Ultimate San Diego
Every 4th of July we enjoy going to San Diego to escape the heat in Arizona. Its an easy drive for us about 5 1/2 hours to get to San Diego- maybe even 5 hours if my hubby is driving. Our favorite places to stay is the Gaslamp district of San Diego, La Jolla and Del Mar.
If you are looking to check out the fireworks for the 4th of July locals and visitors alike start setting up their little camp on the beach 24 hours or more before the 4th of July. Honestly just grab some chairs and a blanket and get down to the beach a couple hours before with a bottle of wine and enjoy the fireworks. Check out this website to get more details on the 4th of July festivities as well as different locations to watch the fireworks. Firework Displays San Diego
Another one of our favorite things to do is to take our foldable bikes, we throw them in the back of the car and off we go. Easy to lift and foldup, they are super comfortable and great when you want to ride bicycles along the beach. Check out our pictures and to order these bikes look for my link below.
where to stay
This hotel is one of our favorites to stay at, first of all rooms are clean and their is adequate space for your bags and a huge vanity space for his and hers cosmetics (one of my big pet peeves). It is also in a great location, a couple of blocks away from the Gas Lamp District in San Diego, easy to walk around and check out the local bars and restaurants. On this trip we drove and brought our bicycles, we stored them in our room for safe keeping. They also have a nice rooftop bar, although we thought it would be good for fireworks- no not so good too many buildings in the way. The beach is very close as well, rent an electric scooter and zip on down to the beach for something to eat and relax.
This hotel is great because it includes a free breakfast. Hotel rooms remind me of a boutique hotel, has a couple of restaurnts nearby as well as a fun little bar down the street called Shack Bar & Grill, check this out for great happy hour prices. They have a pool and a hot tub, my suggestion is to ask for the rooms that actually back to the street, this side of the hotel has been remodeled and they are large rooms.
This is a great location, just a 10 minute walk and you are in town. The outside of the hotel looks like they have upgraded the lobby, pool, spa and bar/restaurant area. Staff is very helpful especially Barb. Parking is under the hotel, tons of parking is available unlike parking in La Jolla or Del Mar. Rooms are a little outdated- just darker decor but the rooms were clean so really have nothing to complain about.
where to eat
Sit Down & Enjoy
Try and get down to the beach and walk along the boardwalk to find some fun restaurants. Stay away from the chain restaurants and do local!!!! A great website that we use for finding great restaurants is Yelp, you can look at all the review before deciding where to go for a bite to eat.
This view is from a restaurant called the Marine Room, it is kinda pricy but the views are incredible!
Ho Chi Minh Trail
Ho Chi Minh Trail is a pretty tough hike definitely not for the beginner hike. You hike through some boulders and some tight spaces, walk over a plank and if you are not wearing good hiking shoes or the other option is to go barefeet to get some traction under you. So I have to say I could not finish the trail, yep I chickened out its just very steep and if you are not used to that its kinda frightening.
If you are looking for same great photo opportunities then take advantage of the hike even if you don’t make it to the beach its got some great views!
Torrey Pines Gliderport
This is a great place to watch the gliders take off and land, it has a little breeze up there which is nice if its a hot day. They have snacks available for sale like sandwiches, chips, ice cream, etc. Great place to have a picnic and take in the awesome views!
There is also some hiking to do here, you can walk out to the very edge at look down below to see Ho Chi Min Trail as well as the Black Beach is below you. There are some steps you can hike down from the top of the cliff to the beach below which is .6 miles, we did not take the hike just because we had already attempted the Ho Chi Min Trail in the last hour. Might be worth the hike down if you are interested in checking out the nude beach.
One of my favorite hikes was to Annies Canyon. This is a family friendly hike, once you reach the canyon it takes about 5 minutes to get to the top, loved this canyon so much that we actually did it twice. Again incredible views of the rock formation, easy climb and most important this 50 something chick can do it and enjoy it.
There is parking available at the end of the street, it takes approx. a 15 minute walk to get to the actual canyon, all sand and dirt not a difficult walk as it is flat ground.
Please put this hike on your list when visiting San Diego, it will be well worth your time.
This is an easy hike as well that can be enjoyed by the entire family, the hours of operation are from 7:30am – 7pm. We were able to enjoy the hike with my husbands best friend who lives in La Jolla, thanks Ted for the hike. There is parking available near the base of the hike but you will pay a hefty price of $30 per vehicle but I think that was because it was the 4th of July. If you look at the reviews of the Trail the cost is only $15. You can also park along the ocean but be prepared to wake up very early to find a spot.
You need to plan for about 2 hours for this hike, bring a lunch and grab a bite to eat at the top of the cliff. Incredible views of the Pacific Ocean so have your camera ready. The walk is uphill on a road that you share with vehicles, once at the top its downhill- shared by joggers. Click on the link below to find out more details and reviews of this hike on tripadvisor.
things to experience
The beaches in San Diego are wonderful, there is always a light breeze. Bring a picnic and find a spot to watch the sun disappear into the ocean.
SeaWorld is a great attraction for families.
Your San Diego vacation would not be complete until you have been able to eat in Little Italy. What a fun area of San Diego, you might want to make reservations because it gets very busy in the evening, your wait time might be more than 90 minutes.
My favorite beach products
Every beach vacay needs the perfect sunhat. This sunhat is not only cute to wear, but it’s neutral so it will go with almost any outfit.
Having the perfect beach towel is essential for your trip. This oversize plush cabana towel by Laguna Beach Textile Co is perfect for any day at the beach.
These bikes go with us everywhere on a road trip, with only weighing in at 22 pounds that can easily fit in the backseat of your car or trunk. Really easy to assemble, only 4 parts to fold up.
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