San Diego, California: What to See & Where to Eat?

San Diego, California, well known and praised for its perfect weather. The average temperature round off from 70 – 75 F degrees year round! I know most San Diegans that grew up here take the weather for granted. If only they tried living in another state for a year, they’d come to learn that San Diego’s weather is hard to find anywhere else! Although, as I am writing this post, it is 98 F degrees outside (I’m in San Diego), I always have complete access to the many beaches to cool down.

What place to visit in San Diego?

The year 2020 is the year people would remember most; but not in a good way. While Covid-19 is still roaming the country, it is safe to say that everyone is DONE locking themselves up at home. Many people are breaking lose by taking advantage of cheap hotel deals, low gas prices, and time off work to explore the country. One such place that many out of state visitors want to visit is San Diego! Here are some of the places that I would recommend you MUST visit while in San Diego, as well as some of San Diego’s must eat places.

1. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is probably one of San Diego’s most visited tourist attraction. It has a combination of everything that San Diego is known for: Coastal scenery, beach, sea lions, piers, shopping, fine dining restaurants, and many more. The natural rock ledges makes for great photography, especially during sunrise and sunset. You can take a stroll along side of the cove to discover new scenery for plenty of pictures to show off on your social media pages. Rent a kayak and paddle your way through the caves and get up close and personal with the sea lions that are taking a swim (though… I wouldn’t recommend petting them). One thing to keep in mind though; sea lion poops a lot! One might find it not so pleasant because of the smell to the area where the sea lions are at. Good thing they require masks now?

If you are an adventurer that wants to hike the beautiful trail and experience the coastal sunset view, a few minute drive North of La Jolla is Torrey Pines State Reserve. There you can take in a more relaxed atmosphere with less hustles and bustles from the crowd.

Where to eat at La Jolla?

La Jolla is considered one of the fancy place to visit in San Diego. The nice villas overlooking the coast, the high end shopping strips, the many tourists that visit, makes it not a cheap place to eat. But if you got the bucks to cover and cost is not a problem, you can dine fancy at these few recommendations:

  • Shorehouse Kitchen: An american eatery that only does breakfast and brunch. This restaurant has a laid back San Diego vibe theme. They’re famous for their french toast, and eggs benedict. They are pet friendly, with a seperate menu catered just for dogs! Make sure to check their operation hours online before making the trip.
  • George’s At The Cove: An American Fusion eatery that incorporates Italian, Mexican, and Mediterranean cuisine. Their menu changes depending on the season. Located at a prime position that overlook the coast, with options of dining out door on it’s terrace level or bottom indoor dining. This restaurant has the best seats in the area for fine dining with a view.
  • Himitsu Sushi: A small, modern, yet traditional sushi restaurant right in the heart of La Jolla. The sushi bar and open kitchen is super tight. It’s amazing how crafted they can be at their art with such a small space. The chefs are friendly and active. Sushi is my forte. I’m a sushi chef for 17 years, so I have a keen taste when it comes to fresh fish and sushi rice criticism. The quality at Himitsu is one of the best in San Diego. Price is as expected because of the location and quality. If you like traditional sushi, you should definitely check this place out.

2. Coronado Island

Across Downtown San Diego, is Coronado Island. Half naval base, and half civilian occupants. Though many calls it an island, it is actually a ‘tombolo’. You can learn more of what that is HERE. The Coronado bridge, which is a little over 2 miles long with an elevated span of 1,880 ft, connects the island to Downtown San Diego. Another way of getting to the island from downtown is by ferry. The island’s ferry landing is a great spot to ponder in the evenings. The lights of tall skyscrapers from downtown casts down upon the water and creates a luminous scenery for everyone to spectate. You can enjoy your stay at the famous Coronado Hotel which is literally steps away from its famous beach! During the winter holiday season, an ice rink for ice skating is put in the hotel’s courtyard. Ice skating with a beach view? Only in San Diego.

Where to eat in Coronado?

