East End Taste has debuted their new column: My City. My City includes a feature Q&A with residents from notable cities and regions from across the world, highlighting the best places to stay, eat and what to do for visitors of all ages. Here, I have Ana of 2LWithIt being interviewed about San Diego.
Where should one go first when visiting your city for the first time?
If you’re flying into the city, I’d suggest exploring San Diego Bay (which is conveniently a short uber from the San Diego International airport). You can take a harbor cruise, walk around Little Italy, or catch a baseball game at Petco Park. Right across the water is Coronado, where the famous red-roofed Hotel Del is (easily accessible by the bridge or ferry that leaves from downtown).
If you’re driving into the city, I’d definitely take Pacific Coast Highway and cruise down all the little beach towns (e.g. Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, etc.). There are so many fun places to stop along the way for sights and bites, my favorite being any of the piers along the way (there’s one in Oceanside, La Jolla, and Ocean Beach to name a few).
In your opinion, what is the best time of year to visit?
San Diego’s a city that’s sunny and 75 for most of the year. It doesn’t snow here and when it rains, it’s not for very long (like a few days at most). If you’re looking to visit when it’s not too crowded, I’d say avoid the summer because it’s PACKED with tourists. The spring is a good time because that’s when the flower fields in Carlsbad are in bloom. It’s also fun to plan a trip here if you’re in town for something else. We frequently have lots of concerts, marathons, golf tournaments, foodie events, and film festivals.
Which district is the best area to stay in? Any hotels you recommend?
I think what area depends on what you’re looking for and your budget. If you want more of a city vibe, I’d stay in Downtown, Little Italy, or Bankers Hill. It’s close to the airport, lots of restaurants, and pretty walk-able. If you’re looking to stay by the beach, Del Mar is a great option (L’Auberge is a favorite). It’s a short walk to the beach and in the heart of a little shopping district (and their brunch is very good). San Diego is a fairly expensive city to visit, hotel-wise, so I’d recommend looking at Airbnb or call ahead and come visit in months when it’s less busy (and more budget friendly).
Where are your three favorite spots to dine?
Barleymash is a favorite for good brews and pizza. Hash House for generous, home-style portions (they do breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Puesto is another good spot for tacos and margaritas.
Describe your perfect day in your city.
I’d have to say April 25, because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket. Oh, we’re not talking about Miss Congeniality (just kidding). A perfect day in San Diego would probably entail the following: an early morning Pilates or hot yoga class, followed by an acai bowl by the beach (any of the ones mentioned above), riding a bike or taking a trolley tour throughout any of the neighborhoods in town. I really like walking through Old Town, which is an old western part of town that’s been restored, but they’ve kept some of the shops and restaurants to look and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’d be fun to stop by any of the farmers markets that happen around the city (they happen throughout the week, so you won’t miss a thing if you’re not here for a weekend stay). I’d probably end the night with a nice dinner at a steakhouse downtown and a walk along the bay.
Which three hidden spots are a must do/see while visiting?
I’d definitely recommend Torrey Pines reserve or the Point Loma lighthouse for a great hike. Taking a drive out east to Julian is great for a day trip of apple picking and/or for evening stargazing. If you’re adventurous, Mexico and Catalina are two nearby excursions that are easy to get to and fun to build into a visit to SD.
2LWithIt is a blog I started during law school that follows my “spoonie adventures in books, beauty, and bullshit.” A spoonie is someone who lives with chronic health issues (see post here). 2LWithIt’s goal is to create awareness about invisible illnesses, mental health, and all of the things that keep me from saying “to hell with it.” It’s also a double entendre about when the blog started, during my 2L year of school. I write lots of book and product reviews and try to share unfiltered thoughts about the reality of living with chronic health issues.