San Diego Part 2: Balboa Park and Coronado / by Courtney Stewart

Read Part 1 of this trip here.

We got up early and walked a few blocks to Lucky's Lunch Counter. It wasn't busy when we got there around 9:30, but it soon filled up. I had a pancake, fruit and hash browns, because I can never turn down hash browns. The fruit was legit because it had mostly pineapple and strawberries with only a little bit of cantaloupe. Alex had the Sunrise Bagel Sandwich. Maybe it's that we've gotten used to the high prices of SF, but this seemed like a fairly good deal for breakfast/brunch especially since it filled us up so much we weren't hungry until late afternoon.

We planned to stick pretty close to our hotel that day, so we took an Uber up to Balboa Park. This park contains several museums and attractions including the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man and of course the San Diego Zoo. Most of the buildings there were built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and were done in the Spanish Colonial style, so walking around really made me feel like I was back in Spain.

For our afternoon adventure, a friend had recommended that we check out Coronado while we were there, which is an island just off the coast of San Diego. You can get there by car, but we opted for a more fun mode of transportation: the ferry! It was $4.75 per person each way. There are two places you can catch the Coronado Ferry: the Broadway Pier and the Convention Center. We opted for the Convention Center pick up point because it was walkable from our hotel. The pick up was really difficult for us to find. We walked up and down a zillion stairs at the Convention Center until we finally figured out it was on the back side of the Convention Center across the road. Look for the signs that say "Ferry". 

Additionally, "ferry" is a misleading word for the boat we took. I guess if you leave from the Broadway Pier, you do take an actual ferry. However, since the Convention Center stop doesn't have as many people, they took us on a water taxi. It was a short ride over and we were rewarded with views like the ones below. 

Our friend had told us we needed to check out the Hotel Del Coronado because it was a beautiful, historic hotel built in the Victorian style. We originally intended to eat a late lunch there, but the restaurant menus looked kind of pricey, so we would eat on the way. Alex and I ended up walking the width of the island from where the ferry dropped us off to the area of the hotel. We Yelped and found Miguel's Cocina. They had a large outdoor shaded patio that was perfect for the warm afternoon. Biggest plus: Along with the free chips and salsa, they gave us a little bowl of cheese dip!! We ordered a couple of margaritas (which seemed expensive at first, but they serve them to you in a shaker which really holds more like 1.5-2 margs).

Then, we continued on to Hotel Del Coronado which definitely lived up to the hype. It is beyond gorgeous. You can just walk around the side of the hotel to a wide open courtyard that leads right to the beach. Many people were just hanging out on the lawn and enjoying the sun. 

We took the ferry back to San Diego because we had reservations at Jsix in the Gaslamp Quarter. When we arrived and realized it was in the bottom of a hotel, we were a little wary of it (especially because there were only a few other groups eating and our reservation was at 8PM). Hoping that these things weren't bad signs, we got seated in a really cozy little booth next to the wall. We skipped appetizers since we had a late lunch, but Alex ordered the Squash Raviolis which came with pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts, both of which really complemented the butternut squash flavor nicely. I got the Roasted Scallops and Mussels which came with some of the biggest mussels I have ever seen. 


Jsix ended up being a solid choice, and we were glad we didn't let the awkward location scare us off. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep because we had a big Sunday ahead of us. 

Check back for our adventures at La Jolla, Green Flash Brewing, and Modern Times Brewing.