Spooky Nights in San Diego | San Diego, California


October is the ideal time to visit San Diego. The weather is still mild enough for a day at the beach, but the crowds of summer are long gone. Stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado for a beach escape during Halloween. San Diego has a number of Halloween events and attractions that you’ll find both terrifying and fun.


Hotel del Coronado

Bask in luxury under the iconic red rooftops of the Hotel del Coronado, a San Diego landmark since 1888. The seaside resort has numerous ocean-view eateries, pools and hot tubs complete with cabanas and a bar, and a relaxing spa. The hotel is steps from a pristine beach and just a short distance from the island’s shops and restaurants. Book the Beach Village Offer and stay in one of their secluded cottages or villas with personal concierge service, daily breakfast, and a $200 resort credit.

Get your costumes ready! Attend the Hotel del Coronado’s Hallo-wine & Spirits event on Saturday, October 29th. It begins with a reception featuring tasty snacks, then transforms into a party with dessert, drinks, dancing, and a costume contest.


Coronado Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of making craft beer in San Diego. Stop by the Coronado Brew Pub for lunch and a beer. We love the Mermaid’s BBQ Burger, topped with bacon, white cheddar, red ale BBQ sauce, and crispy fried onions. Pair it with the Coronado Blood Orange Wit, a crisp and citrusy beer infused with blood orange tea.


The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel is San Diego’s longest running haunted house. Located in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, it’s the perfect activity if you’re looking for a Halloween scare. Enter the haunted house and encounter a Hellevator, zombie alley, island of dolls, clown subway, and torture temple. Can you make it out?


The Haunted Trail

Like The Haunted Hotel, The Haunted Trail is a fantastic Halloween tradition. The outdoor, mile-long path in Balboa Park is sure to terrify even the most courageous of visitors. Start out in “The eXperiment,” a 3,500 square foot maze of incarcerated lost souls. If you make it through, you’ll move on to brave the chainsaws, ghouls, and horrific characters of the Trail.


The Scream Zone

San Diego’s largest Halloween attraction is The Scream Zone, a complex of horrors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Enter The Scream Zone for free and enjoy food vendors, photo opportunities, and a bar. From there, you can choose which attractions to purchase tickets for. Highlights this year include KarnEvil, a frightening carnival freak show, and Zombie Boot Camp, an obstacle course that will get you ready for the zombie apocalypse. The Scream Zone also includes a House of Horror and Haunted Hayride.

Off to the Races in Del Mar | San Diego, California


Enjoy a seaside escape in San Diego’s North County. From July to September, racing season is on at the famous Del Mar Racetrack. Spend a day at the track cheering on your favorite horses and placing wagers. You’ll also want to explore the coastal towns of Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. From boutique shops to mouth-watering restaurants to serene beaches, you’ll experience just the right mix of adventure and relaxation.


Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Inspired by the palaces and resorts in Spain, France, and Italy, the luxurious Fairmont Grand Del Mar combines European and Southern Californian style. It features an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a spa, and over 37 miles of trails in the surrounding Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the ideal place to stay for a relaxing vacation. They provide free transportation to the nearby towns of Del Mar, La Jolla, and Solana Beach, and host fun summer events such as outdoor movie nights and beach escapes. With their A Day at the Races package, enjoy two nights in a guestroom or suite, breakfast for two each morning, reserved seats at the Del Mar Racetrack, and transportation to and from the track.


Off to the Races

The Del Mar Racetrack was built by a partnership of actors that included Bing Crosby, who was there to welcome fans when the track first opened in 1937. In its early years the racetrack was a popular spot for Hollywood stars, and going to the races remains a fashionable summer activity today. During racing season, which runs from July to September, spectators can spend the day making wagers, watching the races, and socializing at the track. Racing season incorporates other events such as a summer concert series, a Pizza & Beer Festival, and a Spirits & Sliders event.


