2-Day Local's Guide to San Diego, California

Advisor - Marco David Castaneda
Curated By

Marco David Castaneda

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  • USA

  • California

  • San Diego

  • Beaches

  • Domestic Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Coastal

  • Foodie

  • Outdoors

People stand on the sand and in the water on La Jolla Cove in San Diego
Curator’s statement

I am a San Diego local and the city is experiencing a hospitality boom! There is so much to eat, explore and experience all across the city.

The Fora Difference

Book with Marco to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Pendry San Diego

Handsome newbie in the Gaslamp Quarter with oversized rooms that overlook the city or bay, with a lively bar and restaurant.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

La Valencia Hotel

A longtime La Jolla favorite, unmissable in bright pink, with an Old Hollywood vibe and oceanfront pool made for lounging.

Advisor - Marco David Castaneda

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Day 1: Delicious Eats & Nightlife

Streets of downtown San Diego during sunset

Stay at the Pendry, a lux hotel with a fresh and inviting, contemporary vibe. Centrally located in the heart of DT San Diego.

Start your first day with breakfast at Morning Glory, a hip pancake house with bold decor and an eclectic vibe, get there super early to avoid the lines. I recommend a cortadito and a German pancake. Or a pancake soufflé if you’re feeling wild at 8 in the morning.

Grab a delicious vegan lunch at Gratitude Cafe.

For dinner, head to Born and Raised, Herb and Wood or Lionfish at the Pendry. These restaurants are upscale but manage to retain the laid-back and casual feel San Diego is known for. Expect a Michelin experience and inspired ambiance at these world-class eateries.

If you're looking for nightlife, check out Kettner Exchange for a lively food/drink combo. The perfect place to either begin the night or end up once the music stops.

Another great spot for San Diego nightlife is Young Blood, an upscale, gilded age-inspired speakeasy in the heart of the city. Enjoy whimsical cocktails and a glamorous, old-world experience.

Day 2: Explore the Coast at La Jolla and Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines life guide stand on a sunny day

Next morning head to La Jolla for Breakfast at the iconic La Valencia hotel. A Mexican-inspired omelet and a latte overlooking the cove will get you ready for a day of nautical adventure.

Stop at Smallgoods for a charcuterie platter and have a picnic lunch on a grassy cliff. From there head down to La Jolla Shores beach and take a sea cave tour. You can kayak with the sea lions and ride waves with dolphins, a must for any ocean lover. 

Pack up the beach bag and head up the street for a sunset hike at Torrey Pines. The technicolor hang-gliders juxtaposed against the rose-colored sky deliver a visual feast that could inspire any painter. The rock formations catch the golden-hour light in a way that makes you feel like you're on another planet.

After you are done experiencing the sunset, head over to Catania for a delicious, Italian dinner with a view. I recommend any of their seafood dishes.

Advisor - Marco David Castaneda

Travel Advisor

Marco David Castaneda

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