7.30.2013

Going Back To Cali, Cali.... {So Cal}


It's true.

Remember that one time (OK, multiple times) I mentioned we booked our next trip, but failed to mention where? Yeah, I've been slacking with that. But now that we are only two months away (hip hip hooray!), it's time to share where we are heading!

Remember when we went on one of our all time favorite trips to Northern Cali with stops in Lake Tahoe, Napa, San Francisco and Carmel last year for our anniversary and fell in love with every place and never wanted to leave? You must because I never shut up about it. 
Well, it's time for part two.
The first week of October we will be heading to....

San Diego

Orange County / Laguna / Newport Beach


Malibu


Los Angeles


All of these places have been on my bucket list for so long...you have no idea. 
I just love exploring and falling in love with new cities. After our trip to Northern California (and I mean literally days after), my travel bug/itch to get to the other side of the state got even worse. Sorry Billy for never shutting up about it (or am I? No, no, I'm not...) But really, I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are!
The majority of our time will be spent in the San Diego/OC area, but we plan to spend at least a day or day and a half in LA/Malibu.

So, where are all my So Cal girls at? I know you are out there! Can you give me some tips?

Because you guys helped so much last time, ANY advice on where to stay (specifically for San Diego or OC area), the best restaurants, things to do/see (we love to see as much as we can and be active!), etc. would be wonderful and greatly appreciated!
You guys have always recommended the best places to me when we go on trips, so I know your tips are legit. :)
Countdown has officially started.... 63 days to go!

 

49 comments :

  1. Girl! We are going a month apart.. dangit! I'm going over Labor Day weekend and Mom and I haven't planned a thing.. except we know we are staying at a hotel in the gaslamp area? Any tips you get feel free to pass on to meeee :)

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  2. Ooh love love love San Diego!!! I'm sure Ms Set This Circus Down will have lots of recommendations for you!

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  3. I love San Diego. I went a long time ago with my parents. Go to the zoo, it is beautiful and I swam with the dolphins. Pretty cool!

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  4. Y'all have to go see the zoo...it's literally the best one in the country! Hash House A Go-Go has amazing and I am mean amazing breakfast\brunch. The wait can get really lengthy, but if you get there early enough it's totally worth it. I have stayed at Hotel Indigo several times and love it! It's in the heart of San Diego, near the Padres field, has a rooftop bar and you can walk all throughout downtown very easily. Starbucks just a block away! Make sure to stop at Laguna Beach before Newport Beach. We were just there and enjoyed Laguna more than Newport. There is a steak house that is known for famous people to peruse and TMZ is frequently there...Maestro's in Newport Beach! I am not sure if it's whale watching season, but you could do whale watching in Dana Point or San Diego which is really neat.

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  5. I live here!! I work at Paramount Pictures, and we do tours of the lot. I could also do a private tour for you if you just wanted to come on the lot alone. Hollywood is a must, a play at the Pantages is always fun. Malibu is a perfect spot to visit! SD is amazing, my in-laws used to live there. Pizza Port is delicious. Even if it's cold, go to the beach!! Not joking, get some coffee and have a date night cuddled on the beach, we did that plenty of times. Also if you find your self near Calrsbad, there is this restaurant by the beach called Harbor Fish Cafe, the best Calm Chowder with bread bowls. The wait is worth it. Plus we would usually get it to go and then go the beach and eat on the beach. :)

    Hope this wasn't too much :) I have a lot more though...

    Allison over at http://blog.fridgegrowngarlic.com/

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  6. You will love San Diego! I lived there twice when I was younger and love to visit my sister in law there now! There is sooo much to do but here are a couple of my favs:

    Brunch: JRDN in Pacific Beach
    Lunch: California Burrito anywhere (I like the barn!)
    Dinner: George's at the cove (Fancy restaurant down below, a little more relaxed on the ocean terrace above. The views of the sunset from the ocean terrace are incredible!)
    Drinks: US Grant hotel (beautiful bar, don't have to stay there to go)

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  7. You will absolutely love it there! I can't wait to go back! Make sure you go to Pacific Beach....any of the local restaurants there are amazing!

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  8. Gah...take me with you! I can fold up into a large bag :)

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  9. Looks like it is going to be such a fun trip!

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  10. Oh my gosh I am BEYOND jealous! My husband and I went out to Napa, Sonoma, and SF last year for our anniversary as well and absolutely FELL IN LOVE with it out there. I literally want to move out there so badly and have been trying everything I can to make it happen!

