Whenever I travel I have some goals and usually a plan or a list. Its my thing and most people think I’m crazy, but I like to go and see and do all of the things. Over the past year I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve gotten to do some traveling solo. You can read my article on Red Tricycle about why I feel EVERY mom should get the opportunity to solo travel. So, when I got the chance to visit San Diego solo I hit some of the best tourist spots, and a couple cool local spots and I wanted to share them with you.I’ll be sharing them in my Visit San Diego Like A Tourist series with some fun ideas for your days in San Diego!
Stop in the cute little North Park area of SD and visit the “Greetings from San Diego” mural, which strangely enough is in a gas station parking lot facing an alley. North Park is full of murals so have fun! After visiting the “Greetings” mural I learned a few really neat things about it. The mural is part of the Greetings Tour, started by artist Victor Ving and Photographer Lisa Beggs. They have been traveling since 2015 across the country painting vintage postcard-style murals, helping to revitalize communities and bring bright colors and happiness to cities across the country! They have completed 41 murals in 20 different states. The one in San Diego was the very first. There’s a few on this side of the country that I hope to track down soon.
There are some really cute neighborhoods all around San Diego. We chose to visit North Park, which you know is San Diego’s pre-imminent hipster town because there’s a restaurant called Son of a Toast, specializing in all things avocado toast. I mean, need I say more. Check out Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, home of quality beans that are roasted on site, Nitro on tap and homemade syrups, like vanilla bean. Perhaps my favorite thing in North Park was this book store. Stop for breakfast on the edge of North Park, at The Misson (you can see the North Park sign from the front porch seating). Their breakfast burrito and mexican mocha is yum! North Park embraces this very vintage California vibe, and everything about this books store says that. Finding a good used book store and local coffee is always on the top of my list when traveling anywhere, and North Park nailed it. I wish I had had more time to really walk the streets and eat all the food.
Head over to Coronado to get the classic San Diego Beach experience. The Hotel Del has been in music videos and was the place were EVERYONE who was anyone in vintage Hollywood went. Presidents Harrison, McKinley, Taft and Wilson were hosted by the hotel, and by the 1930s the Prohibition era really was its first hayday with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, Bette Davis and more making it their beach playground. Even up to present day it has been a spot for celebrities and politicians to visit including every President since John F. Kennedy. You can also find it in the movie Some Like It Hot.
Then end your night at when Goose and Maverick sang their heart outs and lost that lovin’ feeling, at Kansas City BBQ of course! Some of the best pulled pork and bbq sauce I’ve had! You’ll have fun taking in the movie memorabilia, and military challenge coins, patches and photos.
Then close out your day with a treat at the famous Yogurt Mill. Bring your cash (because that’s all they take) and your yogurt know how, because you want to order your yogurt “Child Size Dropped”. Don’t ask questions just do it! Tip your scooper well – each window has a designated scooper with their own tip jar. It’s yum yum guys!
San Diego has so much to see, touristy and local favs! Everyone has places they love and want to recommend. I’m excited to share a few places with you in this little series.