How to Spend 48 Hours in San Diego, CA

You shouldn’t only spend 48 hours in San Diego… you understand that once you’re there. After just a few minutes of walking the streets, eyeing the beach and inhaling the best fish tacos you’ve ever had, you’ll regret not extending your trip.

It’s the quintessential Cali city, the beach destination with surfers and good beer and a (much appreciated) laid back attitude about everything.

San Diego not only made me want to stay longer, but it made me want to stay forever. I really had to fight the urge to skip my flight (I feel like I say that about every destination?) because I was enchanted with the San Diego lifestyle.

Whether you’re staying for good or just for 48 hours, here’s some ideas for two days in San Diego.

Day 1:

Breakfast at Kono’s Cafe.

Grab breakfast at Kono’s Cafe, an oceanfront spot that locals all love. This surf-themed joint has been a San Diego favorite for over 25 years! Fill up on omelettes and delicious, hearty dishes before you head out for the day.

Explore, hike, and climb Torrey Pines.

Torrey Pines is a huge park in northern San Diego that’s right on the coast and is filled with trails for hiking, biking, and exploring. There’s even a beach, a golf course, a parasailing launch spot, and more.

Pack a picnic lunch and go on a nature walk through the trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park, where you can actually hike among the area’s namesake native pine trees – and smell their piney scent!

After a sweaty day, freshen up and get ready for a delicious dinner out.

48 Hours in San Diego

Dinner in Little Italy @ Ironside Fish & Oyster

Indulge in an early dinner at Ironside Fish & Oyster. Hands-down, this was my favorite meal I had in California. The oysters and raw bar selection are insanely fresh, everything on the menu was delicious, and the decor is so fab – and totally instagramable.

Pro tip: Order the mussels, you won’t be disappointed!

Padres game / go out in Gaslamp

The Padres’ Petco Park Stadium is one of the nicest MLB stadiums around, so it’s definitely worth a visit when you’re in San Diego. The stadium is an easy 10 minute drive from Little Italy, so catch a Padres game after dinner and enjoy some of the delicious craft beers or creative drinks they serve throughout.

Afterward, explore the downtown Gaslamp District and bar hop for a little nightlife fun.

Day 2:

Breakfast at The Cottage

Head up to the iconic neighborhood of La Jolla and have breakfast at The Cottage. Delicious plates, homemade scones and mimosas are the perfect start to any day in my book.

Pro tip: If the wait at The Cottage is too long, Sugar & Scribe Bakery across the street is equally delicious.

Seal Beach and La Jolla Cove

You can’t come to San Diego and not see the seals! Check out Seal Beach to see these adorable animals sunbathing on the rocks, then go explore La Jolla Cove.

Rent bikes in Pacific Beach

Drive down to Pacific Beach, where you can rent bikes, ride along the boardwalk and take in the beautiful views. Find yourself a nice spot on the beach and just RELAX, embracing the laid-back Cali vibes.

Pro tip: There’s also lots of cool breweries to pop into and have some beer!

Fish Tacos & Burritos from Taco Surf PB

Fish tacos are a must when in SD. Make a stop at Taco Surf for a tasty lunch of tacos or a “build-your-own burrito.” They’re massive but so good!

Sunset at Wonderland / Beer & pizza at Pizza Port Brewing Company

48 Hours in San Diego

The sunsets on the West Coast are always spectacular, so you’ll want to position yourself perfectly for that setting ball of fire.

Wonderland Ocean Pub is definitely the spot to be – everyday they have a Countdown to Sunset happy hour. When the sun is at peak set, the staff ring a bell and encourage the entire room of guests to raise their glass for an iconic sunset toast. Seriously, it’s so fun! Strangers all bonding over another beautiful sunset.

When you’re all done sipping wines and mules and the sky is finally dark, pop over to Pizza Port Brewing Company around the block for a late bite. Personal pizza pies and beer flights are a killer way to end your 48 hours in San Diego.

48 Hours in San Diego

What are some other “must-do” activities when in San Diego? Drop me a comment!