Looking to take a short excursion in SoCal, then look towards taking a trip to San Diego. San Diego may be one of my favorite cities in the US, with sunshine, surf, and lovely terrain, its a great spot to check out for a while or for a mini-break.
If you only have a short time in this lovely city, here is a haute itinerary to ensure you make the most of it!
- Day 1: Arrive in San Diego
- Day 2: Exploring the coast
- Day 3: Wine tasting in Temecula
- Day 4: Depart San Diego
Day 1: Arrive in San Diego
Catch a great view as you glide into the city from the airport…it’s right near downtown, and gets you great and fast access to the whole city. I love coming into San Diego Airport, just catching a view of the marina makes it feel like vacation.
After settling in, head over to Balboa Park for an afternoon stroll. Balboa park is an absolutely beautiful sanctuary in the city, with old Spanish-style architecture, and wonderful grounds, including the Botanical Gardens and other museums all housed within the park.
After a stroll, head to the gas lamp district for dinner and more, in the bustling heart of downtown San Diego. The Gaslamp District was once lit with, you guessed it, Gas Lamps, and those lamps can still be seen today, though now they burn electric.
Stop into one of the top spots, Seersucker, for a patio seat, or a spot inside the cool, hip restaurant. Dine on everything that is SoCal comfort food, from brie cheese, to fresh cheese, and piquillo peppers; topped off with a decadent dessert.
Day 2: Exploring the coast
After a night in the gas lamp, which gets pretty rowdy if you stay late, you can head towards some detox with the Californian cure, a hike in the lovely outdoors. Finding a spot may be your biggest challenge, but I recommend the renowned Torrey Pines, to kick off your San Diego hiking experiences. It is breathtaking and totally worth the up hill trek to the visitors center. When you pick your route, you can head down to the beach, and catch some amazing vistas and rock formations along the way! This hike took us about 2.5 hours, and was moderate, so not for everyone.
After a hearty hike, you need a healthy meal, and there is no place better than True Food Kitchen in San Diego to get your healthy food fix. True Food Kitchen is the brain child of the famous Dr. Weil, who’s stamp makes this healthy food haven a noteworthy one. However, the food speaks for itself – its natural and tasty, a winning combo. We feasted on some goodies like the chili shrimp and the edamame dumplings, along with fresh juice drinks to wash it down.
After a shower and some relaxing, you may be ready to think about dinner. A great pre-dinner (or post dinner) spot is the lovely Vin de Syrah wine bar. It’s an Alice in Wonderland themed bar, with whimsy at every turn.
After a wine or wine cocktail, hit the #1 spot to try in San Diego is William Blais’s Juniper and Ivy. This spot is an eclectic fusion spot, focusing on a bit of comfort and nostalgia, with a California mindset. We even got to meet Richard, which was an amazing top off to the evening. The drink to die for was the sweet and salty Friendship Garden (gin, lemongrass, green tea and yuzu foam).
Day 3 – Wine Tasting in Temecula
No trip to California is complete without a little wine tasting, and if you have the time, jump on the Grapeline (a service from San Diego to Temecula) and ride through Temecula wine country. This is a super fun experience, and features a variety of wines, many with a sweet touch. If you like your dessert wines, you will appreciate the Almond Champagne from Wilson Creek, or if you go for something bolder, try an Opulente Red from Miramonte. The landscape is lovely, and the heat in the region gives these wines a different character from northern California wineries.
After your journey, grab a bite in Old Town, and head back to catch a San Diego sunset as you wrap up your trip. If you are heading east, it may be early, so soak in all the lovely city has to offer.
Hope this inspires your next journey to San Diego! A favorite haute travel city in the US. Bon voyage!