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.
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.
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 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.