Visit San Diego!
I truly can’t believe that in the four years since I have been living in Southern California, I had never been down to San Diego until this weekend. Maybe it’s because I thought it was too far, or because I wasn’t sure what there was to do that was too much different than LA? But I was so excited to partner with San Diego Tourism to * finally* make it down there and explore for myself this past weekend. I can’t believe how much fun Mark and I had - we are already planning our return trip!
Mark and planned to leave work a little early on Friday to try to miss the usually awful SoCal traffic. We didn’t do a great job of that and actually ended up leaving an hour later than planned, but still managed to make it to San Diego in about two and a half hours (including a snack break for yours truly). First stop for the weekend?
You & Yours Distillery;
I have been a fan of You & Yours ever since I read a write up on the founder and owner, Laura. I am super passionate about women business owners in nontraditional fields (and honestly about any cocktails made with gin…), so Laura’s artisanal cocktail spirits in California’s first urban destination craft distillery is my jam. Laura sat down with us for a tasting of their products, explained all the tasting notes and the process of distillation. Did you know that *all* gin is made from vodka first? Or that You & Yours distills with California Wine Grapes, making 100% grain and gluten free vodka and gin that are absolutely perfect for cocktails? Now you do!
After the distillery, Mark and I headed to Petco Park to catch the Padres playing the Mets. Y’all might not know this about me, but I am a huge baseball person-- and Petco Park is my 15th MLB Stadium that I have visited! Even though the Padres lost it was a good game, and Mark and I were struck by the food situation at the park- tons of amazing San Diego local restaurants and breweries have stalls at the stadium, essentially eliminating our dilemma on where to go to eat because we could go to any of them! I decided on the surf and turf tacos from Lucha Libre, (and a Perky Blonde Ale from Resident Brewing) while Mark stuck to a cheeseburger and onion rings from Hodad’s with a Ballast Point IPA. Home Run, Y’all!
We stayed in Little Italy for the weekend, and heard amazing things about the farmers market. While I have been to a farmer’s market or two in LA, I was impressed with just how HUGE this one was-- several city blocks with so much produce and so many local products to choose from. My favorite was Superfood & Company craft superfood coldbrew and kombucha, a “guac and walk” stand selling amazing chips and guac, and the locally grown flowers. After the Farmer’s Market on the way to breakfast, we stumbled on the Little Italy Art Walk-- streets upon streets of local artists, performers and other creatives
Herb & Eatery
After eating our way through the farmers market, brunch was at Herb & Eatery, part grab and go market, part restaurant and part art gallery. I grabbed a thai chicken breakfast sandwich (and a Superfood & Company Kombucha) and Mark got the California breakfast burrito and fresh squeezed orange juice.
After breakfast Mark and I swung by Bird Rock Coffee Roasters to grab me another coffee (never not drinking coffee!) and then off to Balboa Park. There was an amazing Art Instillation in the Plaza taking their sculpture collection out in the open air, and I loved the dreamy Alcazar Gardens with their amazing architecture, flowers and tiled fountains.
San Diego Harbor Sailing.
After doing so much tourism all morning we were excited to take the afternoon a little more leisurely so we headed to the downtown Seaforth Boat Rentals location to head out to the harbor for the afternoon to enjoy the sunshine and take in the city from the water. We rented a Capri 22 sailboat and after a quick sailing test (we aced it!) they let us loose on the bay for the afternoon. Mark is a highly experienced sailor, and while I don’t do much beyond maintaining the jib sheet and keeping an eye out for other traffic on the water, it was an absolute blast. Loved seeing the Navy ships and bases, and checking out all the action on the water-- from seals and other sailboats to the ferries and speedboats, there was so much to see in perfect weather.
Juniper & Ivy
For dinner, I had made reservations at Juniper & Ivy about two months ago, and we were excited to finally get the chance to try it out! The menu changes daily, so there is always something new and exciting to try. Mark and I were so hungry from the day that we ordered basically a tasting menu to share. Our highlights? The baja yellowtail bites, the buttermilk biscuit (you HAVE to get this), the chicken and lamb leg plates, and finished off with the strawberry pavlova for dessert. Topped off with a beautiful gin vesper and an an old fashioned and we were happy campers!
After dinner we met up with a friend from my hometown who's in the Navy in SD for a glass of wine. After a lot of reminiscing about highschool and catching up, Mark and I swung by Isola Pizza Bar right before closing to grab a pizza to go to curb the late night munchies. It was one of the best late night pizzas I have had in a long time- definitely would recommend for any meal!
A little slow moving from all the food and drink last night, but Sunday morning I headed to one of the many donation based yoga classes available at the beaches in San Diego with my friend Danielle. The one we attended was with Lululemon San Diego where donations benefit OG Yoga, a program out of Mission Edge that brings yoga to underserved communities. I absolutely adore any opportunity to do something fun and also support causes that bring light and support to communities and causes that need them. #dogood 🙏🏼 If you are headed down to San Diego anytime soon I highly recommend y’all look up some of these classes- the views are amazing and such a fun change from studio yoga. A few good options? Here, here and here!
After yoga, it’s always time for brunch! One of the BIGGEST recommendations people sent me on when I asked for recommendations for this trip was Kindred in South Park. and y’all I gotta say I was intrigued by the idea of a death metal vegan bar 😂💀 Even though Mark is solidly an omnivore and I have been getting more veggie oriented over time, we were both so happy with our plant basedmorning; I had the “hashes for the masses” (a fried potato, coconut, mushroom kale and jicima hash with creole aioli!) and an avocado grapefruit salad for me and banana bourbon pancakes for Mark. Pair it all with local brewery Modern Times Electric Peak Coffee and and I have to say this Kindred is my new favorite spot. Already planning out trip back so I can check out the dinner menu -- I heard amazing things about the dill popcorn and the palm tacos!
After brunch it was sadly time to wrap up our trip and head back to Los Angeles, but I couldn’t get on the road without two more quick stops starting with adorable homegoods and lifestyle store Pigment. I grabbed a few cards and gifts at Pigment for friends I haven’t seen in a while, and couldn’t help wishing we had time to participate in the incredible succulent planters workshop that was happening was building.
Finally, we swung by Communal Coffee before getting on the road. We grabbed a rose vanilla iced latte and lavender lemonade and sat out on the patio to soak up the sun. I absolutely adored the vibe of this coffeeshop/ plant house, and the variety of college age students, super cute kiddos and families, and Mark and I watched people working, connecting and enjoying themselves. I had to drag myself away from the Native Poppy side of the shop, and definitely found myself wishing I lived closer to all these sweet community staples. Guess I’ll just have to head back!
This post was made in partnership with San Diego Tourism, funded in part with City of San Diego Tourism Marketing District Assessment Funds. All opinions and experiences are my own. For more from this trip, check out #coffeeandcardioinsd on instagram!