THE FULLEST Guide to San Diego
San Diego is one of California’s most coveted beach cities for its abundance of coastal beauty, surfing spots, and laid back wellness scene. Sydney Williams is a San Diego local and the Digital Marketing Assistant at Shop Good; San Diego’s premier clean beauty and wellness boutique and spa. Shop Good believes you can experience both the joy of play with make up and clean ingredients. Sydney’s guide is also a true mix of healing and happiness and she’s rounded up the best places to swim, shop, socialize, and self-care — and it’s one of our favorite City Guides yet! Do yourself a favor and bookmark this one for your next trip to San Diego.
This mid-century oasis located in central Point Loma is the epitome of California cool. Its oyster-shaped pool, on-site cocktail bar, and market-driven restaurant make this hotel the perfect spot for relaxing after long days exploring downtown San Diego. Try the fish tacos and Black Pearl cocktail!
If you’re craving some downtime, a weekend at The Inn at Moonlight Beach is a must. Located in the charming beach town of Encinitas, this five suite inn is an intimate, calming oasis built with wellness and nature in mind. The inn is powered with 90% solar energy, has a meditation garden, and a biodynamic garden — need we say more?
Tucked back in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia’s resort and spa is the ultimate destination for wellness and self-care. Recently rated the #1 resort in California (U.S. News + World Report), you’ll feel like you’re worlds away from home at this understated, yet sophisticated wellness resort. Whether you’re there for a few nights or just to visit the spa, you’ll be feeling renewed in no time.
If you’re looking for a memorable dining experience, or even just some appetizers and drinks, Campfire in Carlsbad is the place. With seasonal menu changes, this restaurant is housed in an old airport hangar and is one to come back to time and time again. Cool glamping vibes make it best suited for groups who love to share plates and experience the full menu — just be sure to put an order in for the broccoli (trust me).
If you’re shopping at Shop Good’s Del Mar location in One Paseo, grab a healthy snack or a quick lunch at Parakeet Cafe! They have a fresh selection of pastries made daily, superfood salads, and a variety of wellness drinks and coffee. Our favorites include: The Vanilla Latte with their homemade syrup and the Grilled Vegetable Bowl with buckwheat noodles and nut-based cheese. Parakeet Cafe is conveniently located in La Jolla, Little Italy, Del Mar, and Coronado!
I’d say 90% of my picnics are supported by Prager Brothers — and 100% of my out-of-state friends end up loving this spot when they come to visit. I always grab their sandwiches — the Spicy Italian is my favorite (local salami, provolone, pickled onions, arugula, and homemade romesco all on a perfectly seasoned flatbread). If you’re plant-based, try the Veggie; it’s packed with a chickpea salad, house cucumber pickles, apples, carrot ginger slaw, arugula, and a drizzle of tahini vinaigrette all on their flatbread. And don’t forget to leave with a few loaves and baguettes for the road! Find them in Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Hillcrest.
Supporting local is too easy with the amount of local markets happening all over San Diego. We’re fond of the North Park Thursday Market (from 3:00 – 7:30 pm) because it’s just a block over from our North Park shop and they have everything you could need — fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, flowers, hot food, and local crafts. Best part? You can explore local shops along the street and stock up on your groceries without having to wait for the busy weekend markets.
Shop Good is a modern clean beauty, skincare, and wellness boutique and spa based in San Diego, CA. They offer practical and simplified solutions for skin and health via their filtered assortment of best-in-class, non-toxic skincare, makeup, and wellness products — like Kinder Thoughts™ saffron capsules and Warm Feeling™ saffron latte sachets! These products are hand-selected by their team of product experts and holistic estheticians. Their mission is to make healthy living accessible, effortless, and downright fun. Shop Good is proudly female-founded and led. Come say hi at both their North Park and Del Mar locations.
Calling all cookbook lovers and kitchen curators. Home Ec has the best assortment of giftable goods and cookbooks that you’ll actually use for cooking, not as a coffee table book. Located inside the James Coffee hangar in Little Italy, you’ll find this small (but mighty) shop full of pantry goods sourced from all over. It’s the perfect stop to (or from) the airport — just make sure you leave enough room in your suitcase for bulk gifts…you’ll need it.
If vintage t-shirts and denim are your thing — this is the place for you. Bursting from ceiling to floors with antique goods, this shop, located in Oceanside, will bring you back to the American Wild West. They have racks of cheeky graphic tees, workwear that would rival your great-great-grandpas, and an entire wall of cowboy boots to choose from. Yeehaw!
Located in University Heights, Clos Wine Shop is our go-to for low intervention, organic, and biodynamic bottles from all over the world. Owned and operated by the nicest couple, they’ll teach you anything you want to know about natural wine. Grab a bottle (or two), post up on their outdoor patio, and enjoy the people watching!
These aren’t your mother’s or your grandma’s floral arrangements. Native Poppy is my first choice for when I need flowers in a pinch. They cater to any and every occasion — birthdays, Mother’s Day, just-because, or even a treat-myself moment — all through their monthly flower subscription. Their arrangements have a ‘just-grabbed-these-from-a-meadow’ aesthetic (but of course, styled to perfection) and come wrapped in craft paper. You can find their bouquets at both San Diego (South Park and Solana Beach) locations and inside Communal Coffee in North Park!
There’s no shortage of things to see and do at Balboa Park! Stroll through their 17 museums, performing art venues, gardens, and trails. Be sure to check out The Rose Garden and Botanical Building. Visit in March or April to see over 1,600 different roses in bloom or stop by the iconic Botanical Building to discover over 2,100 plants. A must-do for families.
This iconic park has some of the best views in San Diego. Bring your pals, pack a picnic and some games for all day park hangs. Located on Mount Soledad, between Pacific Beach and La Jolla, it boasts expansive views of Mission Bay. Dog-friendly and great for catching the sunset.
The surf culture is big all over San Diego, so no trip here is complete without an attempted (key word) surf sesh. Power up with breakfast at classic surfer-spot Pipes Cafe in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and then hit up Beacons Beach for the perfect California beach vibes.