Surprise: San Diego

Zack & I have done a good amount of exploring around California this year, and we managed to squeeze in one more trip before 2015 ended.

I wanted to surprise Zack with a trip to San Diego for his 26th birthday, but with Zack’s unpredictable work schedule, I had to be extra sneaky. He ended up getting an unexpected long weekend around Thanksgiving, so I told him we would be celebrating his birthday that Saturday (no specifics). So when Saturday morning rolled around, I woke him up bright and early and said, “Let’s go.”

I didn’t give him a single hint about where we were going until the San Diego skyline was in view. I told him we were headed to the San Diego Zoo for they day, had a dinner date at Coronado Island, and would be spending the next morning exploring the lighthouse and tide pools at Point Loma. His response (after expressing his excitement and complete shock/surprise): “But I didn’t pack an overnight bag.” Yep, I had that covered too. Let the adventure begin.

San Diego Zoo
I remember coming to this zoo with my family when I was younger, and it was still just as fun. We got there when they opened and spent about 6 hours wandering the zoo. I had also packed a picnic lunch so we didn’t have to spend an arm and a leg on food inside the park. From tigers play fighting, to lazy pandas, to baby hippos…this zoo has a ton of animals to check out and I’m adding this to the “must list” for first time visitors to San Diego.

There’s also the San Diego Safari Park (on our list for next time).


Coronado Island
It’s actually a peninsula, and you can get here by ferry or car. We opted to drive across the Coronado Bay Bridge (super tall, but gives a great view). The beaches of Coronado are supposed to be some of the most beautiful, but it was a little chilly (and late) for sunbathing. Honestly, we headed to Coronado not knowing much, but it ended up being a really nice and relaxing evening. We found street parking near the Hotel del Coronado, a gorgeous Victorian-style hotel that was decked out in holiday decorations, and wandered the grounds. There were shops, restaurants, and even an outdoor ice skating rink sitting right on the beach. For dinner we settled into a cute little restaurant on the bay: Bluewater Boathouse. It was amazing sea food and fabulous service.


Point Loma
The next morning we drove out to Point Loma to visit the tide pools and other landmarks. The peninsula offers a view of San Diego on one side, and a never ending view of the Pacific Ocean on the other. We wandered around the Cabrillo National Monument and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse before making our way down to the tide pools.
Unfortunately the tides were not in our favor–low tide (well…the lowest low tide) wouldn’t be until late afternoon and we had head home soon. But even though we couldn’t see all the little critters in the tide pools, wandering around the cliffs and watching the waves crash into the rocks was still a sight worth seeing.
When I was researching things to do in San Diego, I discovered so many things to do and places to explore. And since it’s such a quick drive from LA, I know we will definitely be visiting again. 2015, you’ve treated us to many wonderful adventures, and I’m hoping 2016 is filled with just as many (or more).

XO – Courtney

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