Sunny San Diego has a well-earned reputation for near-perfect weather in every season. Soak in over 250 blue-sky days each year that give way to warm, Mediterranean-style summers, cool falls, and comfortable winters. But gorgeous weather isn’t the only thing San Diego has going for it.
The city is home to 70 miles of gorgeous coastline, a bustling downtown area showcasing world-class dining, art, and entertainment, and pockets of cozy neighborhoods just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for a few days of laid-back beach time, fun family outings, or an art-and-culture-focused getaway, San Diego delivers all of that and more.
Our San Diego Destination Manager, Megan Block, recently shared her ideal itinerary for three perfect days in Southern California’s “Beach City,” complete with amazing food, sun and surf, and visits to some of the area’s top attractions.
DAY 1: Mission Beach
Wake early and enjoy the incredible views from your Mission Beach home before walking to Olive Baking Company for a coffee and pastry. Their pillowy-soft cinnamon rolls and gooey sticky buns are deliciously decadent and not-to-be-missed!
After breakfast, grab the sunscreen and a couple of towels and walk down to the beach for a relaxing morning by the water. Your Local Host will arrange whatever you need for a comfortable day of sun and sand. Mission Beach is the perfect place to sun, swim, play, and people watch.
For lunch, head to one of our favorite taco spots. The super-casual El Jefes, on the boardwalk is a busy beachside stand serving up authentic grab-and-go tacos. Try the fish tacos drizzled with their perfectly tangy chipotle crème sauce along with a refreshing agua fresca. Or, if you prefer a sit-down meal, consider Mahi torta or house ceviche at Taco Surf close by.
In the afternoon, explore the shops and family-friendly rides and attractions along the boardwalk, or head indoors to unwind with a signature massage at the elegant Catamaran Resort or seaweed leaf body treatment at the famed Hotel del Coronado.
DAY 2: See the Sights
On the second day of your stay, take advantage of the fully stocked gourmet kitchen to prepare breakfast at home and enjoy it outdoors on the patio. With expansive views of ocean, sand, and early morning sky, it’s an incredible way to start the day!
Afterwards, put on your walking shoes for a day out seeing the sights in nearby Balboa Park. This 1,200-acre oasis is the cultural heart of the city. It’s the world’s largest urban park (even larger than Central Park in NYC), and is where you’ll find over a dozen museums, lush gardens, and the famous San Diego Zoo.
Morning is a great time for a garden stroll. Make your way to the Botanical Building and Lily Pond (one of the most photographed sites in the park) where you can view thousands of interesting plant varietals. From there, you can branch out and visit the Spanish-style Alcazar Garden, the award-winning Rose Garden, the 12-acre Japanese Friendship Garden, and more. You may also want to make time to check out the architecture of the reconstructed Casa del Prado, the historic Cabrillo Bridge, and the contemporary Sculpture Garden during your walk.
Next, make your way up to the zoo entrance for more exploring. The San Diego Zoo is easy to see why people visit from around the world. With hundreds of species of animals, stunning landscaping shops, and dining, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.
We encourage going on the Discovery Cart Tour of the zoo with your own private guide. On this unique 60-minute excursion, you’ll cover a ton of ground while learning more about the zoo and its global conservation efforts, and get a closer look at your favorite animals, all from the comfort of an open-air vehicle.
For lunch, we’ve made reservations at Albert’s Restaurant in the center of the zoo, where you’ll dine on classic, chef-inspired dishes on their outdoor patio overlooking a private waterfall. Keep it light with the crispy rice tuna starter and salad or splurge with the delicious steak frites entrée or chicken piccata.
In the afternoon, continue your exploration of Balboa Park with a visit to one (or two) of San Diego’s impressive museums. There are 16 located within the park, and it’s impossible to see them all in one day, so pick the ones you’re most excited about and save the rest for a future trip. The fun Comic-Con Museum is a must-do for pop culture and comic fans. The San Diego Museum of Art’s diverse collection — representing expressionism, impressionism, world art, classic, and modern — is a definite draw for any art aficionados. And the interactive exhibits, fossils, and dinosaur displays at the San Diego Natural History Museum make it the perfect destination for nature and history lovers of all ages.
