22 Hours in San Diego

On Thursday, I worked a trip to San Diego, where I had a 22-hour layover.

From my hotel in downtown San Diego, I took Uber to Old Town, which was about a 10-minute drive.

First stop was Barra Barra Saloon where I sat outside on the patio and had Mexican food for lunch.The service was great and the outdoor seating is nice for people watching. The restaurant is located at the north end of Old Town San Diego State Park in Fiesta De Reyes which is a shopping/dining/entertainment area.

After lunch, I walked over to the Old Town Trolley Tour booth and bought a ticket ($39). Taking a narrated trolley tour is the best way to see an overview of San Diego in a relaxing way. It’s hop on, hop off and covers San Diego districts and neighborhoods as well as Coronado Island. It had been at least 15 years since I had last taken the tour. I highly recommend it!

Old Town Trolley Tickets are free for veterans between November 11-13.

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On the trolley crossing San Diego Bay on the Coronado Bridge and headed to Coronado Island.

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The temperature was higher than normal; it was 91 degrees in San Diego and very hot.

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The trolley stopped on Coronado Island. I got off and walked over to world-famous, red-roofed Hotel Del Coronado located on the beach. I sat on the sun deck under an umbrella and had an iced tea while enjoying the oceanfront view. Visiting the Hotel Del is an absolute-must on a visit to San Diego!

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The last trolley for the day on Coronado was 5:00pm for my return to Old Town San Diego. I crossed the Coronado bridge around 5:45 when I took these shadow-captured photos.

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On the way back, the trolley passed Balboa Park, museums, San Diego Zoo and Little Italy.

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7 thoughts on “22 Hours in San Diego

  1. Such fun reading about your visit to San Diego! My family lives here, and I’ve taken the Old Town Trolley Tour ride several times when we had out of state visitors here (and it’s been free for the local person when with out-of-town guests, which is always nice). Hotel Del is a definite must to see! Love reading your blog, and it would have been fun to meet you while you were here!

  2. Yes, you hit our hottest day this week but not the hottest day this year.

    The best way would have been for a native to take you around and show you the city and tell you stuff.

    I wasn’t doing anything that day, but then, I didn’t know you were in down with 22 hours of nothing to do. Our family has a loop we do in the car with “hop on hop off” for out of towners, depending on how long you’ve got.

    Trattoria Fantastica in Little Italy has pizza just like Italy. So does Soluntos.

    Plenty of sea food and Mexican restaurants. We’ve got a huge selection of ethnic restaurants.

    Kaiserhof in Pt. Loma has great German food.

    Balboa Park, La Jolla, up to the to of Mt. Soledad (best at sunset and then wait for the city lights), drive along Mission Bay, Pt. Loma, Oceanside to Sunset Cliffs, the Embarcadero, Torrey Pines, The Pier. There are a lot of places to go and see depending on what your interests are. Trains, Ships, Ocean Views, Gardens, Buildings.

    Some iconic places to shoot if you’re a photographer or to paint if you swing that way.

    Since you love flowers I hope you’ve had a chance at some point to go to the Botanical building and the Alcazar gardens in Balboa Park. There are a few other smaller, hidden gardens not all the tourists know about. Zorro Gardens used to be where the nudist colony was during the Panama Exposition. We have a lovely Zen Garden by the organ pavilion.

    1. Thank you for the insider tips on what to do and where to eat in San Diego. Next time, I’ll definitely hit the pizza places in Little Italy and I’ll also head to the gardens. I’m not sure when I’ll be in San Diego again but it’s great to know where to get pizza made the way it is in Italy. I saw so many restaurants in “Little Italy” from the trolley so it’s nice to know where a local goes for great food.

      1. They both have pizza ovens but remember, this isn’t American pizza. This is Italian style so very thin crust. Of the two we think Trattoria Fantastica is better. You can make reservations through Open Table.

        For Kaiserhof you have to call.

        If you find yourself in Balboa park there are a few places to eat. The sculpture gardens by the Fine Arts museum has a decent cafe and three is also a restaurant at the Casa del Rey Moro. It has a garden patio.

        BTW the “trolley” you took is really a sightseeing tourist bus. We have an actual Trolley but it’s more for commuters as the lines are limited. I use it to go downtown when I have jury duty.

  3. I grew up a few miles north of San Diego in Encinitas and every time things got tense in school we were off to another field trip to Mission San Diego. However, my Aunt and Uncle lived in S.D. and every year I spent 3 weeks with them. My uncle took me to Old Town to the Tortilla Factory and the aroma of fresh tortillas was marvelous. Yet, going to the Padres baseball games as thrilling too, yet my aunt and I always engaged in shopping.

    In 2004 while on a cruise we had a day in S.D. and I toured Old Town and enjoyed it enormously though sadly The Ghost Tour occurred on another day… Oh Darn! And I so wanted to visit the Whaley House.

    I’m so happy you had the opportunity to visit the area.

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