Travel has been one thing that Jonah and I have been committed to ever since we got married in 2016. We both love experiencing new cultures, food, climate, scenery, and history. So far, we have traveled to Charlotte, NC, Washington, D.C. and now San Diego in the past year. 2018 is going to be an exciting year with our big trip to Switzerland! Stay tuned for that travel guide 🙂 For now, I thought it would be helpful to put together a San Diego Travel Guide to share with you all.
We keep an ongoing list of cities, states, and countries we would like to visit; San Diego was at the top of the list to visit this fall. I LOVE doing research of all kinds, hence why I love health and nutrition so much, so planning out this trip was so much fun for me!
We started thinking about this trip back in May. I knew Airbnb’s would book up quickly for this area, so I wanted to start searching when there were still plenty of options available. We found the cutest house that was 50 steps from the beach!
When I plan any trip, I like to create a word document in my Google Documents that lays out our tentative itinerary each day. I have the Google Drive app on my phone that I can easily pull up on-the-go. I always include the address of our Air B&B as well for easy access.
Where to Stay in San Diego:
We decided to stay on Mission Beach. Mission Beach is San Diego’s lively take on the classic boardwalk beach town with nearly two miles of oceanfront boardwalk, numerous rental shops, coffee shops, and cafes. Our goal for this trip was to have plenty of lounging on the beach, so being just steps from the beach was a must.
We spent half a day in La Jolla, which is 20 minutes north of Mission Beach, which turned out to be my favorite day of the whole trip! If we make it back to this part of California again, I would definitely stay in La Jolla! It was a super classy, upscale area with lots of restaurants, shopping, juice shops, and coffee shops.
What Time of Year to Go to San Diego:
From everything we read on San Diego, fall seemed to be the best time to visit for the most comfortable temperatures and low chance of rain. The beauty of San Diego though is the temperature stays pretty consistent in the 70’s year round – and no humidity. The level of tourism is lower in the fall as well, so fewer crowds!
Where to Eat Near San Diego:
I don’t know if I can adequately express how excited I was to try Cafe Gratitude. I have been seeing all of my blogger friends sharing their drool-worthy food and drinks on Instagram for a while now, so it should come as no surprise that this was our very first stop fresh off the plane. The cafe is a 100% plant-based restaurant that specializes in gourmet cuisines. Their mission: “Café Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty. Our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness. We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same. We support local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly products. Our food is prepared with love. We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone that chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful every day, and experiencing being provided for. Have fun and enjoy being nourished.”
If you are someone who loves setting intentions and expressing gratitude (which I encourage you to do those things if you don’t already!), then Cafe Gratitude will feel like home to you. You are encouraged to order your food using the name of the menu item as an intention.
For example, Jonah and I ordered Wellness Balanced Shots (coconut kefir, bioavailable probiotic b12, bee pollen), so when we ordered we said: “We are balanced!” It was such a neat experience! I also ordered an iced Turmeric Latte (called the Golden) with my lunch which was out of this world.
For our main entrees, I was “Gracious”(Summer Grain Salad) and Jonah was “Mucho” (Mexican Bowl). Both were amazing! If I lived near Cafe Gratitude, I would make it a goal to try everything on the menu. It’s just that good!
And of course, we couldn’t resist dessert, so we ordered a super tasty Mineralizing Mint Chip Chocolate superfood smoothie called “Cool”. It was such a refreshing way to end our time there!
True Food Kitchen
This place is incredible. True Food Kitchen is a health-driven, seasonal restaurant merging nutrient-rich ingredients with a flavor-forward menu that rotates regularly to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness. We stopped here for lunch one day and definitely would have come back a second time if it would have been closer to where we were staying.
To start, I had to try a fresh green juice! Even Jonah had sip and liked it 🙂
For lunch, I had the Inside Out Quinoa Burger and Jonah had the Margherita Pizza; both were fabulous!
As always, vacation calls for dessert after lunch, so we shared their amazing Key Lime Pie. Key Lime Pie is one of my FAVORITE desserts, so I have very high standards and this completed exceeded them!
