Travel with blondewalk: San Diego (and area)

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Needless to say the Golden State is one of our favourites and likely one of the most frequently travelled places in the world. We like to think of it as our home away from home as we travel here often. The beach is close, shopping is unparalleled and most importantly, the food is impeccable. Our most recent trip to California began in the San Diego region, which included visits to Carlsbad, La Jolla, Encinitas and San Diego.

SHOP

Westfield’s never disappoints us. The outdoor shopping center in La Jolla includes numerous staple stores and an endless amount of facilities for children of all ages. The train, putting green and playground were among Palmer’s favourites. Not to mention the child-sized bathrooms that were extremely convenient! The center also holds a movie theatre and skating rink – the activities are truly endless. The food court is gigantic with a variety of ethnic and American choices, but if you’re looking for a healthy snack be sure to stop by Nordstrom Café Bistro!

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Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego is an upper class outdoor shopping center (notice the trend?) featuring all of our favourite department stores – Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. You could literally spend days here. We found this shopping center to be much less crowded than Westfield’s, but certainly not as child friendly.

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PLAY

The world renowned San Diego Zoo was one of the highlights of our trip. The guided bus tours are included in admission, but we opted for walking around ourselves. The Skyfari Aerial Tram is an airborne shortcut to the other end of the zoo. It is a remarkable view of the entire zoo and useful if you or your children are tired of walking. We ended our visit at the children’s zoo which includes a petting zoo, playground and a variety of crafts and activities for children.

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RELAX

The Moonlight State Beach, located in Encinitas, is a local favourite. The facilities include restrooms, outdoor showers, picnic tables, concession, surf board rentals, volleyball courts, and an incredible playground.

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FEAST

The Pizza Port (in Carlsbad) is just a few blocks away from the beach. It offers a wide selection of on tap beer (which the men were excited about), great kale salad and legendary margherita pizza. With picnic-table style seating and a child-friendly atmosphere, it is rare to find an empty seat in the house.

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With numerous locations in the area, In-n-out Burger is a Cali staple and is our top recommendation when it comes to a burger joint; there is nothing fresher. And we LOVE how they provide three simple menu options making the entire experience quick and efficient. We just wish they would open up a location across the border…

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Hapifish is known for their beach cuisine and laid back and “hapi” atmosphere. Being located just blocks away from Moonlight State Beach, fresh sushi, fish tacos and surf bowls are their specialty. Their Hapi Hour (3-7 daily) includes great priced sushi and tapas-styled appetizers.

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Photos: blondewalk | Pizza Port | Hapifish | Google images

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