Spring in San Diego

It’s fun to get away for a special anniversary, so we recently headed to San Diego for a few days. There’s a lot to do there, and we’ve been many times before, but here were a few new things (for us), in case you’re looking for ideas.

Petco Park – Take in a Padres game, or a Sting/Billy Joel concert! From our friends’ condo across from the stadium, we were treated to a free (somewhat distorted) rock concert upon our arrival in San Diego—but it was definitely Sting followed by Billy Joel. The place was rockin!

The view of Petco Park from our friends' downtown condo!
And in the other direction--a view of the Coronado Bridge!

Gaslamp Quarter – We didn’t do a ton of exploring, but there are so many places to eat and hang out. We walked along the waterfront, enjoying the cool, breezy ocean air.

San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter

Lunch at Kansas City Barbecue – if you’ve seen Top Gun (the original from 1986), then you’ve seen this restaurant/bar. Featured in all the movie’s bar scenes, including where actor Anthony Edwards (Goose) played “Great Balls of Fire!” on the piano, this place is filled with photos and other memorabilia from the movie. And manager/bartender Chris treats you like royalty! Right across from the Hyatt, it’s a great place to hang out.

Classic barbecue! Yum!
Bartender Chris is great to hang out with!
Scenes from Top Gun abound inside KC Barbecue!
Do we look like Kellly McGillis and Tom Cruise? Not!

Dinner and concert at Rady Shell – This was our first time at this unique waterfront venue. It’s kind of like a smaller Hollywood Bowl, but right on San Diego Bay across from Coronado Island. We had tickets for a Peter Frampton concert, and he did not disappoint. We had seen him in Montreal back in 2019 for his “farewell” tour, having been diagnosed with some kind of muscle disease. But here he is performing in 2024 on the “Never EVER Say Never” tour, claiming that his muscle disease is enough in check that he can get out there doing what he loves. And Peter was just selected for induction into the 2024 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland!

The view from this SDCC Pedestrian Bridge is terrific!
We came early to eat and check out the venue at Rady Shell.
And here's the shell when it got dark!
Peter Frampton's still got it (but without the hair)!

Unlike the Hollywood Bowl, the Rady Shell is in the middle of a public park, so some people just brought a picnic dinner, found an open park bench and watched the concert for free. Good for them! It is breezy, though, being right on the water, so bring a blanket or jacket.

The Rady Shell is surrounded by water.
Sunset during the concert

A day trip to the Omni La Costa (Resort &) Spa in Carlsbad – A spa treatment is not a typical activity for us (unless we’re diving overseas), but we highly recommend enjoying a La Costa Abhyanga Massage, with Shankara oils. The whole spa is relaxing—from the spa café to the powerful Jacuzzi pools to the well-stocked showers and common area. The hotel and spa are located about 30 minutes north of San Diego, and the drive along the coast is beautiful.

All relaxed after our massages
What a gorgeous drive back to San Diego

Visiting Coronado Island – okay, this wasn’t new for us, but there was an easy Coronado Beach trail listed in All Trails, which gave us a great tip on parking (south of the Hotel del Coronado). The walkway is paved, or you can walk on the sand, and we enjoyed the sights and sounds of this beautiful beach area with the iconic Hotel del Coronado in view most of the time.

There was a teeny bit of wildlife, but mostly we just enjoyed the wonderful views and scents of the island.

Some cute squirrels were our only wildlife sightings.

There’s even a small shipwreck you can view on this walk. The SS Monte Carlo wreck (or what’s left of it) is visible at low tide. It was a gambling ship that sank in 1936.

The remains of the SS Monte Carlo

Back to the mainland to enjoy the drive along Harbor Drive and to enjoy lunch at Mitch’s Seafood in the Point Loma area. Not a fancy place, but the seafood is fresh and the views of the harbor unbeatable.

The view from Mitch's Seafood Restaurant

On this trip we didn’t visit the San Diego Zoo, Cabrillo National Monument, Balboa Park, Sea World, or other amazing San Diego sights that we’ve visited in the past. You could easily spend a week here and not run out of things to do!

11 thoughts on “Spring in San Diego”

    • Gayle, we viewed the old house in Cardiff. Such great memories up on the hill overlooking the ocean. We stayed there at the turn of the millenium. Great family times at such a cool gathering place.

  1. Hey guys,

    Another well documented adventure and so close to home….so glad you keep lining these interesting trips up….we all feel like we are with you each time…

    Sending our love your way !

  2. Hello Hank and Cindy,
    Happy Anniversary. Wow, what a way to celebrate. You always amaze me with your choice of places to go!! Long ago, Roger was stationed in San Diego. He told me that if he didn’t move to Chestertown, he would have wanted to live there. Stay well and I look forward to your next adventure.

    • You and Roger would have loved living in San Diego, though it’s a long way from all of your connections in Chestertown! Our next adventure is coming up soon. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading.

  3. Beautiful scenery and fun events. Happy anniversary. We go south often, but tend to get stuck in La Jolla. I think we need to go further south!

    Lovely photos!


    • La Jolla is certainly a beautiful place, and I can understand why you end up there. But yes, there is also a lot to see and do if you travel a few miles further south. I know we have only scratched the surface. Thanks for writing!

  4. Hi Cindy and Hank.
    This trip had more special memories for me.
    Thank you!

    Some new things to explore.
    Travel well!


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