So, you’ve got a weekend in San Diego. You may notice there’s more than one thing to do here. Every corner opens up the opportunity for another experience, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to go and what to do.
Well, as someone who came here to “visit” and decided not to leave for that very purpose, let me tell you:
I feel you.
However, when one of my friends came down for a weekend visit, here’s where we managed to go (and eat).
San Diego’s Must-See: Balboa Park
If you come to San Diego, you can’t not go to Balboa Park. It’s one of the most popular areas in town, and for good reason.
Between the museum options (that are all working their way back toward opening), the nature walks, the gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo, even an hour walking around in Balboa Park is completely worth the experience.
If you are planning on visiting the zoo, I’d recommend buying your tickets ahead of time. At least as of this writing, there’s a separate line for COVID checks. The standard taking of the temperature and acknowledging the symptoms takes place, but with the separate line, it can take a while just to get in.
As for me, I’m very excited about the reopening of “The Museum of Us,” because I will be all over that as soon as I can — aka, it opens on April 21, 2021, the same day as this post comes out :).
Since we were on a time schedule, we opted not to stick around in the huge crowds, but hey — I’ve got all the time in the world to come back now.
North Park: A Favorite San Diego Suburb
It may be too early for me to make a final judgment, but so far, I think North Park might be my favorite neighborhood.
Between the artsy vibe, the food scene, and the general feeling in this neighborhood, I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time over here.
Plus, parking isn’t the worst thing here. Parking in San Diego can be a bit of a rough topic, but with a plethora of 2-hour spots and even some free ones, the lack of metered parking around these parts makes it so much easier to spend some time out here.
Especially because I can’t get my Apple Pay to work with the meters, so I struggle in places like Hillcrest and Downtown.
One of my favorite things about North Park?
I am obsessed with Verbatim Books.
For the books in here being used, they’re all in pristine condition. I wouldn’t know the majority of these books weren’t brand new.
Not only that, but the prices are incredibly affordable. This might even come as a blessing and a curse, because I have a feeling my wallet’s going to get a little lighter around here, but I fear for how many boxes of books I’m going to need to add the next time I move.
So far, I’ve kept myself in check and have only bought one book.
I have a feeling if I “disappear,” I’ll really just be sitting on one of those chairs and reading. Besides, I need to get behind those blue doors to see what’s going on back there. They say the door leads to “nothing special” and is just “used for storage.” Maybe they won’t mind if I just put my bed back there, pay some rent, and call the store my library.
Dunedin New Zealand Eats
There are a few different New Zealand-inspired eateries, and I am living for all of it.
The Dunedin (pronounced done-ee-dinn) New Zealand Eatery was actually the second I’ve tried out, with the Queenstown Public House being the first.
Which means I must check out the Raglan Public House, the Bare Back Grill, and the Queenstown Bistro before I completely reconnect with all of my New Zealand roots. And, I mean, the main display picture on this website is from the Emerald Lakes on the Tongariro Crossing, and all of my first content on this site was based on my time in New Zealand.
Which, once Ms. Covid takes a seat, I will hopefully visit again as soon as possible.
Anyway, I’m here for the fried egg and beetroot on the burgers. Beetroot on burgers was one of my favorite things about New Zealand. As well as those meat pies.
Belmont Park on San Diego’s Mission Beach
Rollercoasters for the win.
Belmont Park is home to the Giant Dipper, which is the sibling rollercoaster to the Big Dipper seen in the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. There’s also a rock climbing wall, the Beach Blaster, a zipline, a ropes course, and plenty of food options.
Plus, if you’re up for a swim but might not want to take it in the ocean, visit The Plunge pool. It’s among the biggest pools in Southern California and is right on the other side of the rock climbing wall.
The best part of all of this?
That’s another aspect of Mission Beach that I love, because, like with North Park, that makes it easier to stay a while and really experience the neighborhood.
I signed up for an annual pass, just so I could ride the rollercoaster whenever I wanted. And you know I signed up for that pool, because your boy’s trying to get back into that swim shape.
Harumama La Jolla
First of all, La Jolla is gorgeous, so let’s just get that out of the way.
Okay, great, we’re on the same page.
But, really, let’s be even more real here: The entire San Diego area with all the nearby cities are gorgeous. It’s fine. I’m not leaving. It’s okay.
Harumama has a few locations in the area. There’s this one in La Jolla, two in Carlsbad, and one in Little Italy downtown.
As for the La Jolla destination, I was there for the oceanside views and quite agreed with the “most Instagrammable restaurant” tag found on their website.
Blue-light sushi with ocean views for the win.
Plus, those little buns (we had the strawberry-filled Koala ones) are so cute.
In Case You Missed It: Everything is Magical in San Diego
While we had a great time hanging out for the weekend, this hardly even scratches the surface on places to go and things to do.
I, for one, am so excited about all the future exploration I’ll have of “America’s Finest City.”
That name is more than well deserved, even if people think it’s annoying.