Updated: Aug 3, 2022
One of my absolute favorite places to visit, and one of the most tennis friendly cities, is San Diego! The laid back vibe, foodie scene, and healthy lifestyle makes this a great destination for a tennis getaway. My girlfriends and I have done this trip several times. We love staying near the San Diego Bay where our friend Debi keeps her boat.
Arizonans love San Diego because of it close proximity. It’s only a short 5 hour drive away, but for a quick weekend trip we typically fly. San Diego airport is one of the easiest airports to navigate, and if you book early you’re likely to find great deals. This itinerary can be done without a car, but if you stay longer than a weekend you’ll definitely want your own set of wheels.
As you can tell, San Diego is super laid back. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve packed fancy heels and dresses, only to spend the entire time in rainbow flip flops.
We traditionally start our trip with lunch at Extrordinary Desserts. As the name implies, the desserts are incredible! We pick up several desserts to take to the boat for snacking.
Check into your hotel, these are the ones I recommend for staying in downtown. The benefit of staying at the Hyatt is the rooftop tennis court!
Spend some time on the water! Our lovely friend Debi was kind enough to treat us to a sunset cruise on her beautiful boat. If you don't have a sweet boat on the harbor at your disposal, don't stress. Line up a San Diego Bay cruise with Flagship Cruises & Events.
*helpful tip - Don't wear your expensive Chanel aviator sunglasses on the boat ride, they may end up at the bottom of the bay, just sayin’.😎😌
Next grab dinner at one of the many choices within walking distance of your hotel. Here are some of my recommendations.
NOBU always a good choice for sushi lovers, inside the Hard Rock Hotel so the people watching is a plus!
Cafe Sevilla Restaurant, tapas, and flamenco shows, what could be better!
La Puerta Probably our favorite downtown spot! The purple haze margarita is amazing!
Neighborhood Such a cool downtown spot with great food, boozy drinks and a secret speakeasy hidden inside.
Credit: Coronado Island Visitor Center
Get ready for a fun filled day in Coronado!
Ride over the Coronado Bridge! I still remember the first time I rode over the bridge as a little girl, they were still collecting a toll back then. It's an incredible engineering marvel, and the cool thing is the lane divider switches every weekday to accommodate the incoming and outgoing traffic to the Coronado Naval Base.
If you don't have a car, you can grab an Uber or catch the ferry that runs between downtown and Coronado Ferry Landing.
The best way to get around Coronado is on a bicycle. Rent bicycles from Holland's Bicycles at the Ferry Landing.
Take the bike path around the southern part of the Island where you ride by Tidelands Park, go under the bridge, and ride along the Coronado Golf Course. This takes you right to the Coronado Tennis Center for some fun doubles or a drop in clinic. Make sure to schedule a court reservation, schedule a group clinic, or sign up for clinic ahead of time.
After tennis, head over to Claytons Coffee Shop for a well deserved hearty breakfast. Their spicy sausage is one of my favorites. It can get pretty busy on the weekends, but well worth the wait. If you just can't wait, walk around the corner to Clayton's Mexican Takeout for a breakfast burrito and a Mexican Coke.
Pick up some beach snacks at Park Place Liquor & Deli and ride down Ocean Blvd. Find a nice beach spot and enjoy the waves. Dog lovers will want to ride all the way down Ocean to dog beach. My daughter loved going to dog beach when we lived there.
Wrap up beach time and continue riding along the north side of the island. Some of the most beautiful beach homes are in Coronado, take your time making your way back toward the Ferry Landing.
Grab a quick drink at Coronado Brewing Company before returning the rental bikes and heading back to the hotel.
Saturday nights in downtown San Diego are so fun!
Schedule a wine tasting at Vin De Syrah Wine Bar. The pairings are done at a large communal table and you can stay after the tasting and enjoy the music, and people watching!
For a unique SD experience, stop in one of these:
El Dorado Cocktail Bar My husband and I wanted a locals spot and ended up here once. We were probably (ok, definitely) older than the rest of the crowd. Everyone was walking around drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys in paper bags, and we thought to ourselves, "Is this where hipsters are born?" and "Are we even cool enough to be here?" The local crowd in San Diego is just cool, definitely cooler than me, and this is one of those places that make you realize it. So just admire it, order a kick-ass cocktail, and enjoy.
Prohibition This super hip speakeasy has a 20's Gatsby vibe with a tight dress code on the weekends. When you find the covert entrance, inside you'll find great cocktails, music, and an oh so swanky crowd.
Depending on how crazy your Saturday night shenanigans got, Sunday can be a slow starter. If you feel up for tennis, get some hitting done on the rooftop courts at the Hyatt. If a nice brisk walk to Little Italy sounds better, walk to Morning Glory for an Instagram-worthy boozy brunch.
Pick your own adventure
Spend the day shopping on Garnet Avenue. My kids love to shop vintage and thrift stores, if that's your thing, you'll love PB. End at the PB Shore Club for a frozen vodka red bull.
credit: PB Shore Club
Kayak the La Jolla Caves, Play at LJBTC and say hello to the seals in La Jolla!
Head up to Camel Valley Tennis for some court time. Then have lunch and shop the design district along South Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach. One of my favorite home goods store is SoLo Home & Garden. I could spend an entire day looking through their coffee table book collection.
credit: SoLo Home & Garden
Back in downtown, have one last amazing dinner at Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop before heading home on Monday.
San Diego is truly a great place to visit any time of the year. Keep in mind May and June can be very gray and gloomy, so probably not the best time to visit if you're looking for sunny beach days. I love to visit in the fall and spring, summer is great but can get very busy and expensive.
What are your San Diego favorites?
Love & Tennis,