Top Places to go for a Weekend Getaway in San Diego

Mao and Then San Diego Top Places to go

San Diego is such a cool town. It’s got the cool southern California vibes but minus the super crazies in Los Angeles. The weather is mild and comfortable all year round as southern California almost never rains. Summer months of June to August tend to be the busiest as the water is warmer. But you will still have a good time regardless of when you go.

San Diego is a short 1.5 hour away (without traffic) from Los Angeles so you could easily do it as a side trip if you are limited on time. The main airport in San Diego is located right by downtown which makes traveling a lot smoother. The city is not very big but I would still stay for at least 3-4 days in order to get a full experience of what San Diego has to offer.

Here are some of my favorite places to go in San Diego.


Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a must when visiting San Diego! The park is almost 2 square miles with a lot of open spaces, gardens, theaters, museums, and next to the San Diego Zoo. Popular attractions include Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, Air & Space Museum, Fleet Science Center, the Globe, Balboa Park Garden, Museum of Man, and the Veterans Museum.


Mao and Then, balboa park
Cool architecture and museums at Balboa Park.



Normal Heights

This mid-city neighborhood is diverse and a great place to experience what local living is like. You will see many cute, mid-century Spanish bungalows that makes the area unique. There are also many cool restaurants and shops along Adams Ave. DaoFu is a delicious Asian restaurant with great varieties. Zia Pizza is also another great choice (did I mention they have vegan pizzas?)


Gaslamp Quarters

Located in downtown San Diego, this is the place to be when it comes to nightlife in San Diego. With over 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and lounges, boutiques, art galleries, and shops, you are guaranteed a good time.

Mao and Then San Diego Gaslamp Quarters
Gaslamp Quarter San Diego. Photo Credit: Daniel Knott



University Heights

Another great neighborhood to experience local living in San Diego. University Heights is a little more upscale compared to Normal Heights. Check out the boutiques and grab brunch at University Heights. Muzita Abyssinian Bistro is one of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants ever. Your tummy won’t be disappointed.


Mao and Then, San Diego, University Heights




Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach is a more laid-back alternative to Gaslamp Quarters for nightlife in San Diego. There are still quite a few bars and restaurants and the crowds tend to be young professionals. During the day, Pacific Beach is full of activities such as kayaking, surfacing, biking and more.


Mao and Then, San Diego
Nice photo bomb buddy!


La Jolla

Another top destination for San Diego, especially La Jolla Cove. My favorite part? Ton of seals! They are really funny and laid-back creatures that like to chill on the rocks by the beach. The seals could get quite vocal too. The beach is fairly small but the scenery is very pretty. There are many dining options just few steps up from the cove. George’s at the Cove: Ocean Terrace is a great place to sit at the rooftop, sip on a cocktail and marvel at the beautiful view.


Mao and then, La Jolla Cove
They are just too adorable!



Torrey Pines State Reserves

A natural reserve that’s definitely one of its kind. Torrey Pines State Reserves is only 10-15 minutes north of La Jolla. You will see gorgeous razor rock formations that were eroded over time. The trail is easy so it’s definitely an easy hike for all levels.


Mao and Then, San Diego, Torrey Pines
Gorgeous trail by the ocean.



Check out my San Diego video for my brother Wei Wei’s graduation!





San Diego Zoo?

San Diego Zoo is world-famous, but I still haven’t gone there yet. Mainly being an animal lover myself, I don’t know how I’d feel about seeing animals being kept in the zoo rather than being in the wild. I have heard good things and most likely the zoo treats the animals very well. But I don’t know, what do you think? Please comment below!


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