A Perfect Day in San Diego: As told by 8 local creatives, movers, and shakers
In San Diego, planning a perfect day is practically an art form –– truly, with all the tools we’ve been given to work with (our beaches, our food, our views - just to name a few), it only makes sense that we’re able to create masterpieces out of every day moments.
As such, we decided to ask eight of San Diego’s brightest and most creative on what their own personal idea of a “Perfect Day in San Diego” looked like, from morning to nightfall. Whether it be cross-border excursions, beachside moments of reflection, satisfying specific cravings, or more, it’s always interesting to find out what someone holds near and dear to them in a city so full of things to cherish. Read below.
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Lissa Corona, Visual Artist & Educator, NAH NAH
“What does a perfect day in San Diego look like? It starts in Oceanside with an iced coffee from Revolution Roasters that I sip while driving the 101 South. I pull over to take a picture of the sunrise, something I recently started doing despite it being super cheesy. If I'm solo, I'm likely in search of contemporary art, so I'll head over to MCASD Downtown or Bread & Salt in Barrio Logan. Then, I hit up Salud for lunch and order my favorite ceviche, check out the lowriders cruising along Logan Avenue, and grab some pan dulce to take home for dessert.
On the way back, make a pit stop at Verbatim Books for a new zine or some poetry, and maybe pop in to Pigment just to marvel at their abundance of carefully color coordinated merchandise. Afterwards, I’ll drive back to Oceanside for an art opening at Hill Street Country Club, walk the dog in the "secret neighborhood" of bungalows, and watch the sunset from our backyard. Open every window of the house and feel the ocean breeze while binging Law & Order SVU from the comfort of my couch-bed. The perfect day in San Diego.”
Abjo, Musician & DJ, Soulection
“My ideal day really only requires only 3 things: good weed, the perfect playlist, and your typical, sunny San Diego weather. But, if I had to be specific?
It starts with a blunt and a Yerba Mate, gettin’ in a good stretch out with my girl and my dog, which I can’t do without anyway since I’m old as fuck now, so the weed and side lunges get me back to my old swangin’ days.
Ideally, we’d segue to a sesh at the homie’s studio in East Village with a Lolita’s Cali burrito (not as good as the Bonita location, but it’ll suffice) and more blunts and Yerba Mate. If Hide N’ Go Freak or a Travelers Club party is goin’ on that night, we keep smoking and proceed to pregame, because I’m NOT too old to smash a couple shots of Cazadores and a brew before I head out for a night of shenanigans and good vibes alike.
Alternatively, we’d hit Mt. Helix before the sun sets with yet another blunt, and if we feel like splurging for dinner, head to Ebisu Sushi in Hillcrest and drop a couple bills on Charger rolls, salmon & crispy kale sashimi, fried calamari and a bottle or two of sake and grigio before we Netflix & chill for the rest of the night…”
Rizzhel Javier, Visual Artist & Educator
“I would wake up at no particular time.
My schedule is crazy and I’m constantly running around on the daily, so a perfect day in San Diego would start with chilling in my backyard on a sunny day. I would have a huge cup of orange juice and spend the morning going in and out of naps on my swing from the heat of the sun. My partner would be working in the garden and my cat sitting by my feet.
I would eat and relax.
Drive down to Tijuana and meet up with my friends and get lunch. Tacos. Ceviche. Coffee. We would walk around, break to get ice cream, and just catch up with each other. At the beach, I would be sitting with a huge cup of mangos, the water always makes me think of my Lola. The coconut stands always remind me of the Philippines, for a moment I feel closer to her.
I would want to pack to get ready to go on an adventure.
In California, camping is one of the only ways I can truly relax. On a perfect day, I would end packing to go somewhere. I love the process of packing because I get excited about choosing what I need for where I’m planning to go. For me, getting ready to travel is just as fun as traveling. I would fall asleep so happy and excited to wake up and get out on the road.”
