Finest Trends and Hidden Gems of San Diego
Whether you call it San Diego, Sun Diego, or San Deezy, it’s become home to me over the last 2 years. During that time, I’ve developed my list of favorite places and activities and am constantly adding to it.
San Diego is famous for its beaches, craft beer, and an overwhelming number of coffee and taco shops. But off the beaten path, there’s even more to explore. Whether you’ve been to San Diego a million times or you’re headed there for the first time, there’s something for you on this list, the trendy hot spots and the hidden gems.
Rule #1: Start with Coffee
Trendy: Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
Location (pictured): 2295 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
With multiple locations all over San Diego county, you can find sunny, relaxing Bird Rock Coffee shops in downtown, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Mission Bay. They have the perfect cozy environment for working on projects or just hanging out.
The baristas are always incredibly friendly and have tons of suggestions to help new customers choose their new favorite drink. My go-tos are their honey cinnamon oat milk lattes and the seasonal keifer sodas.
Hidden Gem: AT Coffee House
Location: 1298 Prospect St #1A, La Jolla, CA 92037
I could go on and on about all of the lesser known coffee shops that Mitchell and I spend our weekends at, but our most recent secluded find is AT Coffeehouse at La Jolla Cove.
This open-air shop wins me over with their incredibly unique menu, beautiful views of the cove, and tops it all off with their talented staff (say hi to Kara for us!). Give the Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Latte a try!
Rule #2: Add Brunch to Coffee
Trendy: Breakfast Republic
Location (pictured): 2730 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
My top choice for a fun girl’s brunch! Fair warning, the portions are HUUUGE so you will need friends! Start with the fresh squeezed orange juice mimosas or a uniquely delicious blend of Chai tea, Mocha, and house coffee they call the Breakfast Republic Latte.
Then, add on a flight of French toast or pancakes. Some of my personal favorites are the Lemon and Coconut French Toast, Cinnamon Roll pancakes, or the classic buttermilk.
For savory dishes, try the Portuguese Linguisa Sausage Scramble or the Jurrassic Pork Benedict.
Hidden Gem: Wheat & Water
Location: 5737 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
A secluded spot nestled on the south side of La Jolla, Wheat & Water is an adorable brunch spot full of worn wood and accents of greenery. The staff is incredible, the sunshine on the patio is the perfect wake-up, and the crispy Parmesan potatoes will make you drool over the mere thought of them.
Our favorite dishes are the French Toast and the Goat Cheese Omelette (Don’t forget the potatoes). Prices are affordable and portions are perfect to feel satisfyingly full without toting around your leftovers. Bonus – go walk through the Bird Rock Tide Pools less than a block away once you finish your meal!
Brunch is only served Sunday from 10am – 2pm but they also serve delicious lunch and dinner options like custom pizzas and paninis.
Rule #3: Walk Off the Brunch You Devoured
Trendy: USS Midway Museum
Location: 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
There are only 2 places in the United States where you can tour a decommissioned aircraft carrier, one of those is in San Diego. The Midway holds decades of history from the Cold War, Vietnam War, and even Operation Desert Storm. It is truly and one of a kind experience full of fascinating facts, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits.
Adult tickets are $22 when booked online, $27 at the dock. Children’s tickets (ages 6-12) are $9 online and $12 at the dock. They also have student discounts online!
COVID-19 Update: They are currently offering virtual tours here! Never been done before!
Hidden Gem: Cabrillo National Monument & Tide Pools
Location: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
As a kid, I didn’t grow up near the beach, so I was obsessssed with the animals that lived in it. Hence, my forever love of tide pools. Entry costs $20 per vehicle but if you get an annual pass, it’s only $35. Entry with a National Parks pass is free!
Turn left after entry and you can explore the upper part of the park by squeezing into a tiny historic lighthouse and learning about the earliest charters of the California coast.
If you turn right, head down the cliffside and walk down the stairs onto the the rocks. You can hike the nature trails, picnic, or go crab-catchin’ (the main event of dating my husband and my favorite thing ever).
These are just a few of my growing San Diego favorites. Stay tuned for more posts about the San Diego Zoo, craft breweries, taco spots and more!