Tony’s Jacal

After a day at the racetrack, head to Tony’s Jacal for dinner. Tony’s serves some of San Diego’s most authentic Mexican food. It opened in 1946, and many locals have been loyal customers for over 50 years. They’re known for their extensive menu that offers endless combinations of traditional Mexican dishes. Order a pitcher of margaritas and the Tostada Suprema, a mountain of beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole atop a crisp flour tortilla.


Solana Beach

Explore Solana Beach, a seaside community just north of Del Mar. Stroll down Cedros Avenue, a two and a half block stretch with over 85 independent shops that reflect the area’s cool and contemporary vibe. You can browse antiques, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and more. Spend the afternoon window-shopping and be sure to stop at Lockwood Table Café for an organic tea or fresh juice. If you’re in town for the weekend, visit Cedros Avenue on Sunday afternoon for the Solana Beach Farmers Market.


Moonlight Beach, Encinitas

Drive a little further up the coast to Encinitas, another lovely coastal town in North County. Head to Moonlight Beach, a beach named for the midnight picnics locals had there in the early 1900’s. Whether your ideal beach day includes relaxing on the sand, swimming in the ocean, or playing sports on the shore, Moonlight Beach has something for everyone. You’ll find picnic tables, volleyball courts, a snack bar, and fire pits. Plan to get there in the afternoon and stay for a bonfire when the sun goes down.

Blue Wave Bar and Grill at Island Palms | San Diego, California


The Blue Wave Bar & Grill at the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina offers handcrafted food and drinks, friendly service, and picturesque views. The on-site bar and restaurant features a marina view dining room and an outdoor deck overlooking the pool. The restaurant hosts a unique mix of hotel guests, locals, and crew members that have come to San Diego from all over the world. Executive Chef Christopher Spayde has created a contemporary California menu for all hours of the day.

Island Palms’ Shelter Island Escape Package offers guests the perfect way to experience the restaurant. In addition to complimentary parking at the hotel, you’ll be greeted with welcome beverages, receive a breakfast credit for two, and enjoy a 20% discount off of lunch or dinner at the Blue Wave throughout your stay.


Lunch With a View

The outdoor deck makes the Blue Wave a perfect place for lunch. Take a seat overlooking the marina and enjoy one of their handcrafted cocktails with your meal. Our server Theresa was friendly and attentive, answering all of our questions about the menu and recommending some wonderful food and drink pairings for us. Blue Wave offers a variety of classic and California-inspired dishes, all freshly made with house sauces and condiments.

Try the Grilled Fish Tacos for a truly Southern California meal. Fresh Mahi Mahi is wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with homemade salsa and Jalapeno crème. The tacos are served with a side of house-made potato chips. Pair your fish tacos with a Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 805 Blonde Ale, a refreshing and light California-style beer.

The Kobe Beef Burger is another one of Blue Wave’s most popular lunch options. The burger is cooked to your liking and piled high with cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and red onion. A delicious house-made garlic aioli is the perfect finishing touch. Be sure to ask for some crisp and flavorful French fries on the side.

If you have room, the lunch menu also includes tempting dessert choices including a Flourless Chocolate Torte and Carrot Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. They’re fun to share and it’s a great way to end your meal on a sweet note.


Happy Hour

Happy hour at the Blue Wave is the perfect way to cap off a day of sightseeing around the city. From 4-7pm daily, enjoy $3 domestic bottled beer and Bud Light Draft, $4 house wines, and $3.50 wells. You can also get select craft beers for $4. Blue Wave has beer on tap from many of San Diego’s best breweries like Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point Brewery. The happy hour menu includes mini tacos, sliders, and wings. We recommend sharing the Half Flatbread with chicken, caramelized onion, goat cheese, tomato, mushroom, basil, and balsamic reduction. Enjoy happy hour outside in the refreshing ocean breeze on the Blue Wave’s deck. Check into the Blue Wave Bar & Grill on Facebook to receive a special $5 drink of the day.