If I had to only eat at one restaurant for the rest of my life, it would be Trilogy Sanctuary. This was the most authentic raw vegan cafe I have ever been to! They even reference Ayurvedic principles, which I thought was so unique. We actually made two stops here in one day: first for a smoothie, the second for lunch! Look at all of their yummy smoothies (and desserts)!
I always gravitate towards chocolate based smoothies, so I had “Lust” and Jonah had “Tropical Pitaya”. If you are looking for the most vibrant color smoothie, I highly recommend trying the “Tropical Pitaya”!
The cafe is actually on a rooftop, so the views were just gorgeous! We came back for lunch and I had the Trilogy Caesar Salad with a piece of carrot cake, called “Majestic”, and Jonah had the Perfect Tacos.
Can we just stop for a minute and appreciate this carrot cake? It had hints of cinnamon, spices, and nuts with a thick and creamy lemon vanilla topping. Even Jonah enjoyed it and he’s not the biggest fan of carrot cake! I’m going to be recreating this and sharing the recipe on the blog soon, so stay tuned.
This was one of the most unique coffee shops I have ever been to! Moniker is a new concept retail and community space introducing lifestyle and home goods, custom furniture, and craft coffee and beer all into one. It was a gorgeous afternoon when we visited, so they had all of the windows and doors open which felt amazing!
I am always in awe of latte art!
Better Buzz Coffee
One of the cutest coffee shops in the area just happened to be 1 block from our Airbnb – how convenient 🙂 We stopped at Better Buzz Coffee every morning for my usual almond milk latte.
They also had quite the cafe menu that included Avocado Toast, Almond Butter Toast, and Acai Bowls. We tried all of them!
I’ve never been to a coffee shop that made toast – so cute! And talk about great presentation! Jonah had this for breakfast one morning.
I had this Avocado Toast two days in a row because it was THAT GOOD!
You’re probably wondering by now how I found all of these coffee shops – I honestly googled the “top coffee shops in San Diego” and made a list of the ones that looked interesting to me. And let me tell you, the list I found was extremely reliable because not one disappointed!
I loved the seating of Swell Coffee. It was all outside! The weather is San Diego is pretty consistent, so outdoor seating seemed to be very common.
And the most Instagram worthy coffee shop goes to Communal Coffee. It is every blogger’s dream! When I saw the outside of this place as we were driving up, I squeezed Jonah hand and yelled: “THIS IS SO ADORABLE!”
The coffee shop collaborates with Native Poppy, which adds to the community-minded, inclusive atmosphere. Guests can sit across from and watch the creative process behind craft coffee or floral design. It was the most inviting coffee shop! I could have sat in the sun by the windows all day.
What Activities to Do/Things to See in San Diego:
- Boogie Boarding on Mission Beach
- Sunrise/sunset walks on the beach
- La Jolla Cove
- Fashion Valley – best variety of top end designer shopping
How Do I Stay Healthy When I Travel?
- Take Beauty Detox SBO Probiotics
- This is always a must for me anytime I travel. The first thing I pack is my bottle of probiotics. These are essential for keeping your gut healthy, especially since you will be eating foods that are normally not a part of your typical diet. Vacation is all about experiencing new foods!
- Pack snacks
- There can be a lot of unexpected things that pop up when traveling (flight delays, lack of healthy food options, etc), so I always make sure I bring some snacks from home that I can have in a pinch. Some of my favorites include Larabars, Square Bars (use the code NIC20 for 20% off your order!), apples, bananas, carrots, and bell peppers. One of the first things I do when I start researching Airbnb’s is to find the nearest grocery store. Jonah and I love cooking, so we try to cook a few of our own meals when we travel instead of going out all the time.
- Drink hot lemon water every morning
- This is a must! Read more about why I love this daily habit so much here.
- Walk as much as possible
- I typically don’t work out intensely when on vacation, unless I’m checking out a fitness studio, so my main form of exercise is walking. It’s the best way to explore a new area as well! It’s also a great way to save money on taking an Uber everywhere.
Overall, San Diego was incredible! We would go back in a heartbeat. La Jolla was definitely our favorite area, so I think we would like to try staying there the next time we make our way out to California.
I hope you find this travel guide helpful! I would love to hear from you if you ever take a trip to San Diego 🙂 Happy travels!