sunny in san diego: 5-day itinerary

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From the desert to the beach! I’ve recently returned from a sunny weekend in San Diego, California and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. While I normally split travel blogs into two parts, what to pack and itineraries, I decided to split this differently.

Part one is going to be what I did my 5 days in California. Part two is going to be about my crazy hotel experience and (spoiler!) why I’ll never stay at a certain hotel again.

Part two is coming this Friday, March 11th.

Psst! Check out my California Instagram post!


day one: thursday

We arrived in San Diego ahead of schedule. The plan was to get there right around check-in, but we had forgotten that California was an hour behind. So, we headed out for a bit to “detox” from the 5-and-a-half hour car ride before heading to our hotel. 

Which turned out to be a nightmare! (Read all about it in Part Two, coming Friday! Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss it!) 

Fiesta Island Park

We wanted to go to the beach, but ended up at a bay that was quiet, isolated, and beautiful. Dare I say, it was better than the beach. The few moments we had spent there were not just enjoyable, but a wonderful detox from the roadtrip.

Karl Strauss Brewery

We were invited to the restaurant right across the street after we had all settled in. It was a nice outdoor setting, packed with travellers and locals alike. There was a giant pond beside, seemingly idyllic. 

They don’t have waiters in the usual sense. You order online and then waiters bring your food. No waiting on waiters! And you can take all the time you need.

I had just eaten Burger King (Impossible Whopper for the win!) only a couple hours beforehand, so I only ordered fries. Which were delicious. But, if I recall correctly, they didn’t have very many meat-free options, even if I wanted to eat.

Regardless, it was a nice restaurant, and I’d definitely recommend it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

day two: friday

Friday was the bane of my existence for one simple reason: Justin Bieber was to perform 20 minutes away from us in two days in San Diego. I was so excited! I started searching up tickets to go, and found one for $150. I was so ready to buy it but decided not to for two reasons.

One, I had an upcoming bill. Two, I already had tickets to see him in Arizona in two days.

Here’s why Friday became the bane: I was supposed to see him in Arizona, but it got cancelled and postponed to June! 

I instantly regretted not buying a ticket for San Diego as I was so excited to go as soon as I returned home. Oh, well! Guess I’ll be going in June!

Farmer’s Table

We had a hockey game in the morning that led us to Farmer’s Table, a nice brunch spot I had found. The atmosphere was amazing – just like the food!

We had a big party of which they were able to accomadate last minute despite the brunch rush.

I ordered pancakes and a hot cocoa. Chef’s kiss!

yummy, yummy hot chocolate!
Pancakes! I somehow at five!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We left for another hockey game before settling into the night at a rental for dinner, card games, and conversation. It was without a doubt a nice end to the day.


day three: saturday

Saturday was eh. We were supposed to go to either the Zoo or USS Midway, but there was opposition, and we stayed in the hotel until the afternoon. I caught up on some of my shows and took a nap. 

Eventually, we headed out from San Diego to Coronado.

Coronado Brewing Company

This was a little restaurant in what I believe was Downtown-esque Coronado. I’m seeing a theme with breweries not having meat-free options, but I was able to order their cajun pasta without chicken.

It reminded me of Chili’s cajun pasta.

One in our group did order a beer, but found it quite alike to your average Budlight.

All in all, I didn’t quite find this restaurant great. Rather, average.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

We then walked across the street to a bay (is that the proper term?) and enjoyed a few minutes of fresh air and sunshine. The view reminded me of New York!

the city view from Coronado

We headed out again for a hockey game before calling it a night.


day four: sunday

This was by far my favourite day of the entire trip! We left early in the morning to head to Mission Beach, a rough 20 minutes from our hotel, to get started with our day.

Mission Beach

Even early mornings, the beach is already packed but it is quieter. We joined our group at a nice spot near the lifeguard tower and enjoy the sun, sand, and waves. 

There was a souvenier shop just behind us that we stopped in. I grabbed a hat (pictured)!

Psst! Shop my pineapple beach towel, here!

Towards the afternoon, it started getting super crowded and loud but, as early afternoon hit, so did the clouds making it quite chilly.

We decided it was time for lunch anyhow, and packed up our things.

Veggie Grill

Plant eaters unite! I discovered Veggie Grill years ago when I was in Anaheim for a Disney audition. It’s a plant-based eatery that is 100% vegetarian friendly. Now, everytime I head to California, I make sure to stop there again. We don’t have one in Arizona!

Psst! You might like what i eat in a day as a vegetarian.

I get something different everytime as their menu frequently changes, but this time, I was craving a cheeseburger! I enjoyed their VG Classic burger (Beyond Burger) with a side of fries.

It hits the spot every time!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Woodstock’s Pizza

For dinner, we headed to Woodstock’s Pizza which is one of the coolest restaurants I’ve been to. It’s tucked in a plaza and has a lot to offer.

Not just pizza, salad, and wings (that’s way better than any Papa John’s or Little Caesar’s!). The atmosphere is unbeatable.

Dimly lit, you can draw on the booths, tables, even walls.

made my mark!

We enjoyed one last night there in California.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

day five: monday

Ah, the final day. We headed out early due to a potential storm but made sure to stop by for some souveniers. 

The drive seemed forever long and I was so anxious to get back home. On the way, though, we saw smoke from something on fire, but I couldn’t find info on it, as I didn’t even know where we were.

smoke in the distance

We got home at dark, and I retired to my bedroom. What a long drive.


So, there you have it! My five days in San Diego, California.

I went once when I was little but have only faint memories of it. It was nice to go again, enjoying the sun and the beach. Anywhere with a beach will forever be on my list of places to go!

When will I travel next? I don’t know!

Don’t forget to check back Friday for part two and subscribe to the blog to stay up to date!


hi, i’m jade madison!

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