    I actually grew up in SoCal in Orange County, Laguna Hills, and I loved it! We moved to South Carolina when I was 10, and it was so completely different! You definitely have to go to the zoo in San Diego, it's the best :)

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  11. I just went to San Diego in June. You MUST go to the Blind Burro Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter. The Mexican food there seriously rivals some of my places in Texas.

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  12. I live in Corona del Mar (a villagey beach town in between Laguna and Newport), there are some really cute restaurants here. If you're around for breakfast/brunch you should go to Zinc, right off of PCH. The Beach Comber in Crystal Cove is awesome, but I dont know if they are open in October...but there is a Ruby's Shake Shack in Crystal Cove (just North of Laguna), and they have AMAZING views of the Ocean and yummy shakes. And in Laguna you should go to Sundried Tomato (really yummy contemporary Italian with Happy Hour until 7 every night!). Have fun :)

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  13. This is so exciting! I've never been to CA but would love to visit. I'm sure you'll have a blast and I can't wait to hear all about it!

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  14. If you're in San Diego make sure to get a hotel that is close to the gas lamp quarters - that is right where all the bars, great shopping and best clubs are. We stayed at the Hard Rock (the pool sucked - but everything else was great about the hotel). But there are seriously underground clubs you can get to and so much more to do. And since you're are making your way to OC - only 2.5 more hours and you will be in Santa Barbara - sooooo much to do there. You would absolutely love State Street. You just park on one of the off streets or parking garages and walk the whole strip with TONS of stores, restaurants, bars, etc - or you can rent little bikes and ride along by the beach and take the pirate boat ride that is also a little mini bar - it takes you out for a ride to see some of the sea animals :) So many options!

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  15. I just moved to San Diego and have made it my job to get to know everything... what types of things are you looking for? There is so much to do that I don't know where to start! Here's a quick Top 5 but give me more direction and I can let you know... 1. Ocean Beach.... fun beach town that defines SoCal with plenty of VW bugs and old hippies 2. Coronado... heading over the giant bridge chilling on the beaches with gold sand and checking out the Hotel Del 3. Sunset Cliffs... this is also in Ocean Beach (known by locals as OB) and has the BEST sunset 4. La Jolla Cove... beautiful cove area with sea lions head there during high tide and you will hear Boom Cliffs 5. I am headed to the Zoo today and plan to become a member have heard that the Wild Safari Park is amazing and I plan on checking that out soon! 6. I lied I couldn't keep it to just five points... check out Old Town especially on Taco Tuesdays! I stayed at the Hampton Inn downtown... it was a great location close to everything including the trolley the pool sucks though but there are beaches for that. I am not sure about hotels in the beach areas but key is to be centrally located so you can get to everything quickly. Hope this helps but let me know if you need any more advice. I love it here... enjoy!

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  16. Oh my gosh, what a fun trip!! I have never been to San Diego but am dying to go because I've heard amazing things! You guys are going to have the best time! xoxo

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  17. Southern Cali is a blast - you'll love it!

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  18. When you go to LA, you should eat breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House, lunch at El Tarasco, and dinner at Sloopy's. All are in Manhattan Beach! :-)

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  19. If you need any tips about where to go in LA and San Diego let me know! I between both and have explores plenty of times!

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  20. I'm going to San Diego with my boyfriend (who grew up there) in two and a half weeks. I'm so excited because I've never even been to California!

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  21. so insanely jealous!! Lets see...

    Disneyland
    Universal Studios
    Sea World

    haha just kidding :) you had to know i would suggest DISNEY! LOL

    I am so excited for you guys! You should totes go find Villa Blanca or SUR an see if lisa vanderpump is there! And the tone it up girls! haha

    my co-worker is from that area and i just asked him some must-do's an he said 1,000 steps beach is awesome!! Also to try paddleboarding!

    cannot wait to hear everything you decide!

    xoxoxo

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  22. I would love to visit CA!! LA would be wonderful! :) It is on my bucket list!

