As some people may know or have suspected, I’ve been living in San Diego for the last two months. The always-sunny SoCal weather has been a great change of scenery from the usual cold and foggy San Francisco and it’s given me more energy to explore new places and be creative. I have two more weeks here so I wanted to share my thoughts about the city and some of my favorite places.
But first, let’s rewind to how I got to San Diego in the first place. Since COVID hit in March, I’ve been working from home in San Francisco and my company extended our work from home policy until at least next year. I figured it was a good opportunity to pay cheaper rent, live in different cities and experience the local lifestyle, or at least the activities we can safely do. So I ended my lease in June, put my belongings in storage and drove 8 hours to San Diego. I’m currently living in Airbnbs on a month-to-month basis.
To be clear, I’m still working remotely, wearing masks and socially distancing wherever I go.
The goal of coming to San Diego was to enjoy the warm weather, be closer to an actual beach, and live the SoCal chill lifestyle. I also started to feel a little unmotivated, both at work and in personal life enjoyment, so I wanted a change. Being in a new place has definitely made me more motivated and excited by all the unfamiliarity around me. I’d say my life satisfaction has gone up since being in San Diego, not because of the city itself, but because of the novelty.
Overall, my impression of San Diego is that it’s a very chill and laidback city. It has amazing weather and beach towns all along the coast with easy access to its beautiful beaches. I can never get enough of the incredible sunsets over the ocean. On the other hand, there are also many hikes that go up in the mountains, including probably the most popular hike to Potato Chip Rock. If outdoors is not your cup of tea, there are cute neighborhoods and boutique shops to explore.
My main gripe about San Diego is that it’s a little too laidback and I feel that there’s not much to do besides going to the beach, but perhaps this is because COVID has shut down or limited most activities. I’ve seen most things around San Diego and I’m starting to feel bored and itching for a change.
Anyway, here are a few of my favorites in San Diego!
The name speaks for itself. Sunset Cliffs is the most beautiful at sunset with incredible cliffside views of the sunset over the horizon. There’s a road that runs along the cliff and honestly anywhere along the road will offer a great view. We brought our Mexican blanket we got from Old Town and watched the sunset with a glass of red wine.
This may likely be the most common (and basic) photo on Instagram, but Scripps Pier and the beach below have the perfect combination of sun, beach, and ocean. There will probably be a line to take photos of the pier perfectly aligned, but the rest of the beach is just as pretty. We walked along the beach during golden hour and the lighting was on point. An added bonus is a secret swing further up into Scripps campus with amazing views of La Jolla.
Torrey Pines Gliderport
I accidentally stumbled upon this place and it turned out to be one of my favorites. It is just south of Torrey Pines State Reserve and is a great place to watch people paraglide and hang glide up and down the coast. Because the gliderport is on top of a tall cliff, it also offers expansive views looking north towards the reserve or south towards La Jolla.
This is a two-part favorite. This place is an outdoor area with cute shops like Pigment (most Instagrammable store in SD where even sororities go for photoshoots), Stones Brewery and Liberty Public Market to get other food and drinks. The place reminded me of Stanford—it’s that pretty. Further away from the main area is the boat ramp with grassy areas for a cute picnic. It overlooks the water with kayakers and paddleboarders, and it has some of the best colors during sunset.
Little Italy is several blocks of restaurants and bars and is typically hustling and bustling. It has great vibes and seems to be fun for socializing and nightlife, but because of COVID I didn’t partake in any of the festivities. Nevertheless, it’s still nice to walk through here and pick up desserts from Extraordinary Desserts or a beer from Ballast Point.
So, what’s next after San Diego? I’m here until the end of the month before heading to Long Beach for the next month. After that, I’ll be driving up to Seattle with a stop at Crater Lake National Park and a 2-week stay in Portland. I’m really excited to explore the Pacific Northwest and seeing what it’s like living in Seattle.