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  • San Diego Neighborhood Guide : North Park

    North Park is a trendy neighborhood located within a few minutes of San Diego's popular attractions. It is home to several delicious restaurants and unique coffee shops. Where to Eat: North Park has a delicious food scene with many options from delicious brunch to local taco shops to ice cream shops. URBN: Serving up craft cocktails and coal-fired thin-crust pizza. They have a variety of pizzas to choose from including vegetarian options. The Taco Stand: One of the best local taco chains in the city. Whenever we have guests come to town, we always take them to the Taco Stand for some authentic Tijuana-style tacos! Louisiana Purchase : One of the few places in the city to eat Southern food! This place can be a bit pricy so be prepared for that! Black Market Bakery : A local bakery serving delicious breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee. Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream : After lunch or dinner stop by Hammond's Ice Cream, a local shop specializing in Hawaiian-style ice cream. Local and Unique Coffee Shops to Visit : Communal Coffee : Communal Coffee is a charming coffee shop that is also a flower shop. The motto is "Coffee + Flowers" and the combination of aromatic coffee and beautiful blooms creates a delightful atmosphere. Saigon Coffee : Saigon specializes in authentic iced Vietnamese brewed coffee with ancient Phin filters and the entire process takes 4 hrs. Their mom created the original recipe and it is still used in their shop. Things to Do: Pigment: a local retail store that features plants and home decor. Verbatim Books: San Diego's largest independent and used bookstore. Artelexia : Local retail store featuring Mexican arts and gifts. Casa y Cocina: Owned by the same company as Artelexia, this store features kitchen decor and spices. North Park Thursday Marke t: Held every Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. you can find fresh produce, baked goods, and crafts from San Diego locals. Events: Taste of North Park : This annual event (usually held in October) is a celebration of North Park culinary delights and provides an opportunity to sample food from these local restaurants. (click on the link for updated information on this years event). Conclusion: North Park is one of the most popular neighborhoods to visit in San Diego for locals and tourists. From shops to restaurants, there is something for everyone to enjoy! I hope this guide is helpful as you plan your visit!

  • San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Mission Beach 

    Mission Beach is a coastal community located in San Diego, California. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city with a lively boardwalk lined with restaurants and a gorgeous beach perfect for watching the sunset.  Overview Mission Beach has a mix of beachfront homes, vacation rentals, and an array of dining options, Mission Beach caters to a diverse crowd. It has a lively yet laid-back atmosphere. Getting Around Bike-friendly routes This is a great place to bike and during your visit, you will see many people biking around Mission Beach.  Parking in Mission Beach can be tricky, especially during the summer months. There are several free parking lot s and street parking near Belmont Park. There is also an additional parking lot located in South Mission Beach (this lot fills up quickly). If you plan on visiting restaurants in North Mission Beach be aware that parking in this area is minimal. There is street parking but unless you arrive early the spots are usually filled. A few parking lots are available for a fee ($20 to park!) Where to Eat Miss B’s Coconut Club - great place to go for brunch! I love their coconut French toast and their breakfast tacos! Better Buzz Coffee Roasters - A San Diego staple! It's a local favorite with plenty of options. The Mission - I enjoy their pancakes! Cannonball - rooftop restaurant overlooking the beach and the boardwalk. Draft South Mission- A popular restaurant along the boardwalk Juice Wave - is my favorite place to get an acai bowl in Mission Beach! Locally owned and operated juice bar! Things to do Visit Belmont Park -beachside amusement park, fun for all ages! Beach Volleyball- South Mission Beach has free public nets available near the basketball courts Roller skate on the boardwalk- If you don’t have roller skates, no problem, there is a place where you can rent skates in Belmont Park Rent Bikes and ride on the boardwalk - there is also a bike rental place in Belmont Park. Enjoy a fire pit on the beach! - there are several firepits available for use right on the beach! You just need to bring firewood and a lighter! Insider Tips If you are looking for more areas to explore in the area, check out Mission Bay! There is a nice paved trail that will take you along the bay.  Crown Point Park has a nice beach area that is great for escaping the crowds during high season.  Whether you're a local or a visitor, I hope this guide helps you discover the best places to eat and things to do in Mission Beach. If you have any suggestions or want to share your favorite spots, feel free to leave a comment!

