As a current California/former Arizona resident, I've been to San Diego about a hundred times. Interestingly, somehow I always end up there with people who haven't been before, so I've developed a sort of tour (plus or minus an activity or two) that I have now taken 17 people on (over 5 trips) during their first visits to San Diego.
For my third city guide, here's what I love to see and eat in wonderful San Diego!
Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. I take the same pictures over and over again each time I go and it's really because I just can't resist the beautiful architecture and grounds. Interestingly, many of the beautiful buildings in Balboa Park were actually designed for the 1915 Panama - California Exposition. Balboa Park is not only gorgeous to walk around, but it's also home to many fascinating museums, the world's largest outdoor pipe organ, and another item on this list - the San Diego Zoo. If you're in San Diego, Balboa Park is a must see!
Just a quick jaunt across the bay from downtown San Diego is a true gem - Coronado Island. You can reach it by bridge and it is a beautiful community with shops and restaurants along the main drag, Orange Avenue. My favorite thing to check out on Coronado Island is the Hotel del Coronado. It's a beautiful, historic, red-roofed hotel right on the beach and it's beautifully maintained. The "Hotel Del" as it's called, is nice to walk around and has a very rich history, including its very own ghost story, which I always get a kick out of. The beach on Coronado Island is also very nice and seems to be less crowded than others in San Diego.
The weekend after we checked out the Andaz West Hollywood, we returned to SoCal for Memorial Day weekend. Much like the Andaz West Hollywood, the Andaz San Diego had a previous life outside of the Hyatt family. The Andaz San Diego was formerly known as The Ivy Hotel and aimed to offer a "sexy" boutique experience. In some cases, your room came complete with a stripper pole! I'm not quite sure if Hyatt retained those or not, but the hotel vibe was definitely very party-like. The rooftop pool and restaurant turns into a club on the weekends and it was definitely poppin' (more to come on the roof later on).
We upgraded our booking to a one bedroom suite and checked in on Friday night to a room that was sans stripper pole but definitely very chic. The room was very nice and I loved how it was decorated, but I honestly wouldn't call it a "one bedroom" at all. All that separated the bedroom from the rest of the room was a wooden wall in the middle of the room and open on either side.
The living room had two couches, a desk and chair, a coffee table, a TV mounted on the wall (with another TV mounted on the opposite side of the wall facing the bed), and a small bar area complete with refrigerator, coffee maker, and wine and spirits for purchase.
Basically the entire right wall of the suite was windows, but disappointingly, our room faced an interior "courtyard" of sorts and if you had the window coverings open, you could see straight in to other rooms and vice versa. In fact, there was actually quite the bachelor party going on in the multi-level suite across the way from us. Cue the first time during our weekend stay that we felt old and boring!
The bathroom had a very interesting design as well. The sink area was only partially enclosed by a glass wall which offered absolutely no privacy at all, but looked cool at least. Luckily, the shower and toilet were enclosed, but only by a frosted glass door.
The toiletries were a nicer looking version of Hyatt's typical LATHER toiletries.
Just a girl with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.