Weekend In San Diego

Two weeks ago I attended the 2018 Social Media Marketing Conference in San Diego!

This was my 3rd time to California but my 1st time to this city. Although 95% of our time was spent at the Convention Center, we managed to arrive a day early and planned to stay an extra day after the conference ended so we could explore the area.

I’ve recapped where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did during our brief time in this beautiful city. I can’t wait to visit again!


Marble Luggage: Calpak | Weekender Bag: Sole Society | Tote: Henri Bendel | Sneakers: New Balance


Since we arrived a day before the Conference began, we decided to spend 1 night on the island of Coronado. We had to drive over the HIGHEST bridge ever to get onto the island, and I’m not kidding it felt like we were at an equal altitude as a helicopter at the bridge’s peak. Borderline terrifying but a very cool vantage point!


We had a choice of staying in the infamous Hotel Del Coronado or opting for a smaller, boutique hotel. We chose the latter because of its charm and more centralized location. Although the neighborhood isn’t large, we didn’t rent a car and only Ubered when we had to get to/from San Diego the following day. So being able to walk to the restaurants & shops was easier from where we decided to stay.

Hotel Marisol

With just fifteen rooms, this hotel boasts an intimate setting in an ideal location; tucked away on a quiet street but walking distance to everything Coronado. Hotel Marisol has a private courtyard where you can relax and surrender to the gentle touch of our coastal breeze, as well as a complimentary bike rental should you decide to explore the island on 2 wheels (which is one of the activities we chose!)


(Breakfast): A building boasting the simple name of Clayton’s Coffee Shop ended up being one of the best breakfast places I’ve ever been to! When you walk in, you’re immediately taken back in time to a ’50s American diner complete with a U-shaped bar stool seating area & juke boxes that still work!

(Lunch): We got delicious Poke Tuna Tacos at Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge. This restaurant had a great vibe of local eaters & tourist visitors and the food couldn’t have tasted more fresh!

(Dinner): While biking around, we passed by a charming townhouse with the name Chez Loma on a sign out front and decided to give it a try. SO HAPPY WE DID! We were treated to one of the most delightful, french-inspired meals I’ve ever had and experienced some superb service on top of it all. Highly recommend!


 In our 1 day visit to Coronado, we tried to see as much as we could of this beautiful island. After lunch we took a walk down to the beach and the infamous Hotel Del Coronado. I can only imagine how crowded it must be during the summer, as it was so beautiful during the winter. The beach was practically empty and I’ve never seen so many (alive) Sand Dollars in my life!

We also decided to take advantage of our hotel’s complimentary bikes and took a mini ride around the back streets of the neighborhood. There’s absolutely no way I’d appreciate the charm of the story book houses and quaint roads had we decided to explore by car. Seeing the Island from this vantage point was a very special experience.


After our 1-day visit to Coronado, we took an Uber back over the bridge to San Diego where the Conference was held. Even though we spent 3 out of our 5 days indoors attending workshops and listening to panels, we were thankful to have planned one free day to explore the city before taking the red eye flight back to New York later in the evening. There’s definitely more to see & I’m already planning to return, given we could have used 1 more day at least to see a bit more of what San Diego has to offer.


We did our research and knew the best hotel we could stay at would be one located next to the Convention Center. So we chose to stay at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina due to its proximity, gorgeous water views, and multiple amenities including a heated pool, outdoor bar, and restaurants. This hotel is used to handling mass amounts of people coming in for conferences, so we were extremely pleased with how accommodating the service was despite the amount of guests checked in for the week.

Ps, when making a reservation make sure to request a “water view” in the NORTH TOWER – we were told by the receptionist checking us in that it was the nicer of the two towers because the rooms all have balcony access. The South Tower didn’t offer the same treat. But I will say, our view from the 23rd floor was breathtakingly scary…


Our breakfasts & lunches were handled by the Conference, so we didn’t venture out to too many restaurants during our stay. Our first evening, we were starving from the long day and ordered room service to satisfy ourselves before attending the opening network party (which by the way, was held on the USS Midway!)

The hotel’s main restaurant Marina Kitchen had a great, tasty menu – we had our final meal there before heading to the airport on our last night. Each evening before dinner we would sit outside at the heated Tequila Bar & Grille to enjoy a glass of wine/beer with chips & salsa. On all 3 nights we were outside, we were greeted by a couple of very friendly ducks. I have to say their begging skills were quite superior and part of me wants to believe they remembered me as the generous guest who shared her chips with them 3 nights in a row.

On days 2 & 3, we decided to take advantage of having dinner outside the hotel. The first place we went to was Fleming’s Steakhouse where I had the most delicious dish of scallops & crab cakes. On day 3 we ventured to the Seaport Village where our hotel was located and had AMAZEBALLS burgers at Buster’s Beach House.

I have to say the meat in California is phenomenal; I had a mac & cheese truffle burger for lunch the following day at Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen and have zero regrets (image above).



Saturday was our free day so we started it bright & early with the Crazy About Cats Tour at the San Diego Zoo. We got to enter the park early and watch all the big cats get fed, which proved to be the most active time for them and giving us max exposure to seeing every feline in the park. We even got to go behind one of the enclosures to see where they slept at night and where their zookeepers took care of them.

The best part was getting to see a Cheetah up close & very personal. This kitty had a canine companion accompany her while out meeting us, as the zookeepers informed us about the Animal Ambassador Program that explained why these two were paired together. The dog lives with the Cheetah full time at the zoo, acting as a support buddy for the big cat when participating in activities outside its habitat (aka News Stations, School Trips, etc.)

After the zoo, we decided to grab lunch at the Ballast Point Brewery Tasting Room & Kitchen. I’ve always been a fan of IPA’s (yes, it’s my beer of choice) and coincidentally became a huge fan of the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA before realizing it’s brewed in San Diego! So naturally I wanted to check it out. We got there 30 minutes after it opened and by the time an hour went by, the place was PACKED with a line out the door! People from all over were there, whether they were experiencing the flight tasting or eating lunch as we were. Talk about a hot spot!