  • The Best Spots for Weekend Brunch in La Jolla- San Diego, CA

    Nestled along the beautiful shores of Southern California, La Jolla, affectionately nicknamed "the jewel," welcomes visitors and locals with its unparalleled beauty and coastal charm. Located approximately 14 miles north of downtown San Diego, this coastal community boasts breathtaking ocean views, dramatic cliffs, and playful sea lions along its rugged coastline. Each year, over 2 million people journey to La Jolla to relax, unwind, and explore. For me, La Jolla holds a special place as one of the city's premier destinations, offering a wide range of activities to suit every taste. From scenic hiking trails that wind along the coastline to the vibrant culinary scene that awaits, there's no shortage of experiences. La Jolla has a delicious selection of brunch eateries serving up mouth-watering dishes. Whether you're a local or a visitor planning your next excursion, join me as I unveil my top four favorite brunch spots in La Jolla, each promising a culinary experience to remember. The Cottage: Nestled in the heart of La Jolla's charming village, this beloved eatery boasts a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with its quaint cottage-style exterior. Inside, guests are greeted by a rustic yet elegant dining space adorned with vibrant floral arrangements and vintage décor. The Cottage is renowned for its farm-to-table cuisine, showcasing fresh and locally sourced ingredients in every dish. From fluffy buttermilk pancakes drizzled with maple syrup to savory crab cake benedicts, the menu offers a delightful blend of classic brunch favorites and innovative creations. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely breakfast on the patio or gathering with friends for a hearty brunch, The Cottage is definitely a brunch spot to check out.  2. The Blue Whale : Located just around the corner from The Cottage, is a cute little cafe called The Blue Whale. This cozy cafe recently opened its doors in 2023 and joins the list of delicious La Jolla breakfast restaurants. Their breakfast menu includes favorites like French toast, breakfast burritos, and chicken and waffles. They also offer specialty lattes and smoothies.  You can grab a seat inside or enjoy some fresh air while you eat on the outdoor seating located on the patio. When I went I tried the UBE pancakes which were fluffy, flavorful and delicious. If you are unfamiliar with what Ube is, it is a purple yam that is native to the Philippines.  3. Sugar and Scribe: Located a little over half a mile from the La Jolla Cove is Sugar and Scribe (my personal favorite) a culinary gem beloved for its delectable pastries, artisanal bread, and inventive brunch fare. Stepping into this cozy bakery and café feels like entering a quaint European bistro. The brunch menu features an array of brunch classics with a creative twist, such as bread pudding French toast, Kensington eggs benedict, and breakfast skillets bursting with flavor. Guests can indulge their sweet tooth with a selection of freshly baked pastries and desserts, including buttery croissants, flaky fruit tarts, and rich chocolate eclairs. With its warm hospitality and culinary expertise, Sugar and Scribe offers delicious food and an unforgettable brunch experience that keeps guests coming back for more. This is one of the best restaurants for brunch in San Diego.  My favorite items on the menu include the blueberry love pancakes and the lemon lavender mimosa! 4. Caroline's Cafe : Come for the food, stay for the views! Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the iconic Scripps Institution of Oceanography, this hidden gem offers a serene and picturesque setting for brunch with a great view.  Guests can dine al fresco on the expansive outdoor patio, where panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean stretch as far as the eye can see. The menu features an enticing selection of brunch favorites, including fluffy buttermilk pancakes and freshly baked bagels.  Whether you're enjoying a leisurely brunch with friends or fueling up for a day of exploring La Jolla's natural wonders, Caroline's Cafe is a great place to start your adventure with a delicious meal.