Siesta Molina, Visual Artist & Photographer
“The best day for me would be to start out with a light workout before I make my way to a good breakfast joint like Hash Hash a Go Go with some homies and order some chicken & waffles. Then after, I’ll head to Young Hickory to do some work on my laptop while I get a good buzz going on. By the time I get home and change, hopefully there’ll be a music and art event going on because lord knows there is always something going down in San Diego.”
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Tomás Perez, Writer & Photographer, Alliance
“A day where I'm living my best life in San Diego, is waking up well-rested around 7am on a Saturday (I always wake up on the dot), putting a record on the turntable while I cook breakfast. My partner & I have a sizable collection from our own finds, and also what our parents & grandparents have collected over the years, so I could be listening to anything between garage rock like Happy Diving, to opera by Pavarotti. But most likely I'd be listening to a classical balad by Cuco Sanchez cuz I'm a sucker for setting the mood.
After a romantic breakfast––and dessert––I'd probably walk my dog around Barrio Logan. I always see friends, neighbors, artists, and business owners on Logan Ave and we talk for a few minutes. Sometimes there'll be an art crawl or something goin on that I'll check out.
After walking the dog, my partner and I might head to North Park/University Heights/Talmadge to hit up a neighborhood yard sale or go window shopping. We love walking though neighborhoods finding stuff for our apartment or getting inspiration for home projects.
By the evening we'd probably Postmates some dinner from SuckerFree or Bootlegger and nap before we head out to a show at Weird Hues, the Front, or another community event with friends and allies. That's the day.”
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Jo Kamimura, Artist & Filmmaker
“This is on some real bougie boi touristy shit so be warned –– just bring your lover and have some fun:
Wake up, hydrate, and nhy spark.
Morning walk (or horse ride) along the Tijuana River Valley Natural Reserve. Count your blessings.
Cop some jugo verde aka green juice, ya bish.
Head north towards the lovely Encinitas Meditation Gardens. Raise your vibration on Swami’s vortex.
Devour the calamari at Jake’s in Del Mar.
Get the fuck out of North County and take a dip in coves of Ocean Beach.
Drop a few hundo for top shelf sashimi at Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town.
Take the iconic Coronado bridge into the island... light up, ride bikes and catch the sunset.
Bust out the passport cards and come full circle (Sidenote: If you’ve still never been to Tijuana, shame on you).
LENGUA, TRIPA, y CABEZA TACOS FOR DAAAAZEE
And the rest is history.”
Luis Travels, Music Producer & DJ, The Travelers Club
“First things first, load up the car with a cooler, canopy, blankets, portable speaker, and some chairs. Next stop is Sprouts for a classic smoothie-n-sandwich lunch special and some beverages / ice for the cooler. Then head straight to Coronado via the bridge with the car windows down, non-negotiable. Spend a few hours hanging beach side until sunset hits. End it with a trip to Petco Park to catch the 7pm Padre game. Cheap tickets, pricey beer, and good company.”
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Alejandra Frank, Owner & Curator, Teros Gallery
“To imagine what my ideal day in San Diego gives me goosebumps, these days don’t happen too often.
First I’d hit up Tobey’s 19th hole, hopefully I wouldn’t be there alone. We’d get a round of tots, egg sando and a pitcher of beer. Then we get a bucket of golf balls and make our way to the open range.
Balboa Park always offers a good time. I’m obsessed with their cactus garden, great place to smoke a joint.
Now it’s time to hop on my bike and embrace the streets. Back when I lived in City Heights, I would cruise around the neighborhood, go thrifting, check on Teros, make my way towards Folk Arts Rare Records, Verbatim Books and see what great people I’d run into. My favorite part of San Diego are the conversations that arise. I hate small talk, but love weird banter.
At this point, the sun is about to drop, and the sky probably looks epic. Take a moment wherever I am to appreciate where I live.
Depending on where the wind blows, I’d probably top the night off with a burrito or cook at home for my roommate. Food is always on my mind.
Of course, as with every perfect day, it ends with karaoke.”