’S SAFARI PARK
Head east towards San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park and take the Africa Safari tram ride. Fun for kids, adults and adults who act like kids, this attraction takes you through a large desert landscape habitat for some of Africa’s most interesting animals. You’ll get an up close view of giraffes, cape buffalos, rhinos, lions, antelopes and zebras.
5PM STONE BREWING CO
310 N. TREMONT ST. OCEANSIDE, CA 92054
Take a Brewery Tour of Stone Brewing Co in Escondido or Oceanside. San Diego has a thriving beer scene and Stone Brewing is one of the top breweries in the city.
For your last meal, indulge in the true decadence that is Market in Del Mar. This five star restaurant will exceed expectations for service, surprise your taste buds with interesting food pairings and spices, and deliver a perfect meal in a fast but cozy environment. Start with the hot and spicy chicken meatball soup, followed by the miso-glazed black cod and finished with their strawberry shortcake that is topped with candied kumquats.
WHERE TO STAY: THE GRAND DEL MAR
5300 GRAND DEL MAR WAY SAN DIEGO, CA 92130
Located about 25 miles from San Diego International Airport in North County San Diego is The Grand Del Mar, a luxury resort for outdoor enthusiasts and spa lovers alike. This retreat is unlike any San Diego experience and combines rich Mediterranean design with cool California comfort.