Long weekends are perfect for short-distance trips to nearby cities. For example, we live in Orange County but hardly ever think of visiting San Diego. After some talking and planning, we did just that. Originally, we wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo. But we brainstormed ideas and turned the trip into a three-day weekend getaway. Here’s how we spent our Labor Day Weekend in San Diego.
Take the train along the iconic PCH.
First and foremost, you can take the Amtrak instead of driving or flying.
We were traveling from Orange County, so we didn’t have to fly. We could have driven, but a round-trip Amtrak ticket cost less than a full tank of gas. Not to mention, our hotel charged $69 each night for overnight parking.
Since we planned to do everything around the Gaslamp Quarter, it was easier and cheaper to just walk or Uber everywhere. So it made the most sense to take the train for costs and efficiency.
Plus, you get a pretty view of the PCH throughout the entire train ride.
Stay in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
Next, you can spend your three-day weekend staying in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
The Gaslamp District is a neighborhood in downtown San Diego near Petco Park, the Convention Center, and the Santa Fe Depot train station.
More specifically, the Gaslamp is known for its nightlife. So if you’re into music and entertainment, the Gaslamp is the place to go.
Eat fresh seafood.
Then, you can eat fresh seafood from a local restaurant.
We decided to try Saltwater, which was within walking distance of our hotel.
To start, we got half a dozen raw Kumamoto oysters. I also got a cocktail called “The Reef,” which was a concoction of Tanqueray gin, cucumbers, mint, lime juice, and simple syrup.
Next, we had Saltwater’s house salad. The salad was made up of little gems, oak lettuce, frisée, pickled red onions, herbs, and crostini bread.
For the main course, we shared Saltwater’s daily surf and turf special. The meal consisted of an 8oz petit filet, two seared scallops, truffle mushroom risotto, and grilled asparagus.
Then, I had a second cocktail called “Silent Killer.” The drink consisted of El Silenzio Mezcal, triple sec, fresh lime juice, agave, mango puree, red chili, and a Tajin rim.
For dessert, we decided to walk around the Gaslamp until we found a place. We stopped at a French patisserie called Parfait Paris, where we got half a dozen macarons.
Walk around and take in SD’s city life.
Next, you can walk around San Diego and take in the city life.
As mentioned earlier, the Gaslamp Quarter is known for its nightlife. There are plenty of arcades, bars, and clubs to check out. There is no shortage of things to do in the Gaslamp.
Best of all, they close off parts of Gaslamp’s streets to cars. So pedestrians can safely walk all over the streets.
Stay in and call room service.
Alternatively, you can stay in the hotel room and call room service.
For example, we ordered breakfast from the hotel restaurant every morning. One morning, I had an omelet and a Bloody Mary. The next morning, I had mimosas and leftover macarons from Parfait Paris.
Whether you like to stay in or eat out, you’ll be sure to find a restaurant of your interest in San Diego.
Visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
Then, you can visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
San Diego’s Air & Space Museum displays a collection of aircraft and memorabilia throughout history. This makes the San Diego Air & Space Museum suitable for the entire family, especially any science or history buffs. My favorite part of the museum was seeing the changing styles of flight attendants’ uniforms over the decades.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is conveniently located inside Balboa Park. So when you are done with the Air & Space Museum, you can explore other parts of Balboa Park.
Take a stroll through Balboa Park.
Additionally, you can take a stroll through Balboa Park.
Balboa Park is a historical spot in San Diego that consists of cultural attractions, entertainment, trails, and gardens. The park is full of so many things to do and see, it can’t be done in just one day. However, it’s the perfect place to take your family or to go on a date.
So if you’re on a quick trip to San Diego, Balboa Park should be on your list of places to go.
Have happy hour at a rooftop bar.
Finally, you can end your three-day weekend with happy hour at a rooftop bar.
We stayed at the Hotel Indigo in the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. The hotel had a rooftop bar called Level 9 Rooftop Bar, which overlooks Petco Park and the East Village. You can grab dinner and drinks while getting a free glimpse of whatever event is happening at Petco Park.
In fact, we caught the Padres game one night and then the Weezer concert the next night. All without having to pay admission! Who doesn’t love dinner with a view?
Whether you’re a foodie, sports fan, or music lover, you should check out a rooftop bar in San Diego.
Watch my recap reel:
Conclusion of How to Spend a Three-Day Weekend in San Diego
To wrap things up, we decided to spend a three-day weekend in San Diego. And we were able to book everything for Labor Day Weekend. We savored fresh seafood and I indulged in drinks. We explored beautiful, cultural landmarks in San Diego. And we got to enjoy the cool weather. It was a relaxing mini-getaway and we can’t wait to go back!
What’s your ideal three-day weekend?
Let me know in the comments. You can also connect with me on social media.