California is an ideal escape for those that crave sunshine, ocean air and a carefree culture. Between Palm Springs, San Francisco and Los Angeles, I've discovered a lot of the magic California has to reveal. With the sun-soaked beaches calling my name, it was only a matter of time before I traveled to the surfing mecca of San Diego. This southernmost city on the California coast is bustling with creativity and cuisine that dares to be doted over. With my friend Courtney by my side, sauntering through San Diego's signature sights and local hangouts was an absolute breeze.
I believe you can tell a lot about a city by it's coffee scene, and San Diego does not disappoint in this regard. Courtney and I got caffeinated at Communal Coffee, an airy coffee shop that looks as if it came straight out of the pages of Kinfolk. I love Communal Coffee's focus on natural, minimalistic design, creating a space truly meant for community and collaboration. I ordered an Iced Rose Vanilla Latte, one of their seasonal offerings made with Sightglass Coffee. The floral notes and subtle sweetness of vanilla paired perfectly with rich espresso and cold milk. Communal Coffee also serves other elevated beverages, like a mocha with valrhona cocoa and maldon sea salt. Sipping on our coffee while out on their patio, surrounded by succulents and other San Diegans, was simply bliss.
La Jolla is just one of the hilly seaside communities within the city of San Diego, but it stands out as one of the most fun to explore. With 7 miles of curving coastline, La Jolla holds everything from rowdy sea lions to elegant dining experiences. We stopped by Bobboi on our seaside stroll, tasting unique flavors like Charcoal Vanilla with activated carbon and Girl Scouts Thin Mint. Two scoops of their natural gelato is all I needed to fall in love with the La Jolla-located ice creamery.
I would be remiss if I did not walk around the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, a romantic resort exuding relaxed beauty and timeless charm in every way. The hotel—which was the largest in existence when it opened in 1888—hosted presidents, royalty, and celebrities over the years in addition to appearing in literature and film. We felt like nothing short of movie stars as we entered the idyllic structure.
Beer is the drink of choice in San Diego and it's remarkable easy to find exceptional local craft beers at the multitude of bars lining the streets of the downtown's Gaslamp Quarter. We made a point to stop by Knotty Barrel, a gastropub boasting 24 taps and 70+ bottled beers. After a pale ale by the fire pit, we ascended to the nearby Altitude Sky Lounge for a particularly stunning view of the city at twilight.
Eating 100% authentic Mexican food was at the top of my to-do list upon arriving in San Diego and Courtney made it happen by taking me to The Taco Stand. The small family owned taquería is inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana and serves handmade corn tortillas, top grade meats and guacamole and salsas made from scratch daily. I ate three tacos (chicken, beef and fish) with chips and a heaping portion of guacamole before finishing off with a Rosarito-style churro. I can say without a doubt that no other experience I've had with Mexican food can compare with this one.
Style in San Diego is very much relaxed and steeped in surfer culture. I took an edgier approach with my look by wearing a floral print black and white button down shirt from Topman. The lightweight viscose fabric of the shirt made it the ideal sartorial choice for a day in the sun. My limited edition white Stan Smith x Adidas shoes and Saint Laurent sunglasses reinforced my California chic vibe.
Follow along for Part Two of my whirlwind of a weekend in San Diego where I discover more of what makes this seaside metropolis a gem on the California coastline.