Plan Your Trip to San Diego California

San Diego, California, is a wonderfully beautiful and exciting place. We were lucky enough to be able to explore the area in May, all because we were able to get reasonably priced airline tickets. I highly recommend you plan your own adventure to San Diego, and here are a few ideas to get you started on dreaming up your very own itinerary to Plan Your Trip to San Diego California!

Itinerary Map For Plan Your Trip to San Diego California
Itinerary Map For Plan Your Trip to San Diego California

You can find the complete clickable Google Map for Itinerary Map For Plan Your Trip to San Diego California by clicking this link.

Staying in San Diego

When in San Diego, you’ll have plenty of choices for your lodging. However, I highly recommend booking this quirky treehouse Airbnb that we stayed in for our first night. It has its own private deck and is only blocks from San Diego Bay and about six blocks to Balboa Park.

Exploring Balboa Park

If you are taking a trip to the San Diego area, you absolutely must stroll through Balboa Park. It’s much more than just a park since it has 1,200 acres to explore. Fortunately, our morning walk from the Airbnb led us here. My soul was so refreshed and so revived after wandering through this beautiful place!

As we so often do, we also visited with a local artist and senior care professional while there. We had a wonderfully charming conversation—as you know if you follow my travels, I just have to capture all those purposes from people!

Even if you’re not up for getting to know strangers, you will still love all the gorgeous architecture in the park. There are also the rose gardens, full of fragrant flowers just inviting you to literally stop and smell the roses.

Plan Your Trip to San Diego California
Plan Your Trip to San Diego California

The USS Midway Museum

We moved on from the park to the USS Midway Museum where we were able to buy tickets for their aircraft carrier exhibition. The tour of the ship was just spectacular. We were able to get tickets for it because we went early enough in the day and the crowds were pretty small.

Plan Your Trip to San Diego California
USS Midway Museum San Diego California

As it turns out, the museum was closed down the day before our visit because the cast of the new Top Gun movie was on the carrier for a big event. Fortunately, we were able to tour the museum and enjoyed it immensely. Timing is everything! (And that reminded me to put Top Gun 2 on my list to watch as soon as possible.)

Plan Your Trip to San Diego California
Bob Hope Statues San Diego CA

We then headed over to the Bob Hope statues, which are a national salute to Bob Hope, and took a look at the military exhibit. Of course, this is the home of the great and famous World War II statue depicting the sailor coming home and kissing the nurse.

Plan Your Trip to San Diego California
Sailor Kissing Nurse

As usually happens on our travels, it was time for a meal, and we found the most delicious seafood at a local restaurant.

Hotel del Coronado

Even the hotels in the San Diego area are worth visiting for their beauty. Hotel del Coronado is a fairly well-known hotel and anyone can visit here, even if they are not staying in one of their grand rooms. Though it was spring when we visited, many people plan their San Diego visits near the holiday season. The hotel goes all out from about mid-November through the first of January, with plenty of Christmas trees and other décor sprinkled throughout the entire place. There is even an ice-skating rink overlooking the ocean vista, if you can believe it.

Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado

Exploring La Jolla

As you may already know, San Diego is a big city. La Jolla is one area of San Diego that’s referred to as “San Diego’s jewel by the sea.” What a jewel it is, indeed! The area has gorgeous beaches with the added bonus of towering mountains nearby. We chose an Airbnb closer to La Jolla so we could explore even more of this sparkling gem, which was brand new to us. Naturally, we wanted to take in every last detail.

Exploring La Jolla Plan Your Trip to San Diego California
La Jolla Cove 

The Beach at La Jolla

You might be surprised to learn this, but the water here is actually cold water from the currents swept down from Alaska. But that means it is absolutely teeming with wildlife and activity. We spotted seals and birds of all kinds as well as plenty of long-distance swimmers, artists, and vendors here.

The Beach at La Jolla
The Beach at La Jolla

Villa Pelagia

While in San Diego, you will want to take in the historic Villa Pelagia. It is a renovated home at La Jolla Shores Beach (just north of San Diego), and it is absolutely breathtaking. As a matter of fact, it is truly a castle—quite literally. Darwin Deason, a Texan magnate, and his wife, Katerina, built the place in an attempt to bring in a dash of the South of France to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It is known to locals as “The Sand Castle” both because of its imposing size as well as its beige façade. I can see the sand castle resemblance, but it certainly is much more palatial.

Villa Pelagia La Jolla California
Villa Pelagia La Jolla California

University of San Diego

If you’re not familiar with San Diego, it may come as a surprise, but visiting the University of San Diego is definitely a must-have on your own itinerary. For one thing, the campus is quite beautiful. Their collection of architecture is quite interesting and includes the modern Geisel Library on the main campus. It’s named in honor of Audrey and Theodore Seuss Geisel who was, of course, none other than Dr. Suess, the renowned children’s author.

Geisel Library University of San Diego
Geisel Library University of San Diego

The Fallen Star

Then there’s “Fallen Star,” which is a small blue cabin literally hanging off the edge of a building—that’s amazing on its own, but it is also a full seven stories up in the air. Located on Jacobs Hall (AKA Engineering Building 1), it’s actually the 18th addition to a famous collection of site-specific sculptures on the campus. The cabin itself was constructed in 2011, then hoisted 100 feet into the air where it was then attached to Jacobs Hall.

It is certainly something to see. For some, it might conjure up images of Oz, with visions of a tornado-tossed interloper from Kansas. For the more biologically minded among us, it might look to them like a small blue creature living in symbiosis with its much larger host. Either way, it’s a pretty amazing sight to see, and you can take it in from multiple vantage points on and off campus.

 

The Fallen Star University of San Diego
The Fallen Star University of San Diego

The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier is part of the university’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It’s beautiful, of course, extending out into the rolling blue ocean. But it also serves a purpose. The pier is part of a research facility here that contains stations to monitor the environment and facilitate diving and boating operations. This is definitely worth visiting if you are near the campus.

The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier
The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

La Valencia Hotel

When you get hungry on your travels, and you will, you will want to consider dining at La Valencia Hotel. It has Spanish tiling and a beautiful pink exterior, making it a must-see landmark in the La Jolla Cove area. And that doesn’t even mention the views of the ocean, which are exquisite. Though we didn’t stay at the hotel, we did stop in for a delightful brunch.

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Hiking in Torrey Pines

Another interesting fact about San Diego: not every attraction is contained within the city itself. Our Californian adventures came to close with a picturesque hike in Torrey Pines, which is several miles north of the city. We immensely enjoyed our hike here, with more fantastic views of the sparkling water and soaring blue skies.

Hiking in Torrey Pines
Hiking in Torrey Pines

Visiting San Diego, California

San Diego is a city brimming with adventures. You will have your pick of things to do, whether you stay for just a few nights or stay for two weeks. No matter what your interest, it will be hard to be bored visiting San Diego. These are a few of the must-see sites to get you inspired to plan your very own wonderful trip to San Diego, California.  If you have any questions be sure to contact us, and until next time, get out and capture the adventure!

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Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website
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