  • 4 Best Beaches to Visit in San Diego this Summer

    Summer has arrived in San Diego and one of my favorite things to do during the Summer is relaxing at the beach.  San Diego is home to miles of coastline and San Diego beaches are consistently ranked among the USA's best beaches.  Whether you're looking to surf or relax San Diego offers a variety of stunning beaches to suit every preference. Here are four must-visit beaches that promise to make your summer unforgettable. In this post, I've included affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. Local Tip : If you want to swim in the Pacific Ocean, you might be surprised by how cold the water is even during the Summer. The average temperature of San Diego's coastal water hangs around 60 F and peaks around low to mid-70s F in September. There are two reasons for this phenomenon, upwelling- which causes the warm water on the surface to be replaced by the deeper cooler water below, and water currents off the coast of Alaska mixing with the water currents off the coast of California. # 4 La Jolla Shores Beach      La Jolla Shores is a beautiful 1-mile beach located in the coastal community of La Jolla. The beach is popular with visitors and tourists alike and is a popular destination for surfing, and meeting up with friends. What I like most about this beach is the beautiful views of the cove, beachside cliffs and the availability of picnic tables where families can gather to spend time with each other.  Where to Park : Parking is available and free, but during the weekends and summer months, parking can be very challenging, so I recommend arriving early. If the parking lot is full street parking is available, but be sure to pay attention to street signs to avoid parking tickets.  What to do : Relaxing on the beach, surfing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. If you are looking for a fun activity to do with family or friends check out one of the many kayaking tours  that leave from this beach.  The tours are guided and led by local experts who share interesting facts about La Jolla and part of the tour includes a journey through a sea cave.  Just 7 minutes south is La Jolla Cove and the coast walk trail. Both are great places to explore La Jolla and view San Diego's famous sea lions. Just 15 minutes north is the popular Torrey Pines State Beach which boasts miles of hiking trails and beautiful ocean views.  Where to eat : La Jolla Cove is surrounded by a neighborhood, so unfortunately there are not any restaurants along the beach but there are several within walking distance along Avenida De La Playa. I recommend packing food or eating at a nearby restaurant in La Jolla before going to the beach. You can find some ideas on where to eat for brunch in my, T he Best Spots for Weekend Brunch in La Jolla  post. # 3 Moonlight State Beach     Moonlight Beach is located 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego in the beach town of Encinitas. This hidden gem has gorgeous views of coastal cliffs and is just a few steps from shopping and restaurants along Highway 101.  Where to Park : Free parking is available in a nearby parking lot on C Street. There is usually street parking available.  What to do : After lounging for a few hours, I highly recommend walking less than 5 minutes to explore the shops and restaurants along Highway 101. If you are looking for a unique activity to do check out Candles on Tap ,  San Diego's first custom candle bar.  What to eat: My favorites are The Taco Stand  and  URBN Pizza .  The Taco Stand is a local favorite serving up some of the best tacos and California Burritos in San Diego. URBN pizza is another local favorite with a few locations throughout the city serving delicious coal-fired pizzas. # 2 Coronado Beach  A short drive from downtown San Diego, Coronado Beach is ranked among the top beaches in the USA and is the perfect place to experience full-on vacation vibes. This beach has miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Coronado Beach is located on the famous Coronado Island and is home to the iconic Hotel Del Coronado which was constructed in the late 1800s. Where to Park : There is plenty of free street parking near and around the beach. Like the other beaches on this list, parking fills quickly, so it's best to get there early.   What to do : Relax, unwind and explore. This beach is so relaxing and has a nice family-friendly atmosphere. There is a lot to do nearby, so when you are done relaxing, take a short walk to one of the many shops and restaurants. If you want to do something active, hop on your bike or rent a bike and ride along the Coronado Bike Loop. What to eat: Coronado is home to a few delicious restaurants. One of my favorite places to eat is The Little Frenchie a Persian-style cafe that has won several Michelin awards! #1  Mission Beach   Located just 15 minutes from downtown San Diego, Mission Beach is a popular beach in San Diego.  If you want that So Cal beach vibe experience, this is the place to visit.  This beach has it all, from an amusement park, beachside bars/restaurants, shops, and a boardwalk.  Where to Park: There is plenty of free parking located near the beach and there is also street parking available. During the Summer months, parking can be a challenge and I have noticed that many of the parking spots are made for smaller compact cars.  What to do: There is so much to do at this beach. This is a popular place for beach volleyball, surfing, lounging, picnic areas, and bonfires. The boardwalk is a lively place and has several restaurants that line the boardwalk. It is also a great place to bike ride, walk or run. One of my favorite things to do is rollerblade on the boardwalk. A fun place to visit is Belmont Park San Diego's only beachside amusement park. For more ideas, check out my San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Mission Beach , blog post for more ideas on fun things to do! ​ What to Eat : You can find many restaurants to try along the boardwalk. One place I like is Cannonball  and another option is Draft . For more ideas, check out my San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Mission Beach , blog post for more ideas on places to eat in Mission Beach! Local Tip: Take a bike ride or walk up the boardwalk! The boardwalk links the nearby beach communities of Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. These beach communities are also very lively and are popular with the local college students. If you are a local, let me know which San Diego Beach is your favorite. If you will be visiting San Diego soon, let me know which beach you plan to visit. Happy Summer!

  • 10 Essential Hiking Tips: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

    Are you ready to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails? Whether you're looking to connect with nature, challenge yourself physically, or enjoy the peacefulness of the outdoors, hiking is an incredible way to achieve all these and more. For beginners embarking on their first hiking adventure, in this post, I'll share a comprehensive guide with 10 essential tips to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience. Tip: I like to use the All Trails App to find local trails near me. The app ranks the difficulty level of the trail and will tell you its total distance. The other thing I like about this app is that hikers can post reviews and photos of the trail. Look for trails with many reviews and comments, these trails tend to be the most popular so they are usually well-marked and maintained (so you won't get lost). You will also most likely see other hikers along the trail. 1. Start Small, Build Up When beginning your hiking journey, start with shorter and easier trails. It is crucial to build your stamina and confidence. Gradually increase the distance and difficulty level as you become more comfortable with longer hikes, I recommend choosing a short hike that is rated as easy, has little to no incline, and is 3 miles or less in distance. 2. Pack Light & Right Carrying a heavy backpack can quickly turn a pleasant hike into a grueling ordeal. Pack only the essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing layers. Remember, quality trumps quantity when it comes to hiking gear. When I am hiking a trail less than 5 miles, I usually bring at least 1/2 gallon of water and a few snacks. When I am hiking a trail longer than 5 miles, I pack 1 gallon of water or more. For longer hikes and trails that are not well marked consider packing a first-aid kit, a map, compass. For night hikes, be sure to pack a flashlight or headlamp. 3. Wear the Right Gear Investing in proper hiking boots with ankle support and good traction is essential to prevent slips and falls. Additionally, moisture-wicking clothing will keep you comfortable by managing sweat and maintaining body temperature. When hiking in cooler temperatures, it's a good idea to wear layers. Check out my YouTube video: 4 Helpful Tips for Choosing the Best Hiking Shoes. 4. Know the Trail & Leave No Trace Research your chosen trail beforehand, noting its level of difficulty, terrain, and any specific regulations. Always adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace by respecting nature, staying on designated trails, and properly disposing of waste. 5. Stay Hydrated & Energized Hydration is key to a successful hike, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after your trek. Pack energy-boosting snacks like nuts, granola bars, or dried fruits to keep your energy levels up throughout the hike. 6. Hiking Etiquette When on the trail, maintain good hiking etiquette by yielding to other hikers. If there is someone behind me hiking at a faster pace; I like to step to the side and let them pass by. You also want to make sure that you avoid disturbing wildlife. Remember that nature is meant to be enjoyed by all, so respect your fellow outdoor enthusiasts. 7. Pace Yourself & Take Breaks Hiking isn't a race, so set a comfortable pace and listen to your body. Don't hesitate to take breaks to rest, hydrate, and appreciate the breathtaking views along the way. Pushing yourself beyond your limits can lead to fatigue and injuries. 8. Be Prepared for Weather Changes Weather in the great outdoors can be unpredictable, so be prepared for sudden changes by packing extra layers, a waterproof jacket, and a hat to shield you from the sun. Checking the weather forecast before your hike can also help you plan accordingly. 9. Learn Basic Navigation Skills While many trails are well-marked, it's beneficial to learn basic navigation skills such as reading a map and using a compass. These skills can be invaluable in case you wander off-trail or encounter unexpected situations. If this is something that you are interested in, I recommend visiting REI or searching for a basic navigation course in your area. 10. Hike with a Buddy Last tip, hiking with a friend or in a group is not only more enjoyable but also safer. Having a hiking buddy provides an extra set of eyes and hands in case of emergencies, and sharing the experience with others can make it even more memorable. I highly recommend hiking with a friend or with a group. If you decide to hike alone, ensure you let someone know where you are going, pack the necessary safety equipment, and choose a popular trail where you can encounter other hikers. So, are you ready to embark on your first hiking adventure armed with these essential tips? Lace-up those boots, pack your backpack, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors. Remember, every step you take on the trail brings you closer to nature and the adventure of a lifetime! Happy hiking, outdoor enthusiasts! 🌲🥾 By following these 10 fundamental tips, beginner hikers can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience as they explore the wonders of the great outdoors. Whether you're walking through lush forests, scaling rocky peaks, or admiring breathtaking vistas, hiking offers a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature, challenge yourself, and create lasting memories. So, grab your gear, lace up those boots, and hit the trails—your next adventure awaits!

