Aaand We’re Off for San Diego!
Perfect Weather. Beautiful scenery. Nature. Golf. Variety. Historical. Spread out. San Diego offers so many things to do. Very important…research ahead of your trip and utilize the Concierge and other staff members at your hotel. There are so many areas to explore and a little guidance makes for a perfect trip. The hotel staff knows the little secrets to getting everywhere.
San Diego International Airport: Easy airport to maneuver. A quick shuttle bus ride to the rental car area. We had to do a bit of walking to get our car but there are people all around to direct you where to go. If you stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar you are approximately 30 minutes away.
Where to Stay
I am currently on a Forbes Five Star Hotel kick because of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. This property is breathtaking…and immaculate…and delivers large hotel rooms with big bathrooms and a lanai…and has so much to do. The Addison, which is the hotel’s signature restaurant, is also on the Forbes Five Star list (as is The Spa). The property touts an amazing golf course and gorgeous grounds all around. In addition to The Must Try Addison, they also have Amaya (indoor and outdoor seating for all meals…breakfast is delightful outside on the patio), The Lobby Bar which was my favorite area to have a lovely glass of champagne, people watch, and have small bites and dessert in the evening, The Clubhouse Grill up near the Golf Course, and Cent’ Anni Café for coffees, pastries, and other goodies. You can lounge at the family pool or all adult pool and be served drinks and pool food as well. The Concierge Team is outstanding and can give you wonderful suggestions and make arrangements flawlessly. Every single person we encountered at this property gave outstanding and over the top service. Five star is well deserved. I have stayed at many luxury properties in my lifetime and I must say this is in my top five.
The US Grant : Gorgeous downtown property. Even if you do not stay here…go see it and enjoy the complimentary lobby lemonade while you enjoy the beauty of the lobby. It was so delicious! The day we were there it was Pineapple Chipotle Lemonade. They have a fantastic bar and restaurant right off the lobby too.
Where to Dine
Dining will depend on which part of San Diego you are staying in or where you will find yourself at dining hour. Always ask your Concierge for the best up to the minute dining options, but here are a few of my favorites:
Addison: There are several ways to enjoy this Forbes Five Star Restaurant. First you can go all out and experience the Chef’s tasting menu at $250 per person. You can also do the Four Course Menu for $110 per person (wine pairings are extra—this was the way we did it and it was magnificent). Should you not be a foodie or don’t want to do a full experience, you can also stop in for a cocktail at the beautiful bar and have a small bite. Whether you choose to stay at Fairmont Del Mar or not…this restaurant is a must!
Lobby Bar at Fairmont Del Mar : Perhaps you chose to have a big lunch (or In and Out) and you are not real hungry, or maybe you are tired and are not up to getting your car out or taking a cab…if this sounds like you then look no further than the Lobby Bar if you are staying at the hotel. Adorned with warm fireplaces and beautiful sitting areas, the Lobby Bar is sure to please. Many seating options from out on the patio, to couches or comfortable chairs, to a table, to the bar, or to a secuded dark cozy room. Service is outstanding and the staff goes out of the way to chat with you if you are open to it. The drink choices are amazing, the food creative and delicious, and the desserts divine. Fun place to people watch.
Puesto: Talk to anyone around the hotel and they will tell you that Puesto in La Jolla is a must if you like Mexican food. I second that motion. Say yes to the margarita, yes to the guacamole, and yes to the taco trio. If you choose the taco trio you will pick any three of their exotic tacos…I chose the Zucchini and Cactus Veg, the Maine Lobster, and the Filet Mignon. Each one was better than the next. We sat street side and watched the world go by.
Grant Grill is fun if you find yourself in downtown San Diego. Located inside the US Grant Hotel.
Grabbing food at one of the many vendors in Seaport Village is just plain fun. The food will be as you expect it to be but the atmosphere is fun for watching people and listening to live music while you take a break for lunch.
Where to Shop
Prospect Street and Girard Avenue in La Jolla can give you a nice boutique shopping fix.
Fashion Valley offers the usual like Macy’s, Neiman’s, and Bloomingdales sprinkled with some high end Hermes and Prada. Open air setting.
Two Day Itinerary
We were in Orange County for a high school graduation and party, so after brunch on Sunday we took off for the 1 1/2 hour drive to beautiful San Diego. No matter where you are coming from…another city in California or a fly in from another city…start your afternoon with early or late lunch at In and Out. When in Cali you just have to have one of their burgers and an order of their fries.
Check in to the beautiful Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Such a personalized experience. The valet will walk you to the front desk and wait to introduce you, the front desk makes it easy and then walks you to the bellman, the bellman gives you a quick tour of the hotel, then takes you to your room, goes over every single thing in the room and also makes suggestions for where to eat and where to go.
Once you get situated and unpack a bit, go walking around the property. This could literally take a couple hours if you want to see everything (and you do!).
Since you had the In and Out, just go enjoy drinks, appetizers and maybe a dessert tonight in the Lobby Bar. A great place to unwind and plot your day tomorrow.
We love to start our day with exercise and this property is great for walking and enjoying the beauty all around. Follow up with breakfast on the terrace of Amaya. Back to the room and get ready for your day.
Today grab your rental car and head down to the USS Midway. We found great parking at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside located at 1355 North Harbor Drive. It’s a beautiful walk from there to the USS Midway. There are several ways to tour so you can choose to do it as you wish and spend 1 hour to 4 hours aboard. We did our own look around tour and stopped to listen to the various lectures that really interested us. My husband, Mr. Good Sport, was a Navy Man so I had an in for a more specialized tour with him as my guide.
After you finish at USS Midway, continue walking and take a photo by “Save the Kiss. Then walk on to Seaport Village where you can just look around, do some souvenir shopping, or grab a quick bite at one of the food vendors. The day we visited there were two live entertainment venues going on.
You just have to see the US Grant Hotel. The lobby is simply elegant and they have complimentary lemonade for you to enjoy while taking it all in. We thoroughly enjoyed the Pineapple Chipotle Lemonade. They have a great restaurant off the lobby too for a sandwich or a drink.
Onward to walking the Gaslamp District. Many fun bars, restaurants, music, shopping, and people watching. Before heading back to the hotel you may want to grab dinner at Lou and Mickey’s. Perhaps you would like to take the ferry to Coronado…this is another option. We were there on another trip and it is well worth it.
We ended up back in the Lobby Bar for a final night cap.
I like to begin with exercise so we went to the fitness center and did a little workout. Afterward we enjoyed a light breakfast and wonderful coffee at the little coffee shop on premise called Cent’ Anni Café.
Here’s a fun little trick if you are staying at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. You can pre-arrange to reserve the hotel’s complimentary car service and they will drop you off and pick you up in La Jolla. It was marvelous and the driver’s each way guided us well. La Jolla is a great place to see. Start out by walking down to the water at La Jolla Cove where you can view the sea lions and seals. It’s a beautiful place to walk too. We ate lunch at Puesto! Then followed up with shopping Girard and Prospect Avenue boutiques and shops. Four hours about covers it.
Back at the hotel, take a little time for a spa treatment or reading by the adult pool before cleaning up for dinner at Addison. What a great way to end!
I hope you get to enjoy the many facets of San Diego, soon or someday!