In my Tuesday Travel series I will be sharing with you a city that I have traveled to, what I enjoyed doing there, and what I loved to eat while I was there.
San Diego and Coronado have been one of my favorite spots for vacations for quite some time. I adore the beach and I love California, but Coronado has a special atmosphere; it feels more small-town and quiet than the rest of San Diego. You can enjoy a relaxing day by the beach and then you can take a short taxi ride to the Gaslamp Quarter for restaurants, bars and shopping. Coronado and San Diego offer the perfect balance for a vacation. And, of course, I wouldn’t keep going back somewhere unless they had some great places to eat!
Where to eat in San Diego
Nado Gelato Cafe
I really love gelato, and this place takes the cake as the BEST gelato I’ve ever had. The flavors were so perfect and bold that I actually ordered vanilla! We happily went here two days in a row. I just couldn’t believe how much their flavors tasted like the real thing- banana actually tasted like I was eating frozen bananas. Their gelato is just incredible, Nado is a MUST visit in Coronado.
Clayton’s Mexican Take out
Clayton’s Mexican Take Out has been a favorite for years. We asked a local where to find some yummy street tacos and he gave us directions to Clayton’s; a restaurant barely big enough to fit a kitchen, there is only seating outside. Their carne asada is so flavorful and their shrimp is always perfectly cooked. Try the carne asada fries or shrimp tacos. You can’t leave without some bunuelos! Fried tortilla strips coated in sweet cinnamon sugar are the best way to end your meal here.
Little Italy – Filippi’s Pizza Grotto
Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Little Italy stands out in my mind as my favorite restaurant that I’ve ever had the joy of dining at in San Diego. They serve up pasta, pizza, salads and other Italian favorites. Anything you order will be amazing, but my favorite is their good old classic spaghetti and meatball. I say meatball, not meatballs because their meatballs are roughly the size of a baseball! Their marinara sauce is the most perfect marinara sauce I’ve ever had. Also, Filippi’s antipasta salad is a great way to start out your meal alongside the rolls with butter that they happily provide.
While you’re at Filippis, order a bottle of Filippi’s chianti. Or two: one for dinner and one to bring home. This wine is my favorite and I always try to bring home a bottle or two with me while I am visiting.
Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop
If you’re a chocolate fan (how could you not be?) you cannot miss the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. Here you can stock up on your favorite Ghirardelli squares, or you can mix and match ones that you’ve never had before. In addition you can experience the wonder and perfection of the Ghirardelli ice cream sundae.
Hotel Del – Chocolate Croissants
If you’re visiting Coronado then there’s a good chance that you’ll end up at the Del at some point or another. While you’re there admiring the hotel’s grandeur, stop by the little cafe in the hotel and order a chocolate croissant (or 5). When we visit Coronado, we wake up at the crack of dawn (okay, 8:00) to head to the cafe and get chocolate croissants. They are worth waking up early on your vacation and they are worth the price, I promise you. If you don’t want to wake up early, don’t worry, sometimes you can get lucky if they have a few leftover later in the day.
What to do in San Diego
The best way to enjoy a beach sunset is with a beach BBQ. If you don’t have the ability to BBQ your own dinner, grab takeout and have a beach picnic instead. Grab a sweatshirt and spread out an oversized towel and enjoy mother nature’s show.
Coronado beach is my favorite in San Diego, probably because we’ve been coming here for so long. Regardless, it is a really beautiful beach. During some seasons of the year you can find an abundance of sand dollars in the tide if you know where to look. In addition, you can explore the tide pools in the rocks. We’ve seen crabs, fish, starfish, hermit crabs, snails and more while exploring the tide pools.
My friends and I decided to rent bikes for an hour on my most recent trip to Coronado. We had quite the myriad of bikes; a team of tandem bikes, beach cruisers, as well as other two person seated bikes, we blazed through the town exploring, giggling and enjoying the sights. Bike rentals are not expensive and it’s a fun way to stay active and see more of the area.
Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in California. The ornate buildings and the elaborate gardens and lily ponds are captivating. Just walking around here is enough for me, but they also have museums and other attractions in the park.
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