Wish You Were Here: La Jolla & San Diego

The water is always glistening, the sun is always shining in the city and it’s both relaxing and exciting.

La Jolla
PHOTO Nadia Cho

I went jetsetting in San Diego for the very first time a few weeks ago with my handsome man candy. Living in L.A., you always hear so much about San Diego from fellow Angelenos who frequent our southern neighbor for weekend getaways. From everything that I had heard, San Diego is a happy place with sunny beaches and buzzy bars and dope Mexican food and tons of things to do outdoors all the time. It was time to experience the eternally popular California beach destination for myself.

The drive down the I-5 South from L.A. is awesome. Once you get past all the bullshit between DTLA and Commerce and hit San Clemente, you see teal and baby blue coastline to your right for the rest of the drive. We even stopped to get deliciously cheap tacos for 95 cents (!!) each at a taqueria near Long Beach. I couldn’t tell you the random exit ramp we got off in, you’ll just have to find it yourself.  The gorgeous beachy drive makes for one road trip that’ll definitely get you in a good mood, even with traffic to slow you down.

I-5 South
PHOTO Nadia Cho

We drove into La Jolla to spend the first night of our getaway, and my god, it was an insane delight. La Jolla is the rich glistening suburb twenty minutes from San Diego. The town looks absolutely magical with lush green tropical plants lining the streets, multimillion dollar homes with sleek modernist designs and of course, the beautiful natural coast it’s all perched on. There’s only one place to stay in La Jolla, and it’s the Grande Colonial. It’s the oldest hotel in La Jolla stretching back over 100 years and also the prettiest building on the block in Downtown La Jolla. Everything about the Grande Colonial is classic and vintage with plush furnishings in an elegant continental luxury style.

The Grande Colonial
PHOTO Nadia Cho

We had dinner at Herringbone La Jolla, the original location of the fun, uber-stylish seafood restaurant chain. With a one-of-a-kind elevated bohemian interior and seasonal seafood menu, Herringbone is a world-class restaurant that you’ll want to treat yourself to every season. I’m still dreaming about my Seared Sea Scallops that were topped with hazelnuts, pancetta and bacon vinaigrette on a bed of tasty crunchy black lentils. Not to mention the perfectly light yet super flavorful curry sauce that came with the mussels. Everything about this unique seafood restaurant is on point and not to be missed!

The next morning we drove into San Diego proper to spend the night in the city. First thing we did was eat some bomb Mexican food which we found at Salud in Barrio Logan, thanks to a tip by Chef Jesse at Herringbone. Salud is laidback, authentic and cool, encapsulating everything I imagine about living in San Diego. With a straightforward offering of tacos, empanadas of the day, margaritas, a side of street corn and a very exciting salsa bar, Salud gave me everything I’d been dreaming Mexican food in San Diego to be.

la jolla san diego
PHOTO Nadia Cho

There’s no better place to stay to explore San Diego than Kimpton Solamar in Gaslamp District. This was my first time staying at a Kimpton, and at first I was a bit wary of the hotel chain brand. But what I learned was that each Kimpton has a distinct design, thus making each one an authentically unique boutique hotel. Solamar is smack dab in the middle of all the bars and restaurants in Gaslamp District with an awesome restaurant in-house as well. It even has a fun, colorful rooftop that’s perfect for summer pool parties and days when you want to lounge and have a drink in the sun.

Overall, San Diego was everything that I’d heard it would be. The water is always glistening, the sun is always shining in the city and the people are so much nicer and approachable than in L.A. It’s both relaxing and exciting depending on what you want, making it the perfect getaway destination for friend groups and young people. I know I’ll definitely be back to soak up more sun and culture in this beach city real soon!

la jolla san diego
PHOTO Nadia Cho

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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