Fresh Cocktails

The Blue Wave specializes in classic cocktails with modern twists. They craft their drinks with freshly squeezed juices and house-made simple syrups. We love the Blood Orange Screwdriver, made with Tito’s Vodka, fresh blood orange juice, sparkling water, and house-made rosemary simple syrup. Another good choice is the Dirty Bird, a blend of Grey Goose vodka, olive juice, and blue cheese stuffed olives.

You don’t even have to wait until 5 o’clock. The Blue Wave has a full menu of breakfast cocktails that include traditional favorites like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Irish coffee. For something a little more adventurous, try the Peaches n’ Cream. It’s made with Absolut Apeach, peach liquor, orange juice, simple syrup, and half & half. If tequila is more your style, go with the Paloma, a refreshing mix of El Agave Silver Tequila, grapefruit juice, and sparkling water with a lime garnish.

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel and Marina | San Diego, California


Shelter Island has a tropical style that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into your own personal paradise. Stay at the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina, a waterfront hotel that encompasses three distinct building styles. Choose a room in the picturesque Island Palms, Mediterranean-style Casa Del Mar, or modern Casa Marina. Their expansive suites include fully equipped kitchens and a private patio or balcony. The hotel also features a private marina, a fitness center, tennis courts with complimentary racquet rentals, and a fantastic on-site restaurant. Enhance your stay with the Shelter Island Escape Package. It includes welcome beverages when you arrive, a breakfast credit for two, a 20% discount at the Blue Wave Bar & Grill, and complimentary parking.


Rise and Shine

Wake up and venture out into the fresh morning air. Island Palms has its very own waterfront jogging path only steps away from your room. The 3-mile loop meanders around Shelter Island and is perfect for a walk or run. You’ll take in views of the marina, the water, and lush tropical greenery. The hotel also offers complimentary bike rentals for your enjoyment!


Breakfast at Blue Wave

Island Palms’ onsite restaurant Blue Wave Bar & Grill offers marina views and plenty of breakfast options. Their Breakfast Value Menu offers classics like waffles, French toast, and oatmeal, while the Full Breakfast Specialties Menu has larger meals and more adventurous choices. We love the Breakfast Pizza, which has country gravy, bacon, tater tots, cheese and a poached egg, all topped off with arugula and drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. We also recommend trying a Blue Wave Bloody, hand-crafted with Stoli Jalapeno Vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix. Blue Wave takes this classic drink to the next level with homemade pickled vegetables and bacon salt.


Sailing Adventure

Shelter Island is a departure point for boating excursions. Go on an adventure with Sail San Diego, conveniently located just steps away from Island Palms. Their 3-hour Sailing Tour is ideal for a day out on the water. Tours depart at five different times throughout the day. Enjoy complimentary beer, wine, sodas, and snacks as you soak up the sun and enjoy the sea breeze. Sail San Diego even provides hats, jackets, sunscreen, sunglasses, and binoculars to make your trip as comfortable as possible.


Poolside Fun

At the end of the day, head back to the pool at Island Palms. Take a dip or relax with a good book on one of the many loungers surrounding the pool. Blue Wave Bar & Grill offers pool service and will bring an afternoon snack right to you. Kids will love the outdoor pool area and the fun toys provided by the hotel. The Blue Wave deck, overlooking the pool and the marina, is the perfect place to enjoy one of their refreshing cocktails. Blue Wave’s drinks are hand crafted with their own fresh-squeezed juices and homemade syrups. We recommend the tropical Mai Tai, made with Bacardi Light & Gold Rum, Captain Morgan, Myers, Amaretto, and pomegranate, orange, and pineapple juices.


Fathom Bistro, Bait, and Tackle

Across the street from the hotel you’ll find Fathom Bistro, a hidden gem frequented by locals. Right on the Shelter Island Pier, this unassuming bar has incredible views of downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge. Stop by for one of the many local craft beers they have on tap. Fathom Bistro is known for their homemade sausages and unique hot dog specialties. Try the Explodo Dog, a Vienna beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and smothered with pepper jack, house made kimchi, and mustard.

Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Suites | Day 2 | San Diego, California


Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites on Shelter Island is centrally located in close proximity to Highway 5 and downtown San Diego. With easy access to numerous attractions, shopping, and dining options, you’re only minutes away from all that America’s Finest City has to offer. Discover the beautiful beaches, cultural exhibits, and natural beauty of the area. Humphreys is the perfect place to begin your San Diego adventure.


On-site Breakfast

Head down to Humphreys Restaurant for a delectable breakfast. We recommend the traditional Eggs Benedict; it’s a hearty meal that will fuel you up for a day full of adventure. Have a seat by the window and watch the boats sail across the San Diego Bay. Don’t forget to bring your Humphreys Passport for exclusive savings. Receive a $50 daily dining credit and a free room upgrade when you book the Good Enough to Eat Package.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites makes it easy to explore the area. Skip the hassle of picking up a car and call Enterprise Rent-a-Car to have a vehicle conveniently dropped off to you at the resort. The promo code in your Humphreys Passport gets you 10% off the rental.


Cabrillo National Monument

Drive to the nearby Cabrillo National Monument to get a glimpse into San Diego’s historic past, along with dramatic views of the ocean and city. The monument honors Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to discover what is now the California coast. Cabrillo anchored his ship on the shores of Point Loma back in 1542. Today, the park is home to hiking trails, an original lighthouse, a whale watching lookout point, and natural tide pools. These small tide pools are habitats for various species of plants, fish, and other sea creatures that kids and adults will enjoy exploring up close. The park is mostly self-guided, with ranger-guided tours and a Visitor Center available.

In-N-Out Burger

Grab a quick bite at this California staple. Located at 3102 Sports Arena Blvd, In-N-Out Burger is only minutes away from Cabrillo and Shelter Island. This West Coast favorite has been open since 1948, serving American classics with “Quality You Can Taste.” The no-frills menu offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, and milkshakes. Ask for your burger served “Animal Style” and you’ll get a mustard grilled patty, pickles, grilled onions, and a generous helping of their secret sauce. Pair it with a Neapolitan shake – a combination of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla milkshakes swirled together.


Torrey Pines

To see more of San Diego’s coastal landscape, head north on the 5 up to Torrey Pines. Look for the South Beach entrance and you can park in the adjacent lot. The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2,000-acre coastal stretch of undeveloped land, home to pristine beaches and hiking trails with maritime chaparral and rare Torrey pines. We recommend the Guy Fleming Trail. It’s a pleasant 2/3-mile loop that features scenic overlooks with panoramic views. As you hike down the path, keep an eye out for the native wildflowers, ferns, and cacti.


La Jolla

Head south on Torrey Pines Road and you’ll find yourself in the beautiful coastal city of La Jolla. The popular La Jolla Shores is a sparkling, mile-long strip with soft sand and gentle waves. It’s a local gathering spot for families, sunbathers, and surfers. There are fire pits and volleyball courts right on the beach, and a playground and grassy picnic areas at the nearby Kellogg Park. For exciting water activities like kayaking, snorkeling and cliff jumping, visit La Jolla Cove. The quaint, picture-perfect beach is truly one of San Diego’s hidden gems. It’s situated on beautiful natural caves and is known to be one of the most photographed beaches in San Diego. The waters of La Jolla Cove are calm and ecologically protected, so surfing and boogie boarding are strictly prohibited. The area is home to various colorful fish, rays, small leopard sharks, and sea lions.


