Beautiful, beautiful San Diego. I wasn’t sure of going here as I didn’t know what there really was there. I mean, I know it’s California so how bad could it be? Well, FREAKIN awesome is how bad it could be. I am in love.
We experienced two sides of San Diego; the beach and the City. Both were amazing in their own way. That’s why I decided to do San Diego in 2 parts, as there’s so much to say and they were so different they deserve their own page.
It was after our seriously long road trip (read about that disaster here) that we finally arrived in San Diego and met up with our camp friends at the beach. They had booked us in at USA Hostels Ocean Beach, which turned out to be a great decision (it’s earned an impressive 9.3/10 on Hostelworld)! It was a great way to start our proper travelling off. It was close to the Ocean Beach, like so close you can smell the sea salt when you wake up, it’s clean and after the renovations that were going off when we were there – it’ll be even more modern and convenient. It’s really friendly and they do loads of events including yoga, trips to the local theme parks and tours around the towns. We took them up on their offer one night and went to the BBQ on the beach – because who doesn’t love a beach party?! It was so much fun and these kind of things are always a good way to meet other people, internationals and fellow travellers from the hostel.
I’m not a beach person. Well actually, I wasn’t before this trip. But this beach was AMAZING. The whole of Ocean Beach had a hippy, relaxed sort of vibe. The kind of feeling that an 80 year old hippy could walk down the street half naked and it be completely normal. I loved this place instantly. There’s something for everyone – cool shops, amazing food, the beach on your doorstop and a friendly, neighbourhood feel.
Oh, and talking of amazing food – Nico’s Mexican is soooooooooooooo good. We were walking down the street when we first arrived and these guys were tucking into some Mexican food and shouted to us how good it was and that we should try Nico’s. They were very enthusiastic and I thought, if someone looks up from their burrito long enough to give me a food suggestion – imma take it. That’s how I ended up with some of the best fish taco’s I’ve ever had! (Turns out you have a lot of fish taco’s in California, this was just the start…) It’s on the same street as the hostel, the supermarket, loads of bars, juice cafes and places to eat. See, so bloody convenient.
There’s a burger place on the ‘strip’ (it’s no Magaluf but I’m not sure what to call it) called Hodadies and it was always busy, even at 2am there was a line all way down the road. Unfortunately we never got to go! So if you’re around Ocean Beach please will you go and eat a burger for me and let me know how it is? I’ll definitely be returning!
(Yes I know, there’s a pattern emerging here. I like my food, ok?)
I have to mention an absolute GEM of a restaurant. Thank my travel companions Fearghal and Grace for this one, because without them I wouldn’t have even known this place existed, never mind go for dinner. It’s the Ocean Beach Pier Café that is, you’ve guessed it, on the pier. You can’t miss it – it’s the one pictured in the header photo. If you walk any further along the pier, you’ll be in the sea. This was by far one of the cheapest meals we had all summer – and one of the best. There fish is all amazing and fresh and there’s so much choice. The nachos looked AMAZING and the people there are lovely. Plus, you’ve got one of the best views in all of California.
This beachside neighbourhoods isn’t too far from San Diego airport – probably around 15/20 minutes. We took a taxi because the buses weren’t running that frequently that day, but there is a bus that will take you there for like $2. You don’t need a car around Ocean Beach, explore it all on foot!
Just a quick tip – there’s not that many supermarkets around this part of Ocean Beach we were at. There is a whole foods kind of place that sells all the stuff you will need, but it’s a little on the expensive side. You have to walk up to the top of the street and make a right walk for around 5 minutes and it’s there. They’re sandwiches are shit hot too.
I will most definitely be returning to Ocean Beach. It’s a toss up between here and Hermosa to which my absolute favourite is… but you can’t just choose one favourite, surely?
San Diego Part. 2 coming soon…
*These photos are mainly Fearghals, Leighs and Lauras. I’ve been too lazy to get mine onto a laptop that actually works yet. I’m working on it…