My next couple days in San Diego were mostly filled with conference-y stuff; attending talks and poster sessions, presenting my own poster, etc. But we did still manage to find some excellent restaurants. The Gaslamp Quarter is full of places to eat, so you’ll never go hungry. For breakfasts/brunches, we ate at Chocolat, Opera Caffe, and The Broken Yolk, all of which served a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and brunch options. For dinners, I drank from a coconut at Sai Lab, a cute little Thai place, and had a burger and beer at The Knotty Barrel.
My sister lives in LA now, so she was able to head down to visit for about a day and a half. My aunt was also attending the conference, so on our time away from the conference, we were able to do some exploring. For dinner, we hopped on the Coronado Ferry ($10 per person round-trip) out to Coronado Island off the coast of San Diego. The San Diego waterfront is very pretty, and we were afforded beautiful views from the short ferry ride. We ate dinner at Il Fornaio, a delicious Italian restaurant located right on the water. And we were able to watch the sun set and the city light up as we finished dinner and rode the ferry back to the mainland.
The next afternoon, before my sister had to head back to LA, we spent a few hours exploring Balboa Park. Balboa Park is located in the middle of the city and is home to museums, trails, gardens, restaurants, and the San Diego Zoo.
Balboa park is named for Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who was the first European to cross America. He accomplished this feat in southern Panama, which is just about the narrowest part of the continent.
Nevertheless, he did technically travel all the way across the continent.
The park, designated in 1835, is a National Historic Landmark and is one of the largest urban parks in the nation.
The main entrance to the park is via the Cabrillo Bridge, which crosses Cabrillo Canyon. This is where we entered the park, crossing the bridge on foot. From here, we meandered past many museums and other beautiful buildings, stopping for lunch at the Galileo Café on our way to the Rose Garden and Desert Garden.
The architecture of the buildings in Balboa Park was incredible, the open spaces were beautiful, and the gardens were full of colorful roses and unique species of cactus and other succulents.
I wish that we’d had more time to explore Balboa Park, but it’s so huge that we probably could have spent all day there and not seen everything. It’s wonderful that the city of San Diego has preserved all of this space, and next time I visit, I’ll be planning an entire day in the park to explore and relax in the shade of a palm tree.
Well, this concludes my time in San Diego. There was so much of the city that I didn’t see, but that just means I have a really good reason to go back someday soon!