From the East coast to the West coast. Last month I had a chance to visit Miami, Florida. This month the destination is San Diego, California. More specifically, Ocean Beach, California. This post is going to be a detail of my trip from April 8th-April 11th.
The plane ride was a comfortable hour and fourty-five minute flight departing from Denver. As we were landing there was mountains, oceans, and skyscrapers. While landing, The planes get pretty close to the skyscrapers. A great business meeting backdrop.
To the East of the airport you have the city of San Diego. To the West you have Ocean Beach (this is where I stayed), and a little North of the airport is Pacific Beach.
The hostel I stayed at is called USA Hostels Ocean Beach. The Ocean Beach hostel has won some awards including: in 2018 it was rated #8 Best Large Hostel Worldwide, and in 2019 #7 Best Hostel for Solo Male Travelers, #2 Hostel in North America, #1 Hostel in USA.
I booked through their website, but accidentally booked the wrong location. I dun goofed. The woman at the desk called their other location and canceled that reservation to make a new one for Ocean Beach. They don’t charge until you arrive so it was quick and easy! The pictures above were taken early in the morning when everyone was still asleep. Can you guess what couch I sat on to read? During the day expect the common areas to be full of life from travelers of all.
Next to the reception desk there is a chalk board full of events for the week. On Monday there was movie night which a group of us watched Kevin Hart’s new special: Irresponsible. Some people went out for drinks, but I decided to not do any drinking on this trip because I am getting over an infection. On Tuesday, A group of people went on a walk down sunset trail to, you guessed it, watch the sunset. I didn’t go on the walk, instead I was at Wonderland Ocean Pub enjoying clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.
The pub was connected to two other restaurants with Wonderland Ocean Pub on the second floor. There is a bar at the center of the pub and window seating all along the outside overlooking the beach.
I was sitting at the window to the left chatting with an aerospace engineer working for the pentagon. I had to write that out because it sounds pretty badass.
Newport Avenue is the busy tiny street that the hostel sits on. At the end is Wonderland Ocean Pub. Along Newport Ave are restaurants like Hodad’s which is a popular burger joint. Countless sushi places and taco places. Also, smoothie huts. You can find, if you walk around the Ocean Beach area, there are smoothie and acai huts on the corner of intersecting streets.
Newport Avenue is packed with antique and trinket shops. It’s fun to hop in-and-out of the shops to see what they have. Also, multiple surf shops and smoke shops. Ocean Beach is great for surfing or to watch people surf next to the pier. The USA Hostels Ocean Beach has boards you can ride the waves with! The hostel also offers: beach chairs, towels and mats, beach umbrellas, coolers, paddle ball, frisbees, volleyballs, soccer balls, and board games.
For Tuesday and Wednesday morning I enjoyed some time at the Lazy Hummingbird Coffee and Tea House. It was an open room where one side was a post office type setup — you can have items packaged and shipped. On the other side was the cafe which looked like someone brought in some chairs they had laying around wrote a menu on plyboard and set up shop. Tuesday I had their bulletproof coffee with CBD oil and a smoothie. Wednesday morning I bought another one of their smoothies.
My flight was originally planned to depart at 7pm on Wednesday. Due to a blizzard in Denver I had to book another night in San Diego. I decided to book a night at the USA Hostel San Diego in downtown. The hostel was located above the Osteria Panevino and Asti Restorante on fifth ave in the Gaslamp Quarter. The hostel originally was a brothel when mining brought settlers to San Diego.
I spent the day walking all over the city. Walking south to Seaport village and then up the coastline to the USS Midway. The USS Midway is a naval ship museum. It costs about 25 dollars for adult entry.
After walking for a while I ended at Little Italy and started heading back to the hostel. When I arrived back to the hostel I met a few other travelers and we played crazy 8s. Crazy 8s is similar to UNO but with playing cards. Definitely a game I will be bring back to the Ember Hostel. Eventually it was time for bed, and my travel came to a close.
Something new that I have not seen before yet are the electric bikes. Similar to the scooters, you can ride and pay by the minute.
I will have to spend more time next time as I didn’t get a chance to explore Pacific Beach. Also, my infection kept me from doing activities that I would have liked to do such as: going out with the hostel, exploring more of the food scene, surfing. It will not be the last time I visit the city and next time will be better prepared and planned. My intention for this post is to help the first time traveler with ideas on where to go and what to do. Have you been to San Diego? What did you do? Leave a comment below I’d love to hear!
San Diego Facts
If you made it this far into the post, thank you for reading. Here are a couple facts about the city of San Diego that you may not know.
- Named National Geographic’s “World Smart Cities” in 2015 (1)
- Called “Best Place to Launch a Startup” (Forbes 2014) (1)
- University of California San Diego (UCSD), ranked No. 3 public university in the United States, No. 17 in the world (World University Rankings 2016) (1)
- The San Diego Zoo is one of the few zoos in the world that houses, and successfully breeds the giant panda. (2)
- The temperature average ranges from 49 degrees to 77 degrees year round.
- It’s about a 32 minute drive from San Diego to Tijuana Mexico.
- It’s about a 2 hour and 22 minute drive from San Diego to Los Angeles
- It’s about a 8 hour and 26 minute drive from San Diego to San Francisco.