  • Denver, Colorado- Top Things to Do in 48Hrs

    Denver, Colorado was founded in 1858 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush and grew into a well-known mining town. Today the city is home to over 700,000 people but the Denver metro area is close to 3 million people and is easily one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA. One interesting fact is that Denver is known as the mile high city because it’s located exactly one mile above sea level (5,280 feet). Another interesting fact is that Denver has more sunshine than San Diego, averaging 300 days each year! With so many sites to explore from the Denver Art Museum to Coors Field to the outdoors, there is something for everyone! Denver is a quick 2-hour flight from San Diego, making this city a great place for a long weekend getaway. In this guide, I’ll share the best things to do in Denver in 48- Hrs.! Tip: If you plan to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, add an extra day to your trip. The park is only about a 1 hr 20 min drive from Denver, but it might be easier to stay the night near the park and give yourself an extra day to relax after hiking.  Best Stay: The Thompson Hotel    The Thompson Hotel is located in the heart of the city! It’s within walking distance to many restaurants, shops, and parks. I walked about 10 miles during my stay. When you walk into the hotel you are greeted by a gorgeous lobby with cozy seating areas, a coffee bar to your left, and a luxurious bar and restaurant to your right.  The rooms are spacious with comfy beds and spa-like bathrooms equipped with a rain shower! This hotel also has a lounge area called Reynard Social which serves craft cocktails, and small plates and has plenty of seating areas for you to jam to tunes and relax after a busy day of exploring the city. I was pleasantly surprised by all the wellness amenities such as the refillable water bottle stations in the hallways, the eucalyptus hanging in the bathrooms, and the spacious gym with all the necessary equipment to maintain your wellness routine. If you decide to stay at this hotel you don’t need a car unless you plan on venturing outside the city. If you choose to rent a car, the monthly valet fee is quite pricey at $65 a night and there is not a lot of street parking close to the hotel due to some nearby construction.  Best Rooftop:  54Thirty  Denver's highest open-air rooftop bar is located on the 20th floor of the Le Méridien Hotel. The hostess leads guests to the elevator once you enter through the hotel's main entrance. As soon as you enter the bar you are greeted with lively music, fresh air, and expansive views of the mountains and downtown Denver. The bar offers craft cocktails and small bites. The seating is first come first serve, and plenty of fire pits are around for those chilly evenings. This place can get crowded so I recommend arriving early if you want to visit with fewer people. Since the weather in Denver can b vary based on the season I recommend checking the website for hours of operation before you go.  Best Budget-Friendly Activity: Free Denver Walking Tour Denver Walking Tours hosts this free tour and it is one of the best budget-friendly activities to do in the city. The tour can be booked online and there is a small processing fee of $2.00. The tour starts at 10 a.m. at the Colorado State Capital and ends at Union Station. It includes stops at 11 of the city's tourist attractions including The Big Blue Bear,  Larimer Square, and the U.S. Mint. The total time of the tour is about 2-2.5 hours and ends up being about 1.7 miles total. One of my favorite parts of the tour was meeting people from other parts of the country and the world. In my tour group, we had a few people from Germany, someone from New York, and a few Denver locals!  Best Urban Park: Confluence Park  Did you know Denver is home to over 250 urban parks and over 850 miles of biking trails? During my trip to Denver, I had the opportunity to explore Confluence Park. Confluence Park is located in downtown Denver about a 15-minute walk from the Thompson Hotel. The riverside park has grassy areas for lounging, walking, and biking trails. During the summer you can find adventures kayaking down the river. After you are done exploring the park, check out the REI Outdoor store, it’s located just a few feet away from the park! Best Local Sweet Treat: Little Man Ice Cream After visiting Confluence Park, take a short walk to  Little Man Ice Cream a local spot serving homemade ice cream in Denver since 2008. They have a standard menu where guests can order sundaes, banana splits, and shakes. Their unique ice cream flavors change constantly, so each time you visit there is an opportunity to try something new. Best Unique Outdoor Experience: Red Rocks Amphitheater  The  Red Rocks Amphitheater sits at 6,450 feet above sea level and is the only naturally occurring amphitheater in the world. In the late 1930s construction began to build a seating area between the rocks and it was officially open to the public in 1941. Today, this amphitheater is a place for live concerts, hiking trails, and exercise enthusiasts.   The first time that I visited was in 2020, but I was not aware that there were several trails to hike near the amphitheater. This time during my visit, I was able to explore some trails and I recommend it during your visit. If you are looking for an easy-to-moderate trail, I recommend the  Trading Post Trail . Tip: Before you visit, check the website to find out if there is a concert happening. If there is, you are still able to hike the nearby trails but parking may be difficult to find and you will not be able to access the amphitheater.  Best Way to Support Local: Denver Farmers Market If you are interested in supporting the local community, add a farmers market to your itinerary. One of the largest farmers markets in Denver happens every Saturday, May 4 to October 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located on the East Side of the  Cherry Creek Shopping Center next to Macy’s. Parking is free, and you can get the ticket validated at the market. The market has a variety of vendors from farmers selling fresh produce and local artists.  If you are looking for a weekend trip from San Diego, Denver is a perfect place for a getaway!