Belmont Park

For a fun-filled, family-friendly adventure, visit Belmont Park near Mission Bay. The colorful beachfront amusement park has thrilling rides, carnival games, and tasty treats. Park in any of the free public lots surrounding the park and stroll down the boardwalk. Climb aboard the famous Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, a high-speed attraction that was built back in 1925. Younger children will love the Liberty Carousel. Individual ride tickets are available, or you can purchase unlimited day passes. Sit down for dinner at Draft, an open-air grill and bar serving up over 60 beers on tap. It’s the perfect place for a casual beach side meal and brew with a view. Last but not least, don’t leave Belmont Park without visiting the Dole Whip stand. The refreshing dessert famously sold in Hawaii and Disneyland is now available in San Diego. Try the pineapple soft serve for a true taste of paradise.


Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Suites | Day 1| San Diego, California


Experience a Hawaiian island vacation in Southern California. A tropical paradise awaits you at Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites on San Diego’s Shelter Island. The newly renovated resort features modern rooms, suites and amenities, with amazing views of the San Diego Bay. Palm trees and lush greenery create a peaceful atmosphere. With an outdoor pool, on-site spa, award-winning restaurant, and live entertainment, there is no shortage of things to do. The nearby marina offers boat rentals, kayaking, jet skiing, and stand-up paddle boarding. Everything you need for a memorable vacation is within reach on Shelter Island. Book the Good Enough to Eat Package for a daily $50 dining credit and a free room upgrade!


Grand Marina Suite

You can bring the whole family or invite all your friends for an unforgettable getaway when you book the expansive Grand Marina Suite. At 1,050 square feet, the suite sleeps up to eight guests and includes a separate bedroom, living room, dining room, and fully equipped kitchen. Enjoy your own private, furnished patio or balcony overlooking the sparkling marina or tropical gardens.


Humphreys Brunch

Begin your day at Humphreys Restaurant. Their award-winning Sunday Brunch is served from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and features mouthwatering dishes and flowing champagne. From chef’s specialties to traditional morning fare, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to sample the wide selection of fresh seafood. We love the Canadian Sinku Oysters. Call 619.224.3577 to reserve your table.


Pure Body Spa

If you’re in need of relaxation and rejuvenation, treat yourself to a massage with Pure Body Spa at the onsite Massage Room. Your Humphreys Passport includes an exclusive discount for 10% off a 50-minute massage treatment or 15% off an 80-minute treatment. Choices include deep tissue, reflexology, aromatherapy, and Swedish massage services.


Bike Rentals

Take advantage of on-site complimentary bike rentals and cruise around Shelter Island. Your Humphreys Passport allows you two free hours of bike rentals. The gentle breeze and swaying palm trees make the perfect setting. Ride along the coast and watch the ships go by, or discover various pieces of public art throughout Shelter Island. Make your way down to the water and get ready for a day on the San Diego Bay.


Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Try stand-up paddle boarding at The Paddle Republic California. It’s a fun adventure for the whole family. Stand-up paddle boarding involves a large, stable “surfboard” that fully supports your weight as you stand upright and glide across the water with a long canoe paddle. Paddle Republic offers rentals, lessons, and tours. Humphreys guests can rent a paddle board for one hour and get an additional 30 minutes free.


Wind Down in the Afternoon

Late afternoon is the best time to hang out by the pool or watch the sunset. After a long day, relax in the outdoor pool area, where you can reserve a lounge chair. Indulge in the poolside bar and sip on a refreshing cocktail. End your day at one of the many secluded outdoor seating areas along the marina; it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over the water.


Discover Downtown San Diego | San Diego, California

San Diego is famous for its pristine beaches and year-round perfect weather. In the heart of the city, however, you’ll find a vibrant urban paradise. It’s filled with historic landmarks and popular attractions including the bustling Gaslamp Quarter, home to hotels, boutiques, restaurants, and evening hotspots. Stay in Downtown San Diego and immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful Southern California city.


