Traveling the globe nine months a year can be exhausting, but this is why I’m lucky enough to have my home in a place that is other people’s vacation destination! San Diego — America’s finest city — is a place that has it all: ocean, desert, mountains, and the best weather in the world. I consider myself lucky to be born in this city, and, truthfully, there is no reason to leave. It will always be my home base. When I am on the road, I am staying in hotels, but I’m also always rushing to start filming and traveling to the next destination. Rarely do I get to enjoy my room service, spa services, pool, and great service. So after two weeks of being at home and having my wanderlust take over, I went on a vacation in my own town. Here is my staycation in San Diego.
HOTEL: The Lodge at Torrey Pines
You will feel like you are in the mountains with the scents, the pine trees, and the overall feel of The Lodge at Torrey Pines, but you also have ocean views. Set along one of the most famous golf courses, the log-cabin feel set within the green course is a truly unique experience. With access to hiking trails, the beach, a full-service spa, and one of the greatest restaurants (AR Valentin), there are plenty of reasons to never leave the hotel.
HIKING: Torrey Pines
I love to be outdoors and I think that most San Diegans would agree. With temperatures pleasant year round, it’s in our blood to be near the ocean and experience nature. Within walking distance of my hotel, Torrey Pines State Reserve has several trails (from easy to intermediate) where you can see a desert-like terrain as well as stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
KAYAKING: La Jolla Kayaks
La Jolla really is the jewel of San Diego. With a quaint downtown, restaurants with ocean views, and some of the most sought-after real estate in California, it is always worth a visit (even if you just go to look!). One of my favorite things to do is kayak in La Jolla Cove. Home to seals, sand sharks, and lots of fish, it’s the perfect spot to snorkel or kayak through natural caves within the cove. This can be a romantic activity or something for the whole family to enjoy.
RESTAURANTS: Miguels and Filippis
San Diego is famous for its Mexican food, given its close proximity to the border. One of my favorite places is Miguels, which you can find in Carlsbad and on Coronado Island. Little Italy’s full of Italian lovers’ favorites, including my favorite pizza at Filippis. For an evening bar, head over to Craft and Commerce for a hip and trendy vibe and a twist on some of the most delicious favorites.
No matter where you live, try to do a staycation. The feeling is great — crisp white, clean sheets, no airports, room service, and you finally get to see your own city from a different perspective.
Ashley Colburn is a two-time Emmy-winning TV producer and host who has traveled to more than 25 countries on six continents in two years. Follow Ashley’s adventures in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii on GOGO Vacations’ webseries, Paradise Found!