A San Diego Check List


So, i’ve been asked several times for a list of must see’s and to do’s in San Diego. Since i’ve retyped the list, dug through iMessage and Facebook threads to copy paste from one friend to another I figured i’d share it here for all my SoCal visitors and friends to see!

For anyone traveling to San Diego here are a few of my favorite beaches, hikes, restaurants, bars and things to do in the area!

Monkey see, monkey do… Must see’s in SD.


  • Coastal Hikes
    • Torrey Pines State Reserve
    • Ho Chi Min Trail
    • Sunset Cliffs
    • Cabrillo National Monument


  • Rent a beach cruiser! Cruise along south mission and the pacific beach boardwalk. Check out some local bike rentals here.
  • Paddle board on mission bay! Aquatic rentals here.
  • Shopping on Garnett Street, Fashion Valley, Mission Valley, La Jolla and Mission Beach.
  • Outdoor shopping malls:
    • Fashion Valley (Cheesecake Factory, YUM. I go here for a piece of home aka this is my new Providence Place).
    • UTC, La Jolla (Eat at lemonade – bomb buffet style food).
  • Watch a San Diego Sunset
    • Sunset spots: La Jolla Cove, Crystal Pier, Sunset Cliffs
  • Take a drive up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway)
    • Choose a destination and make stops along the way!
      • I recommend checking out the Hollywood Sign in LA and stopping in Orange Country, Newport, Laguna, Huntington, Venice or Santa Monica along the way.
  • Eat a California Burrito, I recommend La Perla. (If you want to switch it up get a breakfast burrito no breakfast potatoes in it sub fries, YEW!).
  • Catch happy hour anywhere during the week!


Food, food, coffee, beer and more food.


*A personal favorite*


  • Rum Jungle
    • Bob Marley bowl – with raw acai, pitaya no bananas extra strawberries. 
  • Java Earth
    • Honey vanilla latte and a PB bagel.
  • Better Buzz
    • Blended caramel buzz with almond milk.
  • The Little Lion
  • Swell Cafe
  • Holy Matcha – Instagram worthy wall paper.
  • Mission Beach Cafe – a hole in the wall but GREAT acai.




  • George’s at the Cove – Ocean Terrace
  • Tap Room
  • OB Noodle House Bar 1502
    • A FAVORITE FOR SURE. PB jameson shots – I hate Jameson and am obsessed with these you must try one! Also, banana bread beer, house special fried rice, PHO and their chicken wings… Drooling already.
  • Cannonball
    • Calamari and a sunset margarita.
  • Puesto
    • Filet Tacos
  • Barley Mash
    • Caged caesar salad & any of their specialty fry dishes
  • Sear Sucker
    • GOOD VIBES! Great food.


  • Vin De Syrah – underground wine bar
  • Rustic Root – rooftop bar
  • BangBang – sushi
  • Nobile Experiment – hidden speakeasy
  • Prohibition – speakeasy
  • ALTITUDE Sky Lounge – overlooks the city and PETCO park
  • BackYard Kitchen & Tap
  • Barley Mash
  • Pacific Beach Bars:
    • PB Shore Club
      • Redbull vodka slushies
      • Wednesday nights – fish races
    • Firehouse
    • PB Alehouse
    • Local
    • El Prez
    • Tavern
      • Good deals throughout the week, click here to check them out.
    • Moonshine Beach
    • Bajas
      • Horrible food but giant margaritas
    • Duck Dive
    • BareBack
      • Awesome burgers!



San Diego in a Nutshell: *must see*

  • Uptown:
    • North Park
      • “Best beer neighborhood in the nation”
      • Coin Op – (bar) adult arcade
      • Live theaters and musical shows
      • 30th Street (nightlife)
      • Ray Street – art galleries
    • Hillcrest
      • LGBT central hub
      • Pride festival (July)
      • University Avenue and Park Blvd (shopping and nightlight)
      • Farmers Market
        • Sunday’s 9am-1pm at the intersection of Normal Street and Lincoln
    • Balboa Park
    • San Diego Zoo
  • Downtown
    • Gaslamp (nightlife)
    • The Embarcadero
      • USS Midway and the Maritime Museum of San Diego
    • Seaport Village
    • PETCO Park
    • Little Italy
  • Coronado Island
    • Hotel del Coronado
  • La Jolla
    • Torrey Pines 
      • Torrey Pines Golf Course
      • State Reserve – Hiking
    • Birch Aquarium
    • La Jolla Cove
      • Shopping, restaurants (Prospect Street)
      • Seals
    • Ho Chi Min Trail 
      • Black’s Beach
      • Glider port
    • Avienda De La Playa
      • Kayak tours
  • Mission Bay & Beaches
    • SeaWorld
    • Belmont Park
    • Mission Beach Park
      • Firepits (no alcohol permitted – be careful police will ticket you!)
    • Pacific Beach
      • My hood!
  • Mission Valley & Old Town
    • Old Town Trolley Tours
    • Fashion Valley
  • East County
    • “San Diego’s Backyard”
    • Julian
    • Mission Trails Regional Park
      • Cowles Mountain
  • North County Coastal
    • Encinitas
      • Botanic Garden
      • Moonlight State Beach
    • Del Mar
    • Carlsbad Lagoon
      • Kayak, jetski
    • Oceanside Pier
  • North County Inland
    • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
    • Breweries & Wineries
      • Rancho Bernardo Winery
    • Palomar Observatory
  • Point Loma Peninsula
    • Liberty Station
      • Stone Brewing
      • Tide Pools
      • Cabrillo National Monument
    • Harbor Island
    • Shelter Island
      • Humphrey’s concerts at the bay
      • Bali Hai
        • Famous Mai Tai’s
    • Ocean Beach
      • Sunset Cliffs


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