How often do girlfriends get to sneak away to a far far away journey together?! Not too often and not often enough! My girlfriends and I packed our bags and headed to Southern California for a 4 day action packed trip. This would be a great trip if you are a fan of both urban and nature adventures!
We easily discovered while visiting San Diego that it was very easy to get around and one could live in this beautiful city for many years and never be able to see and do everything! We spent 2 full days plus our evenings exploring amazing places. We had to narrow down our top favorites which was very tough to do because we thoroughly enjoyed every inch of this city .
We started our walking tour strolling down to Tuna Harbor Park to see the 25 ft “Kissing Sailor” statue. The nurse being kissed was Mischa Elliot Friedman and she claims she didn’t know the sailor, George Mendonsa, when he planted the kiss on her on a whim. The photographer was Alfred Eisenstaedt and his photo appeared on the cover of Life magazine.
After alot of walking around the harbor and shopping in Seaport Village we captured some cool photos of an old-time pirate ship and a graffiti bombed phone booth.
It was time to relax and stop at Kansas City Barbecue for a beer and BBQ and to see the location where our long time favorite “Top Gun” bar-scenes were filmed.
As late afternoon was nearing, we headed to the Gaslamp Quarters, a lively downtown area known for it’s many restaurants and nightlife. Our first stop was the historic Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant. A great place for happy hour and appetizers! The staff was very professional and lively and had us sampling their favorite drinks and appetizers. We did not leave hungry and we were treated extremely well.
We continued on with some boozy bar hopping and sampling various breweries, wineries, pubs, and even a prohibition speak easy that was well hidden. You will not want to miss this fun historic district!
Balboa Park is a large urban park that has variety of attractions, including 15 museums, the San Diego Zoo, gardens and much more. We spent the entire day walking around the Old Cactus Garden, Alcazar Garden and the San Diego Zoo taking stunning photographs of plants, animals and flowers. We definitely walked until we dropped and when we dropped we found adorable outdoor cafes and coffee shops in the park with live music for relaxing!
Gypsy Mama Bear Tip:
There are 17 buildings here filled with different things for you to explore/discover such as dinosaurs, space travel, history, science, plants, flowers, plays, musicals, and ballet. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and plan ahead for what attractions you want to see. Buy online advance tickets. Balboa Park Explorer passes are available for 1 day, 1 week, or the entire year. (You also have the option to add the zoo to the multi-day pass)
After a full day of exploring we headed Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Little Italy for dinner. This is not only an excellent choice for a casual Italian restaurant, Filippi’s carries Italian grocery items for sale as well. The DePhilippis family have been serving customers in San Diego since 1947! A local Italian tradition that you shouldn’t miss!
We rented a car on our 3rd day so we could see several things that were too far to walk to. There’s plenty of outdoor activities to do in La Jolla Cove. This beautiful cove is popular for its amazing views, sun bathing sea lions, snorkeling, swimming and quaint restaurants.
We took fabulous pictures of the seals and sea lions on “Seal Rock” and Children’s Cove. If we had more time I would have booked a snorkel tour of the La Jolla Cove and Cave tour. You can swim with the sea lions and view the beautiful protected marine life.
Fun Fact: How do you tell a seal from a sea lion? The seals are much more quiet than the vocal sea lions. Seals only move on land by wiggling their bellies and sea lions are able to walk using their flippers. These beautiful creatures can be a wee bit smelly if you are down wind so be a little prepared. I keep lemon or lavender essential oil scents on my lava rock bracelet and sniff my bracelet when the smell gets too intense.
Gypsy Mama Bear Tip:
- Parking is tricky here so arrive early. There’s 2 hour street parking available but spots are hard to find. If nothing is available on the street, there are parking garages in the village.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
After exploring La Jolla we drove to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve which is 1500 acres of unspoiled beaches and home of the rare and endangered Torrey pines. We hiked the Torrey Pines Beach Trail Loop, an easy 2.3 mile trail that has beautiful cliffs, great beach views and abundant seabird sightings.
Our first adventure of the 4th day was to hike in Palm Springs and see some nature and experience the canyon terrain in this desert city.
We picked Tahquitz Canyon Loop Trail that was a 1.7 mile easy loop well marked trail through an Indian reservation canyon and it had a great view of a 60 ft waterfall. The Agua Caliente Tahquitz Visitor Center had an interesting display of artifacts and a theater room to view the legend of Tahquitz Canyon.
Gypsy Mama Bear Tip: I always pack snacks in my suitcase to take hiking. Check out these great protein bars that only have 110 calories, low sugar and 15g of protein!
After our hike we decided to walk the 3.5 miles back to town to do a little shopping and sample some local favorite fig ice cream that was delicious! It was our last day together on our girls trip journey so we wanted it to be really special so we…..drumroll….asked the locals to plan it for us! We were told to have a cocktail and experience the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs hotel roof top bar! It had lovely views of a very inviting pool and the Palm Springs mountains.
We were greeted by a friendly pool patron that asked us where we were from. He was quite entertaining and we enjoyed our cocktail and laughed and told him about our fun girls weekend. We bid our goodbyes and headed to Oscars for a nice salad and the grand finale to our wonderful girls weekend trip. As usual local’s know best and their choices did not fail. Thank you Palm Springs for the generosity.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We could have easily spent more time in all of these lovely California cities but our time was limited and we will have to return again to venture out for more local’s choices..
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
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