Spend Spring Break in San Diego

People Dancing at Omnia Nightclub - Spring Break in San Diego

There are infinite ways to while away a week of perfect spring weather in this town. Here are a few ideas—for a fun night out, a perfect beach day, and a shopping and lounge-by-the-pool day—just to get your gears turning.

A Night Downtown

To start off a night in San Diego properly, head to the city’s hottest place to dine: Little Italy. This former fishing village just off the waterfront is stacked with restaurants ranging from seafood and Italian cuisine to modern American. For someplace that has a bit of everything, duck into Herb and Wood, a buzzy and beautiful spot where grilled venison loin or lobster with ribbon-shaped pasta mingle with wood-fired pizza with toppings like bone marrow or speck. Alternatively, pop into longtime favorite Kettner Exchange, an indoor-outdoor establishment serving entrees like prime beef tenderloin medallions and craft cocktails in a low-key but luxe setting.

Next, see the lights of downtown from Altitude Sky Lounge, a rooftop cocktail bar perched 22 stories above the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Petco Park. Get back down to earth with a stopover at the speakeasy-style Prohibition Lounge, hidden behind a nondescript door to a fictional attorney’s office.

Cap things off with a good time at Omnia Night Club, bumping electronic music Thursday through Sunday until 2:00 AM, sometimes with shows from artists like Steve Aoki.

A Beach Day

Kick off the day with morning Joe from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters and chocolate croissants, blood orange galettes, breakfast sandwiches, and other baked goods from nearby Wayfarer Bread. Then rent beach cruisers and pedal the boardwalk between Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Catch some waves (or maybe just some rays) with a surf lesson at Tourmaline Surf Park, a reliable spot for good waves and classic beach vibes. Sample local craft beer over a lunch of fried calamari, fish tacos, and burgers on PB Ale House’s ocean-view patio.

Take in the sunset with a stroll on the Crystal Pier, along the shores of Mission Bay, or with a sunset cruise aboard a charter yacht. Then head to Good Time Poke for bowls of spicy tuna, salmon belly or shrimp over rice or greens. Let your curiosity guide you through a door beside their counter—it leads to a dark tropical world of tiki cocktails, hula girls, and nautical flare at The Grass Skirt

A Day by the Pool

Pull up a chair at one of San Diego’s renowned brunch spots like Breakfast Republic, Trust, Great Maple, or Whisknladle. Feel like shopping? Stroll through La Jolla Village and newly revamped Westfield UTC, where thirsty shoppers should not skip a drink at Raised by Wolves, a thoughtfully over-the-top watering hole accessed by a spinning wall. Or take a craft beer tour to educate your palate about the hop-heavy brews that put San Diego’s beer scene on the map—and the never-ending array of beer and cider styles keeping it there.

Lay low for the rest of the day at The Lafayette Hotel’s hip public pool. For cocktail hour, vegan restaurant Kindred’s cat-inspired art and posh heavy-metal vibes do not disappoint. For dinner, go next door to try Buona Forchetta’s pizza fresh from “Sofia,” an imported Italian oven. Or head to one of North Park’s many good eateries, like The Smoking Goat, Urban Solace, or Bivouac Ciderworks. Bar hop between the “barcade” Coin Op, whiskey bar Seven Grand, and hard kombucha bar JuneShine until the wee hours.