One of my New Year’s resolutions is to explore more. I love to travel and I really want to start making the most of the cities and countries that I visit in 2016, so I’ll be taking you along with me!
I’m from Fresno, California and my family often vacations in Oceanside, CA right outside of San Diego. When we’re all together, we pretty much hang by the pool and enjoy each other’s company, but this Christmas I decided to take in San Diego more than I usually do. I spent a couple of nights on my own, then I met up with my family for more adventures.
I think we all know about the San Diego Zoo and the other theme parks, but here are 9 things that I’d suggest doing in San Diego:
1.) Stay at the Grand Hyatt, Manchester
The Manchester Grand Hyatt, was an awesome mix of “staycation”, walking tourism and adventure. The property has a spa, multiple pools with cabanas and a really friendly staff who made me feel taken care of. My corner King suite had breathtaking views of the water and the city. It was awesome to wake up to bright sunny views every morning, it was the perfect alarm clock. There are a few other reasons you’ll want to stay here, but I’ll get to that in a bit…
2.) Eat Breakfast
One of my favorite meals while traveling is breakfast. When I’m on vacation, I can actually take time and enjoy a meal that I normally rush through during my regular life. My first morning at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, I ordered breakfast in bed. The next morning I went to their Sea View restaurant.
Tip: If you use the hashtag #LivingGrandSD on social media, the hotel will send you a link to unlock some cool deals, including a discount code for breakfast at the Sea View restaurant.
Even though I was there for breakfast on a Week day morning, the Sea View was pretty packed, so I wasn’t able to get a table with an actual view of the sea. If you’re in a regular booth, it kind of feels a little more like a cafeteria, but the food is sooooo good!
At the end of my meal, my waitress brought me a coffee to go, which I thought was really sweet. (Coffee is my love language lol).
3.) Get a Workout In
The gym at the Grand Hyatt is one of the nicer hotel gyms I’ve used. The room has windows on all sides with views of the water. The machines and equipment are in great condition and there is so much space to move around. One lady was doing lunges across the floor, while a couple was on medicine balls together and no one was in the way.
There’s also some great hiking trails in San Diego, some of which will take you right to the beach!
4.) Walk to Seaport Village
Seaport Village is shopping right on the water (two of my favorite things). Living in NYC, I’m fine with or without a car. I like to visit cities that encourage walking and Seaport Village was a cute little walk from my hotel. They also have little restaurants with live music. There are lots of friendly tourists and since I was traveling solo for the first part of my trip, I handed my camera off to two adorable girls who didn’t speak english and between the three of us we got this photo to happen.
5.) Sunset Drinks at Top of the Hyatt
I grew up watching the sun set over the Pacific ocean and that’s one of the main things I miss about California. There’s nothing like it. The Top of the Hyatt is the highest view in San Diego and watching the sunset from 40 floors up is pretty sweet.
I curled up in one of their comfy chairs with a glass of Malbec and just took it all in. I happened to have my laptop with me and the views were so inspiring that I wrote this post.
6.) Coronado Island
I’ve already been snorkeling in La Jolla Cove, so this time when my family arrived we drove over to Coronado Island for the day. Being there in December, I loved seeing the ice-skating rink they had set up on the beach. The water wasn’t warm enough to get into the ocean but we had a fabulous time on the beach. We had high tide, but most of the time you can catch a glimpse of little sea creatures in the tide pools.
7.) Visit the Sandcastle Man
I’d seen the Sandcastle Man of Coronado Island on YouTube, so I was really hoping to run into him and on Christmas Eve, there he was! His name is Bill and he’s so sweet, its really adorable to see how happy he is to watch everyone taking pictures with his creations.
He was even calm and gracious when a little kid got loose from his parents and tried to climb on the castle… eek!!!
Everyone around the castle takes photos of each other which is how my family was able to get this postcard-worthy pic of my family. Hooray for nice people!
8.) Moo Time Creamery
Best. Ice-Cream. Ever.
9.) Photo Booth
Before we left Coronado Island, my sisters and I jumped into a photo booth. Its actually right outside Moo Time Creamery, so you can snap a pic and then sit outside with your cones… a perfect way to end your day!
Living in NYC, I hear people talk about visiting LA and San Francisco all the time, but don’t discount San Diego. The weather is amazing and there are lots of cool things to do… In San Diego you’re also close enough to do a quick jaunt over to Mexico which is also on my list of things to do.
If you’ve got even 48 hours and the desire to explore San Diego, this list is a good place to start.
Sponsored by the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego. All opinions are 100% mine, of course.