My husband and I recently went for a long San Diego weekend without our four kids. It was so much fun! San Diego is one of our favorite cities to visit, with or without the entire family. We stayed in the historic Gaslamp District, which was a first for both of us. One big benefit of staying in a downtown hotel is that we could walk or bike to so many places in the area. It was nice not to have to spend a lot of time driving around in traffic. Although we did have a rental car, it stayed parked most of the time.
We packed as many restaurants and activities as possible into our 3 day San Diego weekend. I didn’t even include any food photos in this blog post. Maybe I’ll do another one just focusing on all the good food we ate in San Diego! There are many amazing places to eat and drink in San Diego. I feel like we barely scratched the surface even though we spent a lot of time restaurant and bar-hopping in the downtown area.
I hope my San Diego vacation photos inspire you to visit San Diego, especially if you have never been. I love it there. It’s got warm weather, sandy beaches and so many things to do that it’s impossible to be bored. We already have plans to go back later this summer with the kids.
Unconditional Surrender statue San Diego, California
We rented DecoBikes (the city offers self-serve bike rental stands, it’s easy to swipe your card and rent a bike for an hour or two) to take for a spin around Balboa Park. There is so much to do here, you could visit every day all summer long and never do the same thing twice. Museums, gardens, theaters, and so much more. The hubby and I spent a couple hours biking and admiring the buildings’ beautiful architecture. Next time, we will have to plan to see a museum exhibit or any one of a million things there are to do at Balboa Park.
La Jolla Cove
This beautiful beach is one of the best San Diego beaches. It’s a must-see for me every time we visit San Diego because I love looking at the sea lions. The sea lions must not mind sharing the beach with all the tourists that come here every day.
La Jolla Cove is always super busy with kayakers, scuba divers, swimmers, sunbathers, you name it. If you get in the water, chances are you will have an encounter with a sea lion. Tip: Never forget they are wild animals and keep a respectful distance from them.
Patriot Jet Boat
We took a thrill ride on the Patriot Jet Boat. It was a sunny and warm day, so perfect for getting out on a boat in the San Diego Bay. The ride lasts about 40 minutes, most of which are spent at high speeds doing crazy spins and turns.
It’s a lot of fun and yes, you will get wet despite the ponchos they provide. (My poncho lasted about 5 minutes in the wind before ripping into shreds.) When we slowed down, we got to get pictures and unique views of San Diego scenery like the Coronado Bridge, naval ships and aircraft carriers, Embarcadero and Seaport Village. No sea life was spotted by us this time. but there’s always a chance you may see dolphins and sea lions. The crew was awesome and made sure everyone on the boat had a great time.
Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, Petco Park is the place to be when the Padres play in town. We were able to walk from our hotel right into the stadium. I hadn’t been to a pro baseball game in years, and forgot just how much fun it is to be at a game and feel the excitement in the air. I hope they are playing in town the next time we come to San Diego because my boys would love to go to a Padres game.
There are lots of nice places to catch a sunset in San Diego. The Seaport Village area is just one of them. It’s a nice place to stroll around after eating dinner in one of the local restaurants. We were able to walk from our hotel in the Gaslamp District to Seaport Village and Embarcadero. It wasn’t too far. We also rented DecoBikes to get around that area one evening. It was a fun and fast way to get around without having to take our car.
By the end of Day 1 of our San Diego weekend without our four children, my husband and I were already making plans to return WITH our boys sometime in August. Our kids are Californians at heart and were bummed to miss out on this trip. They fell in love with San Diego last year (see our visit to the San Diego Zoo.)
Next time, we are thinking we would like to explore the Coronado area (across the Coronado Bridge from San Diego.) It’s got an amazing beach, perfect for families. Plus, the option to bike around on city trails. My kids love to ride bikes on vacation. They have never been to Coronado, and I know they will love it.
Here’s an Instagram photo of me in front of one of the lux Coronado hotel. I would absolutely love to stay here one day!
What are your favorite San Diego attractions? Do you have a favorite hotel or restaurant? Let me know where we should on our next San Diego weekend in the comments below.