How to Plan the Perfect Girls Weekend in San Diego

One of the most popular vacation destinations along the West Coast of the United States is San Diego, which has a lot to offer travelers.

Expansive beaches, a vibrant downtown, and world-class zoos and theme parks make America’s finest city a perfect fit for almost everyone, from singles to families alike (but, we’re here to talk about planning the perfect girls weekend in San Diego).

As the saying goes, girls just want to have fun and there is no better place for a fun-filled girls weekend than San Diego!

Trust me, I know – I live here.

There are countless San Diego hotels, spas, nightclubs and restaurants to keep women entertained. From the fresh-out-of-college crowd to seasoned cougars ready to pounce, San Diego has a scene for us all so, leave the boys behind and head to San Diego for a vacation you’ll hardly remember, but never forget!

Here’s how to spend the best girls weekend in San Diego!

Girls weekend in San Diego
San Diego pier

How to Plan the Perfect Girls Weekend in San Diego

Planning the perfect weekend in San Diego includes knowing where to stay and what to plan into your itinerary. We got a few great recommendations for you.

If you’re going to be flying in, check out these California airports.

Book the Ultimate San Diego Resort

The Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa encapsulates everything that we love about San Diego. It has a stunning location on Mission Bay putting guests within steps of the water and boardwalk as well as just a few minutes from the Gaslamp Quarter and beaches of Pacific and Mission Beach.

For single women looking for a little vacation romance, this location is ideal. Pacific Beach has a just-out-of-college bar scene with dive bars, nightclubs, and plenty of restaurants along Garnet Avenue whereas the Gaslamp Quarter caters to all ages with lounges, music venues, bars, and dancing.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation in San Diego Hilton Resort and Spa has a full service spa with massages and facials, a beautiful waterfront pool, an onsite restaurant, and offers an array of activities from tennis to sailing.

Book here.

Enjoy a Cocktail with a View

What’s a girls weekend in San Diego without a few cocktails?

Altitude Sky Lounge is a swanky cocktail lounge located on the 22nd floor of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Day or night, this location is unforgettable with a birds-eye view of Petco Park, the San Diego Bay, Coronado Bridge and the entire Gaslamp Quarter.

Altitude Sky Lounge is perfect for a happy hour cocktail before a fun night out downtown or a late night stop after dancing it up at the local clubs. Complete with a modern appeal, firepits, flashy decor, and beautiful patrons, it doesn’t get better than Altitude Sky Lounge in San Diego.

Grab a Bite with the Gals

It’s rare to ask a group of young San Diego locals where their favorite place to eat is and hear no mention of Cucina Urbana. This trendy Italian bistro has California flare, reasonable prices, out of this world food, an extensive wine list and over the top hipster decor.

Open for lunch, dinner, and happy hour, Cucina Urbana in Banker’s Hill is a thriving hotspot attracting locals and visitors from all over town. This favorite San Diego restaurant also offers wine tastings on Saturday afternoons.

Shop ’til You Drop

San Diego has every kind of shopping imaginable from boutique shopping and organic farmer’s markets to outlet centers and massive shopping malls. My personal favorite mall is Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego. This outdoor shopping mall has well-known upscale stores, an ice-skating rink during winter and is located next door to the Gaslamp Quarter. I also love the Carlsbad Premium Outlet Center in North County where you can find incredible deals on high-end brand names like BCBG, BEBE, Banana Republic, and Sephora.

Check out Balboa Park

San Diego’s Balboa Park is the United State’s largest urban cultural park. You’ll find numerous affordable and even free things to do in Balboa Park! Check out our guide on free things to do in Balboa Park.

Free things to do in Balboa Park, San Diego
Free things to do in Balboa Park, San Diego

Don’t miss Casa Guadalajara, Old Town San Diego for great Mexican Cuisine

Old Town San Diego is considered the “birthplace” of California. San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. It was here in 1769, that Father Junipero Serra came to establish the very first mission in a chain of 21 missions that were to be the cornerstone of California’s colonization. His mission was built on a hillside overlooking what is currently known as Old Town San Diego.

At the base of the hill in 1820’s, a small Mexican community of adobe buildings was formed and by 1835 had attained the status of El Pueblo de San Diego. In 1846, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant and a Marine Lieutenant, raised the American flag in the Old Town San Diego Plaza. 