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  23. Hi Katie- I live in San Diego and have been here all of my life. I'd recommend many of the suggestions that the ladies above have made. I agree with JRDN, it's also known as Tower 23 in Pacific Beach (PB). Also try World Famous for breakfast/brunch in Pacific Beach as well, the bar faces the ocean and my favorite drink is the Ruby Red (vodka and champagne with some other magic in it, delish). La Jolla is beautiful, George's is awesome to eat at. Old Town is so cute and fun, good Mexican food. The San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park and Sea World are also good to check out. If you are in the downtown area, Seaport Village is fun, it's right on San Diego Bay with a great view of Coronado. Shoot me an email if you have more questions. The weather in October is still warm during the days but cool-ish at night. You'll have a great time!! : )

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  24. Yay I am so excited!!! :) :) The Mexican Food, there is nothing like Mexican food in California. I promise it will not disappoint. It's real mexican, not tex mex ;) lol
    We are going to SD the 2nd weekend in Sept as an anniversary getaway, staying on Coronado...thought about telling hubs we should postpone it to go when you all are there HA! ;)
    Although you may get sick of me lol ;)

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  25. If you get the chance stay in La Jolla or go by there to see the sea lions! We stayed at a boutique hotel (sorry don't know the name) and could walk 3 blocks to the beach and there was also a walking/running area (sidewalk) overlooking the beach.

    The zoo is a MUST!!!

    OMG you make me want to go back!! :)

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  26. omg those pictures are beautiful. I don't fly, but those are pretty tempting to get my butt on a plane and see Cali. Enjoy your trip in just a couple months :)

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  27. You will have so much fun! I am a San Diego State Alumni and was able to call SD home for 5 years (and now call SF home)! I highly recommend the Zoo and heading into the Gaslamp District. So many fun bars and places to eat. I lived in PB but now when I go back I tend to stay away from PB due to the younger crowd. Gaslamp is a more late 20s early 30s crowd. So much fun!! There is a really neat place called Vin De Syrah Spirit & Wine Parlor and it's a Speakeasy and you literally go under the street to find it. Inside it's decked out like Alice in Wonderland - so neat!

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  28. As a born and raised San Diego girl...I love my hometown!! Our Zoo is awesome! Balboa Park has tons of museums and is a great place to walk around. Downtown / Gas Lamp district is great for night life and yummy restaurants. Old Town – amazing Mexican food & margaritas and great history, there is an Old Town Trolley tour that you can do that gives you great history and takes to all kinds of places. You can get on and off as you please at the different stops. It’s a great way to explore San Diego. There is Pacific Beach / Mission Beach for day and night time fun. Hope you enjoy your trip!! Let me know if you need any help or other ideas!!

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  29. Newport Beach is GORGEOUS and so is Hermosa Beach! Redondo was awesome too and my husband loved Laguna Beach! We went there about 4 years ago and absolutely fell in love with it!!! We flew into Santa Ana/John Wayne airport and stayed at a little Travelodge down the street from Newport Beach. We were basically just beach bums the whole time and went to every beach from Seal Beach down to Laguna and it ROCKED! If you've ever seen the TV series The OC, it was mostly filmed on Redondo Beach in the coffee shop/cafe thingy at the end of the dock. We ate there a few times, but it was nothing fancy at all. Have so much fun! I'm SO jealous!!

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  30. Check out Gaslamp district (downtown SD) and Coronado esp the Hotel on the little island and Lajolla is BEAUTIFUL!!! The Zoo will blow your mind. Biggest and best zoo I've ever been to. My ex before I got married lived in SD so I spent a lot of time going there on weekends since it was only 2 hours from Yuma, AZ where I lived at the time. Pacific beach is a college crowd but a lot of fun you have to check out the Green Flash little hut/restaurant! :) You'll get tons of recommendations, all of which you can't go wrong by!

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  31. I love Southern Cal! You will have a blast!!

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  32. I love Southern Cal! You will have a blast!!

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  33. Even if only for one night, you should definitely check out Coronado Bay for lodging: http://www.loewshotels.com/en/Coronado-Bay-Resort/index

    It's an unforgettable experience! Can't wait to hear about your impressions of SoCal v. NoCal as my husband and I need advice ;) Have fun!!!

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  34. Have so much fun! Cali is the bees knees!

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  35. #1 thing you have to do in L.A. is hike to the Hollywood sign. It's the hardest hike I've ever done, but it is so so so worth it when you get to the top. That is one of my favorite memories from Cali :)

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  36. You will love the Gas Lamp district. and when you come to Malibu, I'd love to meet you!

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  37. I use to live in Oceanside. I miss it and wouldn't trade the memories I have for any others. Excited for your countdown and pictures that will come along with your trip!

