You could spend your whole life in a city like San Diego and feel as though you need more time to explore. But what would you do if you only had 24 hours? With the proper plan and a little luck, it is possible to navigate America’s Finest City and still get the full experience.
As far as hotels go, Tower23 is the only option you need. This luxury, lifestyle hotel is located sea-side in Pacific Heights and has clean lines, glass walls and top-notch amenities. For a taste of the scene, there is an exclusive sun deck on the roof of the first floor. It’s perfect for some downtime and even has a fire pit to warm up with during late night cocktails. With a few spare minutes, there might even be time for a soothing treatment at the renowned Tower Spa.
Now that you’re settled in, first things first, breakfast. Nestled in La Jolla Cove is a charming little restaurant named Brockton Villa. Originally built in 1894 as a vacation home, the restaurant boasts amazing ocean views and a morning menu that won’t disappoint. The French Toast is legendary and the Crab Benedict is not to be missed. A block from the restaurant is Scripps Park. There, you can see seals sunbathing on the rocks and can also pick up your gear to snorkel in one of the best spots in town.
After breakfast, take a short cruise toward Torrey Pines and you will arrive at the Salk Institute. Believe it or not, the full architectural tour that begins every weekday at noon is free.
Since you are only in SoCal for a short time, a quick trip to the beach is necessary to complete your day. Coronado Beach is an excellent choice if you are heading toward downtown. It is consistently voted one of the best in the country. If you’d like to see another neighborhood on the way to the sand, check out all of the boutiques along the strip in Del Mar on your way to the water at 25th Street.
One of the most anticipated new restaurants of the summer is called Bang Bang and it is the perfect place to begin a night on the town. Located in the Gaslamp district, this underground eatery is a real experience. Enter the long, tunneled staircase modeled after an old Tokyo subway station and take your place to enjoy an unusual menu based on authentic Asian street food.
Finally, prepare yourself for a few rounds of cocktails at one of the most creative hotspots in the area, Polite Provisions. This beautifully designed bar has the same feel as a vintage drugstore. Among other things, their unique drink menu includes an assortment of ready-made cocktails on tap and liquor-filled punch bowls that serve up to 6.
With only 24 hours on your side, you should still be able to get a taste of the full experience this city has to offer. But even if you are lucky enough to have more time in San Diego, these places shouldn’t be missed. The rapidly changing scene, unique landscape, art, food and nightlife will not disappoint.