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How To Take The Ultimate Vacation In San Diego

From left: A cocktail at The Desmond, the Kimpton Alma Hotel lobby, and grounds at Estancia La Jolla.

Take A Break is your ultimate guide to the perfect trips to recharge, rediscover yourself and your relationships, and reengage with the world. We’ll cover shopping stops, great bars, restaurants worth your money, photo opportunities, memorable experiences, and other important details you need before you book.

California is filled with terrific cities for tourists, but if you’re looking for postcard-worthy vistas, temperate weather and fresh fish tacos, then San Diego should zoom to the top of your list.

There’s a reason the SoCal destination is the backdrop for so many iconic movies. (Think “Top Gun,” “Some Like It Hot” and “Almost Famous.”) The sunsets alone are enough to attract travelers from all over, but the relaxed vibes and excellent food scene really seal the deal.

I’ve had the opportunity to go to “America’s Finest City” a few times, most recently for a friend’s wedding this summer. And with each visit, I make sure to try new restaurants and experiences unique to San Diego. Below, I’ve compiled some favorite dishes, attractions and more highlights from this coastal gem.

Where To Stay

On my most recent visit, I stayed at the Kimpton Alma Hotel, which is located right downtown and within walking distance of tons of great restaurants and bars. The hotel’s own restaurant, The Desmond, was also excellent. (Shoutout to the seasonal dips and incredible Brussels sprouts in dashi broth.) But I admittedly spent most of my time sitting by the rooftop pool, enjoying the bar and bites up there.

After a couple of nights at the Kimpton, I relocated to Estancia La Jolla, which my friend had selected as the venue for her wedding. It was easy to see why ― the grounds were filled with lush gardens and charming seating areas, and the spa and pool amenities were top-notch.

Caroline Bologna/HuffPost

From left: A cocktail at The Desmond, the Kimpton Alma Hotel lobby, and grounds at Estancia La Jolla.

On a future trip to the San Diego area, I hope to stay at the iconic Hotel del Coronado. The beachfront atmosphere and striking architecture seem like something out of a movie.

What To Eat

The Desmond is far from the only good restaurant I’ve tried in San Diego. My favorite fine-dining experience was undoubtedly at Animae, a trendy Asian fusion restaurant by the water. Another classic waterfront option is George’s at the Cove in La Jolla, which is known for its views. And I’ve had great meals at a Mediterranean spot in the East Village…

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