This past week I found my soulmate-state : California. Although my family used to live in California I hadn't been back for years, and visiting as an adult was so much fun. I had to plan this trip quickly, as I was invited to University of San Diego for an interview just a week before. After doing an initial search about the best places in and around the city, I realized how big San Diego is and how inadequate three days would be to see everything that deserved seeing. Not fun knowing an expensive trip to a crazy cool location would have to be cut short, but my sister (who flew in to meet me from Maui) and I made the best of it.
After day dreaming about moving to California and swooning over all it has to offer - great food, dreamy beaches, quaint coffee shops, etc., actually flying out there to check it out gave me a flooding rush of excitement, but also of anxiety. What if the place I was so confident I would love didn't live up to my own expectations? Trying my best to arrive in the city with an open mind, I quickly began to love San Diego. It is no doubt California's beach city with over 70 miles of gorgeous, Pacific coastline, which gives the place lots of extra points in my book.
Driving around for three days and exploring, San Diego's diversity and endless amount of entertainment were apparent. Each neighborhood, whether it be urban, coastal, or inland, has its own flavor & flare. I'm still drooling over the perfectly adorned coffee shops and restaurant patios that lined every street. Speaking of lining streets - THE PALM TREES. They are tall, skinny, and SO California. After living in South Carolina for four years and settling for short, stocky palmetto trees, these palms were extra extra pretty and photogenic to me.
I'll admit I already have a few places I know I would quickly become a regular at if I end up moving to San Diego in the fall. It is the epitome of blue skies, beach coves & variety. I am, as you might say, California dreamin'. Here are a few places I would recommend eating, shopping & hanging out at!
La Jolla Cove - beautiful beach town home to several coves. Cliffs are spotted with wildflowers and seals sun bathe on the rocks. Lots of shopping and dining options here.
Puesto - street taco cantina. Good vibe and even better margaritas.
Pigment - airy, gorgeous gift shop located in the urban neighborhood of North Park. This is your ultimate destination for any gifts, kitchen nicknacks, jewelry or stationary. They also have a DIY terrariums and succulent station which was my favorite part.
Gaslamp District - the district of downtown is jammed packed with hip bars, up-scale restaurants and shopping. Happy hour here has endless destinations.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park - aside from having the most adorable neighborhoods atop a cliff that overlooks the pacific, Sunset Cliffs offers a beautiful walking and sitting area. You could probably guess from the name that this is one of San Diego's sought out places to watch sunset.