Had a call out to San Diego people to recommend their favorite places to visit.
Get a coffee at James on fourth ave and then have a quick hike in Maple Canyon. Note the part of Little Italy they destroyed to build the freeway but note the pedestrianization efforts and plazas in the parts they didn’t.
Eat tacos. Blue Line to E Street to Tacos El Gordo (take-out only) for tacos al pastor, Blue Line to Palm Ave & 933/934 to Fernandez Catering for birria.
Weekdays only: Green Line to Old Town (fun enough on its own!), to 28, to 84, to Cabrillo National Monument. (Sorry about the transfers!)
If the friend is beer-inclined, Route 2 is basically a tasting room shuttle along 30th Street. I like Fall (30th/Monroe), North Park Brewing and Original 40 (30th/University), and Modern Times (30th/Upas)
Silver Strand Beach.
Personally, i’d rather go to Warwick’s in Downtown La Jolla. (the country’s oldest continuously family-owned and operated bookstore)
Ride the Silver Line? (vintage trolley) Carlsbad Village has some nice brewpubs IIRC.
Bird rock coffee, mission bay/beach bike ride or bayshore bikeway to silver strand (round trip or ferry to downtown), Kate sessions, verbatim books, pomegranate, tribute pizza
The Geisel Library at UCSD campus is an interesting design. —Express bus 150 from downtown. https://stuartcollection.ucsd.edu/artist/suh.html
Balboa Park may be a popular tourist destination but it’s got some amazing food venues an an artist colony where you can see art being actively created. Like glass blowing where my god nephew has apprenticed since he was a kid. (rt 7, 215, scooter)
One more. The Meditation Gardens in Encinitas. Free and very beautiful. (Pacific Surfliner+101)
Cocktails on the Prado and a free concert at the city organ. https://spreckelsorgan.org/
Have the best fish tacos in town with a fantastic view at Mitch’s Sea Foods and wash it down with beer from neighboring Eppig Brewing. Both off Scott Street in Point Loma. You’ll likely see seals and pelicans while you eat. Great walks, biking, and gelato on Shelter Island too.
Border Field state park is worth visiting. (beach and wall near US-MX border)
@MingeiMuseum at Balboa park now has a bar and restaurant! Another great amenity at our world class park.
If you need a break or need a place to eat your gelato you got from Little Italy, I highly recommend shopping by the Waterfront Park and watching kids absolutely BEEF it in the fountain. It’s adorably endearing, and one of my favorite views of the the City and bay.
If they’re here on a Tuesday evening, @SDVelodrome is always a great experience!
Check out nonprofit @visitsandiego, existing to recommend fun San Diego experiences from main attractions to off the beaten path locals favorites.