SAN DIEGO: 99 PROBLEMS BUT A BEACH AIN'T ONE
Definitely being a fan of Northern California I was less then excited to take a trip to San Diego, California but shrugged my shoulders, smiled, and went along for the ride..literally.
We heard the climate was impeccable there so we decided to fly into Orange County and rent a BMW bike to do some riding in Southern California! You are immediately welcomed with blue skies, fluffy clouds, and a million palm trees.
Grabbed the bike and headed down the coast to our destination...the fun swanky Tower23 Hotel. It's right on the water and has a very contemporary vibe so it is right up our alley. Their motto is Life Is Good so I am a big fan! We are welcomed to rum punch in our room with an ocean view.
I am feeling incredibly excited for some SOCAL exploring after all. The hotel has a fabulous restaurant/bar called Jordans @ Tower 23 (owned by Michael Jordan btw) The whole thing is open so you can feel the incredible breeze and see the ocean!
The chile margaritas were love at first sight. I dream about them. And the aged rum daiquiri's were divine. Highly recommend the mussels and the cheese plate. Don't miss a sunset at Tower 23 Deck. Only hotel residents can get to the deck so you feel incredibly VIP. Satisfy any sweet tooth by the fire too. (As the sun goes down it gets pretty chilly). The mango panna cotta is my personal favorite. And the cake + milk = happy Sam!
Tower23 will also offer you beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas complimentary as well. This was such an added bonus for us!! One afternoon we just napped on the Pacific Beach and read while watching all of the surfers. Felt amazing to just relax and do nothing. (One afternoon we did take surfing lessons though. OMFG. Talk about a work out!)
Another perk of Tower23 is the complimentary bicycles. We tried to ride every day to burn off some of all the delish food and drinks we indulged in. It was a great way to explore! Loved all of the gorgeous diverse landscapes and the unique beach front homes. Everyone is incredibly active...lots of joggers, beach yoga, volleyball, skateboarders.
Sunset in La Jolla is marvelous! Great shopping too!! And OMGH..those little seals. They are the cutest.
After the down time on the beach and some cooler weather for the day (the time we were there San Diego was having crazy unseasonably high temps in the upper 80's..not really ideal moto riding weather) we were ready to get on the bike and take an adventure. We rode through Spring Valley and El Cajon all the way to the Tijuana border and back. Mt. Laguna is beautiful . ..just like a postcard.
The we took The Sunrise Highway and stumbled on the cutest little small town I have ever seen ...Julian, California. The Julian Historic District is known for having the best pies. I cannot really comment on that as I am an avid pie lover and am pretty picky when it comes to pies but I can tell you they have really fabulous candy apples. Julian you are precious!
On the way out of the little historic district I saw the cutest drug store and the most fabulous sign....Ramona <----- 22 miles...... I name automobiles and when I first met Lin I named his BMW bike Ramona. We were not planning on going that direction but we did!!! Temps were climbing up in the mid 90's which is miserable on a bike so we were ready to get back to the ocean side breeze with bathing suits and chile margaritas!!!
Next up... the food!
Sooo many great places to dine but here are my absolute drool worthy.
La Bonne Table
You know I am a sucker for all things French. Highly recommend the French 75 obviously and Ratatouille Crostini's.
Pacific Beach Fish Shop
Highly recommend the cold beer and the maui maui fish tacos with mango salsa. (Be prepared to wait. Long lines always with the locals)!
The Mission In Mission Beach
Loved the bloody mary's and the migas! Very diverse menu and can accommodate any craving.
Hash House a go go
Words cannot even explain how delicious this farm to table place is!! The servings are huge though so share!! Loved the chicken fried chicken.
Holy wow. This place knows the way to my heart. I have such a sweet tooth. Everything is divine!!!
The Noble Experiment
Things are not always as they appear. Secretly located inside a popular downtown eatery, The Noble Experiment is a bar hidden inside a restaurant: What may look like a stack of kegs by the restroom is actually a secret door, leading into a bar so elite and exclusive that it requires reservations several days in advance. (Heaven awaits you through that secret door, I promise.) The dim room sports a series of white booths next to a wall decorated with brass skulls, Rembrandt-style paintings and a crystal chandelier. Though seemingly gaudy, the gothic-style room is tastefully balanced and allows for intimate conversations. The cocktails are amazing. We met the most fabulous couple there and I wish we had exchanged info. They lived in LA and traveled by train to San Diego for the night just to come to this bar. Oh wait.. It was their first date. Omg the night is still a blur!! The attire is smart casual. And don't forget you must text in advance for reservations and they are almost booked a week in advance!
( this happens to be in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter ) Fun area to stroll around and lots of al fresco dining opportunities along the sidewalks . I didn't have too much time here to explore
After our time in San Diego we traveled to Newport Beach hitting Del Mar on the way for lunch. I highly recommend En Fuego. Everything on the menu is delicious!!
In Newport Beach you must grab brunch at Haute Cakes Cafe. They do a daily macaron and have the best cold brew made by Seaworth Coffee Co. Their avocado toast still haunts me in my dreams. Soooo delicious and the mimosas are lovely too!
We continued our fun one day in Laguna Beach with one of Lin's friends and that little gem stole my heart.
You must happy hour at Montage Hotel & Resorts. 10 star service and the best ocean view!
Do dinner at Cafe Zoolu. Family owned, tiny, and just amazing!! Top ten dinner of my life. I also adore sushi and sake at SOTA.
Lunch at Shor is also fantastic !! Great burger.
Doing life with Lin is the best !! I love how he shows me so much of this world.
And do NOT fret San Fran..you are still my favorite.
Do not go to Pacific Beach without these gems !! They are my absolute must haves!