Travel: San Diego Guide

Travel: San Diego Guide

Erin Made may be based out of sunny Florida, but we are all about that Coast-to-Coast lifestyle!  Last weekend, I booked a last-minute trip out to my favorite place in the world – San Diego, CA!  I would love to call this place “home” someday soon, and after a few visits, I’ve started to narrow down some of SD’s sweetest spots.  I’ve compiled a breakdown of some of my favorite areas in the city, so read on if you’re California Dreamin’ 24/7 like me!



Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach (or PB as the locals call it) is an area mixed with both tourists and locals, but is probably one of my favorite places to hang out in San Diego.  This past trip, every morning I woke up super early and walked to the beach for a picnic breakfast.  It was during this time (and many other times during the trip) that I got to engage in my favorite pastime – watching the beauty that is the California surfer.  Pacific Beach is a great surf spot and you’re bound to catch some surfers (or a wave of your own) almost any time of the day!

While I’m in Pacific Beach, my favorite place to grab lunch (and breakfast… and dinner… and a snack in between) is The Mad Beet.  This açaí café is located on Garnet Avenue, just a five-minute walk from the beach.  Of all the açaí I’ve tried around the world, The Mad Beet’s is by far the best!  With imaginative menu item names (ahem…highly recommend the Granolling Stones bowl) and cool art and music adding to the atmosphere, this spot is a must-visit when in Pacific Beach.




Bird Rock
        One day, I took a Lime scooter from my Inn on Pacific Beach and rode up to Bird Rock.  This quieter area is the halfway point between PB and La Jolla and has a lot of cute boutiques and cafes.  My favorite spot in Bird Rock was Seaside Surf Café, the cutest eatery-meets-surf shop offering ALL the California vibes!  Grab a veggie sandwich and organic, fresh-pressed juice and head next door to browse through their extensive swimsuit, apparel, and surfboard collection. 


        After you’re done, walk (or Lime) around the surrounding boutiques and seaside homes decorated with skinny palm trees and dreamy vintage cars.  Sometimes the most refreshing part of traveling is wandering aimlessly with no destination in mind!

La Jolla
La Jolla is another one of my favorite places in San Diego!  You can find some absolutely beautiful quiet beaches around La Jolla tucked between all the different neighborhoods.  Again, one of my favorite things to do in La Jolla is simply wander around!  The cute beachside neighborhoods are dotted with some of the most vibrant vegetation (literal cacti-as-big-as-your-house) that I’ve ever seen! 



If you’re in a shopping mood, head on over to the Village for some of your favorite shops as well as San Diego-native boutiques and eateries.  The Village is often home to some fun events and festivals – the weekend I last visited, there was a free Art and Wine festival!  So fun!


North Park
I had never heard of North Park, let alone seen North Park, until this past trip to San Diego.  My first evening, I went on a boat ride around the city and met an adorable London-turned-San Diego native couple who told me all about SD’s hidden gems.  They told me I had to visit North Park, the hotspot for local young artists and business-owners.  I can now affirm that it lived up to the hype!
As a girl who doesn’t drink coffee, I am always the one to order a matcha latte when I go to a café with friends, so it was a glorious moment for me walking into Holy Matcha.  This café had a creative all-matcha menu complete with plant based milks and delicious snacks!  I ordered the strawberry matcha with almond milk and loved every sip.  Not only is the matcha mesmerizing, but the place is entirely pink and decorated with plants.  A total matcha (and Instagram-lover’s) dream!



After Holy Matcha, I walked around to the different boutiques and made my way up a few streets to Pigment.  This San Diego-based artisan gift shop was an absolute dream come true!  From clothes, to accessories, to plants, to stationary, to everything-in-between, Pigment is a one-stop-shop for all things cute.  Not in the mood to shop?  No worries!  You can just chill out in their wicker hanging chairs and swing by the huge open windows and watch passersby.  A total vibe.




Golden Hill
Golden Hill is another cute area to visit in San Diego, offering both local hidden gems and more tourist-heavy (although gorgeous) locations.  One classic SD must-see in this area is Balboa Park.  This huge park encompasses the San Diego Zoo as well as the art and natural history museums (just to name a couple), with flowering vegetation filling the spaces in-between.  You’d need more than a day to conquer all that Balboa Park has to offer!


Once you venture out into the more residential areas of Balboa Park, you can once again find some local restaurants and shops.  One of my favorites is The Haven thrift store, offering the most amazing thrift treasures you’ll ever find.  Where else would you be lucky enough to score vintage embroidered flares and an embossed leather purse at an affordable price?? (Still crying).  From clothes, to crystals, to purses, you’ll find it all and fall in love at The Haven.



So there was a quick run-through of some of my favorite areas to visit when I’m in San Diego.  While all these places add to the relaxed, SoCal vibes of San Diego that I’ve grown to adore, it’s important to remember that it’s the people make up the true character of this city!  I met so many cool locals on this past trip who gave me some amazing recommendations and friendship along the way.  So be sure to connect with others while still taking time to find peace within yourself while you’re out traveling Coast to Coast!  Have you been to the San Diego??  What are your favorite places to explore along the Best Coast?



 Follow Gracie on Instagram @graciek19


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My daughter, Madeline Hill went to college at Philadelphia University with Erin – so happy she’s doing so well – love all her things!!!!

Linda Hill

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