Exploring San Diego One Adventure at a Time

by Abby Gentry | Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

One of the greatest perks of choosing to go to school at the University of San Diego is the chance to explore the city of San Diego. San Diego is well-known for its many beautiful beaches, restaurants, and attractions. With so many options in such a large city, it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose a specific location or event to explore.

The beaches of San Diego are fun places to cool off on a hot day, meet new people, and enjoy time with friends, while also enjoying the outdoors. Being in such close proximity to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach makes the beach a popular hangout spot amongst USD students.

If Toreros want to cool off with a yummy dessert, they can visit the famous “Baked Bear” for a delicious ice cream sandwich baked from scratch daily with homemade recipes, according to the company’s website.

Sophomore Kendra Rudd-Gloster spent a great amount of time her freshman year enjoying the Mission Beach area.

“Baked Bear is probably my favorite spot in Pacific Beach,” Gloster said. “It’s quick, yummy, and always satisfies my sweet tooth.”

In the Mission Beach area there are several restaurants often filled with USD students. Some of the most popular restaurants for USD students include breakfast stops Olive Cafe and The Mission Cafe.

If students are really hungry, sandwich spot Rubicon Deli is a great option. Rubicon is known for the generous helpings of meat and veggies they put on their sandwiches, so students should visit with an empty stomach.

After spending the day soaking up the sun at the beach, downtown San Diego has many fun areas to explore at night. The Gaslamp Quarter is packed with various unique and diverse restaurants on every corner. Uber and the local tram are the most efficient ways to get downtown from USD, while driving is also an option. But Toreros be aware because parking can sometimes be a hassle.

On the outskirts of downtown lies Balboa Park, filled with museums, weekly events, live music, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. One could spend days exploring all that Balboa Park has to offer. The gardens are beautiful and make for a great place to take fun photos or even to lay out and have a nice picnic on a beautiful day.

Many venture out to La Jolla Cove to explore the caves, beaches, stores, and restaurants. Although La Jolla is a further drive, many would argue that the beautiful Windansea beach is well worth the adventurous trip.

Sophomore and San Diego native, Erin Gosen, has spent a great amount of time enjoying the beaches in La Jolla.

“When I’m looking to spend the day at the beach and want something a little less hectic, I go to La Jolla,” Gosen said. “Yes, it’s a little further out-of-the-way, but it is so peaceful and beautiful.”

La Jolla Cove also offers great shopping and restaurants such as Cody’s, Fig Tree Cafe, Bobboi Natural Gelato, and many more.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has several options for beautiful hikes with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

For out-of-state students, an exciting aspect of the San Diego culture are the many farmer’s markets that occur throughout the city. Two favorites that are relatively close to campus are the Hillcrest farmers market and Little Italy farmers market.

Each market offers a new selection based on the season and what is fresh at the moment. The Little Italy farmer’s market is held every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the Hillcrest farmer’s market is every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Last but not least, located down the street from campus is Old Town San Diego. Here, the streets are lined with delicious restaurants, fun shops, live music, and the Old Town Theater. No matter what day of the week, the streets are crowded with people coming to get their Mexican food fix, especially on Taco Tuesday.

Taco Tuesday is a great option for college students trying to save a little cash but still enjoy the finer things. Some popular Old Town restaurants frequented by USD students include Fred’s, Cafe Coyote, and Miguels.

Old Town is also a great option for those students without a car because the USD trams will take students from campus to Old Town without needing to worry about finding a ride.

Kiersten Nordli, an out-of-state sophomore student has found a new love for Mexican food thanks to Old Town.

“I never had great Mexican food in Chicago,” Nordli said. “And since being in San Diego, I love getting a big group of friends together to go to Old Town, especially on Tuesdays when it’s fun and easy for everyone!”

This list has only scratched the surface of the many things for people to enjoy in San Diego.  From Coronado to La Jolla, there are countless options for beaches, restaurants, hikes, shops, and markets to enjoy and explore.