Best Things To Do in San Diego as an Introvert

Best things to do in San Diego? I know, I know, there are so many of these types of blogs out there. But I figured, why not? Why not build from my own experiences and cater to all those introverts out there like myself (of course this does not mean that this list is exclusively for introverts. These are activities anyone can enjoy.)

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So here are some of my favorite things to do in San Diego, CA as the introvert I am.

  1. Grab Coffee (or beverage of choice) at Balboa Park. Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. The architecture is amazing! Cafe in the Park is my go to place. I usually grab a season iced tea or their Iced Tres Leches Latte. Yum!
Balboa Botanical Gardens

2. Walk around La Jolla Cove, see the seals, and take in a sunset.

La Jolla Cove, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. It gets crowded, so go early if you can. Enjoy the day walking around, go for a swim, pack a picnic to enjoy at Ellen Browning Scripps Park, or rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board. When you’re done, grab dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants in the area to watch the sunset. Our favorite is Duke’s for great food and an even better view!

3. Get lunch and enjoy the sunshine at Seaport Village.

I love the area of Seaport Village! It can be really relaxing to take in the views of the Coronado Bridge and watch people fly kites in the park. It’s also a great area if you want to do some souvenir shopping. Walk around the water’s edge to get to the USS Midway Aircraft museum and the giant Kissing Sailor Statue (aka “Embracing Peace”).

Next, explore the museum (but be aware if you’re extremely claustrophobic, as there are some tight spaces), take a boat ride around the harbor, take the ferry over to Coronado, or just grad a bite to eat.

There is so much to do around the water front and Seaport Village, that it can become overwhelming for an introvert like myself. When that happens, I just pop in my headphone, turn on some music, and walk the other direction towards the San Diego Convention Center.

4. Spend the day enjoying the beauty of Hotel Del Coronado and the views of downtown San Diego from Coronado Ferry Landing.

First, I recommend driving over the Coronado Bridge to spend the morning or early afternoon walking around Hotel Del Coronado.

Built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Hotel Del was featured in movies such as, Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like It Hot (1959) and two episodes of “Baywatch” (1994). Learn more about the fascinating history of the hotel here.

While at the Hotel Del, grab a drink by the beach, though prepare to spend some $$$ in the process.

Next, drive to the other side of Coronado Island to check out the gorgeous views of the city from Coronado Ferry Landing. From here you can take the ferry to either downtown San Diego or Seaport Village.

This is a great place to grab a late lunch or dinner and watch the sunset!

5. The next recommendation is any of the variety of hikes in or around San Diego. One of my favorites is Mission Trails Regional Park. For an introvert like myself, I feel this is the best hike to avoid some of the more crowded places like Torrey Pines and Cowles Mountain (though both these places are also great hikes, but can get extremely busy so plan accordingly).

Mission Trails Old Dam

Mission Trails can also be very busy, however it is a much larger area with many more trails. Therefore, you have plenty of opportunities to avoid the crowds and take a path all your own.

6. Get out of the city limits and explore the surrounding areas.

A couple of my favorite places to go around the San Diego area are Julian and Borrego Springs.

Julian is a old western gold rush town and is famous for their apple pie (yum!). My favorite things to do are to just walk around the shops, grab a bite to eat at Miner’s Diner, and enjoy some apple pie (preferably Dutch apple with caramel). I’m drooling as I type this!

The main street in Julian

Borrego Springs is the gateway to the stunning Anza Borrego State Park. If you go at the right time of year (around March and April) you may be able to see the blooming of the wildflowers. Otherwise, grab a map and explore the Sky Art Sculptures located around the desert. Make sure to bring a camera!

Serpent sculpture in the desert

Also, if you’re staying overnight in Borrego Springs or stay into the night, Borrego is a designated National Dark Sky Community.

So there you have it! Some of my favorite things to do around San Diego. Of course there are many more things to do in the area, but these are my go-to favorites.

If you live in or have visited, what are some of your favorite things to do in San Diego? Leave us a comment!

Exploring Death Valley in 1 Day

Traveling participants: Sean and Ronnie and guest starring Ronnie’s mom, Pat!

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What can I say about Death Valley? The whole landscape looks like another world! Obviously the reason it has been used in movies like Star Wars. I wish we had been able to spend more time there. Hopefully get the chance to go back at some point. We only spent one day at the park and boy was it hot! My suggestion would to not go at the end of spring and summer. Although there were very few people there, so if you aren’t planning on doing long hikes and want less crowds, by all means, get your sweat on!