Omni San Diego Hotel

The Omni San Diego Hotel is a 21-story luxury property in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. It’s steps away from the San Diego Convention Center and offers stunning views of the San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. Enjoy the sunshine on the outdoor terrace, complete with a pool, fire pits, and rooftop lounge. The hotel also is connected to Petco Park by a convenient sky bridge. Experience a Padres game with extra touches of luxury and convenience when you book the Beer, Bratwurst, and Baseball Package. It includes deluxe accommodations, Upper Infield or Field Box tickets to a San Diego Padres game, two beers and two bratwursts at Zumbido, overnight valet parking, and complimentary peanuts and crackerjacks.


Petco Park

No visit to downtown San Diego is complete without catching a Padres game! Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, is a stunning baseball stadium that’s also a popular venue for concerts and events. The recently renovated park includes a new HD video board, additional seating areas, and a multitude of restaurants and breweries. San Diego is famous for its booming craft beer scene, and Petco Park lets you sample some of the city’s finest brews in one place. On the field level, you’ll find plenty of delicious eateries to fill up between innings. Phil’s BBQ is a San Diego staple serving up legendary barbecue with their tangy, signature sauce. For dessert, stop by Baked Bear, a local chain that’s known for their ice cream sandwiches made with fresh baked cookies. View the Padres schedule and purchase tickets online.

Omnia_644x270 Omnia Nightclub

When the sun goes down, downtown San Diego turns into an after-hours playground. Omnia San Diego delivers the ultimate nightlife experience with rooftop cabanas, a modern lounge area, and a vibrant dance floor. Owned by the Las Vegas-based Hakkasan Group, Omnia Nightclub brings high-end style to the Gaslamp Quarter. The recently opened venue boasts an impeccable design and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. Omnia San Diego boasts a rotating roster of world-class DJs, including Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, and The Chainsmokers. The nightclub celebrates its 1-year anniversary this month with a three-day celebration beginning on May 19th. Purchase a VIP Bar Package online to receive expedited entry and a $50 credit to use at the bar.


The Mission

Recover from your night on the town with brunch at The Mission. The local eatery offers hearty, health-conscious dishes at affordable prices. The original location opened in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood and grew from a coffeehouse to a full-scale restaurant. Now with three locations across San Diego, The Mission remains a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The menu focuses on simple, fresh ingredients with playful presentations. We love their signature Mission French Toast made with cinnamon bread and topped with fresh berries. Dine on the patio to take advantage of the beautiful weather.


Horton Plaza

After brunch, treat yourself to an afternoon of shopping at Horton Plaza, a colorful outdoor mall in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter. The five-story structure is known for its whimsical design with mismatched levels and colorful architecture. Browse the diverse selection of over 130 department stores, designer boutiques, and souvenir shops. Stop by the food court for a quick lunch, or grab a healthy snack from Jimbo’s, a San Diego grocery chain that offers locally grown, non-GMO products. After shopping, sit back and enjoy a show at the adjacent Balboa Theatre.


Balboa Theatre

The extraordinary Balboa Theatre has been a San Diego landmark since 1924. After several changes in ownership, the property was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places before closing for over twenty years. This historic theatre reopened in January 2008 with beautifully restored finishes and modern interior renovations. Since then, the Balboa Theatre has received numerous awards and accolades. It was recently named one of the “15 World’s Most Spectacular Theatres” by CNN Travel. View the online calendar for the full schedule of upcoming shows.

Exploring La Jolla | San Diego, California


Nicknamed “the jewel,” La Jolla has become one of San Diego’s most popular areas, stretching for miles along beautiful coastline. Stroll through the quaint downtown village, eat at some of San Diego’s best restaurants, and spend a day exploring Torrey Pines.


Hyatt Regency La Jolla

Stay at the newly renovated Hyatt Regency La Jolla, a stylish hotel located halfway between downtown La Jolla and Torrey Pines. You’ll be minutes away from La Jolla Cove and Torrey Pines State Beach, so you can spend the day exploring the areas’ beaches. At night, return to the hotel to relax in front of a fire pit or take a dip in the outdoor heated pool. Make your stay extra special with their Romance Package, which includes a luxury room, VIP services, and valet parking. You and your loved one will enjoy champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and full breakfast for two.


