Having taken the bus from Los Angeles down to San Diego, the first thing I shall recommend to you is to not do the same. The last time I traveled with Greyhound bus was eight years ago in Australia, and either the standard of the buses has changed, or my standards have. I was kind of shocked about the people on the bus, having to bear with a drunk person on my right and one talking to himself in a weird Spanish on my left for the whole length of the bus ride.
Speaking of the ride duration: I should have guessed it, but was probably too optimistic, but whilst the journey down to San Diego was nearly frictionless, we were stuck in traffic on the way back for over two hours! So, you might perhaps just want to take a train rather than bus if you go.
But enough of that, let’s finally talk about San Diego, this beautiful sunny place!
Just like in Los Angeles I was lucky to have a friend who lives in San Diego, hence, free meals, chat time and many insider tipps by locals were involved here, too. We started our tour with a visit to Old Town San Diego, a place that rather looks and feels like Mexico. Restaurants and traditional souvenir shops are strung together, with beautiful and sometimes huge cacti smartening the whole area up. With the weather being hot and beautiful that day, it is no surprise I felt excited and happy to be on a vacation, no matter if it felt more like a Mexican than an American one.
From Old Town San Diego we headed towards Liberty Station, a former military base which today offers culture, shopping, art and events, from where one can have a beautiful view over Downtown San Diego. Being German, it was more than obvious we had to stop at the Con Pane Café for a one of their delicious sandwiches stuffed with sprouts, avocado, hummus and more vegetables.
In case you have read about my trip to LA you might be aware of the fact that I have a weakness for sunsets. Hence, I was trying to catch the most beautiful ones in San Diego, too, and was lucky to enjoy one at Mission Beach. The waves were massive and the air spookily foggy, yet the sunset was one of the most beautiful ones I had seen in a very long time!
Being in San Diego, a drive up north towards La Jolla is worth it, too – not only to see sea lions sunbathing just a few meters next to the footpath, but also to walk along the coast and watch the heavy waves, check out the beautiful shops and have lunch (or a scone, they are amazing!) at Brick & Bell Café.
Furthermore, I obviously have to tell you about Downtown San Diego. I was a bit surprised by how „empty“ and quiet if was, I imagined it to be a lot busier. However, walking down 5th Avenue all the way through Gaslamp Quarter to the convention center, then heading towards Seaport Village for a view over Coronado Island isn’t the worst way of spending a few hours in the area. If you have time, I guess taking the ferry to Coronado Island is a good thing to do, we, however, walked further to Balbao Park, where concerts take place and they have a beautiful Japanese garden.
Finally, I have to tell you about a place a friend had highly recommended to me, and although I must admit that I wasn’t as blown away as I had thought, it is still a pretty (yet slightly expensive) place: Extraordinary Desserts, where beautiful cakes, tarts, muffins and brownies are being displayed in the front, and can be enjoyed with a pot of tea in the nicely designed back of the restaurant.