San Diego Design Itinerary…Advice Welcome!

So I’m planning a trip to San Diego.  Growing up in California, I have been before.  I’ve seen Balboa Park, Old Town, Horton Plaza, La Jolla, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park….etc.  I’ve heard that the city has undergone quite a transformation in the last 10 years and I’d really like to find the hidden gems and great design resources.

Photo Courtesy of Westin Gaslamp

I’ll be hanging my hat at the Westin Gaslamp.  Without a vehicle, it looks like the perfect spot for exploring.  I am looking for local favorites in the area.  For dining the names that keep coming up as local favorites are:

Pokez Mexican Restaurant

Cafe Chloe French Food

Neighborhood Gastropub

El Dorado Cocktail Lounge  – For happy hour…

I have a whole day to explore.   I’m thinking of focusing on a charming design neighborhood, such as Little Italy.

Klassik  for Danish Vintage Modern pieces.  I’m going to have to pop in for inspiration.

Mixture – Photo from Mixture website

Looks like a stop at Mixture for modern and contemporary furnishings is a must.

Architectural Salvage – San Diego.  Photo courtesy their website.

Super excited about Architectural Salvage.  I can’t wait to look for inspiration for my Pacific Heights project.  Maybe I’ll see the perfect salvaged fireplace mantel?

If I’m feeling hungry or thirsty, I think I’ll try The Waterfront, San Diego’s oldest tavern, for refreshments.

Walkabout South Park – Photo Courtesy

South Park is another hood that looks absolutely charming.  North of Little Italy, they have quarterly events called “Walkabout” coinciding with my visit!  How perfect.  Shops open later, live music, food and drink specials…sounds right up my alley.

While I’m in South Park, I’m definitely visiting Progress for inspiration for my mid-century Burlingame project.

There are so many cute looking restaurants in South Park too:

Vagabond San Diego.  Photo source unknown.

Vagabond looks like quirky fun.  A “global” kitchen.

Alchemy looks YUMMY!  Their site references squash blossoms are in season, LOVE those.

Station Tavern – San Diego  Photo courtesy Station Tavern website

Perhaps most intriguing for casual dining is Station Tavern.

Cinema Under The Stars – Photo courtesy Cinema Under the Stars Website

I’m thinking that Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills looks perfect for a night-time activity  “All About Eve” anyone?

What visit to San Diego could do without a trip to the beach?  I’m thinking Ocean Beach where “Almost Famous” was filmed.  If I’m at Ocean Beach, I’ll have to check out Newport Antiques Market, right?

What do you think?  What did I miss?  Would love your feedback on great, not to be missed, local finds in San Diego …

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