24 Hours in San Diego

For those of us living in crowded, busy LA, a weekend in San Diego feels like a true getaway.  Only a little over two hours away, the relaxed vibe, friendly locals and proximity to the beach are just what any Angeleno needs to get away and come back feeling refreshed. Here’s your guide to get the most out of a quick trip.

Saturday

7:30 AM – EARLY BIRDS

Start your drive early to avoid traffic and head for Mission Beach to enjoy the morning sun. Grab coffee and a yummy pastry at The Olive Cafe across from Mission Beach (805 Santa Clara Place. www.olivecafe.biz).

 11:00 AM – SURFIN’ USA

Try a new sport and get a great workout by taking a surf lesson at the Pacific Surf Co. Classes are about two hours and can be group or private. (858.488.2685. www.pacificsurf.org)

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1 PM – GET CRAFTY

Drive a short way to Old Town San Diego to stroll through the Old Town Artisan Market on Harney Street to check out handmade crafts, art, jewelry, pottery and more (www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com).

2 PM – IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE

Enjoy traditional tortillas, lunch and margaritas at one of the many Mexican restaurants in Old Town. Miguel’s Cocina has fresh food, outdoor seating and delicious margs! (2444 San Diego Avenue. 619-298-9840. www.brigantine.com/miguels_cocina/)

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3 PM – GO GASLAMP

Check into your hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. The Hilton Gaslamp has a beautiful view of downtown, nice rooms, friendly front desk and street parking available to avoid the hefty hotel parking fee. (619-231-4040. 401 K Street. www3.hilton.com).

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6 PM – HAPPY HOUR

The Gaslamp Quarter seems to have an endless supply of restaurants and bars. Easy to walk and explore, find a bar or pub to enjoy happy hour before dinner. Try The Hopping Pig for a relaxed atmosphere and delicious cocktails (619.546.6424. 748 5th Ave. www.thehoppingpig.com).

8:00 PM – DINNER TIME!

Dinner at Searsucker is a must. Be sure to make reservations for this popular restaurant owned by Brian Malarkey, Executive Chef and Top Chef Season 3 contestant. Try the Kobe Carpaccio with hearts of palm and shitake bacon and Cheddar Puffers to start.  The Tuna wrapped in prosciutto with balsamic and basil is AMAZING or the Baquetta “Baja” with drunken cherries and smokey almonds will have you licking your plate clean (619.233.7327. 611 Fifth Avenue. www.searsucker.com).

10 PM – NIGHT CAP

 Head to Quality Social, only a few blocks away for after dinner drinks. A fun late night atmosphere with a photo booth and a delicious cucumber cocktail (619) 501-7675. 789 6th Avenue. www.qualitysocial.com).

Sunday

10 AM – DON’T HIT SNOOZE

Time to pack up and head to Hillcrest for breakfast. Have a small coffee and snack on the way because you are in for at least an hour wait at the uber popular Snooze Eatery. From dishes like Havana Daydreaming (Free-range house pulled pork, sliced ham, jack cheese, homemade pickles and a sunny side egg with Dijon hollandaise served open face on a hoagie roll) to OMG! French Toast (Fresh brioche stuffed with mascarpone and topped with vanilla creme, salted caramel, agave soaked strawberries and toasted coconut) and Pancakes galore, this is the place to pig out before heading home. (619.500.3344. 3940 5th Ave. www.snoozeeatery.com).

– Kelly

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