  • 40 Ways Travel Can Enhance Your Mental Health

    May is Mental Health Month in the U.S. and each year we are reminded how important our mental health is. Did you know that traveling is a form of wellness? Traveling isn't just about exploring new places or ticking off destinations from your bucket list. It can also significantly impact your mental health in positive ways. The experiences, challenges, and discoveries that come with traveling have profound effects on our well-being. From reducing stress to enhancing creativity, here are 40 mental health benefits of travel. Reduced Stress: Stepping away from your daily routine and immersing yourself in a new environment can significantly lower stress levels and promote relaxation. 2. Increased Happiness: Exploring new cultures, meeting new people, and experiencing new things can boost happiness and overall life satisfaction. 3. Boosted Creativity: Exposure to different cultures and environments can stimulate creativity and inspire new ideas. 4. Enhanced Resilience: Dealing with unexpected situations while traveling helps build resilience and adaptability. 5. Improved Confidence: Overcoming challenges while traveling, such as navigating through unfamiliar places or trying new activities, can build confidence and self-esteem. 6. Expanded Perspective:  Exposure to different cultures, languages, and lifestyles expands your worldview and fosters empathy and understanding 7. Cultural Appreciation: Engaging with local culture, and trying new foods, and customs enriches your cultural awareness and appreciation. 8. Mindfulness Practice: Travel encourages mindfulness as you immerse yourself in the present moment and savor new experiences without worrying about the past or future. 9. Connection with Nature: Exploring natural landscapes can rejuvenate the mind and soul, offering a sense of tranquility and awe. Spending time outdoors, whether it's hiking in the mountains or lounging on a beach, has been linked to improved mood and mental clarity. 10. Social Connection: Meeting new people while traveling can combat loneliness and foster meaningful connections. 11. Sense of Adventure: Embracing adventure, stepping out of your comfort zone, and exploring new destinations can reignite a sense of excitement and purpose. 12. Improved Problem-Solving Skills: Overcoming travel challenges sharpens problem-solving abilities and boosts confidence in your capabilities. 13. Stress Relief Through Physical Activity: Engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking or swimming can alleviate stress and promote physical well-being. 14. Learning Opportunities: Traveling provides endless learning opportunities, whether it's about history, culture, or language. 15. Time for Reflection: Travel allows for introspection and self-reflection, away from the distractions of everyday life, allowing you to gain clarity on your goals and priorities. 16. Appreciation for Home: Experiencing new cultures and lifestyles can deepen your appreciation for your own home and community. 17. Increased Gratitude: Experiencing different ways of life can cultivate gratitude for the blessings in your own life. 18. Personal Growth: Travel challenges you to confront fears, embrace change, and grow as an individual. 19. Escape from Routine: Breaking away from the monotony of daily life can reignite passion and enthusiasm. 20. Opportunity for Solitude: Traveling solo offers solitude and introspection, allowing for personal growth and self-discovery. 21. Stimulation of the Senses: Experiencing new sights, sounds, and tastes can awaken the senses and invigorate the mind. 22. Boosted Immune System: Exposure to new environments can strengthen the immune system and improve overall health. 23. Reduced Risk of Depression: Travel has been linked to lower rates of depression due to its positive impact on mood and well-being. 24. Connection with History: Visiting historical sites and landmarks provides a sense of connection to the past, fostering a deeper appreciation for history. 25. Renewed Inspiration: Traveling to new places can reignite passion and inspiration, helping overcome creative blocks or burnout. 26. Improved Social Skills: Interacting with people from different backgrounds enhances social skills and empathy. 27. Sense of Freedom: Traveling offers a sense of freedom and liberation from the constraints of everyday life. 28. Emotional Healing: Travel can serve as a form of therapy, allowing for emotional healing and renewal. 29. Mindful Eating: Exploring local cuisines encourages mindful eating and appreciation for food. 30. Stress Hormone Regulation: Studies have shown that travel can regulate stress hormones like cortisol, leading to better mood regulation and emotional balance. 31. Sense of Accomplishment: Planning and executing a successful trip instills a sense of accomplishment and pride. 32. Rediscovery of Passion: Travel can reignite passions and interests that may have been neglected in daily life. 33. Stress Reduction Through Disconnecting: Taking a break from technology and disconnecting from the digital world can reduce stress and promote mental clarity. 34. Promotion of Sleep: Traveling can regulate sleep patterns and promote better sleep quality, especially when surrounded by natural environments. 35. Opportunity for Self-Care: Travel provides an opportunity to prioritize self-care and relaxation, away from the demands of work and responsibilities. 36. Cognitive Stimulation: Learning new languages or navigating unfamiliar environments stimulates cognitive function and brain health. 37. Exposure to Beauty: Witnessing breathtaking landscapes and architectural marvels can evoke a sense of awe and appreciation for beauty. 38. Emotional Resilience Building: Dealing with travel mishaps or delays can cultivate emotional resilience and adaptability. 39. Camaraderie with Fellow Travelers: Bonding with fellow travelers fosters a sense of camaraderie and belonging. 40. Long-lasting Memories: The experiences and memories gained from travel become cherished treasures that can bring joy and nostalgia for years to come. In conclusion, travel is not just a means of exploring the world; it's also a journey of self-discovery and mental well-being. Whether you embark on a solo adventure or travel with loved ones, each journey offers unique opportunities for growth, connection, and rejuvenation. Remember you don't need to plan a week-long vacation, a short vacation can have the same positive effects. So, pack your bags, embrace the unknown, and let travel be your guide to a healthier, happier life.

