San Diego

3 days in San Diego 🌞

San Diego is a major city in California located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and adjacent to the border with Mexico.

Sunrise at Ocean Beach

Ps : I apologize for the pitures’s quality. I had a compact camera and IPhone 4 only 😐


I travelled to San Diego by myself in February 2016 and I spent 3 days there. I planned my trip 2 weeks before (cause you never know when you will be off 😀) and I flew from Seattle.

Budget :

  • Flight : $330
  • Hostel : $129 for 4 nights
  • Rental car : About $190 for 2 days (very disappointed by the rental company)
  • Gas : $20
  • Tijuana in Mexico : $48 for an half day (via Viator)
  • Horse Riding : $135/pers for a group tour/ $150 for a private tour
  • Hike : $6
  • Food : $40



15 min drive from the airport. 2min walk from the beach. I loved this hostel. I shared my room with 5 other people and I made a friend from Australia. This is why I like Hostels, it’s easy to meet people and very cheap. The breakfast was included (cereals, oatmeal, fruit, tea, coffee, bread, jam…). During breakfast, you can meet new people as well. Rooms, kitchen and bathrooms were very clean. The staff was very nice and friendly and offered activities nightly, like bonfire at the beach with smores or go out to the club. The hostel also offered easy access to the Zoo, Downtown, SeaWorld and La Jolla via free shuttle.

Rental car : Payless 😡

I was so disappointed 😡 I booked a car for $85 for 2 days via When I arrived at the rental company she told me I had to take the insurance which was about $70 (First and last time I heard that). I didn’t want to take it but for some reasons she didn’t let me get the car without the insurance. I cancelled my reservation and went to Hertz. They refused my international driving license because they wanted my french driving license. I didn’t understand that. I really needed the car so I went back to Payless because the other companies were too expensive. I had to pay $190 if I wanted to get the car.  With my reservation “cancelled” they considered me like a last minute booking, so it was even more expensive. But since then It’s been so much easier to rent a car since I got my US drivers license.

First day

Early hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve and snack at La Jolla beach with Gustavo, who I met on couchsurfing. Don’t be shy at Torrey Pines, it’s not unsual to see people walk naked on the beach. Feel free to participate. LOL!

Then, I did the Tijuana Tour via Viator. It was cheap and the bus driver was nice but I didn’t really like it. I spent 3h on the same street in Tijuana and I was very uncomfortable and sometimes felt unsafe by the way guys were looking at me. Gustavo, who comes from Mexico and knows Tijuana well made fun of me the next day when we met again. He said sorry I forgot to tell you that you shouldn’t wear shorts! So girls, stay covered up! Haha! BUT the tacos were good and cheap. I ate them from a deck on the second floor and watched the people in the market walking around.

Then when I went back to San Diego, I hung out with Atylla who I also met on couchsurfing. Got some drinks and dance at the bar.

Second day

I went for a hike by myself about 1h drive from San Diego. It’s called Cedar Creek Falls to Devil’s Punchbowl. I didn’t know I needed a permit but fortunately Atylla told me the day before and I could get the permit at the last minute for $6. It was a really nice 6 mile hike that leads to the waterfalls. The water was cold but refreshing. You can jump in from an awesome rock. I really had fun but it can be crowed even during the weekday. It was busy so the permit was sold out when I arrived at the parking lot. Keep in mind, when I went, a ranger was there checking permits.

Then, I walked into Balboa Park which is a famous park in San Diego. It was very beautiful and relaxing.

Finally, I caught the sunset at Ocean beach before I went back to the hostel.

Third day

I fullfilled one of my dreams, which is to ride a horse on the beach! I booked the tour online with “San Diego Beach Rides” which is a 30min drive from Ocean Beach. I was alone for the tour (3h) and they usually don’t gallop but we did 😃🏇 It was an incredible experience.

Then I went to Coronado Island and had lunch on the beach. It was nice to take a break and relax 😎

I made a stop at the Old Town and walked around into the market. Nothing crazy but I loved it. Also, it was Tacos Tuesday so I spoiled myself with Tacos and a margueritta 🍹

After, I went back to the hostel for the bonfire and smores with the other travellers on the beach. I met this nice Australian girl and offered her to come with me to see the Embracing Peace and USS Midway at night, which she agreed and we had fun. Then I went back there in the morning before I flew home.

Other things to do or see ?

  • Sea World
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Seaport Village
  • Historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown
  • Point Loma
  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • Sunset Cliffs Natural Park (Look for the cave)
  • Surf (or at least try to)
  • Whale watching
  • Catch a game
  • Flower field (mid-March through mid-April)


If you have any questions or if the post was helpful to you

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