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  38. The zoo & I went kayaking in the ocean in La Jolla and it was a lot of fun :)

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  39. As a San Diego native (who LOVES your blog), I thought I'd add a couple of suggestions-
    1. Stone Brewery: I highly recommend their new restaurant in Liberty Station. There is a massive, gorgeous garden, the food is outstanding, the service is incredible, they have bocce ball courts, and a ridiculous tap and bottle list. I am also super biased because this is where my wedding reception will be Sep. 1 :)
    2. Cedros Design District--In Solana Beach. I've seen a couple people have mentioned Pizza Port and this could be the perfect afternoon/evening. I recommend you drive through Del Mar on your way to Solana Beach, past the race track and some of the most beautiful coastal views. Cedros, the design district, is a super cool area with lots of kitchy/cool stuff and some great restaurants.
    3. Del Mar--Most people are going to point you to La Jolla, where I lived for about 4 years, but honestly I love Del Mar so much more. It's not as crowded or shopping-heavy (depending on what you're looking for), with some great restaurants and KILLER sunsets. Highly recommend for sunset viewing.
    4. The Safari Park > San Diego Zoo. The zoo is crazy famous (my grandmother worked there for 20+ years, so I'm not hating on it at all), but the Safari Park in Escondido is, in my 'humble' opinion, so much better. You get to view animals living together in a huge expanse of land with a lot fewer animals in enclosures. Plus it's close to the northern Stone Brewery location, so for me that's a win win.
    5. Noble Experiment. If you like craft cocktails, hipsters, and secret doorways, Noble is the place for you. You have to text message them to secure a reservation no more than 7 days in advance. If you're interested just google 'noble experiment' and you'll find their website and phone number.
    6. If you like baseball games I would also suggest a night at Petco Park for a Padres game. The park is pretty new and in the heart of downtown; the Padres are awful but I think the social scene at the park is super fun. Plus you can go out and have a night on the town easy after a game.

    I hope that wasn't too much! You're going to have so much fun!

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  40. So exciting!!! I live in the South bay area, the beaches are just awesome. Email me if you want some ideas for Malibu/Los Angeles! amy @ sweethomeamy . com

    xoxo

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  41. you are going to have a BLAST! I did this trip a few years ago and it was excellent!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  42. San Diego is my favorire place ever! I call it my little heaven. I'm lucky that its an hour flight or a 5 hour car drive. CORONADO ISLAND IS A MUST! It's the cutest little island, and the sand is sparkly it literally glistens. Also, LA JOLLA is a must too, There is an amazing place there r breakfast/brunch called The Brockton, we have to go every visit. And get the "COAST TOAST" there, AMAZING. After brunch you can walk over to see all the se lions. I promise you won't regret it. Also the Brockton has a nice view if you sit on their patio. So excited for you, you will love it.

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  43. So so jealous! I have wanted to go to Laguna beach since laguna beach was on MTV...hmm imagine that lol it is so pretty but all these places look so pretty! I will wait for your reviews and where you went so I can save it for one day..hopefully

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  44. I live in LA, well Santa Monica to be exact at work at TOMS on the westside {Venice/Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey}. I call it the bubble because I rarely go east of the 405. The biggest thing to note while visiting LA is traffic. It is awful all the time. I wouldn't count on doing a ton of things all over the city in one day. I'd do one or two areas really well since you will only be here for a day or two. The Getty is always a favorite with visitors as well at the Getty Villa in Malibu. Santa Monica shopping at 3rd Street is like your typical mall store wise, but is out doors and 2 blocks from the beach. In Venice, Abbot Kinney is awesome. Lots of fun, unique and expensive boutiques, but it's iconic Venice as well as walking around the canals. Brentwood Country Mart is where all the celebs hang out as well as the shops on Montana. Blue Plate Taco and BP Oysterette are amazing if you are looking for places to dine in SM. In Malibu, Duke's is great. It's a pretty tiny town, but the views up the PCH are amazing. Since you are into fitness, you should sign up for a Soul Cycle or Barry's Bootcamp class while you're here. The instructors are out of this world. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. LA is a great city, I hope you enjoy your visit!

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  45. So jealous! Both trips(past and future) sound like so much fun!! I have been to California once before and ever since then I have wanted to go back! We left for a cruise from San Francisco and went down to San Diego as one of the stops. I didn't get to explore as much as I wanted to so I'm trying to talk my boyfriend into that being our next trip! Thankfully he loves traveling like me. Can't wait to hear about the trip after you go!

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  46. I'm an SD Girl!! You will love it! We've been having really oddly warm October's so hopefully it'll still be really toasty when you get here.

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  47. awe I live in San diego!! I am so excited your coming to visit!! What are you looking for to do? There are many many places to stay & fun!! Lots to do!!!!

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