We just got back from our amazing trip in California! We spend the whole time in La Jolla in parts of San Diego. I had been before a few years ago with my family, but Jacob had never been. We LOVE California. We try to come out around once a year. It is our favorite place to go on vacation because it has so much to offer – sunshine, mountains, beaches, and food. Last year we went to Santa Barbara / Ojai and LA (blog post recap here) and we had a blast. Cali is so special to us.
Our trip was 5 days long. We arrived Friday night and left on Wednesday afternoon. It was the perfect amount of time. We left our baby boy Miles with my in laws (major shoutout and thank you to them!) and got away on our first trip just the two of us. We also had our LA couple friend meet us for two nights, which was a blast.
We stayed in La Jolla because it is just so beautiful. Right not the water, gorgeous views and close proximity to other spots in SD we wanted to visit. The hotel we picked is called La Valencia. It was a gorgeous, historic, boutique style hotel. It was beautiful, quaint and had major European vibes. We were very happy here! The pool was amazing and it had a back entrance you could head right out to he ocean. The restaurant is also amazing and looks right over the coast.
Anyways, time to share our itinerary! I am also going to put a little section below of places that were recommended to us that we didn’t get to go to. Only 5 days, we had to make some choices.
⁃ We landed at around 6:30pm local time. We got a quick 20 minute Uber to the hotel and immediately went for dinner there on the patio. The restaurant is called The Med Room and it was amazing. The sunset was perfect. Seriously, a must if you are staying at the hotel. We got the heirloom roasted carrots, scallops and a charcuterie board. Of course, I had a nice glass of wine too to kick things off.
⁃ I legitimately woke up at the crack of dawn because of the time change and I am already an early riser. I was up at 3:30. Thankfully, I went back to sleep, but was up and at it at 5:30am.
⁃ Coffee at Better Buzz. We also got a breakfast here because it was super early!
⁃ Walked down to the La Jolla Coastal Walk. Gorg views along the cove and coast. Beautiful views of the homes.
⁃ Walked down back to the cove to see the seals and birds. Walked along the coast back south and passed by a cute coffee food truck. We got Ice coffee and matcha. It was called Hot Bevs Coffee.
⁃ Spent a few hours reading / relaxing by the pool.
⁃ Our friends arrived and we grabbed brunch at Sugar and Scribe. So good! Highly recommend caramelized pineapple mimosa!
⁃ We walked around the La Jolla downtown, did a little shopping and then hung out by the pool.
⁃ For Dinner we went to Old Town San Diego. It was a cute, very historic area with a ton of amazing Mexican food. We ate at an AMAZING spot called Tahona Bar. It was some of the best Mexican food I have ever had. The Corn croquettes are a MUST. We also got mezcal flights, margs, tacos and guacamole. The guacamole is also not to miss. SO GOOD!
⁃ Coffee and breakfast at the hotel. Best morning coffee views ever!
⁃ We drove to Torrey Pines State Park and did the reserve hike. It was gorgeous! Views of the coast were insane. It was a little cloudy, but still unreal.
⁃ Drove to Encinitas / Del Mar area to explore and have lunch. We ate at Goodonya which was delicious! I got the Cobb salad and fries. Amazing.
⁃ Spend the afternoon after that relaxing by the pool and just hanging with friends. More mimosas 🙂
⁃ Dinner at a famous spot called Georges at the Cove. The views were next level and the drinks were so fun! We really enjoyed our meal, but it wasn’t the best ever. Next time, I would just get drinks here and go eat somewhere else. Super picturesque!
⁃ Then we went to get dessert / gelato at Bobboi right at the cove down the street from the hotel. We ended up going here every single night. It was the gelato I have ever had and the flavors were unreal. OMG a must!!
⁃ Coffee and breakfast at Parakeet cafe. Super yummy healthyish / Australian style breakfast spot. Cute vibes! I got the Lox toast! Highly recommend. Jacob and I woke up early so we went on the coast walk again.
⁃ We walked down to the cove with our friends before they had to head back to LA.
⁃ We did a hike at La Jolla Heights Reserve. Short, but hard. We were the only ones there basically and the top had the most amazing sprawling views of the coast and the whole town. Absolutely stunning! Plus, you get to see some gorg homes because it is right in a neighborhood.
⁃ After this we drove to Coronado Island! We booked special massages at the Hotel Del Coronado. This hotel is HISTORIC and absolutely stunning. It is a spectacle. There are some super old parts and some brand new parts. Lots of places to eat, sit, relax. We grabbed lunch and drinks at the Beach Shack tacos. After that we got a massage each at the Spa at the Del. It was definitely a special treat that we booked last minute. My therapist was Jennifer and she was UNREAL. You can go early and take advantage of the beautiful pool, gym and facilities. Make sure to take note of when the spa closes so you can go back there to get ready / get your items. We stored our items there for the afternoon.
⁃ After our massages we spent some time by the pool. It was quiet and relaxing.
⁃ We had drinks at the Sun Deck at the hotel and then dinner at a new spot called Serea. It was coastal cuisine and literally right on the beach looking over the grounds. BEYOND beautiful and amazing. Highly recommend the local fish of the day, flash fried. It comes out as a whole and cut to easily enjoy. One of the best pieces of fish I have had. WOW. Everything else we got was amazing too.
⁃ Note – the ice cream shop at the hotel was not good. We went there and then tossed what we got to go to the Bobboi spot that we are obsessed with!
⁃ Explored some San Diego neighborhoods!
⁃ Coffee and breakfast at Breakfast Republic in Pacific Beach.
⁃ Drove the scenic drive down the Mission Bay and Mission Bay Park. So gorg!
⁃ Drove to Ocean Beach. It is a funky, surfer neighborhood that has a 60s counter culture vibe. Kinda reminds me of Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. We explored the shops and area, but didn’t spend too much time down there.
⁃ We heading to Liberty Public Market for exploring and shopping. It was awesome! We got beers at Bottlecraft and sat outside. They had an amazing selection of craft beer and Jacob found some his faves!
⁃ We got lunch at Puesto back in La Jolla. Street style tacos. It was delish. We also got the parm guacamole.
⁃ Spend the rest of the afternoon walking around the coast, hanging at the pool and then got ready for dinner.
⁃ Dinner at Bencotto in Little Italy. We went early to walk around and explore little Italy. Super cute area of downtown SD. I was very torn between which Italian spot to eat at, but ended up going with Bencotto bc of the cheese wheel pasta. It did NOT disappoint. The other spots we were looking at were Civico 1854 and Barbusa.
⁃ We got gelato one last time!
⁃ Coffee at the hotel and breakfast at The Cottage.
⁃ Packed up, returned the car and returned to the airport 🙁
Things we didn’t do or ate, but heard great things!
⁃ explored gaslamp quarter
⁃ San Diego zoo
⁃ More hikes! I love the all trails app to find ones near me
La Jolla eats:
⁃ sushi nekosan
⁃ Cali cream ice cream
⁃ The Taco Stand
– Jake’s (in Del Mar)
⁃ Civico 1845
⁃ Salt and straw
⁃ Taco stand
⁃ Bringantine (Coronado)