  • Fall Day Trip Guide to Julian, CA

    For the locals in San Diego, fall means a trip to Julian, CA to enjoy a day of apple picking, apple pie, and crisp fall weather. Julian, CA is a small gold mining town founded in the late 1870s and is located in the Cuyamaca mountains. This quaint town is only 1hr 30 min from San Diego, making it a perfect weekend day trip! Just a quick tip, many of the shops, restaurants, and orchards close at 5 p.m., so it's something to keep in mind when planning your trip! Start your day strolling through shops and exploring the historic town of Julian. The town is full of unique shops and restaurants. Next, stop in at Julian Pie Company for a delish slice of pie. The Smothers family has been making some of the best apple pie in San Diego County since the late 1980s. This is a popular stop for San Diego locals and visitors from all over Southern California. In addition to the pie, they also offer apple cider, apple cider donut holes, and apple muffins. My favorite is the Dutch apple crumb pie and the apple cider donut holes will leave you wanting more. Next, head over to Volcan Mountain Winery for Apple Wine Volcan Mountain Winery is located just 2 miles from the town center. The tasting room is open Friday- Monday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., and offers three different types of apple wine. They have a 2020 Pomme D’Amour, which is their sparkling apple wine. The Dolcezza Dulce is a delicious and refreshing white wine and the Pommier is their dessert apple wine. Lastly, end your day at Crosscut Farm and Orchard for their U-Pick Apples. This cozy mom-and-pop orchard is a perfect place for apple picking without all the crowds. Frank and Sue have owned this orchard for 5 years and are very welcoming! The entrance fee is $5 per person and includes an apple cider pressing demonstration and an introduction to apple farming. The price for a ½ peck back is $20 dollars which is a little over 30 small apples. Reservations are required! Happy Fall!

  • 4 Bars in San Diego That Will Give You the Ultimate Speakeasy Experience

    During the prohibition era from 1920 to 1933, it was illegal to sale alcohol. To get around this law, businesses would sale alcohol in a hidden room, thus the term speakeasy was born. Realm of The 52 Remedies You are now entering the Realm of The 52 remedies! This speakeasy is located inside Common Theory. The inspiration behind this bar is Recipes for Fifty-Two Ailments, a ancient Chinese medical text. When you first arrive, you enter into a small room that mimics a modern herb pharmacy. In order to enter the bar, you have to wave your hand near the door and then that motion activates the door to open. Before you go: It's a pretty small space inside, so be sure to make reservations. What to order: Definitely order one of their featured craft cocktails that are based on different themes. If you are looking to try other drinks, they have a extensive menu so there is something for everyone. They also have a food menu that offers unique small plate selections Price: Food price average is $13- $20 per plate. Drink prices vary depending on what you order, but expect to pay at least $15 and up for your drink. Noble Experiment This Bar is hidden behind a secret door inside Neighborhood, a bar located in the Gaslamp Quarter. If you try to google this speakeasy, all you will find it is a webpage with the letters "NE". The owners keep this place a secret until you arrive. Before you go: I recommend making reservations. When we went, I didn't make a reservation but we arrived about 15 minutes after they opened and we got a table after a 30 minute wait. What to order: My favorite thing about this speakeasy is that there is no menu. Yes, you heard right. There is no menu. How do you order a drink then? Well I'm glad asked. Once you are seated, the bartender will ask you what you want. In my case, she asked me if I wanted something sweet or refreshing. I told her both! I also told her i wanted something with Rum. All I can say is wow! The cocktail was everything! If you are looking to grab a bite to eat, there is no food served here but either before or after you can stop and grab a bite to eat in Neighborhood restaurant. Price: The price of the drink definitely depends on what you order and because there is no menu, it's hard to give a price range. Our drinks were about $15 each. Here is a list of 2 other awesome speakeasies to visit: 1. Prohibition Lounge Location: Gaslamp Tips: Dress code is encouraged Friday and Saturday nights. No reservations , so be sure to get there early. Photo Credit: San Diego Eater 2. Room 56 Location: Gaslamp Tips: Reservations are required. Located inside the Moxy San Diego Photo Credit: San Diego Eater