Bazaar Del Mundo Shops are what you will see first when you get to the corner of that street. Garish Latin-themed gift stores, operate this Mexican restaurant situated a block away from Old Town State Historic Park. Not only is Casa Guadalajara better than what you’ll find along that area, it’s often less crowded than its counterparts (though having to wait for half an hour or more is not unusual on a Fri & Sat night). Mariachi tunes played by strolling musicians enliven the room nightly, and you can also dine alfresco, in a picturesque courtyard occupied by a 200-year-old pepper tree.

Birdbath-size margaritas start most meals, while dining ranges from simple south-of-the-border fare to more gourmet items like tequila lime shrimp and mango chipotle chicken — but the extensive menu features all the fajita and combo plates most people expect.

Begin with an appetizer or three, especially the nachos supreme done with crispy blue corn, yellow corn and chipotle tortilla chips and the special nacho sauce; the chipotle chicken taquitos and some of the best guacamole dip in town. You can order tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tamales and chili relleno a la carte, but the combinations served with rice and beans and specialty dishes lure you to Casa Guadalajara. Breakfast is also served on weekends.

This place (like the Bazaar) is touristy, but out-of-towners looking for old California ambience and reliable Mexican food will find it here. First time all week, we had respectably HOT and SPICY chili and so I was pretty happy with the meal! However, Mexican is rather heavy and I doubt that this would be the kind of cuisine I would look for on a regular basis! A nice experience all in all!

Visit the San Diego Beaches: What you Need to Know

In the summer, it seems like the entire world flocks to the San Diego beaches for fun in the sun, so here are a few tips to make your experience a little better.

June Gloom

Most vacationers arrive expecting a bright summer sun at the beach all the time. However, at the beaches in San Diego, that is not always the case. June Gloom is a Southern Californian expression for the low clouds that hand over beach areas in late spring and early summer. June Gloom can carry on well into July and, on occasions, even into August. May Gray, No Sky July, and Fogust are monikers that San Diego residents are very familiar with.  

It can be maddening for those who booked a beach vacation who only see the sun for one day out of their whole trip. To avoid this, as best you can, schedule your trip in mid to late August or early September.

The Stingray Shuffle

If you frequent San Diego’s beaches in the summer months, you will most likely hear someone mention the “Stingray Shuffle”.

Stingrays love to hang out in warm, shallow water and, when stepped on, deliver a painful sting to ankles or feet. Unless you want to spend your day at the lifeguard tower in immense pain with your foot in a bucket of hot water, you need to learn the dance.

Shuffle your feet when entering or exiting the water to alert the rays that there are people near by.

No Alcohol on Beaches

Yes, it’s true. There is a ban on alcohol consumption on the beach in San Diego, punishable by a $250 fine.

More than likely, however, lifeguards will simply force you to empty out any alcoholic beverages the first time they catch you. Also prohibited are smoking, glass containers, littering, and overnight camping.

No matter what kind of girl you are and what kind of vacation you’re looking for, San Diego has it all.

For young women looking for a wild time to moms looking for a break from the kids, San Diego has natural beauty, luxurious hotels, great restaurants and fun nightlife to satisfy even the weariest of travelers.

We hope you enjoy the perfect girls weekend in San Diego!

Looking for more girls weekend trips? Check out these guides:


Ljubljana city view

Ljubljana: A Perfect Place for Active Holidays in the City

 

When you hear the country’s capital city you probably think about stunning architecture, numerous museums and galleries, churches, and delicious food in the restaurants, but you probably don’t think about hiking and outdoor activities in Ljubljana!

Well, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a green gem of Europe offering active and unique opportunities to embark on hiking trips inside the city area.

There is no doubt Ljubljana is one of the greenest cities in the world. The city boasts an astounding per capita green space provision of 542 square metres, some of which can even be found in the heart of the historic city centre. Lush green and wooded areas offer a perfect opportunity for active holidays in the city.

It is a green and active city with a vibrant culinary scene, wealth of museums and galleries to explore, and tours and trips to take within the city or nearby. Time to make you plan for the future travels!

We’ve collected the top 10 activities in Ljubljana to have the ultimate active holidays in the city

First Impressions of the City

When arriving in Ljubljana make sure to stop by Ljubljana Tourist Information Center (Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 2, 1000 Ljubljana), take the city map, say hi to the welcoming staff, get all the tourist information you need, buy the Ljubljana Card and book a tour to get to know the city.

Purchasing a Ljubljana Card will help you save on entrance prices to over 20 of Ljubljana’s top attractions as well as cover a bicycle hire, access to wi-fi, bus transportation costs around the city and to the airport. All major things to do in Ljubljana will be covered.

To get familiar with the city’s streets it is best to book a guided tour in the begining of your trip. Would you rather explore the city on foot, by bike, perhaps by boat? Ljubljana offers many interesting options which are thematically different and tailored to different interests. Check the guided tours here and let the pleasant stroll through the city begin!

