San Diego rests a few hours south of Los Angeles, just above the Mexico border. It is the quintessential Southern California town, known for its sunny weather, sandy beaches and delicious food.

Where Water Meets Wonder

La Jolla is just within San Diego and embodies the city’s small beach town vibes. It gushes with culture, mouth-watering food and quaint shops to explore. This neighborhood is ripe with elegant Spanish-style housing, held together with the charming small-town ambiance. Be sure to visit The Cave Store, a jewelry store located in downtown La Jolla. There, visitors can trace down 144 stairs to visit one of the many sea caves that dot the Southern California coast.

Photo: Zach Josephson on Unsplash

La Jolla Cove epitomizes the San Diego coastline, characterized by sandy sloping beaches and rugged sandstone bluffs. These ridges and crevices make for the perfect jungle gym to clamber and cool off on while enjoying the crisp Pacific Ocean waters. Stop by the locally hailed El Pescador for lunch, a fish market in downtown La Jolla that serves fresh marine life caught by local fishermen and cooked to perfection.

Hidden among the La Jolla beauty are three swings overlooking the waters, the most beloved of which lies near Birch Aquarium at Scripps University. It’s the perfect perch for a sunset viewing.

After a full afternoon of exploring, be sure to stop by Bobboi Natural Gelato for one of the best scoops of gelato in the town.

For the more adventurous beach-goers, Black’s Beach lies just a few miles north. Black’s Beach is a local and global destination known for the breathtaking hike to the water’s edge, its towering waves and of course, its still nudist traditions. Surfers and nudists (‘nakes’ to the locals) alike relish in the year-round sun, though surfers gravitate south where the waves are especially alluring, leaving the nudists to their peace on the northern stretch of Glider Port Trail.

Photo: Braden Jarvis on Unsplash

For hikers, San Diego boasts abundant hiking trails in the area, many with stunning ocean lookouts. Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve takes hikers through waterfalls, marshes and sycamore and oak tree groves. Sunset Cliffs Natural Preserve follows the cliff’s edge and, once travelers reach Point Loma, they are rewarded with the beauty and hidden worlds of the myriad tide pools.

After exploring the beaches of the area, wander Balboa Park, a 1,200 acres park home to 17 total museums, meandering trails, lush gardens and art exhibits. Balboa Park also houses the famous San Diego Zoo which is open to visitors and home to over 3,500 separate species.

If looking for a delicious and innovative meal to conclude an epic weekend, stop by Herb & Wood, headed by celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey whose team focuses on igniting Mediterranean flavors with classic Californian twists. This restaurant cultivates an eclectic yet elevated ambiance perfect for date night or a simple, elegant meal with loved ones. 

Written by Makenna Dykstra
Featured Photo: Earthly Beauties on Unsplash
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