Coronado is a small place, so there’s not much food variety to choose from. But there’s still great food you can definitely hunt for on this tiny island. Here are the treasure you might find worth tasting:

  • Garage Buona Forchetta: This rustic vintage Italian shop is a mix of a market, brewery, and restaurant. Hard to picture this in your mind? It is unique in its own way. You can dine, wine, and take a bottle of wine or brew with you!
  • Lobster West: Who says you need to travel to Maine to enjoy a good lobster roll? Unfortunately, Maine lobsters are not restricted to only Maine, nowadays. Overstuffed lobster rolls are juicy and well seasoned. Make sure you enjoy it with a beer!
  • Little Frenchie: There are not too many french restaurants in San Diego. Im safe to say that this is one of the better French bistro to experience. They have escargot if you want to experience the taste of Paris? It’s a neat little bistro. The atmosphere gives you swift of Frenchiness? You would have to come yourself to taste and see yourself! Bon appetit!

3. Seaport Village

Seaport Village is at the edge of Downtown San Diego; right across from Coronado Ferry Landing. There are many gift shops and boutiques set up for tourists to scavenger through. You can visit the USS Midway Museum; a retired aircraft carrier which was transformed into a museum for everyone to exhibit. Strolling down the harbor, there are plenty of boats and cruise ships to admire. You can also book tours and other activities at a booth you can find in front of the Broadway Pier or look and book activities ahead of time HERE. If you are visiting early Saturday, The Tuna Harbor sets up a mini local fisherman market, which you can get fresh seafood straight from the boat!

Where to Eat Downtown San Diego?

There are so many choices to make here. I will give you a few choices with different price ranges. Remember, these are prime tourist attraction area, as well as high priced real estate, so the price is a bit steep for locals. But if you’re a tourist, you’re here to spend money right? I will recommend you where the right place for you to spend your money, so that you don’t leave feeling disappointed.

  • Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: This fine dining restaurant is well known for its Tomahawk Steak. It’s as if you come to a fine dining experience for them to bring you a caveman’s meal! How ironic. But interesting. And tasty! You’ll leave this place feeling full like a king/queen. Make sure to loosen up your belt when you leave!
  • Hodad’s Burger: This hipped out joint is very… how do I say… wild? Full of stickers, license plate, skateboards, surfboards, and so many things going on at the same time! Maybe that’s why they have a wildly chunky burger. I could tell you that it will be hard to take a full bit of their burger; it’s HUGE! Down it with a beer!
  • Tom Ham’s Lighthouse: A little bit down from Seaport Village harbor, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is a unique restaurant. The view is perfect! It stands alone and away from the city crowd, making it a perfect fit for many couples’ venue choice. The restaurant itself is like a little museum when you enter. I would recommend coming here Sunday for their brunch buffet. Sunday is the ONLY day they serve brunch buffet. Lobster claws, crab claws, fresh scallops on half shell, oysters, fresh to order omelets, fresh to order pasta, and a lot more variety to choose from. Check what’s on the menu on that day and make reservations!

Other Places in San Diego

There are many places to cover in San Diego, and I can probably go on about it for too long. Here are some other places and activity in San Diego; attached are links where you can purchase tickets instead of waiting in line :

Other Scenic View to Explore

Here are some other beaches and places you can explore while in San Diego.

Other Places to Eat in San Diego

When you are in San Diego, the one food you MUST try is the Mexican Food! It is safe to say that our Mexican Food is so much better than anywhere else! While there are many other food that are good also, Los Angeles would be a better place to cover those other food category (in later posts & video). One food category that San Diego beats Los Angeles, is Mexican food! Here are the list of Mexican eateries that I believe is worth a stop while in San Diego.

P.s. Get the California Burrito! Or the Surf n Turf burrito! orrrrr… our Fish Tacos!! Those are my go to.

Are you hungry for San Diego yet? Come and see what the all the rave is about in this city of mine! Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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