San Diego is a beautiful destination known for everything that makes California the Sunshine State. Stunning beaches and ocean views; relaxed luxury; sun all year; the natural beauty and much more make it a wonderful place to vacation, even if it’s just for a few days. Not to mention that thanks to its proximity to the ocean, it is home to an excellent selection of seafood restaurants.
One such beachfront dining destination is JRDN located in Tower 23 on the Pacific Beach Boardwalk in downtown. Executive Chef Stephen Gage works with local suppliers to bring guests a unique menu filled with the best ingredients this region has to offer, most of which come straight from the fishing boats!
The menu has a nice selection of sushi rolls such as the Lobster Roll with spicy lobster, avocado, yamagobo, jalapeño, spicy mayo and ponzu; Yellowtail Roll with mango, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, shrimp tempura, sweet chili ponzu; and the Roulette Roll with flambé salmon, crab, avocado, fried shishito peppers and eel sauce.
There are also shellfish and fish selections on the menu, with favorites like the Steamed Mussels with Chorizo, Garlic and Chardonnay and the Grilled Hamachi Necklace with Scallion Pancakes and Octopus with Chorizo and Potatoes. marbled. For the carnivores, they have a “no fish” selection that includes grilled lamb lollipops with smoked honey baba ganoush; Pork chop “Bacon” and more.
Of course, you can’t visit San Diego without trying the California Burrito, one of the area’s best-known specialties. This unique style of burrito contains carne asada, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo and a form of potato, usually fries. Before you hike Torrey Pines State Reserve, you should stop at a local spot like Roberto’s Mexican Food, which has a huge selection of food and, of course, a satisfying California burrito. They also have a selection of local dishes like the carne asada plate, the chile verde plate, and asada fries or nachos.
After the meal, stock up on calories at Torrey Pines State Preserve, a beautiful 2,000-acre coastal state park with views of the ocean, shoreline, and rugged terrain. If there’s only one hike you do, make sure it’s Guy Fleming Trail, one of the most popular hikes there. It’s a relatively easy hike that goes under a 1 mile loop, which offers some awesome viewpoints without much effort.
Those looking to venture out of San Diego can do so with a day trip to Catalina Island off Los Angeles. It’s a magical place that feels like another country – think of the Amalfi Coast. This island is a charming and bustling resort island that offers the laid-back vibe of SoCal; rugged activities for adventure seekers; an exceptional view of the Pacific Ocean; upscale shops and restaurants; a selection of vacation rentals and villas and beautiful hotel properties; unreal landscapes of land and sea and more.
The best way to get to Avalon, the only town on Catalina Island, is by ferry. The Catalina Express can be booked at three locations: San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point, being the closest to San Diego.
After an easy ride of about an hour on the clean, from the mainland, you arrive in Avalon which is home to many things to do including visiting the famous Catalina Casino; zipline through the lush terrain; a number of water sports such as scuba diving, parasailing or kayaking; rent a golf cart to explore the island solo and much more.
There are plenty of great places to eat and drink while enjoying the view of the ocean and the boardwalk.
Located inside the Bellanca Hotel, The Naughty Fox offers fresh Californian fare with a terrace overlooking Avalon Bay. Popular entrees include Ahi Poke Nachos with Avocado, Mango, Fresno Peppers, Seaweed, Cilantro, and Crispy Wonton Chips; Frito Misto with fried calamari, scallops, prawns, seasonal vegetables; Korean spicy calamari with green onions, sesame seeds, peppers; and the Blackened Shrimp Bowl with Mango Coconut Rice. There is also a selection of “portables” which are served with a choice of papas bravas, broccoli salad, fruit or sticky rice with Thai chili sauce.
Standouts include the Lobster BLT with beer-battered lobster tail, avocado, lettuce, tomato, aguachile sauce, spicy aioli and the Harbor Burger with caramelized onions, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, fancy sauce, on a bun. Their cocktails are delicious and range from fruity cocktails like the Svelt Strawberry made with fresh strawberries to smoky libations like the Ilegal Smoke with lime.
You can’t visit the island without trying the island’s famous drink at one of the bars, be it the Descanso Beach Club on the shore; at Avalon Grille or at the Harbor Reef Restaurant and Saloon (they are everywhere!). The official drink of Catalina Island is Buffalo Milk which comes from the fact that the island is home to a herd of wild bison, or American Buffalo. The recipe includes cree de cacao, kahlua, banana cream, vodka and half and half – it’s similar to a White Russian and absolutely tasty.
There is also a nice selection of confectioneries on the island such as Sailor’s Delight Ice Cream Shop, Lloyd’s of Avalon and Scoops serving freshly churned ice cream and ice cream, perfect for a sunny day on the island.
If you’re looking to extend your stay, book a one-stop-shop stay through Campspot, the premier online marketplace for campgrounds, cabins, glamping options and more. One of the best spots in the area is at Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay, Southern California’s newest upscale RV resort, just outside of San Diego. This RV Resort resembles a country club with amenities that include a pool with cabanas; a juice and breakfast bar; a cocktail bar; and gym.
They offer their guests beautiful two-story cottages with kitchens, patios and rooftop terraces, as well as fire pits, which offer stunning views of the wildlife sanctuary adjacent to the property.