Get to Know the City’s Main Attractions

The picturesque image of the centre of Ljubljana has been marked by different historic periods and most notably by the works of the world-famous architect Jože Plečnik. Take a walk through the Ljubljana Old Town, be amazed by the Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings and visit Ljubljana Castle, the city’s main attraction. You can reach the castle by funicular railway or climb it on foot. The castle’s tower and ramparts offer the most beautiful views of the city.

Get your cameras ready while visiting the Prešernov trg Square, the heart of the historic Ljubljana. It includes three of the most recognizable images of Ljubljana: the pink facade of the Franciscan Church, the monument to the Slovenian poet France Prešeren, and the Plečnik`s Triple Bridge.

Another picture perfect spot is the famous Fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers (Robba Fountain) standing in front of the Town Hall. The baroque masterpiece is the work of the renown sculptor Francesco Robba.

And last, don’t forget to meet the dragons on the Dragon bridge and find out why Ljubljana is also called the Dragon City. It is considered that if you did not take a photo with the dragon, you were not really in Ljubljana.

Cycle Around the City and Chill in Park Tivoli

Ljubljana is the cyclists’ idea of a city. Its’ centre is car-free and the network of bike paths and circuits is constantly expanding. No bike? No problem! Bikes can be rented literally all over town. You can join the locals and rent one from Bicikelj, the city’s bike sharing system or you can hire one in the Ljubljana Tourist Information Center for a very affordable price. Ljubljana Card holders are entitled to free four-hour bicycle hire. You can also join a city bike tour!

Make sure to make a stop in the largest city park, Tivoli. Ljubljana’s central park is a popular place for socialising and relaxing. There you will find joggers, walkers, slackliners, yoga practicioners, kids enjoying the playgrounds, mini golfers, and people taking rests on the grass enjoying the parks’ charming tranquillity. You can also sit down in a popular café called Čolnarna next to the park’s pleasant green fish pond area.

Tivoli Park is crisscrossed with walking and recreational paths that continue into the slopes of Rožnik hill and allow an escape to nature from the centre of the city.

Hike in the City

There are not many cities where the old town centre offers you a hike through the woods to the top of a hill, but Ljubljana has it all. Hiking is one of the many outdoor activities in Ljubljana!

The network of hiking trails starts spreading out from the city centre and becomes more and denser as we move outwards. The green hearts of the city are the Rožnik and Šišenski hrib Landscape Park, Golovec, Rašica and the popular Šmarna gora (Mt. Saint Mary), the scenic “roof of Ljubljana” with the city’s favourite viewpoint. At the summit of Šmarna gora you can indulge in a snack or lunch at Gostilna Ledinek, with a menu consisting of traditional Slovene dishes.

You can also join a biking tour from Ljubljana to Kranj to find the best view points over the city.

However If you are more into mountaineering it is best you visit Ljubljana Region and explore the mountain trails there such as Grintovec or Kamniško sedlo.

Visit Central Market and Have a Picnic

The central market is the heart of any city. This is certainly true of Ljubljana market, which was designed by renowned architect Jože Plečnik. It is more than just a place to shop. Traditionally, it has also been a place for the locals to meet and enjoy themselves together. Taste some seasonal produce from local farmers and growers, have a little chat with them and buy the ingredients for your picnic.

Luckily Ljubljana has plenty of relaxing hidden spots for treating yourself to a picnic. You can relax on the Trnovski pristan embankment, up on the castle hill, in the Tivoli Park or park Špica, etc.

Paddle Through the City Center

The river Ljubljanica, with its interesting bridges and picturesque old city centre embankments, is one of Ljubljana’s most notable landmarks. The heart of Ljubljana’s social life are the Ljubljanica river embankments, densely scattered with lively cafés offering outdoor seating. A good way to see the old city centre and its famous bridges, picturesque buildings and vibrant embankments from a completely different angle is to join a tourist boat cruise along the river.

However, the Ljubljanica with its bridges is much more than just photogenic. It offers unique experiences which you simply must try. In the summer you can treat yourself to an exciting water session in the very centre of Ljubljana and see the city from a different angle by taking a sup or a kayak tour.

Jog Through the City Center

Believe it or not, SightJogging is a real thing and is getting more popular year by year. Ljubljana with it’s wide streets and squares is perfect for a pleasant run.

