The location was perfect for our next installment of adventures sans-trailer in San Diego. We kept our explorations to within a few square miles, which included North Park, South Park, and Balboa Park. This is a very cool area of San Diego, with an eclectic array of fabulous cafes and restaurants, interesting shops, art galleries, and neighborhood streets lined with Craftsman homes. We loved being able to walk everywhere—and it’s a good thing we did, because between the elaborate Mexican-inspired breakfasts prepared by our creative proprietor and our culinary adventures at local restaurants, we needed to burn some serious calories.
We had a blast in North Park, and it was made all the more interesting by staying at Vintage Sol B & B. Adding to our fun was a delightful visit from our friends and fellow RV’ers LuAnn and Terry—they joined us for a day of exploring Balboa Park, followed by dinner in our courtyard. I would never say that I was happy that we ran over that boulder in Anza Borrego, but in truth, we probably would never have experienced this excellent adventure in North Park if we hadn’t been forced out of our trailer.
Here, the fun things we discovered in and near North Park:
Balboa Park: If you come anywhere near San Diego, you must visit Balboa Park. It’s 1200 acres of beauty, with winding pathways that meander through a variety of gardens—the property includes an artists’ colony, museums, a botanical conservatory, the renowned Prado restaurant, and the San Diego Zoo. Many of the buildings were constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and are works of art in themselves.
This place is gorgeous—so much so, that we visited three times. We spent an entire day at the zoo, another with LuAnn and Terry to wander the gardens and have lunch at the Prado, and a third to explore more of the gardens and one of the museums—the San Diego History Center (with a very fun and whimsical exhibition on Dr. Seuss, who lived a long and creative life in nearby La Jolla).
The weather was so beautiful that we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend more time indoors, but the other museums are definitely worth a visit. If you’re planning on several museums, the San Diego Park Pass is a good deal.
Restaurants: Other than walking for hours every day, apparently our major form of entertainment during our stay in North Park was eating. Our B & B was too crammed with curios to do any cooking—at best, we managed to make salads for a couple of lunches and dinners in the courtyard. The rest of the time, we were on a gourmet binge. During our stay in North Park, we enjoyed some of the best meals we’ve eaten anywhere. Our favorites: The Prado in Balboa Park (charming hacienda and patio; classic well-prepared California cuisine; Tuesday night date night is a great deal), Urban Solace (artsy, eclectic neighborhood bistro; creative twist on American comfort food), The Smoking Goat (upscale farmhouse vibe; absolutely fabulous farm-to-table cuisine), and Carnitas’ Snack Shack (casual outdoor patio; awesome tacos). Delicious, every single meal.
Next up: Chilling In Encinitas[portfolio_slideshow]
Sometimes these “little” set backs can have many positives:) Your stay around San Diego was wonderful! You got to see and experience so many parts of the area.
That was such a cute B&B! The courtyard was beautiful! The food looked so good!
Glad you got another opportunity to visit with LuAnn and Terry!
I love the slide show as your header! I had to watch every photo go by:)
Pam, we felt so lucky that our accident landed us in San Diego. We could have been stuck in a not-so-interesting place! We loved staying in the heart of North Park in the cool little B & B, and it was fun to have LuAnn and Terry visit us there. Glad you like the slideshow. :-)
I spent a week in San Diego in March last year…good friends Pam and Dave took time for a staycation and we explored….yes….I could definitely live in Balboa Park! The colors! The relaxed vibe! The street art! The warm tropical breeze! So bless that stupid rock!?
Haha, yes, bless that stupid rock! I can see why you would love Balboa Park, Diana. You would have an amazing art studio there!
The Smoking Goat has been on my list to try for ages…must get there this holiday season when we return to SD. The thing is every time we return to SD there are more new and exciting places to try in North Park! You really did luck out by staying in that part of the city!
Lisa, definitely put The Smoking Goat on your list. The food is wonderful, and so is the atmosphere. Lucky you to get to return to SD each year! I can understand why you loved living in North Park.
I love the bright colors of southwestern style, and that little cottage is darling. What a great find! My boys and I always enjoyed Balboa Park and you really got to see so much of it at a leisurely pace. We would visit the huge Fig tree in front of the natural history museum, always in awe of its size and beauty. Your photos are gorgeous as always.
Thanks, Jodee. ;-) I’m always drawn to the bright southwestern style colors, too, and the cottage was a very fun little place to stay in the city. I could spend many more days exploring Balboa Park!
Thanks for showing us this funky part of SD. We loved spending time at Balboa Park with the two of you. And, not to be entirely outdone by you two, we hit a deer yesterday, or as Terry said, the deer jumped out at us. :( So we are in the process of scheduling an insurance adjustor when we get to the Carson City/Reno area. Thank goodness we are able to drive the truck. It’s always something!
Oh no!! I hope there’s not too much damage, LuAnn — fortunately your rig is drivable. I hope the repairs go smoothly. We enjoyed so much having you guys visit us in North Park and spending the day together. We’re looking forward to lots more adventures with you this summer. Safe travels!
What a darling B&B. You do find the neatest places. The hostess’ name sort of goes with the busy look of the place. I just had to laugh that there were so many curios there wasn’t room to cook. Although, that salad in the courtyard looks like a very nice and expensive meal at a lovely restaurant. Great picture of Terry and LuAnn. You two do make lemonade out of lemons.
Sherry, it was a lovely and fun place to stay — even though the kitchen was so tiny and overdecorated that it was impossible to cook! Fortunately, the weather was warm and salads were a perfect meal in the courtyard. (I agree, the proprietor’s name suits her well.)
I can relate a bit to little setbacks that led us to enjoy a short R&R on the side. We did the same thing when waiting for parts for our slide issue lasted three weeks. We too went to a B&B and enjoyed ourselves.
We will be in SD this winter, and I’m keeping notes of what you did and what you do.
The setbacks can create unexpected adventures, for sure! We had a great time in SD. I’ll look forward to what you discover while you’re there, MonaLiza. :-)