Students Explore San Diego

A map detailing the locations of Torero’s favorite off-campus escapes in relation to USD’s campus. (Rita Sriekas/ The USD Vista)

University of San Diego students are lucky to call one of the finest cities in America their home. Whether they choose to spend a weekend with friends or explore solo, San Diego has multiple locations to visit before Toreros graduate. 

 Returning students shared some of their favorite go-to spots around the city to eat, relax, and spend time outdoors. 

Junior Megan Herz’s ideal weekend involves going to the beach and being near the water. 

“Sunset Cliffs is a cool place to explore, and definitely a pretty place to catch the sunset,” Herz said. “It’s a fun idea to have a picnic, and there are some hiking trails to check out.” 

Located about 15 minutes away in Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs is a great place to snap some photos of the cliffs, enjoy a day at the Cabrillo tidepools, or watch a colorful sunset. Visitors can observe small sea animals up close in their natural habitat when it is low tide. 

Herz also enjoys other beaches in San Diego including Mission Beach, which is home to the historic Belmont Amusement Park. 

“Mission Beach is fun for hanging out with friends, and Belmont Park is a cool way to spend a night,” Herz said. “There are lots of rides and games, and I like to bike and run on the path by the beach.” 

Only about a 15- minute drive from USD, Mission Beach is a popular location for students to relax on the weekends. It is common for many students to live at the beach their junior and senior years.

San Diego also offers plenty of locations to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Junior Celesta Loo shared that one of her favorite ways to spend a morning is hiking at Torrey Pines. 

“Torrey Pines is beautiful, it overlooks the ocean — there are so many different trails to choose from that I pick a different one every time I go,” Loo said. “It’s also an easy hike, so it’s nice for getting some exercise outdoors.” 

Located in the La Jolla community, Torrey Pines is about a 20 minute drive from campus. 

Another outdoor location to visit is La Jolla Cove, a small area of beach tucked between  cliffs and surrounded by a park area and walking path. The cove is a popular setting for its ocean scenery and the marine animals that live there. 

“La Jolla Cove is interesting because sea lions and seals lie on the rocks and you can see them up close,” Loo said. “It’s also a really scenic place to walk and take photos of the ocean.” 

La Jolla Cove is an excellent location to explore.  Beach-goers can participate in snorkeling, scuba diving, stand-up paddleboarding, and many more beach activities.  The cove is also close to a wide range of shops and restaurants in downtown La Jolla.  

San Diego is home to a wide variety of food hotspots  that Toreros can enjoy in their free time. 

Junior Samantha Carpenter’s favorite place to grab a bite is Liberty Public Market, a food and vendor market located inside an old Navy base, Liberty Station. 

“I love that there are so many food options inside of one building, so it’s perfect for when you and your friends can’t agree on one place to eat,” Carpenter said. “I really like the Mama Made Thai booth.” 

Liberty Public Market offers a variety of craft foods, beverages, and desserts at artisan stands throughout the building. There are over 20 different booths to check out, with many options to choose  from including organic smoothies to gourmet stuffed burgers. Also among the food booths are vendors who sell items such as fresh flowers, candles, and jewelry. 

Carpenter also suggests the coffee shop Moniker General, located next to the market. 

“It’s the perfect place to study, they have amazing coffee, and it’s a cool atmosphere to relax and do work off campus,” Carpenter said. 

Liberty Public Market is located only 10 minutes from USD. It is right next to the San Diego International Airport and planes can be seen flying low overhead. 

Convoy Street is another well-known food location, predominantly recognized for its wide variety of Asian restaurants and dessert spots.

“I love Convoy Street,” Carpenter said. “There’s a revolving sushi bar at a restaurant called KULA and a rolled ice cream shop called Bing Haus. There are a lot of really unique places to eat there.” 

Old Town San Diego is another popular destination located only five minutes away from campus. A historic state park, Old Town is characterized by its historic atmosphere and boasts many restaurants and quirky gift shops. 

“There are so many good Mexican restaurants to choose from, and I love that it’s so close to school,” Carpenter said. “Miguel’s gives free chips and queso! There’s also a lot of cute little shops and it is a fun place to spend a night out with your friends.” 

San Diego hosts a variety of locations that satisfy different interests, and all of the aforementioned locations are a short Uber ride away from campus. It would be a mistake for USD students to not take advantage of exploring the versatile city of San Diego.

Victoria Zielinski | Asst. Opinion Editor | The USD Vista