After your full day out, settle in for a delicious dinner at the chic Herb & Wood restaurant, where you’ll enjoy elevated California-inspired Mediterranean dishes from Chef Brian Malarkey. The grilled Iberico pork and za’atar-crusted tuna are unbelievably good, as are the wood-fired pizzas. Just make sure you save room for the chocolate tarte or olive oil cake for dessert.
DAY 3: Sun, Sand, and Shopping
Wrap up your San Diego vacation with a day of shopping and sightseeing in lovely La Jolla, a seaside town nicknamed “the jewel” of San Diego
Have brunch at the historic Brockton Villa housed in one of the town’s original beach cottages, overlooking the world-famous La Jolla Cove. We recommend the crab cake plate or breakfast tacos, depending on your tastes, though the classic French toast is also incredible.
From there, walk over to Ellen Browning Scripps Park for more panoramic ocean views and a chance to see wild seals, sea lions, sea gulls, and pelicans along the rocky shore below. Then make your way a few blocks over to downtown La Jolla where you’ll find rows of high-end shops offering everything from clothes and jewelry to home goods, specialty items, and more.
The Girard Avenue & Prospect Street area is a nice place to start. Cute storefronts, pretty sidewalks, and a range of local and big-name boutiques make it the perfect spot. Browse the showroom at Nativa Interiors, up your skincare game with luxury items from Bluemercury, shop for books and cool stationery items at Warwick’s (the country’s oldest family-run bookstore) and look for treasures at Ark Antiques. Then be sure to check out the shops on Ivanhoe for cute souvenirs and La Jolla’s trendy design district for some of the city’s best galleries and design boutiques.
When you’re ready for a break from shopping, drive back to Mission Beach for lunch on the sidewalk patio at Cannonball Sushi. Merging traditional Japanese fare with Southern California flavors, this beachside eatery offers deliciously unique sashimi and sushi rolls and heartier entrees such as the Cannonball Burger and fabulous Crispy Salmon Tacos.
That afternoon, grab your towels and head back to the soft sand beach in front of your Equity Estates home. Stretch out for a few more hours in the sun, enjoying blue sky overhead and Pacific Ocean waves at your feet.
In the evening, we’ll have reservations for you at World Famous — another of our favored San Diego restaurants. Though the vibe is low-key, the food is some of the best in town. The innovative menu mixes surf, turf, and elevated pub food with fresh, seasonal flavors and a generous selection of wine, craft beer, and surfside cocktails. We recommend starting off with the California crab cakes and calamari frito. The potato wrapped seabass and San Francisco style cioppino are also trusted local favorites.
End the day with a glass of wine at your Equity Estates home, watching the sun set across the water and reliving the highlights of your San Diego getaway before turning in for the night.
At Home in San Diego with Equity Estates
Take California living to a whole new level in our luxurious five-bedroom, beachfront vacation home located on San Diego’s Mission Beach. Just a short drive from La Jolla and steps away from the water, this spacious residence is perfect for a family vacation or time away with friends.
An expansive deck and large windows provide incredible ocean views, while the home’s high-end gourmet kitchen, spa-like bathrooms, and cozy seating areas invite you to relax and unwind in comfort. Whether you’re out taking advantage of the magnificent Southern California weather or just enjoying the neighborhood’s friendly, mellow vibe, you’re sure to be plotting your next San Diego vacation before you ever leave for home.
Your Destination Manager will work with you to plan your itinerary before you arrive and make sure your stay is effortless. Leave the details to us and arrive to a fully stocked kitchen and bar with groceries of your choice. With Equity Estates, comfort and luxury are yours.
Travel with Equity Estates for a unique and memorable experience. If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or click to schedule a call. Your fabulous San Diego getaway awaits!