Caroline’s Seaside Café

Start your day off right with brunch at Caroline’s Seaside Café. It’s located on the second floor of the Scripps Seaside Forum and has impressive views of the Scripps Pier, La Jolla Shores, and La Jolla village. Caroline’s makes delicious California-style scrambles, pastries, wraps, sandwiches, and salads. We recommend the Curried Chicken-Almond Salad Sandwich made with local tomatoes and avocado.


Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Head north along the coast to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. With ten easy trails featuring incredible ocean views, it’s a great place for an afternoon hike. Most of the paths are under a mile long, so you can pick a few in different areas of the reserve. Save the Beach Trail for last – it meanders down to the water and you can walk along the beach on your way back to the car.


Torrey Pines Gliderport

Charles Lindbergh himself flew along Torrey Pines in the 1930s. For almost a century, the Torrey Pines Gliderport has been a premier aviation spot for hang gliding and paragliding. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it yourself! You can soar over the coast on a tandem flight. For those who would rather watch, grab a bite to eat in the Cliff Hanger Café. You’ll have a view of the ocean, the gliders, and sometimes even dolphins and whales.


George’s At The Cove

Located on the tip of downtown La Jolla, George’s At The Cove has amazing food and sweeping views. The restaurant has three levels, each of which provide a different dining experience. On the first level you’ll find California Modern, which uses local and seasonal ingredients to create a casual yet delicious menu. George’s Bar on the middle level is the best place to sip unique cocktails and local craft beers. We recommend dinner at Ocean Terrace, where you can enjoy rooftop seating and watch the sunset. For a truly Californian meal, try the Marinated and Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos with jalapeno-lime mayo, avocado, cilantro, and cabbage.

California on a Budget | San Diego, California


San Diego is often referred to as “America’s Finest City.” With pristine beaches, one of the largest zoos in the world, and beautiful sunny weather year-round, it’s not an exaggerated description. San Diego truly embodies the classic Southern California culture. But a great San Diego vacation is so much more than an expensive hotel and a trip to the beach. The city is full of incredible art, picturesque scenery, and a booming culinary scene. There are plenty of things to see and do in San Diego that are extremely budget friendly. Take a look at these suggestions; your wallet will thank you!


Sofia Hotel

You’ll be right next to the excitement of the Gaslamp Quarter when you stay at the Sofia Hotel. This boutique hotel is set in an ornate gothic revival building that dates back to 1926. It’s the perfect combination of historic elegance and modern luxury. The well-appointed guest rooms feature flat screen TVs, mini fridges, microwaves, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The property is also pet friendly and completely smoke-free. Book the San Diego Zoo package to experience one of the largest zoos in the world! You’ll receive deluxe accommodations and two tickets to the San Diego Zoo.


Tacos El Gordo

Skip the fancy white tablecloth and head south. Tacos El Gordo is a family owned and operated company that has been in service for over 40 years. The San Diego location first opened in 1998, and since then they’ve become widely known for their dedication to quality and authentic flavor. The menu is simple and consists of traditional tacos, quesadillas, and various preparations of meat cooked to perfection. The line to order can get long, but it’s worth the wait! Order a few of their adobada tacos made with marinated spicy pork, cilantro, onions, and their signature cream sauce.


Chicano Park

Visit Barrio Logan to see the murals scattered throughout Chicano Park. Chicano Park spans almost 8 acres and showcases San Diego’s diverse Latin roots. The astounding works of art give you a glimpse into the unique history of the city. Mexican-Americans first settled in the area as early as the 1890s!


Mt. Woodson Trail

Gear up and climb the scenic Mount Woodson Trail. It begins at Lake Poway and takes you through a challenging route that reaches an elevation of over 2,000 feet. It’s a challenging hike, but you’ll come across extraordinary landscapes as you make your way to the summit. Find the infamous “potato chip rock” before you reach the peak. Be sure to snap a picture! It’s a dramatic rock formation you won’t find anywhere else. Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with panoramic views from Lake Poway all the way across the city.


Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is a historical site located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood near downtown San Diego. The pedestrian bridge is a hidden gem that was built back in 1912. It spans 375 feet long and hangs almost 70 feet above the ground. Be extra cautious if you’re afraid of heights! The bridge tends to wobble and sway towards the middle. Make your way across and you’ll find several “love locks” adorning the railings. Take in the beautiful scenery and hike down to explore the canyon below.


Cabrillo National Park

Explore Cabrillo National Park to learn about San Diego’s cultural and historic past. The national monument commemorates Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the West Coast back in 1542. The plaza around the monument offers scenic views that stretch all the way down to Mexico. The park is also home to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, an original structure that’s been restored and is now open to the public. Head south from the lighthouse and you’ll find the whale watch lookout. Keep your eye on the water; January and February are peak months for whale watching!


Shelter Island | San Diego, California


Shelter Island is a waterfront neighborhood of Point Loma. Though it’s known as an island, it’s actually connected to the mainland by a narrow strip. It was originally a sandbank visible only at low tide and was built up and developed in the 1950s. It’s now home to several resorts, marinas, restaurants, and attractions. From water activities to fine dining, here are some of our favorite things to do on Shelter Island.


The Bay Club Hotel & Marina

Spacious guest rooms, waterfront views, and a private marina make the Bay Club Hotel the quintessential San Diego vacation destination. Soak in the sunshine as you relax by the pool, or enjoy panoramic views of the San Diego Bay as you dine at the Quarterdeck, their onsite restaurant and bar. Book the Romantic Island Getaway package for and treat someone you love to water view accommodations, dinner for two, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.


Pearl of the Pacific

Make sure you see the “Pearl of the Pacific”, located in Shelter Island’s Pacific Rim Park. It’s an outdoor work of art that is a symbol of San Diego’s connection to China, Mexico and Russia. The images on the park’s tiles represent the four countries that make up the Pacific Rim: the Chinese dragon, and American shore bird, Russian Siberian tiger, and Mexican Quetzalcoatl. The scenic waterfront location is a popular destination for weddings, picnics, and just laying out to relax.


Stand up paddle boarding

Adventure out on the water and float across the gorgeous San Diego Bay on a standup paddleboard! Shelter Island is the ideal location, surrounded by calm waters for beginners and open ocean access for thrill seekers and more experienced riders. Commonly known as SUPing, it’s a fun activity for everyone to enjoy! Visit Action Sport Rentals located in the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island to rent a board for up to 8 hours.



Looking to take a fishing trip? H&M Landing is the oldest, most experienced sportfishing company on the West Coast! They’ve represented San Diego’s finest passenger fleet since 1935. Whether you’re looking to take the family out on a private charter or seeking the excitement of offshore fishing, their experienced staff and various boats will guarantee a memorable experience! They offer half-day up to multiday trips. Book online in advance to secure your spot!


Bali Hai Happy Hour

Relax, grab a bite, and sip on a refreshing island cocktail at the Bali Hai Restaurant, a local favorite that’s been around for over 50 years. They serve delectable coastal Asian fusion cuisine and are known for their world famous Mai Tai. The restaurant is located right on the edge of Shelter Island and offers extraordinary views of the San Diego Bay and downtown skyline. Stop in for happy hour any weekday from 3 pm – 6 pm and enjoy discounted appetizers. Stay a while and catch the sunset over the water!


Concerts by the Bay

End your night with live music right on the waterfront! Humphrey’s theater has been bringing talented musicians and entertainers to San Diego since 1982. Situated between Humphreys Restaurant and Half Moon Inn & Suites, the 1,400 seat outdoor theatre is the perfect place to spend a summer evening. Check out the concert schedule online and buy your ticket today!