When I found out I was pregnant earlier this year, I told myself that it wouldn't stop my travel adventures. Little did I know how sick I would be for my first trimester and half of my second. Some of you may remember that we had a Baltic Cruise planned for July that stopped in Finland, Estonia, Russia, and Latvia, but when my sickness didn't go away by week 17 of my pregnancy, we decided to cancel. I would have been about 20 weeks pregnant for the trip, and I know many women are okay with traveling internationally at this point, but I didn't want to risk it. A few weeks after canceling, the fates intervened, and I was invited to attend a conference in Anaheim, California in late July, so naturally, we extended our stay for a babymoon. We decided to rent a car and drive from Anaheim to San Diego since neither my husband nor I had been.
While in San Diego, we stayed at the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island. The location is beautiful--set on a private beach, overlooking the marina and about 15-20 minutes to the heart of the city. The hotel is modern and chic, with 2 pools (1 family and 1 adult only), beach firepits, water sports, and complimentary bikes. It definitely had more of a vacation/resort feel than some of the other hotels we looked at. I liked how secluded we were from the downtown area, yet still close.
There is so much to do in San Diego, but we really didn't have that much time, so we had to narrow down a list. I would love to go back to the city to see more of the sights and experience more of the vibe.
For most of the trip, we rented a car from Turo, but we also used Uber, which was cheap considering how close most of the locations were.
What we did in San Diego
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Eugene and I stopped at Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla for a hike on our way down from my conference in Anaheim to our hotel in San Diego. Torrey Pines is such a beautiful area and definitely one of our favorite spots on our trip. The park is set on 2,000 acres of coastal land. We drove up the hill to one of the parking lots and hiked the beach trail. There are several hiking trails to choose from for all ages and hiking levels. At the bottom of the hill, the beach is fantastic! We spent some time enjoying the sun and water after our hike before heading into town.
La Jolla is a cute little seaside town in San Diego that houses some great boutiques and restaurants. It's a perfect beach town to walk around and relax in. The area is also home to La Jolla Cove which is a protected marine reserve and a favorite tourist spot, especially for seeing sea lions. Eugene and I had some time to walk around the town and eat a quick lunch at one of the seaside restaurants, but we didn't make it to the cove. If you are in the area check out George's at the Cove for either lunch or dinner!
It wouldn't be a trip to San Diego without visiting at least one of the beaches! The city has so many public beaches to check out depending on the area. Since we were already at Torrey Pines, we spent some time at the Torrey Pines Beach mentioned above, but there are a ton of other options. Just to name a few popular spots:
-La Jolla Cove Beach
-La Jolla Shores Beach
Another favorite spot we visited is the Gaslamp Quarter--situated in downtown San Diego. This neighborhood is known for its nightlife and is home to some fantastic restaurants, boutiques, bars, and clubs. We had a ton of recommendations but ended up eating dinner at NOBU, located at the beginning of the Gaslamp Quarter and inside the Hard Rock Hotel. It wasn't as fun eating cooked sushi, but we still had a great experience.
San Diego Zoo
San Diego is nationally known for the San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park. We spent almost the entire day here, and that was just for the Zoo. Balboa Park has many other attractions, but we just simply didn't have the time. The Zoo is so vast and exhausting! I would definitely recommend a full day here and then coming back to enjoy the rest of the Park, as it houses several museums, gardens, and landmarks.
After spending a day at the zoo, we hit up Old Town for dinner. The vibrant neighborhood is the site for the first Spanish Settlement on the West Coast, and they are known for some fantastic Mexican restaurants! We checked out Cafe Coyote, and it did not disappoint! I had some of the best churros of my life there. The town has some cute shops, a theater, a museum, and some historical buildings to check out.
Unconditional Surrender Statue, Seaport Village, Little Italy
On our last day in the city, I wanted to stop by a few places that were clustered together and close to the airport. We started the day visiting the Unconditional Surrender Statue located near the Navy Pier and across from the USS Midway Museum. The statue stands about 25 feet tall and recreates the famous WWII photo between a sailor and a nurse kissing to celebrate the end of the war. We got to take in some beautiful views of the city from here before making our way to Seaport Village. Honestly, I would have rather skipped the village, as it's just an area for shopping (souvenirs, socks, etc.) and a few restaurants. Nothing special!
We finished the day in Little Italy for some gelato. Little Italy is another perfect neighborhood to stroll around. Little shops, restaurants, and cafes line the streets. I wish we had time to dine here, as I've heard great things about the Italian restaurants in the area. Alas, we had to catch our flight, and quickly grabbed some In-N-Out since a trip to the west coast isn't complete without it.
Overall, San Diego was a perfect place for our babymoon. It was a great mix of relaxation and adventure. We were there for 3 days, but I could easily spend 5-7 days enjoying the city. Bring your appetite and swimsuit!