The trip started with a 6 to 7 hour drive from San Diego (of course it took much longer after all the stopping for bathroom breaks, food, and gas). We arrived at our Airbnb around 6pm and immediately went about making dinner. We spent the first night just relaxing in our cute little cabin in Beatty, Nevada (I would definitely recommended Wild West Getaway Cabins).

Our Cabin

Sean had recently gotten me a telescope for my birthday so I was excited to try to use it where I knew there would be good visibility. So we spent that night stargazing and it did not disappoint.

Sometime around 9:30pm Sean pointed out a strange moving group of stars. It appeared to be a long line of stars moving quickly across the sky. None of us knew what it was, so I’m just deciding to say that I watch aliens gathering up stars! The real story though, is that Sean decided to open his star gazing app on his phone and found out it was “space junk” or an old Russian rocket. Though I still don’t understand why it looked like a length of stars following behind it. If anyone is able to explain that to me, feel free.

So after getting abducted by aliens the night before, we set out the next day for Death Valley. The day started a bit overcast, which was great for comfort but not so great for pictures (spoiler alert: it clears up later). We entered the park and decided to start at the Mesquite Sand Dunes, which happens to be a very well known scene in Star Wars. After taking several pictures of sand and toys (and getting about 10 pounds of sand in our shoes) we headed back to take the turn off that would lead us to the majority of the other sites.

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Luke on Tatooine

Our second stop was Harmony Borax site, which happens to be a site where they mined borax back in the day. I definitely could not imagine living out there and working without air conditioning (whew! I’m sweaty just thinking about it). Then we headed towards the Devil’s Golf Course. I think that happens to be one of the coolest sites and I loved taking pictures of the salt crystals. The road there was a bit bumpy so be prepared for that, but it is so worth it.

Sean at the Devil’s Golf Course

From there we made our way on Badwater Road to Badwater Basin, which is to be the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. As you’re walking on the salt basin, it kind of gives off the feeling of walking on snow because of how white it is. But walking on snow in 100 degree weather, which is a totally odd experience. We didn’t spend too long there as it was just too hot to be walking around for too long.

We started to make our way back to take Artist’s Drive to Artist’s Palette; another well known Star Wars location. The mountains appear painted. It is a very cool site and leaves in a awe of Earth.

Heading back towards Furnace Creek, we stopped quickly at Golden Canyon, mostly for what looked like a really nice view. It was a really nice view! I’m sure there is much more awesome scenery but we were all too hot and tired to last too long. So a quick view and we got back in the car.

Turning onto route 190, we first stopped at Zabrinskie Point. Oh…my…wow… this was probably the most gorgeous site of the trip. It didn’t look real. The whole view looked like a digitized background. So there is a big parking lot. Once there, you walk up a mildly steep, paved walkway to get to the top for the view. Sean and I spent some time up there taking pictures while my mom waited in the car. At this point it was several hours into the day and we were all tired out from the heat, but boy am I glad I experienced that view.

From Zabrinskie Point, we continued on route 190 to Dante’s View (another Star Wars site!). As it was much higher in elevation than everything else, the temperature dropped significantly down towards the 70’s (degree Fahrenheit) . It was so refreshing after all the extreme heat of the other sites. Again, the view is extraordinary and you can see the vast majority of Death Valley. It was definitely a whole other world, looking out over the white and gray of the salt basins with the backdrop of the multi-colored mountains.

We spent some time there just enjoying the breeze and the view before heading back towards Furnace Creek to find some dinner. The plan was to eat, rest and shower at the cabin, and then return at night for stargazing in the park. We decided to stop at the Inn at Death Valley for food and ate at The Last Kind Words Saloon & Steakhouse. I would highly recommend! Their chili was delicious, as was the steak.

After dinner we went back to the cabin to freshen up and relax. Then around 9 PM, Sean and I headed back into the park for stargazing. Death Valley is an international dark sky area and was designated the largest Dark Sky National park in the country. Some of the recommended viewing locations are Harmony Borax Works, Mesquite Sand Dunes, and Badwater Basin.

However, Sean had already been driving for several hours that day, so we just stopped at the first small parking lots when entering the park. It was empty, quiet, and still offered an abundance of stars. I don’t know if it would have been better at one of those other locations (if someone has been star gazing at Death Valley, let me know what your favorite site is) but I imagine that anywhere in the park is amazing.

So that’s our trip! I definitely think Death Valley is an underrated National Park. When I was telling co-workers and friends I was going to Death Valley for the weekend, I kept hearing questions like “why?” Why not, I say! It’s a National Park with a beautiful, diverse landscape, you can’t go wrong with that.

Check out these Star Wars Filming Locations Sites