Sunny San Diego Photo Diary and Recommendations

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

To distract you from the fact that the holidays are over – and to inspire you to start dreaming of your next getaway – I'm continuing to share my photo diaries of our California road trip, with today's destination being sunny San Diego.

Nothing says, "Holidays are over" like the 542 emails waiting for you in your inbox yesterday morning. 

Am I right?

In light of this less-than-thrilling situation, it's only appropriate to dream of being anywhere but back at the office. You and I both know that Memorial Day isn't for another five months or so, which, for most of us, means it's approximately 150 days until the next vacation. 

To help you get your mind off this terrible predicament – and to get you dreaming of your next getaway – I'm sharing my photo diary of sunny San Diego.

Should you decide to thank me for my generosity, a one-way ticket to just about anywhere will do.

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

Sunny San Diego | FOXY OXIE

In case you were hoping for more than just photos, here are my favorite must-sees, must-eats and must-dos in sunny San Diego.

STAY: Wyndham San Diego Bayside

Located conveniently in downtown, this 3-star resort offers bay views on one side and the glittering lights of the city on the other. Check Hotwire or Priceline for less-expensive, last-minute rates, and I suggest parking your car on the street if you want to avoid the $20+ daily resort parking fee. Otherwise, the resort offers standard amenities, including free Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, onsite restaurant, bar and gym. The best part, however, about staying here is that not only are you near the bay (perfect for romantic evening strolls), but you're literally within minutes of some of the best restaurants and cafes. 

BRUNCH: Pappaleco

Located in the "Little Italy" neighborhood of San Diego, Pappaleco is a charming and cozy Italian cafe that serves panini, gelato and, of course, delicious coffee. You order at the counter, as the indoor space is extremely small, and eat at the quaint little outdoor eating area very similar to what you typically see on the streets of Italy or France. I recommend the salmon or prosciutto panini, Napoleon cake and all of the coffee options.

LUNCH: Puesto

Lunch at Puesto is a must for anyone visiting San Diego. The entire menu is delicious, so you simply can't go wrong. We ordered the mix 'n match tacos, so each person got to choose three flavors. I highly recommend the Chicken Al Pastor, Cochinita Pibil and the Zucchini Cactus tacos, all which were oh-so-delicious!

The cozy outdoor eating area is another major reason to visit Puesto. With ultra hip decor, ample greenery (including a living wall) and a super chill vibe, it's the perfect place to come for lunch and stay for dinner, if the weather is nice (which, it usually is). 

SHOP: Little Italy Mercato Farmer's Market

Every Saturday, year-round, rain-or-shine, local farmers and vendors meet on W. Cedar Street between Kettner Blvd. and Front St., offering fresh, California-grown produce, artisan foods, herbs, beverages, flowers and all sorts of specialty items.

We happened upon this little gem accidentally, as we were strolling back to our hotel after brunching at Pappaleco. The market is held from 8AM to 2PM, so I suggest skipping a formal lunch and heading here instead. Check out the Mercato Farmer's Market official website for more information.

DAY TRIP: La Jolla

Although I will be dedicating an entire blog post to La Jolla, I wanted to quickly mention it here, as it is definitely one of my favorite experiences from our days in San Diego. La Jolla is a charming seaside neighborhood surrounded on three sides by ocean bluffs and beaches and best known for the large populations of wild seals. I highly recommend walking as much of the seven miles of this hilly seaside community as you can handle – as much for the picturesque views of the ocean as for the people-watching.

Although it was late November when we visited, there were hundreds of people swimming and snorkeling, some even venturing out to where the seals were lounging. If you want a bit of a private oasis feel, head to the Children's Pool Beach (also known as Casa Beach), and follow the Children's Pool Observatory Walkway to the southernmost part of the walkway, and you'll find a partially secluded stretch of the beach that will feel like your own private island. When we visited, the Children's Pool Observatory Walkway was under construction, so we literally had to sneak down the cliffs down to the beach, which could possibly explain why there were so few people down there. Regardless, it's still not as busy as the main part of the Children's Pool right of Point Mercinger. 

Be honest, are you already planning your next vacation?

If so, where to?

Browse all other California road trip articles or the FOXY OXIE Travels page if you need some more vacation inspiration!

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28 Comments

  1. Pingback: Top 16 for 2016: Most Popular Posts of the Year

  2. Pingback: La Jolla Photo Diary

  3. What great photos Oksana! I specially like the one of a boat that looks like it has a spaceship on top. Whats going on there?

  4. I have never been to the West Coast! It looks so nice and warm there – well warmer than Maine :-) I have no idea where we will go on our next vacation, the warm months in New England are glorious though, so I always tend to stay close to home.

  5. You’re pictures along had me wanting to visit but then you really had me at an Italian brunch. San Diego is on my wanderlust wish list for sure now. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

    • Thank you so much!

      Oh yes, out of all the beauty California has to offer, San Diego is rarely at the top of anyone’s list. We were flying to the opposite end of the country to do a road trip up the Cali coast, so finding the least expensive airfare from Tennessee to California was a priority. For whatever reason, routes to San Diego had the best rates, which, in truth, is the only reason we added it to our list in the first place.

      But oh, what did we discover! It’s such a fun, warm and laid-back city – the quintessential California experience!

      Do you do much traveling yourself?

  6. California is one place that is on my list to visit this year. These beautiful pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I have never been to San Diego – I keep saying this is a place we need to visit some day soon. But flights to Cali from Chicago are always a bit outrageous. Love all your recommendations

  8. We are planning a big and long trip to Scotland in the summer. And for the local trips we are thinking of either California or Florida before the winter is over. I have never been to san diego, but it’s on my list! Looks like you had fun!

  9. San Diego is my favorite place on earth! I lived there in my childhood years and I miss it now that I live in the midwest where it is currently 33 degrees outside but feels like 22 :0 Hope you enjoyed your trip and have more great trips in the future!

    Cassie
    My Pop of Color

  10. I love San Diego! I have a very dear friend and his family that live there:) It is a beautiful place and so laid back…the people are awesome!

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