I love going to San Diego for a quick getaway from L.A. The atmosphere is much more kick-back, and it's an easy two hour drive from L.A. Now that I have family living in the area, I make more frequent trips to SD sometimes for a turn around 24 hour trip. Here are my recommendations of places to stay, eat and sight see while visiting in San Diego.

Stops Along the Way

I usually drive down the I-5 from L.A. which has many scenic spots including state beaches and vista points. My favorite pit-stops are San Clemente Beach and Carlsbad.

Carlsbad has a beautiful state beach as well, and a quirky Friday's with a windmill that is fun to grab a quick bite.

Best Places to Stay
If you want the gaslamp district, which is full of nightlife and posh restaurants, I highly recommend staying at The Keating. It's a modern hotel in walking distance of everything in the gaslamp district.  We stayed at The Keating and the room was soo soothing, with a white noise machine, black out shades, and the most comfortable bed and sheets. I didn't want to leave the room.

If you are interested in staying in the Mission Bay or are planning on visiting Sea World, I highly recommend staying at the Dana on Mission Bay. This hotel is more family friendly, and has a wonderful pool and sandpit. The hotel overlooks the Mission Bay with stunning views.

If North Park is more your scene, a neighborhood full of hipster bars, vegan restaurants, and record shops, The Lafayette Hotel is a good option. This hotel has large suites with bunkbeds. A large pristine pool is at the center of these bungalows. This hotel is not always family-friendly as there are often events and loud parties around the pool, but otherwise is a fun place for kids and adults alike.
 While in North Park eat at city tacos. You an enjoy carnitas, portabello and camerones tacos for $3.00 each. Another favorite spot in North Park is Swarmi's, which has really amazing brunch.

Outdoors and Beaches
Coronado Island has a beautiful beach for swimming in addition to a great shopping district. I want to stay at the Hotel Del Coranado at my next visit, so I will report back on that.

Mission Trails Regional Park
In the Mission Valley the Mission Valley Regional Park has over 7,000 acres with multiple trails for which guided hikes are offered several days during the week.
La Jolla Cove is another favorite of mine. It's nice to take a stroll along the cove and watch the sea lions. Downtown La Jolla also has a lot of shopping and restaurants.

Museums and Culture

The San Diego Zoo is a must while in San Diego, and is fun for kids and adults. You could fill an entire weekend just at the Zoo. Take the tram and have a bird's eye view of the exhibits and animals.

While at Balboa Park check out one of the many museums. The San Diego Natural History Museum is a great one to check out.

This is the oldest Mission in California, founded in 1769. Although the inside has been redone, the history is fascinating, and the grounds are very peaceful.

Post your comments or suggestions on visiting San Diego below.

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