Enjoying Your San Diego Trip Without A Four Day Pass

Eat yourself happy!

Our first trip to San Diego was based entirely around a one day pass to San Diego Comic Con. We flew from Philadelphia with no clue about the spectacle we were about to enjoy. At the time, we weren’t the people finding details on Twitter or other sites. We just walked into the madness. In fact, not everyone in our vacation party even had tickets to SDCC. They still got to experience the madness of Gaslamp during the con. Obviously it worked out well because none of us has missed one SDCC since! Do not fret if you did not get a four day pass or even a few day tickets. There is plenty to enjoy in the lovely city of San Diego and the surrounding areas without the SDCC inside or outside events.
On most trips I am my group's travel coordinator, lovingly referred to as the Social Director. I also am a foodie at heart. As a result, a lot of my travel recommendations revolve around food. Along the way there have been many hits with a few misses mixed in there too. Since no one has died of food poisoning to date and they're still following my lead.
Surf, Sand and Tacos: Check out Roberto’s Taco Shop. It’s not a high class joint, but if you aren’t local then the combination of beach, a small amusement park right off the boardwalk, and decent kicked back food is something worth checking out.  Our group dreams of the fish tacos and California burritos. Plus, after dark you can buy some firewood at the local grocery store and hang out at one of the beach’s fire pits.
Roberto's Taco Shop 3202 Mission Blvd San Diego, CA 92109‎
(see their
website for other locations)
Consistently delicious Mexican fare: Miguel’s Cocina delivers Mexican that is family friendly and acceptable to most palates. It is a chain, though this also gives me a slight peace of mind. Expect to wait, however the location we were at provided fresh chips and salsa to snack on. Once seated we were provided with more chips, salsa, the best white jalapeno cheese sauce ever created, and my favorite spicy pickled carrots, onions and jalapenos mixture to boot! We have taken quite the array of visitors here, and everyone left wanting to try something new next time.
Miguel’s Cocina 1351 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118(see their website for other locations)
EVERYONE’S, wait did you get that, EVERYONE’S favorite place to eat is Hash Hash A Go Go. If you don’t go, well I am fine with that because that means my wait will be shorter. No seriously, the wait can be crazy, but the food is amazing! They serve the biggest portions you have ever seen in your life. Not one regular plate was seen at our table. Everything is served in Serving Size plates and bowls… as in family sized. Rosemary fried chicken…. I probably couldn’t be a vegetarian if I lived closer to this place. Seriously it’s that crazy. Piles of mashed potatoes, pancakes that scare children (with their massive size of course), and the best drink combos ever! Pistachio coffee, banana lattes, and we never got to try any of the alcoholic treats (we are morning hashers and not yet alcoholics). One warning, it could be easy to blow through some cash here. To our group, it was definitely worth it.

Hash Hash A Go Go 3628 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92103(see their website for their menu)
La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) is a San Diego must see. Start out your day at The Cottage for breakfast. Expect to wait, however they are kind enough to provide coffee cake and coffee for your wait. Then try everything or anything! The location, the ambience, and the spectacular food will start your day off right. Head over to the La Jolla cove while you are in the neighborhood. There are plenty of rocks to climb and tide pools to peek into all next to a beautiful view. Definitely make sure you are looking fabulous for great photo opportunities here. If you’re still feeling adventurous, Children’s beach is a spot to see seals a plenty! Bonus: you get to smell them too.

The Cottage 7702 Fay Ave. La Jolla, CA 92037(see their website for their menu)
Why not drive to LA? It’s 2 or so (traffic) hours away. But the trip is pleasant to me. After being tied to the east coast for life, a drive up the coast is a treat for the eyes. Although not as scenic as I am told the northern coast of California is, hey why not? What awaits you may even be worth an overnight stay. Shopping at Santee Alley was the best 31st birthday ever! Luggage, clothes, sunglasses, jewelry, shoes, and for the most part all very affordable. How about heading to Hollywood? It was smaller than I expected and Hollywood Boulevard was undeniably uber touristy and dirty, but it’s iconic (think Times Square). Why not check out the Hollywood sign or drive through the hills all while trying not to bottom out your rental. Take your picture at Santa Monica Pier at sunset and don't miss Venice beach before the sun goes down. Plus there are major food havens there too. Think Pink’s hot dogs, Randy’s Donuts and Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM and ice cream shop.

This year you may not have gotten the golden ticket, but if you have never been to San Diego outside of SDCC, this may be your year to take in the sites. After all there are plenty of worse places to be then So Cal! Also as the Con Sweet Con gods would have it, I am not the only blogger with experience in San Diego outside of SDCC. Expect more touristy knowledge to be presented soon!


  1. Thank you very informative. I am going and i dont have a tix. This is my first time at SDCC and the city.

    1. You'll have a blast regardless Theresa! If you have a particular local interest let us know. Many of us frequent San Diego year round. It's a gem of a city and during SDCC it's literally an experience unto itself.


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