  • 5 Christmas Markets to Visit in San Diego 2022

    The Holidays are my favorite time of year! Filled with celebrations, festivals, and Christmas markets! I mean who doesn't love Christmas markets? Here are the top 5 Christmas markets to visit this year in San Diego! Make sure to click on the links to find out more about each event! If you are looking for more holiday event ideas check out my post 4 Fun Things to do This Holiday Season in San Diego The Holiday Market at Petco Park This annual holiday market is held at Petco Park (Home of the Padres) and features local artisan shops, seasonal food, and beverages. The market also includes decorative Christmas light displays. This is a market for the entire family to enjoy! Dates: December 1st to December 23rd Days: Sunday- Saturday Price:$14- $20 per person (depending on the date/entry time you select when purchasing your tickets) 2. December Nights Balboa Park Head to one of the most beautiful parks in San Diego for the largest free holiday market in the city! Over 350,000 people enjoy this market every year! From live music to, cultural food options, to holiday performances, there is something to see and do at every turn. Dates: Friday, December 2nd from 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. December 3rd from 11:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m. Where: Petco Park Price: FREE admission 3. Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village Every year Little Italy is transformed into an urban holiday market. The streets are lined with 10-foot-tall nutcrackers, local vendors, holiday treats, and live music. In addition to the market, there is also a tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. If you are in the mood for a meal instead of holiday treats, stop by one of the delicious Italian restaurants for a late lunch or dinner. Dates: December 3rd from 4:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Where: India St between W. Cedar and W Grape Street Price: FREE admission Italy 4. Starlight Nights in Downtown Chula Vista The City of Chula Vista is hosting a holiday celebration in Downtown Chula Vista! The event will feature a holiday market, live music, and an official tree-lighting ceremony. There won't be a parade this year but don't worry there are plenty of other activities to enjoy! Dates: December 4th from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Tree lighting is at 6:15 p.m.) Where: Downtown Chula Vista Price: Admission is FREE 5. Holiday in the Village in La Mesa The 7th annual Holiday Village in La Mesa is an excellent event for everyone! Enjoy exploring La Mesa's historic downtown as you shop at the local vendors. There is a fun holiday storefront decorating contest this year, so make sure you check those out! Date: December 3rd from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Where: Downtown La Mesa Price: Admission is FREE If you can't make it to any of these markets, check out https://sandiegomade.org/markets/ for additional holiday markets held throughout San Diego!

  • A Local's Guide to the 7 Best Views in San Diego

    San Diego, California is known for its beautiful scenery and stunning views, with many great spots to take in the city's natural beauty. Here are some of the best views in San Diego: 1. Cabrillo National Monument - Located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, this national monument offers panoramic views of San Diego Bay, downtown San Diego, and the Pacific Ocean. 2. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve - This coastal park offers scenic hiking trails with views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline, as well as Torrey Pines Golf Course. 3. Torrey Pines Gliderport- A favorite local spot to view beautiful sunsets over coastal cliffs and watch paragliders soar high in the sky. 4. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park - This park offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastline, with plenty of spots to watch the sunset. 5. Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial- This hilltop offers 360-degree views of San Diego and the surrounding area, including the ocean, mountains, and downtown skyline. 6. Cowles Mountain- With an elevation of 1,593, this mountain peak is the highest point in San Diego with 360-degree views. The 3-mile out-and-back hiking trail is moderate to strenuous but once you are at the top, the views are worth it. On a clear day, you can see downtown San Diego, the pacific ocean, and the Mexican Islands. 7. Altitude Sky Lounge - Located on the rooftop of the San Diego Marriot Hotel in the historic Gaslamp District, this lounge offers the best views of the San Diego Padres Stadium, the city skyline, and the San Diego Bay! If you're a local what is your favorite view in San Diego? If you are visiting our beautiful city, what was your favorite view? Let me know in the comments! :)

