San Diego: 10 Favorite Places & Spaces

“San Diego must be heaven-on-earth”

– Alonzo Horton

Well friends, here is my shamelessly biased take on San Diego. Of course there is much more to love about this city, but these are 10 places I think I’ll miss most.


There’s no substitute for a warm sunny beach. Whether you enjoy actually getting in the water, or just listening to the surf, the ocean is nature’s best therapy.

1. La Jolla Shores – Walk along Prospect St. and visit a few art galleries. Visit baby seals at the Children’s Pool. Go snorkeling or kayaking with leopard sharks at La Jolla Shores (they aren’t dangerous).

2. Sunset Cliffs/Ocean Beach – My favorite run is along Sunset Cliffs to O.B. It’s a gorgeous 2 miles or so. Once you get to O.B., get an acai bowl, walk along the pier, and (if you are me) dream about what it’d be like to surf.

sunset cliffs


3. Cafe Bassam – This coffee shop is located in Hillcrest, and owned by Bassam, an older gentleman from Turkey (I spotted him once at an In-N-Out! True story). The coffee is some of the best in San Diego (although their chai latte is my favorite), and there is an ever-changing collection of antiques on display inside.

Cafe Bassam
Photos by Clove & Kin Photography

4. Caffé Calabria – A café/coffee shop/roaster in North Park. This place is known for roasting unbeatable Italian coffee and for its pizza.

caffe calabria

5. Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe – This bakery makes the best sandwiches in town (according to me). My favorite is the Turkey Cobb Sandwich, but everything on the menu is delicious. I can’t come here without getting a loaf of chocolate bread and cinnamon rolls.

Photo by Clove & Kin Photography
Photo by Clove & Kin Photography


6. Central Library – This library is special to me because I got to live in San Diego while it was being built, and it opened while I was in my first semester of Library and Information Science. Exploring this library brought my coursework to life, and it showed me that libraries are as much a part of the future as they are of the past. I was so impressed by it that I decided to write one of my final essays about the history of the San Diego Public Library system.

San Diego Central Library - Photo by Brit Jay Photography
San Diego Central Library – Photo by Brit Jay Photography

7. Ryan Library – Let’s just say I’ve made some unforgettable memories here. Ryan is the only library at my alma mater PLNU, and it’s where I spent countless nights studying and working. This library will always feel like home (plus the view is pretty great).

Ryan Library


8. Old Town – This is the place to be on Taco Tuesday! It’s a total tourist trap, but locals love it because of the great restaurants and fun atmosphere.

Cosmopolitan Hotel
Cosmopolitan Hotel – Photo by Daniel Boone Photography (We had our wedding reception here 🙂 )

9. Presidio Park & Serra Museum – This quiet hillside is my favorite picnic spot. Come before sunset and watch the sun sink behind the hills of Point Loma.

Serra Museum and Presidio

10. Balboa Park Balboa is more like a city than a single place. It’s the home of over a dozen museums, the Old Globe, and the San Diego Zoo. My favorite corner of the park is the Marston House.

Balboa Park


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