I’m not really a Work Hard Play Hard kind of gal. I’m more of a Work Hard REST Hard kind of person. A couple weeks ago, I took a few days off to really relax. We spent a few days in San Diego, and the rest of the time devouring books and brunch. It was pretty spectacular. So here’s a little travel guide of my quick trip to San Diego.
So I love staying in San Diego’s Gaslamp quarter because it’s endless choices of bars, restaurants, stores and hotels. You don’t even really need to plan much if you feel like hanging around Gaslamp most of your weekend. My favorite hotels there are the Andaz and The W. But staying in Gaslamp can be pretty expensive. So when we don’t expect to spend the majority of our time there, we stay just a little outside of Gaslamp at The Lafayette Hotel. It’s just a 15 minute Uber ride from Gaslamp and an even shorter distance from the San Diego Zoo or Petco Park.
This hotel has really grown on us over the years – it was our third time here. Not only is it well-priced (usually under $200/per night with free overnight parking) compared to hotels right in Gaslamp, we love the atmosphere. It has this old Hollywood feel… I always get the urge to play Lana Del Rey on the drive there and wear red lipstick.
We spent time just sitting on the balcony, with this great view of the pool, and read for hours. The day we arrived, we went to dinner at Osetra Fishhouse, this yummy seafood restaurant at Gaslamp. They had a huge menu and the portions were very generous. We ate outside… Gaslamp is a great place to people watch. It was a pretty chill Saturday.
On Sunday, we spent all day at the San Diego Zoo. The park was massive and there was so much to see… my faves included the pygmy hippos, flamingos and the mama and baby orangutans.
I looove this guy’s little piggy snout. We also splurged and did the Backstage Pass experience where we got to see a bunch of rare wildlife up close… it was pretty amazing. The clouded leopard was my FAVORITE. This guy was 3 years old, which I assume is full-grown, yet he looked like a baby tiger. Get a load of those giant paws… the little face he made when eating his (gross) chicken popsicle was priceless.
We also saw a cheetah and a serval up close… along with this beautiful wolf. We weren’t allowed to pet these beauties – for good reason. But we did get to see and learn about them from just a few feet away.
We did however get to pet an adorable zebra and this sweet girl… she’s a cuscus and one of the most adorable creatures I’d ever seen. By bribing her with grapes, peanuts and, her favorite, bananas, she let us pet her and take a photo with her. The sweetest thing about her was the way she’d eat with her tiny little hands – so delicately. Apparently she’s a banana snob… the trainers said she can’t have them too ripe or unripe, and each slice she gets has to have a little bit of the peel on it because she doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. Dying from cuteness.
And the most unforgettable part of the Backstage Pass experience, and the whole trip in general… we got to feed a Rhino. It was slimy and wonderful all at the same time. He was quite friendly and we got to pet him and take a photo with him as well. Definitely one of my favorite experiences.
It was such a long day of walking and marveling over these majestic creatures. I highly recommend going to the zoo if you’re ever in San Diego – just make sure you wear comfy shoes.
For dinner that night, we met a few of our friends who live in the area at West Coast Tavern. The had these awesome full circle booths, perfect if you’re with a big group, and really good food and beer. I had the salmon and Colin got a fancy burger that had pulled BBQ pork belly AND bacon in it.
Before we left San Diego, we had brunch the next morning at this great restaurant called Snooze. They obviously specialized in breakfast. The best part about Snooze… they had all sorts of different types of eggs benedict to choose from AND you can mix and match. We went on a Monday morning and the place was so popular, it was still crowded when we got there. But the bennies were totally worth the wait.
I hope this has been helpful. Have fun the next time you’re in San Diego. And please let me know your recommendations on where I should visit next time I’m down there. <3