  • San Diego Layover Itinerary: Exploring San Diego's Highlights in 24 hrs

    Long layovers can be a pain depending on the city and the airport. If you happen to have a long layover in San Diego, you might have just enough time to venture out of the airport and explore the city. What makes San Diego a lovely city for a layover is that our airport is within walking distance of downtown and within a few minutes drive to many attractions. In this post, you'll find itineraries for a 4, 6-8 hours, and 24-hour layover in San Diego. 4 Hrs in San Diego If you only have a four-hour layover in San Diego I recommend visiting Liberty Station due to the close proximity to the airport. Liberty Station has a variety of restaurants to choose from and is among the top tourist attractions. Liberty Station (distance from SD Airport: driving: 1.2 miles or 4 min) Liberty Sation is a former Naval Training Center that dates back to the 1920s. It's now home to Liberty Public Market, one of San Diego's many food halls, an Arts district, shopping, Stone Brewing, and restaurants. Where to Eat: Moniker General- A cute coffee shop with a retail store and a relaxing atmosphere. Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe- delicious bakery cafe serving up handmade breads and pastries Fig Tree Cafe- A local breakfast restaurant. Tender Greens- Quick and easy healthy meal Liberty Public Market- A food hall with various restaurants to choose from. What to do : Walk along the beautiful sidewalks and explore the grounds. With over 300 acres to explore there are plenty of things to keep you busy. 6 - 8 hrs in San Diego With a 6-8 hr layover, there are many options to choose from. I have included an itinerary with 3 different categories. The city explorer, beach vibes, and historical gems. The city explorer itinerary will cover the top things to see in downtown San Diego. The beach vibes itinerary will include a beach-focused itinerary and the historical gems will include some awesome historical places to check out. Note: These itineraries are based on a morning arrival and may need to be modified based on the time your flight arrives. The City Explorer Itinerary Click to expand for details: Beach Vibes Itinerary Click to expand for details: Historical Places Itinerary Click to expand for details: 24-hrs in San Diego If you have a 24-hr layover you can mix and match the itineraries above. You may also have time to include some additional attractions or explore more areas in San Diego that I have listed below. If you plan to be in San Diego for 24 hrs or more, I definitely recommend a rental car. Although San Diego has a Trolley system and Uber is an option, it is still easier to get around the city if you have your own transportation. San Diego Zoo: (distance from SD Airport: driving: 5.1 miles or 13 min) The San Diego Zoo is one of the top attractions in San Diego and every year is listed as one of the top zoos in the world! This zoo is over 100 acres and is home to over 14,00 animals. Due to the massive size of this zoo, I recommend only visiting if you have at least 24 hrs or more to spare. The zoo is located in Balboa Park, so refer to my Balboa Park itinerary above for tips! Seaworld: (distance from SD Airport: driving: 4.5 miles or 10 min) Seaworld San Diego is located in the beautiful area of Mission Bay. It's one of the most known attractions in the United States. Seaworld has amazing shows, thrilling rides, and many other attractions. This park is located near Mission Beach, so view my Mission Beach Itinerary above for tips! Coronado: (distance from SD Airport: driving: 8.9 miles or 18 min) Coronado is located across the bay from downtown San Diego and is home to what has consistently been voted one of the best beaches in the U.S. The beach has beautiful views, shops, oceanfront dining, and water activities that the entire family will enjoy. Coronado is also home to a Naval Base. There are a few ways to get to Coronado. The first is driving and the second is riding the Flagship Ferry from downtown San Diego to Coronado. Where to eat: The Sun Deck: restaurant located right on the beach Taco Shack: located right on the beach and serves cocktails and tacos. The Henry: a popular restaurant serving delicious food. What to do: Rent bikes and ride on the boardwalk. Take a tour of Hotel del Coronado, a historic hotel built in 1888. Rent beach chairs and relax on the beach. Go on a Gondola ride in the Coronado bay. La Jolla: (distance from SD Airport: driving: 14.6 miles or 24 min) La Jolla (pronounced La- Hoya) is a popular coastal city located about 25 min North of downtown San Diego. The city has beautiful views of coastal cliffs, trails, and multi-million-dollar homes. There is so much to do in La Jolla and you can easily spend the entire day exploring the city. Where to eat: Sugar and Scribe- Is one of my favorite breakfast spots in La Jolla. The Cottage- a popular breakfast and brunch spot. Duke's La Jolla- a popular restaurant with beautiful water views. The Taco Stand - One of the best places to get Tacos in San Diego. Piatti- delicious Italian food. Rubicon Deli- local sandwich shop. What to do: Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Go on a Kayak Tour View the seals and sea lions in La Jolla Cove Relax on the beach at La Jolla Shores Go shopping at West Field UTC Visit a speakeasy Learn how to surf Watch the Sunset at the Torrey Pines Glideport View one of the best views in the city at Mt.Soledad Bonus itinerary ideas: Ride the MTS Trolley from Downtown San Diego to La Jolla UTC. Attend a Padres Game. Go on a city tour with Old Town Trolley Tours - This hop-on/hop-off tour is amazing. It takes you to all the top places in San Diego including Coronado. It's a great way to get around the city in a limited time. Eat your way through Convoy, San Diego's Authentic Asian food destination. Once you arrive you will be surrounded by all types of food from Taiwanese to Shanghainese to Korean, just to name a few. Go on a weekend brunch cruise! Visit Southern California's oldest winery. I hope your quick visit to San Diego is amazing and that this post is helpful with planning your itinerary!

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