Metropolitan Meandering: San Diego

Our first major trip after we had D was to beautiful California for a wedding of a dear friend. We flew in to San Diego, and enjoyed several busy days there. D was 6 months old, and enjoyed all the fun as we ran around and explored San Diego (as well as other parts of California, but I will leave that for another post or two). So here are some suggestions for things to do in San Diego:

San Diego Zoo

You want entertainment in San Diego, go to the zoo. This zoo was absolutely incredible. Z and I enjoy zoos, and we debated if we wanted to spend the money to go to the zoo, since it is pretty pricey for our standards. We decided to spend the money, and we couldn’t have been happier. We spent 7.5 hours in the zoo, and we saw almost all the areas. We didn’t take time to enjoy any of the shows, but loved wandering through the various exhibit areas, including an amazing jungle-like area that you can explore on the ground and in a suspended walkway in the trees. D had a blast watching the animals, seeing birds up close in the aviary, and looking out above the zoo from the sky tram. It was a fantastic place, and we highly recommend a visit.

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Meerkats are awesome. Well, I guess this one was exhausted, but still awesome. And this may have been how I felt all day thanks to a baby who didn’t love sleep…

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Looking out over the San Diego Zoo on the sky tram.

Balboa Park

The largest park in San Diego, we ventured to Balboa Park to play a round of disc golf. It was a unique course, and we enjoyed some time in the beautiful park. In this gigantic space, there are a variety of outdoor activities, gardens, and a museum campus. One of the museums is the Centro Cultural de la Raza, a museum dedicated to Mexican, Latino, and Chicano culture. There are various free days for the museums if you check online. There are several playgrounds for kids, a carousel, and a miniature railroad. The San Diego Zoo is also on the grounds. Since the zoo takes pretty much a whole day on its own, Balboa Park is definitely worth returning to for the other awesome sights and museums.

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Z enjoying a round of disc golf at Balboa Park.

La Jolla

La Jolla is a neighborhood in San Diego, right along the ocean. It’s quite fancy, but also a little bit quirky. The La Jolla cove is a great place to swim, and is quite popular, which means, parking is a nightmare. Really, parking is a nightmare all over this area of San Diego in particular. We really enjoyed our time playing at the edge of the water, since it was a bit too chilly to swim, and it was a beautiful cove. Just south of the cove is the Children’s Pool, a small part of shoreline that was blocked off a little to try to make a safer place to swim, but because it is a nice spot along the water, the area was taken over by seals and sea lions. It’s now a tourist attraction to see all of the seals and sea lions along the beach and on the surrounding rocks. There were also a lot of sea birds. It stinks to high heaven, thanks to the animals, but it was a fun place to visit. Briefly. For as long as you can take the smell.

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Enjoying our first dip in the ocean in La Jolla Cove.

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Seals and sea lions at the Children’s Pool.

Sunset Cliffs

Another free activity in San Diego is a visit to the Sunset Cliffs. The sunset cliffs were a little park right along the ocean, with beautiful views and cliffs. We did visit right around sunset, and the whole area was lit in a golden light. It was gorgeous. Parking was easy, and we mostly had the place to ourselves. Well worth the visit.

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The beautiful Sunset Cliffs at sunset.

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Another part of the Sunset Cliffs.

Food Recommendations:

There are so many food choices in San Diego, and so many absolutely delicious options, it’s hard to come up with suggestions, but I will try. There is the iconic burger chain, In-N-Out Burger. You should check out secret menu items online, Z loved his burger “animal style.” We also enjoyed a place called Crazee Burger, where I had a Muddy Pig burger that included Nutella, bacon, and fried plantains. YUM. We had some delicious fresh ceviche and tacos (I had yellowfish taco, Z tried the thresher shark taco) at Mitch’s Seafood down by the marina in San Diego. At the wedding, we had incredible enchiladas among other Mexican foods from El Indio Mexican Restaurant. I know there are many more amazing palces to eat, and unfortunately, we had limited time in San Diego to try them all.

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Z is thrilled to have In-N-Out Burger!

Lodging:

We went off our normal AirBnB track, and stayed at a motel near the marina when we went to San Diego. The price was right, the location was great, and the reviews were good, so we decided to stay at the Dolphin Motel. We were so happy with that decision. The room was very small, but it was clean, and they had a nice breakfast. The staff was incredibly kind and helpful.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time in San Diego, and we can’t wait to go back someday. From the sights, to the food, to the fabulous temperature, San Diego is a great place to go.

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