Cultural Experience | California

Live Like a Local, 24Hrs in San Diego.

How to spend the day in San Diego, from a students eye view.

Angela Strohbeck, San Diego State University
College Tourist West Coast Regional Ambassador

San Diego

San Diego

San Diego has an incredible variety of worthwhile activities and attractions. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to fit all of them in to 24 hours. We’ve narrowed down some of the best just for you. Here is how you should spend your day in San Diego from start to finish.

  •  You are probably going to need breakfast so why not stop by Olive Café in Mission Beach. Olive Café is a cute restaurant with a great breakfast and lunch menu. It is delicious, cheap, and students from the University of San Diego are even allowed to use their school’s meal plan to fit the bill. This quaint café is on the corner of Mission Blvd and Santa Clara Place, right in between the beach and the bay.
  • It is widely know that parking in Mission Beach can be rather tricky, the good news is that there is a free public parking lot right next to Olive Café. Unless you’re there before 3pm on a summer day, your chances of finding a parking spot are pretty good.

Mission Beach, San Diego

  • After breakfast, throw on your swimsuit and head down to the water. There is water on both the East and West sides of Mission Blvd. Head west to hit the beach and work on your southern Californian tan or head east to have some fun on the bay.
  •  Stand up paddle boarding has become quite popular in recent years and it is definitely a worthwhile venture. There are plenty of places to rent cheap equipment like stand up paddleboards and surfboards. One great place is pretty close to Olive Café, and it is called Mission Bay Sportcenter. You can rent a surfboard for $5 per hour and a stand up paddleboard for $15 per hour.
  •  Spending some time in the California sun can take a lot out of you and by this time you’ll probably be ready for lunch. Hop in the car and drive down to Ocean Beach to grab a bite and a brew at Pizza Port.
  •  Pizza Port is an awesome restaurant and microbrewery. San Diego has a great deal of pride in local microbreweries and Pizza Port is just one of the many. The beer here is so beloved that each location has a live camera feed online to show which beers are currently being served.  The food is a delicious as well, but what makes Pizza Port particularly worthwhile is a combination of beer, food, and atmosphere. There are a few rows of wooden picnic tables that seem to encourage big groups and conversation between other patrons. P.S. Before you leave, try some mac and cheese balls, they are so tasty!


Pizza Port, Ocean Beach

  • Now that you’re rested and fed, it’s time to make your way down to Fashion Valley Mall and pick up an outfit for your night out. Fashion Valley Mall is located in Mission Valley west of the 163 freeway and north of the 8 freeway. Fashion Valley has a lot of great places to keep your style sharp, including Francesca’s and H&M. With a huge, two-story Forever 21, you are sure to find the answers you need to show off the styles you love.
  • While you’re here, you might as well grab some dinner at Stacked before you go out and show off your new threads. Stacked is a unique restaurant which patrons use an iPad stationed at their table to create and order their meals. Guests can custom build burgers, salads, pizzas, and even ice cream cookie sandwiches. If you have time, you can even order discounted movie tickets to use at the mall’s AMC theater and those tickets will be ready for you by the end of your meal.
  • When your time is winding down and you’re looking to go out with a bang, put on your heels or button up your shirt and head to Downtown. Noble Experiment is a fun place to start for the night. This establishment is a speakeasy style bar and half the fun is finding the entrance. For the sake of not spoiling the surprise, I won’t reveal the exact details but you’ll be able to find it somewhere along the 700 block of G Street. When you find it you will love it!

macys, fashion valley mall, san diego

Fashion Valley Mall

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Kate Sessions Park

Get Outside, Breathe Deep and Study in the Sun San Diego Style




Angela Strohbeck

San Diego State | 29 stories

Angela recently graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Communication. She loves to travel, experience live music, and make videos. Angela studied abroad in Europe with the SDSU School of Communication in 2012. During the trip, she studied organizational communication and the rhetoric of tourism in Prague, Munich, Luxembourg, Grindelwald, and Paris. She studied Spanish for six years and is currently learning German. Her favorite quote is, "first seek to understand, then be understood." Her favorite movies are American Beauty and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

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