If you’re a runner you can combine your morning run with exploring the streets of the city. No worries, the lovely Ljubljanica River will show you the way. If you’re in good condition you can also run up to the castle hill. You can also take your run on the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, which encircles Ljubljana, symbolizes dedication to a healthy lifestyle while at the same time serving as a reminder of the city’s history. It runs along the 32.5-kilometre long course of the military barbed-wire fence which surrounded Ljubljana during the Second World War. We assure you that if you complete the whole circuit, you will be ready to participate in Ljubljana Marathon in autumn.

According to our calculations, during a one hour jog you will burn off 803 kilocalories, which equals about two cakes. Speaking of cakes, make sure reward yourself with Stolp cake in Lolita. You deserve it!

Don’t Forget to Explore the Ljubljana Region

If you have any time left we suggest you don’t just enjoy the city but instead take a trip off the beaten path and discover the surrounding Ljubljana Region. The city of Ljubljana is surrounded by fascinating smaller cities, lush nature and many, many opportunities for unforgetatable adventures.

You’ll wonder if you landed in Hobbit’s kingdom in the truly unique traditional herdsmen’s village on Velika planina. If you’re more into adrenaline adventures we suggest you visiting the Geoss Adventure Park in the village of Slivna, which offers treetop climbing adventures, a giant zip line and a unique opportunity to spend a night in the treetops. Cave enthusiasts will be able to admire the beauty of the Mayor’s Cave (Županova jama) located near the village of Cerovo. It consists of six chambers and a wealth of marvellous stalagmites, stalactites and other typical karst features.

If you like hiking and cycling make sure to visit Polhov Gradec Dolomites as well and embark on exploration of the most photogenic hill in the Ljubljana area – Sveti Jakob or the hill once visited by royalty, Polhograjska Gora. If you’re there, make sure to stop by the Polhov Gradec Mansion. You will not return empty-handed as the hosts will not let you leave without a Bundle of Delights from Count Blagaj’s land.

If you are interested in history and the pile-dwellers unique culture, Ljubljana Marshes are the place for you. Due to its amazing natural diversity and rich heritage it is listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

Explore the Vibrant Culinary Scene

Ljubljana is full of surprises not the mention their splendid culinary scene. The city’s culinary offer is strongly characterised by seasonal, locally produced ingredients. Culinary adventurers can find a rich and diverse range of foods to suit all tastes and all pockets.

We suggest you go for the local flavours and taste traditional dishes with a modern make-over represented by the Taste Ljubljana brand. Renowned Ljubljana chefs such as Igor Jagodic (Strelec), Jorg Zupan (Atelje) and Bine Volčič (Bistro Monstera), among others, have creatively adapted old recipes to contemporary trends.

For trying some local street food we suggest Klobasarna where you will be able to try a a traditional Slovene speciality – Carniolan sausage. Another affordable way of trying Slovenian cuisine is visiting the Moji štruklji Slovenije, where they serve up a daily range of more than 20 different types of štruklji – boiled strudel – with creamy or classic fillings and toppings.

To start your day healthy, we are sure Ljubljana breakfast will get you ready for your long day of exploring the city. Check Bistro EK or Slovenian House and try the most important meal of the day from top quality local and seasonal ingredients.

Take a Look at the City’s Top History and Art Museums

Last but not least, mix up your active adventure with visiting at least one museum or if you are more into arts, a gallery. Trust us, you will not regret it.

In the National Museum of Slovenia you will discover the rich heritage of diverse history, and see the 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute, which is the oldest musical instrument in the world. You can check the permanent exhibition of the City Museum of Ljubljana which shows the development of the city of Ljubljana from the prehistoric period to the present day. In the museum are especially proud of two findings – the world’s oldest wooden wheel and a wooden arrow that is about 40,000 years old.

Exceptional collections of technical heritage are on display at the Technical Museum of Slovenia in Bistra plus you can admire Tito’s limos there.

Ljubljana is also the city of an exceptional artistic life. Its rich legacy is complemented by a lively contemporary art scene. The National Gallery holds mainly older iconic works of art, such as works of Baroque artists, the Slovenian impressionists, and paintings of Ivana Kobilica and Zoran Mušič. The adjacent Museum of Modern Art represents artistic phenomena of 20th and 21st century, if you like to meet Eastern European avan-garde artists check the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) Metelkova.

There you have them, the top ten activities in Ljubljana for the unforgettable adventure in a beautiful city of Ljubljana. The city is maybe one of the smallest capitals of Europe, but it’s huge in terms of the variety of what you can do, see and taste there.

If you are looking for an active holidays combined with rich gastronomic experiences and a thriving cultural scene Ljubljana is with no doubt the right place for you.